Ka Wai Hāpai

Co-Creating Controlled Vocabularies for Social Justice

Literally translated as “the carried waters,” the phrase Ka Wai Hāpai evokes images of the network of systems that care for our knowledge. For three years (2021-2024), our project team and collaborators co-created foundational components of a Hawaiian knowledge organization system, inclusive of:

  • ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi controlled vocabularies
  • Bilingual authority record templates
  • Ontologies of Hawaiian knowledge domains

Ultimately, this work seeks to increase and improve intellectual access to Hawaiian collections and materials using Native Hawaiian epistemes to formulate and facilitate their retrieval.

ʻĀina, hana, and moʻokūʻauhau terms

A central component of this work is representing the interconnected nature of Hawaiian knowledge via culturally appropriate and culturally rigorous organization schemas and vocabularies. Ka Wai Hāpai focuses on three domains of Hawaiian knowledge: ʻāina (land, place names); hana (activities, practices); moʻokūʻauhau (genealogy, with a specialization in akua).

See an error? While Ka Wai Hāpai has strived for 100% accuracy across all dimensions of this website, we acknowledge that mistakes can be made and we, therefore, assume full responsibility for any and all errors which may be present. We would welcome any corrections and/or notes that are sent to our e-mail: waihapai@hawaii.edu.