The Kiamanu Project focuses on increasing community support for seabird conservation efforts through educational opportunities that bridge community and conservation.

There are three main areas of this project:

  • Gathering salvage-appropriate seabirds within Papahānaumokuākea
  • Managing portions of the repository of resources, requests, and distributions
  • Facilitating habitat restoration and educational opportunities for Hawaii communities around these resources 

This gathering portion of this effort operates under the guidance of the Northwestern Hawaiian Island Native Hawaiian Cultural Work Group (CWG) — an advisory group to Papahānaumokuākea’s Monument Management Board--and the CWG's Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) Permit that is facilitated and managed by the monument co-trustee, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Gathering at Field Camps

By following the directions of the Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) document provided by the Kiamanu Project, the seasonal Kure field camps support this effort by targeting high-quality, salvage-appropriate seabirds. Within the SOP are guidlines adhering to the standards necessary for biosecurity procedures and traditional Hawaiian practices to successfully gather, preserve, and transport back to the main Hawaiian Islands. 

Supporting Traditional Practices

In the main Hawaiian Islands, one of the main focuses of the Kiamanu Project is to support the perpetuation of traditional practices and ceremonies that promote responsible environmental kinship and whose tools and feather products were traditionally made from seabirds. 

These resources are given to practitioners who have been approved to receive these products. These resources also support educational community workshops.

Community Workshops

Community workshops are provided by the Kiamanu Project upon request and in collaboration with the community receiving seabird resources from this effort. The workshops have occurred throughout the main Hawaiiand Islands. The main focus is to provide a meaningful space to create the product, share the importance of seabirds within an island landscape, and share the significant role Papahānaumokuākea has to the Main Hawaiian Islands. 

Featured Products made under the CWG MBTA permit
Photo 1: Lei hulu created for Makahiki ceremonies
Photo 2: Keaoāhui -- the name of this kāhili paʻa lima (hand-held kāhili) means "the clouds that gathers birds"
Photo 3: Tools, called mōlī, made from mōlī (Laysan Albatross) wing bones for kākau uhi (traditional art of tattoo)
Photo 4: Lei hulu completed from mōlī feathers at a community workshop

Article from our first workshop

How Feathers Brought Communities Together

ARTICLE: Written by Mikiala Pescaia, Interpretive Ranger and Education Specialist, Kalaupapa National Park. During the Makahiki season of December 2018 Kalaupapa National Historical Park was asked to host a feather lei-making workshop for cultural practitioners primarily of the Molokai community. Its historical ties to featherwork and feather collection, its established seabird populations, as well as its ongoing efforts to increase suitable seabird habitat made Kalaupapa the ideal setting for this workshop. Photo Credit: Mikiala Pescaia

Nā Kiaʻi Nihokū (Caretakers of Nihokū) program

The Kiamanu Project also contributes to Nā Kiaʻi Nihokū--a community-based stewardship program that provides educational and work-day events at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. The main goal is to cultivate community-supported habitat restoration efforts for nesting seabird populations.