UNCOVERING THE PAST
REVEALING THE HISTORY
to cherish & pass on
PRESERVE & PROTECT
Part of keeping and maintaining a sense of community is knowing the history of the land, itʻs people and traditions. OKK is committed to maintaining and preserving eight neglected cemeteries in Kaʻu that are on private property. Most were in great disrepair when we began restoration. Trees and weeds had overtaken these areas, lava walls and fencing that once kept livestock out were in shambles.
But thanks to a small group of our volunteers, they were able to clear, clean and rebuild these cemeteries and preserve these historic sites. Landscape fabric and gravel were hauled in to replace weeds reducing the overall maintenance. Many of the headstones date back to the 1800ʻs are now more legible. Some are in english, others in Chinese and Japanese. Several of the headstones bear family names of locals who still live in Kaʻu or on the Big Island. After the primary restorations were completed, the cemeteries became more accessible for everyone and you can now see the flowers and momentos left by loved ones.
The list of those cemeteries are: Punaluʻu Cemetery, Pahala Cemetery which is comprised of three cemeteries (Filipino/Methodist and old and new Chinese), Keaiwa Japanese Cemetery in Wood Valley, Honoʻapo Cemetery, LDS Cemetery in Naʻalehu and Waiohinu Catholic Cemetery.