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Kamehameha hale to be restored with leftover sugar cane

WAILUKU >> A Hawaii nonprofit group that helps preserve and maintain ancient Hawaiian structures has found a use for Puunene Mill’s leftover sugar cane that dots the Maui landscape.

Ahu’ena Heiau Inc. and a group of Maui volunteers spent Saturday stripping 40,000 sugar cane leaves to ship to Kona, where they will be used to help restore an ancient hale, or house, that served as Kamehameha the Great’s final residence, The Maui News reported.

The leaves will be used to thatch a hale that occupies the Kamakahonu National Historic Landmark at the edge of Kailua Bay.

“We’re here because, on our island, we don’t have sugar cane leaves in abundance anymore,” said Kenneth Nainoa Perry, a board member of Ahu’ena Heiau.

The hale’s restoration scheduled to start in about two months and should be finished in December, said Jacqueline Awa, the group’s treasurer and director.

King Kamehameha I left Honolulu in 1812 and returned to Hawaii island, according to National Register of Historic Places documents. A local chief gave Kamakahonu to Kamehameha.

Kamakahonu had at least 11 structures built there — including his sleeping quarters, a men’s house, stone storehouses and the eating house of his favorite wife, Ka’ahumanu.

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