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Navy revives traditional place name on Kauaʻi after nearly 60 years

New signage at the entrance of the Pacific Missile Range Facility on the west side of Kauaʻi now includes the traditional Hawaiian name for the area — Waiapuaʻa Bay, formerly Major’s Bay.

Waiapuaʻa is the oldest recorded known name for the bay in Kekaha, where the U.S. naval facility has been located since 1957.

The name means “water of the pig” in the Hawaiian language.

“This is not merely about changing signs or updating maps,” said PMRF Commanding Officer Capt. Brett Stevenson. “It is about recognizing the full narrative of our island’s history.”

“Let us all remember that the names we use, the stories we tell, and the histories we honor are powerful. They shape how we see ourselves and how we understand our place in the world,” he added.

Anna Harden

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