kai: sea, sea water.
nehe: to rustle, rumble, as the sea
As our kūpuna have told us, in the lowlands of Kainehe, if you listen carefully, you can hear the nehe, rumbling sound, of the kai. Bounded by ʻUmiwai and Kalapahāpuʻu gulches, Kainehe is unlike most ahupuaʻa, as it is land-locked, having no boundary touching the sea. About 300 acres in size, Kainehe is also a relatively small ahupuaʻa. In fact it is quite tiny in comparison to the adjacent ahupuaʻa, Koholālele and Kūkaʻiau, each of which covers an area of over 5,500 acres. While relatively small in size, however, Kainehe is by no means insignificant in terms of the role is has played in this area's history.
Today, Kainehe is the site of little Kainehe village, the old Kūkaʻiau Catholic Church Cemetery, Donna's Cookies, and a the homes of a hand full of ʻohana. In the Māhele of 1848, this ahupuaʻa was relinquished by William Charles Lunalilo to Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III), who in turn relinquished it to the Kingdom Government. Through all of the changes that have occurred here in this ahupuaʻa over the generations, the ʻŌiwi of this ʻāina have remained noho paʻa, firmly rooted in this special place.
To learn more, check out our Moʻolelo, Mele & ʻŌlelo Noʻeau, Maps, and Wahi Pana pages below!