Kamehameha Schools, in collaboration with Keiki O Ka ‘Āina, hosts a yearly Board & Stone Class at the Community Learning Center at Mā‘ili. This family-based cultural experience teaches the Hawaiian tradition of hand-carving a papa ku‘i ‘ai (poi board) and a pōhaku ku‘i ‘ai (stone poi pounder) with natural materials gathered from the land.
The class is taught by Kumu Ke‘ala Kwan, a Hawaiian culture specialist from Nānākuli who learned from Kumu Earl Kawa‘a. Kawa‘a coined the phrase “one board, one stone in every home,” and in 2010, Kawa‘a began teaching families how to make them. Since then, in conjunction with Keiki O Ka ‘Āina, the kumu has taught many Board & Stone classes in Waimanalo, Wai‘anae, Kalihi Valley, Papākolea, and Punalu‘u.
The class is about so much more than just making a board and stone. It’s a way of bringing families together in a safe environment for learning and empowerment. It’s an opportunity for parents and children, aunties and uncles, brothers and sisters to share a culturally profound and meaningful experience. And, it’s a lot of fun!
Some of the practices each family will learn include: