The Nãnãkuli Housing Corporation and all that we’ve accomplished flows from the vision of an extraordinary woman – the late Paige Kawelo Barber, our founder.
She was a woman with a generous heart, a loving spirit, a fierce intellect and the ability to dream big dreams and see over the horizon to a destination where all Hawaiian families could enjoy the security and prosperity that comes with owning a home.
Paige was raised on the Nãnãkuli Homestead and while she and her husband Bert would raise their family on O’ahu’s windward side, Paige always had a heart for her Nãnãkuli community. Her desire to give back to both her community and her people was a powerful motivator and resulted in the creation of programs on financial literacy, home ownership and self-help home repairs. Today Hawaiian families living on Hawaiian Homestead lands across the state, own their homes thanks in large part to Paige, her vision and her commitment to empower her people.
Paige Colleen Leina’ala Kawelo Barber
December 23, 1938 – August 3, 2005
Kupuna Katherine Maunakea
Kupuna Katherine Maunakea lived in the community she loved … Nãnãkuli. Although she passed on many years ago she left us with so many precious gifts such as oli (chant) and pule (prayer). She was an outstanding master of lauhala weaving. Her personal stories about life in Nãnãkuli and raising her family are treasured by those of us fortunate enough to have known her. She was a mãnaleo, one whose first language was Hawaiian, and through this language she shared those special stories to ‘õpio or young people, who were eager to gain her special mana‘o, wisdom and insight. Indeed many of these young people are kumu kula today … teaching school in our native language.
Kupuna Maunakea helped link us modern-day Hawaiians with the past and opened the door for us to better learn and appreciate our cultural traditions and values. Since many of us were not raised with this connection to our past, her willingness to share helped shape those values we consider vitally important to our sense of place and of just who we are.
Indeed, Nãnãkuli is our birthplace. Yet, just as our ancestors traveled far beyond their birth lands thousands of years ago, we too have ventured beyond our beautiful Nãnãkuli shores. And, just as Kupuna Maunakea has done for us, we are prepared to share our mana‘o, stories and experiences with you.
We honor Kupuna Maunakea for her aloha and support of our organization and the work we are privileged to provide our families.
P.O. Box 17489
Honolulu, Hawai’i 96817