‘Ike ‘Āina is a proposed smart-phone app that uses GIS technology to inform travelers in the Hawaiian Islands regarding traditional cultural knowledge about the places through which they travel. The idea derives from the “Shaka Guide,” a GIS-based app that provides self-guided driving tours of the islands. Unlike the Shaka Guide, which tends to focus on places and events in the popular tourist purview, this app will focus exclusively on traditional Hawaiian place-based cultural knowledge.
The Hawaiian Islands are traditionally divided like a pie, into slices running from the mountaintops to the sea. There are large divisions (moku) and smaller divisions (ahupua‘a) all of which are named. On some islands, there are now highway signs identifying which moku and ahupua‘a you are entering, but most visitors will not notice these.
This project is directed by Dr. Douglas Herman, Executive Director of the newly formed non-profit Pacific Worlds (https://pacificworldsinstitute.com/). He is the former Hawai‘i-Pacific specialist for the Smithsonian Institution and a Hawaiian-language speaker, working in conjunction with Native Hawaiian and other experts, to revitalize traditional knowledge and stories.
As a fledgling non-profit we do not have the funds to hire an app developer at this time. We believe that this app will be used by visitors, students and residents alike. and the revenue from the app (we will request a minimum donation) will be used to fund our educational programming. We have been told by many people in the community that this is a much needed resource, and we believe it will help us to further our mission: Educating Hawai‘i-based people and visitors on principles of respect for the land, environmental sustainability, and societal balance, combining traditional Hawaiian and contemporary understandings and practices.