An oasis within an oasis, the Kalahuipua'a Fishponds are the spiritual center of Mauna Lani. Predating even the earliest Western contact, the ponds are a tangible reminder of the days when the land and sea supported the Ali'i (royalty) who were the original inhabitants of the land.
The seven ponds--Kalahuipua'a, Kahinawao, Waipuhi, Waipuhi Iki, Hope'ala, Milokukahi and Manoku--were used by ancient Hawaiians to raise fish and supplement their ocean fishing efforts. Bottom samples taken from the ponds date the ancient aquaculture system to as far back as 250 BC. Some of the fishponds were created by walling off the pools' natural access to the ocean. Makaha (sluice gates) were incorporated in the walls to allow for circulation of seawater, essential for maintaining healthy fish. The ponds were used to raise mullet, milkfish, shrimp and other sea life strictly for the consumption of Ali'i.
Continuing the tradition of stewardship, Mauna Lani Resort cares for the ancient complex. The ponds are stocked, and the schools of mullet and awa are moved from pond to pond to feed in different stages of development. Mauna Lani has also planted a variety of ancient Hawaiian plants in an effort to return the ponds to their natural state. Widely recognized as a pacesetter in historic preservation and stewardship of the land, Mauna Lani beckons visitors with its unparalleled spirit of place.
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