Windward Oahu park gets new Hawaiian name to honor area’s rich history
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city held a ceremonial blessing last Friday to commemorate the renaming of Kaneohe Beach Park.
The windward Oahu park is now named Naonealaa a Kaneohe in honor of the area’s rich history, which dates back to the Hawaiian chiefs of the 1700s.
Hawaiian historian, Samuel Kamakau, said the area became known as Naonealaa, meaning “the Sands of Laamaikahiki” — named after the famous chief Laa, who inherited Oahu following the death of Olopana.
In 1737, a peace accord was struck at this location between the chiefs of Maui and Molokai and those of Oahu and Kauai.
The renaming of the park was spearheaded and gifted by the Koolaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club as part of their cultural awareness program. The National Geographic Society, the Awesome Foundation and the Koolau Foundation also provided additional funding.
Along with new signage, the park also includes a storyboard placard that details the historical significance of the area.
“It’s a blessing to be part of this because it’s an awesome example of reclaiming aina and giving this place back its dignity and history by sharing the story of Naonealaa,” said city Department of Parks and Recreation’s deputy director, Kehaulani Puu.
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