Hallett H. Hammatt, William Folk, and Mark Stride
Cultural Surveys Hawai'i
49 South Kalaheo Avenue, Kailua, HI 96734

A complex of wet and dryland agricultural fields and associated habitation sites occur in the lava tablelands of the makai portion of Koloa ahupua'a on the south coast of Kaua'i. Although soil deposits are thin and the land is rocky, plentiful irrigation water was available from 

This agricultural system which at its peak covered over 1,000 acres extending from the present Koloa town to the shoreline was first thought to be a development that occurred later than the major valley systems. Recent research shows its inception, expansion, and intensification is contemporaneous with or earlier than the origin of the other documented agricultural networks on Kaua'i and other islands. 

Its elements include parallel and branching 'auwai, terraced lo'i, and dryland plots. Later intensification includes aqueducted 'auwai, irrigated mound fields, and subdivision of lo'i and kula plots. The Koloa System, at its apex in the early 19 th century, represents one of the most intensive cultural landscapes in Hawai'i.