A team of archaeologists will be completing the Archaeological Inventory Survey work at the Moku’ula/Mokuhinia restoration site on Front Street. The archaeologists, led by Maui Island Director Tanya Lee-Greig, MA, expect to finish the work that was started last spring within six to eight weeks. When announcing the completion of the project, Friends of Moku‘ula and County of Maui welcomed back the Cultural Surveys Hawaii team to the Moku‘ula/Mokuhinia restoration site in Lahaina.
The goal for this year’s work is to find the perimeter wall of the holding pond that was located on the Front Street side of Moku‘ula Island and to finish locating the outer edges of the island. County of Maui recently installed a chain link fence around the perimeter of the restoration site so that any features unearthed during the archaeological work can be protected.
Lineal descendants of Pi‘ilani and families from Ahupua‘a Waine‘e offered their support for Friends of Moku‘ula to supervise and maintain the restoration site. “Friends of Moku‘ula has always shown integrity and a strong commitment to keeping the restoration project alive,” said Maile Shaw, the oldest of the Shaw family. “We’re excited to see archaeological work take place, and urge County officials to support it. We stand behind Friends of Moku‘ula as kahu of the sacred site in this ongoing process.”
Once the Archaeological Inventory Survey (AIS) report is submitted to the State of Hawaii Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) for review, there will be an opportunity for the public to comment over a period of 30 days, and a community meeting will be scheduled in September. After that, SHPD has 15 days to submit its comments, and a final AIS report will be available by the end of November.
For updates, call the Friends of Moku‘ula office at 808-661-3659, visit mokuula.com/events or view facebook.com/mokuula.
Friends of Moku‘ula, a nonprofit cultural organization, was established in 1995 to cultivate awareness of the Hawaiian culture through restoration, preservation, education and revitalization of Moku‘ula Island and Mokuhinia Pond in Lahaina. The freshwater pond contained a one-acre sandbar island called Moku‘ula, which was home to the high chiefs of Pi‘ilani since the 16th century and a royal residence for the Kamehameha line in the 19th century.
2012 photo of excavation at Moku‘ula: Wikimedia Commons