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Harvesting Hanapepe Sea Salt

A photo of a photo of the Hanapepe Salt Flats. Daniel Lane photo

A photo of a photo of the Hanapepe Salt Flats. Daniel Lane photo

One of Hawaii’s oldest traditions is making pa`akai, (pa ah kai) or Hawaiian sea salt. Pa`akai means to solidify the sea, and Kauai is the only place in the Hawaiian Archipelago to make salt according to ancient traditions. This labor-intensive process is done by hand, and involves a multistep process of backbreaking work.

These techniques have been passed down for over 100-years, and are still practiced today on the West side in Hanapepe Town near Salt Pond Beach. The Salt Flats, (also known as the Salt Patch), is a large, flat stretch of red dirt about 200 yards from the ocean that holds the salt beds. Like a taro patch, the lo`i is filled with rows of oval beds, that rise 5 inches from the ground. Continue reading »

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