Located in Kaʻalaiki, Kaʻū, ʻImakakāloa Heiau is one of the few documented hula heiau in the pae ʻāina of Hawaiʻi.  Little is known of the practices and protocol used at heiau hula. The Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation is conducting research in this area in collaboration with hula practitioners, other cultural practitioners, the community, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Heritage Management Program, Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, and private land owners in the area.


  • To mālama this heiau in perpetuity
  • To complete a cultural heritage study
  • To design a preservation plan for this heiau
  • To restore the heiau to be utilized in hula practice by 2018
  • To research and design hula protocol
  • To teach protocol to practitioners and community
  • To study alignments with other heiau and puʻu
  • To inspire similar initiatives throughout  Hawaiʻi


Three documents have been generated to move the ʻĪmakakāloa Heiau restoration project forward; a Cultural Heritage Study (CHS) of the Heiau and the two acre area surrounding it, a Preservation Plan (PP) for the restoration of the Heiau, and a Protocol Guide (PG) to help orient and prepare volunteers and visitors prior to entering the site. These three documents were a collaborative effort involving cultural practitioners, non-profit organizations, government agencies, the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and the Kaʻū community. The CHS documents the site as it exists today as well as compiles historical, ethnohistorical, and archaeological background of the area. The PP outlines how this site will be restored to maintain the authenticity of the site as well as to follow cultural protocol in the process. The PG is a means of disseminating proper etiquette and protocol to the masses. Within this guide, oli and mele are offered and discussed, these mele include traditional compositions as well as newly composed mele. We offer these documents for the purposes of demonstrating the steps taken in the work of mālama heiau to help other similar initiatives. We only ask that any duplication of these documents be done so with permission from the Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation and that such duplication be pono. Ola ʻĪmakakāloa!