Kick-off Event of Koa Wa‘a Genealogy Project

koa treeSaturday March 7, 2015 will be the kick-off event of the Koa Wa‘a Genealogy Project of the Puakea Foundation, a Hawaii not-for-profit organization in Kaneohe. The Koa Wa‘a Genealogy Project will be a multi-year undertaking of the organization to begin documenting, compiling, creating a genealogy database of the numerous koa canoes in the State of Hawaii.

Download this PSA announcement as PDF.

The kick-off event will be held at Kualoa Regional Park and will take place in conjunction with the Kualoa/Hakipuu Canoe Festival. The event is free and will take place from 10am-3pm.

The Puakea Foundation would like to invite all master kalai wa‘a along with all members of the Oahu community who have a love for canoes to come and share any information they may have about a koa canoe in the state of Hawai‘i. In addition, to the kick-off event, the koa canoe, Honaunau will be blessed by master kalai wa‘a, Uncle Bobby Puakea at 9am. For more information regarding the event, please call 808-247-1428.

cannoe repair

hoola kao canoe

wahine paddlers

Year End Letter 2014

Puakea Foundation Koa Canoe Catalina Island

Aloha everyone and we hope all of you out there had a great holiday season.

Another year has gone by and it is hard to believe we will be starting year 2015.

2014 was another busy year and active one for the foundation. Uncle Bobby is completing another canoe by the end of January. I am sure everyone remembers the canoe Honaunau hitting the beach in Nanakuli at the 2011 race. Well it is just about finished and will be on the beach again for the 2015 racing season. We had our annual paddling workshops again but instead of just one we had three workshops this year.

Please download the PDF to read the entire Year End Letter and see the accompanying photos!


Kalai Wa‘a and Statement on Traditional Canoes

This post is in two parts. Please read through the entire article to learn about the history of the Hawaiian canoe and to read the Puakea Foundation statement on strip canoes.

The Kalai Wa‘a

kā.lai : vt. To carve, cut, hew, engrave, hoe; to divide, as land; to shape a canoe kā.lai ki‘i : n.v. Sculptor, wood carver; to make statues.
kā.lai lā.‘au : n.v. Woodcutter; to cut wood.
Kalai na : n. A carving, hewing. Kalaina wāwae, carved footprints, as in a rock. kā.lai pōhaku : n.v. Stone cutter; to carve or hew stone.
kā.lai wa‘a : n.v. Canoe carver.
Continue reading

Tools Stolen Again!

Uncle Bobby mentoring keiki as they learn about Hawaiian woodworkingIt continues to sadden us that people steal from Uncle Bobby. The latest theft took place last week. We are posting a list of the items we can confirm were taken, valuing over $4000 worth. How? “A lock had been cut clean off the shed, and housing for another had been peeled back as if it were putty. Puakea says heavy equipment had to have been used to get past his locks,” as reported by Hawaii News Now. This once again interferes with Uncle Bobby’s work restoring damaged koa canoes. And it affects the mentoring he does with Hawaii’s keiki as well.

If you have any similar items taking up space in your garage and no longer being used, please consider making a donation to the foundation.

If you are moved to offer financial support, here are the Donation details.

If you have any leads on this crime, please contact the Honolulu Police Department or Honoulu CrimeStoppers to report anonymously. (Call 955-8700 or you can text *CRIME from your mobile phone.)

List of Stolen Tools

  • Carving tool set
  • Koa wooden mallets
  • Hitachi jig saw
  • 18V Craftsman drill
  • Remington electric chain saw
  • Makita planer, 3 3/4″
  • 1/2 sheet finish sander, Porto Cable
  • 1//3 sheet finish sander
  • Numerous power cords
  • Square
  • Level
  • Grinders, 5 1/2″ each, 6 in total
  • Palm R/O Sanders: 4 DeWalt and 1 Porto Cable
  • R/O 5 1/2″ Sander, Porto Cable
  • Medical Kit
  • Belt Sanders (5) – 1 Porto Cable (3×21), 3 Craftsman (3×21), 1 Craftsman (4×21)
  • Trash Barrels (2)

Mahalo to Hawaii News Now for helping us solve this crime. It has also been reported to the Honolulu Police Department.
Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL

Koa Wood Stolen from Uncle Bobby – Can you Help?

Last Thursday, June 19th, rare koa wood was stolen from the foundation in Heʻeia Park. This was rare wood, being used to build a traditional outrigger canoe for Honolulu Pearls Canoe Club. The club lost its koa canoe at Nanakuli Beach Park when the canoe sustained permanent damage on a beach landing after a race.

How You Can Help

  • Call the foundation: (808) 247-1428
  • Call the Honolulu police department at 9-1-1.
  • Make a donation to help replace the wood.

More details are available at the Hawaii Reporter.

Help Get Uncle Bobby Out of Jail!

Uncle Bobby MDA Lockup FundraiserOnce again, Uncle Bobby is raising funds for MDA – the Muscular Dystrophy Association. We hope you will join our efforts and help him meet his goal!

Click Here to Donate to Uncle Bobby’s Get Out of Jail Fundraiser for MDA

His goal is $2000.

Funds must be raised by Thursday, February 20th, 2014!

“I know that together we’ll Make a Muscle and Make a Difference in the fight against muscle disease” says Uncle Bobby.

Year End Letter 2013

Aloha Mai Kakou,

The 2013 paddling year was one of great achievement as well as trials for the Puakea family and foundation. We have gained additional members and thus been extraordinarily busy. This increase in interest is wonderful, but overwhelming and very consuming, which accounts for the absence of the 2012 newsletter. We would like to send our sincere apologies for that. Continue reading