The Caretakers of Ka Lae

The story of a Hawaiian family who made a home at Ka Lae (South Point), a remote and rugged area at the southernmost tip of the island of Hawai‘i.

For eleven years, under threat of eviction by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, the Viernes family remained committed to caring for and preserving the sacred and historic sites of Ka Kae.
In this video, the family shares their knowledge of the archaeological sites, including a heiau built in the 4th century, a habitation cave, canoe mooring holes and ancient burial sites. Unique land features such as the bottomless Lua Palahemo brackish water pond with its unique species of ‘ōpae, Mahana green sand beach and the magnificent Ka Lae cliffs are also featured, along with endangered plants such as the ’ōhai.
The family demonstrates how to live off the land by catching fish and growing food. They also describe their efforts to provide an annual month-long summer cultural immersion experience for the children of Ka‘ū, and lay out a vision for the future care and management of Ka Lae.
The family was evicted by the Dept. of Hawaiian Home Lands in 2007.
Wiliama Viernes (Keawe Poepoe), Melody Leimomi Ai Viernes, Jashua Viernes, Ekolu Viernes
Following the program is a music video of the song Every Child a Promise, performed by Robi Kahakalau and written by E. Doodie Cruz.
Length 48:20
Hawai‘i public access channels


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