Kuamo‘o Battlefield and Burial Grounds Protected
Aloha Kuamo‘o ‘Aina (AKA) and The Trust for Public Land announced today that they have successfully acquired the ancient Kuamo‘o battlefield and burial grounds on Hawai‘i Island south of Kona, 47 acres of makai land that is rich in history, cultural treasures, burial sites, and a portion of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail. Keola Beamer, President of AKA, which now owns and will steward the land, said, “Mahalo to all who made this possible, especially the landowners, the Schattauer .Ohana, and Aunty Margaret Schattauer, who waited patiently for us to raise the funds needed, sold the land at a substantial discount, and is making a major donation to AKA for stewardship of these lands. We look forward to working with descendants of the battle and the Kona community to restore and protect this special place.” AKA envisions a restored landscape that will be a catalyst for meaningful learning through place based education that will help to achieve justice and peace for Hawai‘i’s people, environment, and the world.
The landowner, Mrs. Margaret “Possum” Schattauer, 88-years old, is happy that the history of these lands will be honored in perpetuity, saying "There is so much important history at Kuamo'o. I have always wanted this to be preserved and shared. I am so very glad that Trust for Public Land and Aloha Kuamo‘o ‘Aina have helped secure a good future for these precious lands and I strongly support Aloha Kuamo‘o ‘Aina's vision and plans to share the importance of this ‘aina for many generations to come."
Lea Hong, The Trust for Public Land’s State Director, said, “Mahalo to all of the many individuals, agency staff, and organizations that contributed to the protection of this land, including the State Legacy Land Conservation Program, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Corners Fund for Traditional Cultures of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the Dorrance Family Foundation, the Atherton Family Foundation, Big Island Toyota and the De Luz Family, KTA Super Stores and the Taniguchi Family, the Cooke Foundation, Hokuli‘a Community Fund, the Keauhou Canoe Club, and so many more who made the conservation effort possible.”
“The State Department of Land and Natural Resources Legacy Land Conservation Program, funded by 10% of the real estate conveyance tax, has protected over 22,000 acres in 23 projects, including culturally significant sites like Kuamo.o, and native forests and watersheds, white sand beaches, and ranching and agricultural land.
About the Battle of Kuamo'o
In the 1819 Battle of Kuamo'o, Hawaiian forces clashed over the traditional kapu religious system. The dispute pitted the forces of Kekuaokalani, nephew of Kamehameha I, who sought to preserve the traditional system, against his cousin, Liholiho (Kamehameha II), who had abandoned the kapu system. Liholiho was victorious, but many warriors from both sides perished in battle and were buried on the property, including Kekuaokalani and his wife, Chiefess Manono. With her dying breath, Chiefess Manono is said to have uttered "Mālama kō aloha"—"keep your love"— a plea to both sides that no matter what obstacles come to Hawai'i, keep your love of one another.