Kona (North / South)
Big Island, Hawaii
Kona is a moku or district on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi in the State of Hawaii. In the current system of administration of Hawaiʻi County, the moku of Kona is divided into North Kona District (Kona ‘Akau) and South Kona District (Kona Hema). The term “Kona” is sometimes used inaccurately to refer to its largest town, Kailua-Kona. Other towns in Kona include Kealakekua, Keauhou, Holualoa, Hōnaunau and Honalo.
In the Hawaiian language, kona means leeward or dry side of the island, as opposed to ko‘olau which means windward or the wet side of the island. In the times of Ancient Hawaiʻi, Kona was the name of the leeward district on each major island. In Hawai‘i, the Pacific anticyclone provides moist prevailing northeasterly winds to the Hawaiian islands, resulting in rain when the winds contact the windward landmass of the islands – the winds subsequently lose their moisture and travel on to the leeward (or kona) side of the island. When this pattern reverses, it can produce a Kona storm from the west. Kona has cognates with the same meaning in other Polynesian languages. In Tongan, the equivalent cognate would be tonga; for windward, the associated cognate would be tokelau.
More About Kona
Kona is the home of the world-famous Ironman World Championship Triathlon which is held each year in October in Kailua-Kona. The Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park marks the place where Captain James Cook was killed in 1779. Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park and Honokohau Settlement and Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park are in Kona.
The volcanic slopes of Hualālai and Mauna Loa in the Kona district provide an ideal microclimate for growing coffee. Kona coffee is considered one of the premium specialty coffees of the world.
In pop culture, the region served as the basis of the Beach Boys’ song “Kona Coast” from their 1978 album M.I.U. Album.
Kona is the home of one of the main bases of the international Christian mission organization YWAM, and the University of the Nations, first founded here.
Kona is the home to the award-winning Hālau Kalaʻakeakauikawēkiu under the direction of Kumu Hula Kenneth Dean Alohapumehanaokalā Victor. Hālau Kalaʻakeakauiakwēkiu is a culture based organization founded on the mission to heighten indigenous Hawaiian cultural awareness and participation through our educational programs and annual performances. HK focuses on maintaining and perpetuating the beliefs, teachings, philosophies, practices, and traditions of our culture through hula.