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Places on Oahu: Huilua Fishpond

Basic Information

  • Name: Huilua Fishpond
  • Where: Ahupua’a O Kahana State Park
  • Cost: Free
  • More Information: Ancient Sites of Oahu

Picture from Huilua Fishpond

Narrative

Very easily accessible historical site on Oahu’s Windward Coast is the Huilua Fishpond.  The fishpond is located within Ahupua’a O Kahana State Park:

Finding this fishpond within the park is easy to do.  When traveling north on the Kamehameha Highway and it makes a sharp turn towards the Kahana Valley there is a large parking area on the right side of the road.  From the parking area there is a sign and a short path that leads to the Huilua Fishpond:

Picture from Huilua Fishpond

From the sign I followed the path towards the beach:

Picture from Huilua Fishpond

Here is the view from the path looking back towards the highway and its adjacent cliffs towering over it:

Picture from Huilua Fishpond

The end of the path leads to this small beach:

Picture from Huilua Fishpond

At the beach I took a left and followed it towards the Huilua Fishpond.  I knew I was to the pond when the beach began to turn into rocks:

Picture from Huilua Fishpond

After the short walk I could see the Huilua Fishpond in front of me backdropped by the large Kahana Valley:

Picture from Huilua Fishpond

The Huilua Fishpond is one of many constructed by early Hawaiians around Oahu, but what makes this one significant is how old it is.  Evidence has been found that humans have inhabited the Kahana Valley as early as 150 AD.  This would mean these early inhabitants were from the Marquesas islands and not the ethnic Tahitians that arrived later which native Hawaiians draw their ancestry from.  This is why legends about Huilua Fishpond say that it was built by Menehunes.

Picture from Huilua Fishpond

The term Menehune refers to little people that live deep in the forest much like Ireland’s Leprechauns.  After the arrival of the Tahitians the settlers from the Marquesas islands were displaced and forced to hide in deep valleys thus creating the legend of the Menehune.  Today various engineering works such as the Huilua Fishpond are reminders of Hawaii’s original inhabitants:

Picture from Huilua Fishpond

The Huilua Fishpond has suffered significant damage over the decades due to tsunamis, but local Hawaiians continue to maintain and reconstruct this small part of their cultural past for future generations to enjoy:

Picture from Huilua Fishpond

Conclusion

I recommend stopping by the Huilua Fishpond while either driving by on the Kamehameha Highway or during a visit to the Ahupua’a O Kahana State Park.  The Kahana Valley is located in an extremely scenic area of Oahu that everyone visiting the island should stop to check out.  Besides the beautiful views of the surrounding mountains the short walk over to the Huilua Fishpond also provides a glimpse into the cultural past of the Hawaiian people.

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