The history behind Ala Moana - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

The history behind Ala Moana

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Ala Moana Beach Park. Ala Moana Boulevard. Ala Moana Shopping Center. Most of us, if not all, have never known these landmarks by any other name.  But Ala Moana, as the area has become known, is not the traditional name of this place. Amy Kalili has more.

Here some insight on this favorite spot of many, Ala Moana.

Aloha mai kâkou. Eia mai he wahi hoʻonui ʻike no ka inoa pololei o ko kâkou wahi kamaʻâina ʻo Ala Moana.

Kâlia is the ancient name for the Ala Moana area. According to my mother, there were many fishponds there. And many Hawaiian fisherman lived in the area," remembers Lilikalâ Kameʻeleihiwa, Polopeka, Kamakakûokalani.

ʻO Kâlia ka inoa kahiko loa no Ala Moana. A wahi a kuʻu mâmâ, he luahine ʻo ia i kçia manawa, i kona wâ ʻôpio aia he mau loko iʻa ma laila. A nunui ka poʻe Hawaiʻi e noho ana ma laila no ka mea he poʻe lawaiʻa lâkou.

While our kupuna remember Kâlia that way, that image is foreign to us today. It actually used to be swamp land.

ʻOiai maʻa nâ kûpuna i ia ʻano nânâ ʻana o Kâlia, he malihini nô i ka nui o kâkou maka i kçia wâ. I ka wâ kahiko, he ʻano ʻolokele nô hoʻi ia wahi.

"There were duck and birds all around, numerous fish, and many taro patches," says Kameʻeleihiwa.

Me nâ kakâ like ʻole. Me nâ manu like ʻole. Me nâ iʻa like ʻole. Aia kekahi mau loʻi ma laila.

In the early 1900s, the swamp land of Kâlia was filled in with sand to create a the park, that is now frequented by many visitors, beach goers and surfers, and now called Ala Moana. Where did that name come from?

Ma ka hoʻomaka ʻana o ke kenekulia 20, ua hoʻopihapiha ʻia ia ʻâina i ke one i pâka kahakai e hele nui ʻia i kçia mau lâ e nâ malihini, mea holoholo, a heʻenalu nô hoʻi. A kapa ʻia ʻo Ala Moana. No hea mai ia inoa?

"The area is called Ala Moana after the shopping center. It is not the traditional name of area. Also, when the Ala Moana was constructed, families were displaced from the area," said Kameʻeleihiwa.

Ua koho ʻia no ke kûkulu ʻia ʻana o kçlâ shopping center. ʻAʻole ia he inoa kahiko loa. I ke kûkulu ʻia ʻana o kçlâ wahi ʻo Ala Moana, ua kîpaku ʻia nâ poʻe mai kçlâ wahi, ua kîpaku ʻia.

While the shopping center's significant footprint changed the look, make up and even the name of the area, Kâlia, the name and area stills exists, stretching into Waikikî, as seen with this street name.

ʻOiai he kikowaena nui a laha loa ʻo Ala Moana i loli ai ia wahi me kona inoa, mau nô ʻo Kâlia, ka inoa a me ia wahi e holo ana a i Waikikî. He mea hoʻi e ʻike ʻia ma ka inoa o kçia alanui nei.

"It's now a playground for most by let's not forget Kâlia, the fishing ground of the past," said Kameʻeleihiwa.

Kçia mau lâ he wahi no ka poʻe a pau e pâʻani. Akâ i ka wâ ma mua he wahi no ka lawaiʻa.

Let's keep the stories of our special places alive.

E mâlama a hoʻôla nô kâkou i kçia mau moʻolelo o ko kâkou wahi pana o Hawaiʻi. Aloha.

Original airdate 1/18.2010

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