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Orientation to Nu‘uanu

Nu‘uanu is the main and central feature of the ahupua‘a of Honolulu. In addition to Nu‘uanu, Honolulu includes the much smaller valley of Pauoa on one side, and Alewa Heights on the other. Because of the density of activity, history, and information regarding this important area, we have chosen to limit our focus to Nu‘uanu, and that portion of Honolulu city that lies directly below it. In terms of sheer land area, Nu‘uanu dominates this ahupua‘a, with the two adjacent areas playing much less important historical roles.


Basic orientation to Nu‘uanu Valley. Land names are in red, Stream names and sites are in blue. The purple shaded area represents Honolulu Ahupua‘a. The pale greenish areas at the waterfront are land-filled areas that did not exist prior to Captain Cook's arrival, hence are not part of the original ahupua‘a.


Because of the density of information and historical activity in the ahupua‘a of Honolulu, we have chosen to narrow our focus to Nu‘uanu Valley as if it alone were the ahupua‘a. And even within this slice of land, it is possible for Honolulu to dominate our study. Therefore we have endeavored to spread our attention across the length of the valley, rather than focus on "Honolulu" (the urban area) alone. It will be made clear that even within the boundaries of this major city, one need not travel far to encounter diverse environments. But first, there is the matter of getting here.



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