Where I Fit In the Kino – My Kuleana


Four students at the University of Hawai`i in Hilo who rediscovered and initiated a new method of utilizing the Kino Kālaimoku. These students – Kalaniākea Wilson, Lākea Trask, B. La’akea Caravalho, Kepa Kaolulo Ka`eo – reinvigorated this ancient practice when they successfully organized an effort to honor the Hae Hawai`i (Hawaiian flag) on their college campus. 

The Kino resonates in the Hawaiian community despite the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom which fractured and scattered the body of our nation. It does so because since the overthrow our nation has survived in pockets, where many have cared for their kuleana (responsibilities) in secret. As a result, our people can identify that a healthy whole is one in which all aspects of the Kino are united, not just in government but in every community and every individual. 

The process of reconnecting begins by identifying your place in the Kino and how it connects to others. In order to update it to modern times, we added the following descriptions.

ahaalohaaina kino final

1)  Kahuna: Experts of a field (spiritual leaders, educators, healers)

2)  Nā Koa:  First protectors (warriors, kia’i or guardians, law enforcers, firefighters)

3)  Māno Wai: Weavers and connectors (communications, media, information technology, artists, writers, singers)

4)  Mahi`ai and Lawai`a: Providers of sustenance (farmers, fishermen, hunters, gatherers, chefs)

5)  Kālaimoku: Governance (politicians, lawyers, economists)

The next step is to work together as one body to determine an answer to a key problem or question. 

The most ancient conception of healthy Kanaka Maoli governance

“The word kalaimoku related to the civil polity, or government, of the land. The government was supposed to have one body (kino). As the body of a man is one, provided with a head, with hands, feet and numerous smaller members, so the government has many parts, but one organization.


ʻAnakē Laulani Teale shares her manaʻo on how she seeʻs herself fitting into the Kino.


Dr. Kalama Niheu introduces herself as a physician for Independence and explains how she is helping to build our Nation.

Healani Sonoda-Pale shares that she is an educator for the Nation and fits into the Kahuna section of the Kino.