Kūkulu is a Hawaiian model of education based on ancestral ecological knowledge. The model is valuable now as it was for generations in Hawaii.
In 1991, as a way to create a more balanced educational approach to the current educational systems in Hawaiʻi, as well as to fulfill a need for community-based educational programs, a collective of concerned Native Hawaiian educators created an educational organization called Kūkulu Kumuhana. Founded in Waipi‘o valley, Kohala, Hawai‘i, in the summer of 1991.
The mission of Kukulu Kumuhana is to continue the practices of the indigenous culture of Hawaiʻi and to advocate for the well-being and the future of Hawai‘i’s ‘Ōpio (youth) and the Hawaiʻi landscape.
Kūkulu Kumuhana stands on the foundation of ‘ohana (family) and mālama ʻāina (care of the Hawaii land and water resources (through proper resource management). Kukulu Kumuhana is also dedicated to the preservation of Hawaiian heritage.
Kūkulu Kumuhana o Puna (KKOP)
At the end of the five-year pilot program in Waipiʻo, the collective of Native Hawaiian Educators returned to their respective communities and established their own programs. Kūkulu Kumuhana o Puna was formed in 1997 using the model of education established in Waipiʻo Valley. The program encourages and supports cultural learning that builds capacity in an indigenous knowing of land, ocean and sky through lifestyle practices.
Kūkulu Kumuhana o Puna is committed to developing strong and well informed ʻāina (land) stewards to become change agents that can advocate for environmental wellness in Hawaiʻi and beyond.
Kūkulu Kumuhana o Puna NOW
Kūkulu Puna is an educational program under the non-profit Nā Maka Hāloa o Waipiʻo.
Kūkulu Puna also crafts mentorship programs in cultural bridging for on-going learners. Our students become youth peers and advocate for cultural strength and environmental wellness with other indigenous youth across Hawaiʻi, the pacific, Oceania and the US. Some activities Kūkulu Puna has done includes hosting indigenous youth and groups in Hawaii and participating in cultural events in Tahiti, China, Korea, Aotearoa, as well as other places in the United States. Taking the message of cultural strength and environmental wellness.
We continue to maintain the learning and growing of our youth in Hawaii to make connections to other people and places in Hawaiʻi and abroad to be change agents for tomorrow.