He ali‘i ka ‘aina; he kauwa ke kanaka The land is the chief; man is its servant
‘Ōlelo Noeau #531 (Pukui, 1983).
OHA’s Kipuka Database is a geographical information system (GIS) that utilizes the latest mapping technologies to provide a window into native Hawaiian land, culture and history. Kipuka links historic data sets to geographic locations reinforcing the concept of information embedded in the ‘aina (land), encoded in the wahi inoa (place name). The foundation of Kipuka is the traditional land system, mokupuni divided into moku, ahupua‘a, ili and kuleana. A sense of “place” was a foundational aspect of traditional känaka maoli (Native Hawaiian) identity. This is evidenced by the sheer number of inoa wahi (place names) which were recorded by Native Hawaiians in oral traditions, as well as in books, letters, manuscripts and newspapers. Furthermore, despite historical challenges which have fragmented traditional cultural and historical knowledge, place remains an important part of contemporary Native Hawaiian identity (Kana‘iaupuni 2006, Kame‘eleihiwa, 1992).The mission of Kipuka is to create a repository of knowledge where information about Hawai‘i’s land, culture and history can be easily accessed, to develop a virtual mo‘oku‘auhau of land tenure in Hawai‘i, and to provide an opportunity for individuals to forge new relationships between themselves and the ‘aina (land) that is most important to them.