The Ke’anae Peninsula was created from an immense lava flow originating from Haleakala Crater. Centuries ago Hawaiians brought soil down, by hand, from the mountains to create the Ke’anae Peninsula. Their amazing display of physical labor is a testament to how revered this land is in Hawaiian culture. It is no wonder so much history is found here! Historically, Ke’anae has been a taro producing Hawaiian village, and much of the land is in taro lo’i today. It is told that the dirt was brought down here basket-by-basket. This story may very well be true since the area is young lava rock, created quite recently (geologically speaking) in a massive flow from Haleakala. A traditional Hawaiian village, Ke’anae is today still known for its taro fields. This area attracts fisherman and photographers from all over the world looking to catch Maui’s famous North Shore waves against the beautiful Ke’anae peninsula.
According to the book “Maui – A History,” author C.E. Speakman tells the story of Captain Cook’s short visit to Maui in 1778. Though he never landed on the island, his ships, the Discovery and the Resolution, spent 2 days off the coast of Kahului trading with the native Hawaiians. When he left, he sailed down the north coast and was approached near Ke’anae by a double-hulled canoe. Aboard the canoe was the then ruler of the big island of Hawai’i, Kalaniopu’u accompanied by his nephew Kamehameha. The young warrior chief Kamehameha spent the night on Cook’s ship off the coast of Ke’anae taking in all the new technologies he saw on board.
A May Morning at Kaenae Peninsula Panorama
On April 1, 1946 the area was almost completely destroyed by a tsunami generated by an 8.6 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Alaska. Sadly this tiny low-lying village lost 20 children and four teachers to the massive 35′ waves. The small village of Ke’anae has a long, rich history going all the way back to the mythic origins of ancient Hawaii. However, most of what you find on the peninsula today was built recently, after the 1946 tsunami that leveled everything on the peninsula.
A May Morning at Kaenae Peninsula Aerial Videography