The Mauna Lani Resort has been known as one of the world's top resort destinations for decades. What some may not know is that the land in and around it has a cultural significance that goes much deeper in Hawaii's history. Dating back nearly 800 years, native Hawaiian fishermen and their families lived and raised fish for Hawaii's ali'i (royalty). The fishermen were the keepers and guardians of the Kalahuipua'a Fishponds, which are considered by many respected elders to be the spiritual center of Mauna Lani.
Every month, on the Saturday before the full moon, Mauna Lani's cultural heritage is honored at Talk Story Under a Full Moon, a celebration of Hawaiian music, dancing, and storytelling performed by some of the Big Island's most revered performers and cultural experts. Danny Akaka, cultural Director of the Mauna Lani Resort, hosts this special event that is open to the public.
Nearly 400 local residents, respected elders and visitors gather at twilight to commemorate the spirituality and history of this sacred place. This is a special time for families and friends to gather together in the spirit of community and honor the people and traditions who defined what Hawaii is about.
About the Kalakuipua'a Fishponds:
Partly shaded by a grove of coconut palms and native hardwood milo trees, the seven Kalahuipua'a fishponds include the Kalahuipua'a, Kahinawao, Waipuhi, Waipuhi Iki, Hope'ala, Milokukahi and Manoku. The ponds, which were once used to raise mullet, milkfish, and shrimp for the royal family, are now stocked with mullet and awa (Hawaiian milk fish). Although the exact history of the fishponds is not known, bottom samples have dated back to 250 B.C. They are one of the few ponds that are still working on the Big Island (read more about the Mauna Lani Resort preservation of the fishponds).