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Abstract

Laupahoehoe nui is an ahupua 'a (traditional Hawaiian land division) encompassing approximately 2,500 acres in the Hamakua district of Hawai'i Island, with a spectacularly remote and scenic 150-acre coastal terrace that is separated from the extensive upland region by a 1,200 foot-high cliff. To reach the coastal terrace today, one faces the options of an expensive helicopter ride, or kayaking over large swells along the cliff-ridden coastline from Waipi'o Valley, or taking a long and strenuous hike over cliffs and gullies to reach Waimanu Valley, and then picking your way over large loose boulders along the shoreline, crossing landslides at the base of the precipitous cliffs. The hike must be planned so that one traverses the boulder- strewn beaches at low tide, while some surging surf still reaches waist-level. Even then, one needs to cross under the crushing pressure of Kaimu Falls before arriving on the terrace.

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