Bumpy Kanahele

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Dennis "Bumpy" Pu‘uhonua Kanahele
OrganizationNation of Hawai'i

Dennis "Bumpy" Pu‘uhonua Kanahele is a Hawaiian nationalist leader and titular head of state of the group Nation of Hawai'i. He spearheaded the founding of Pu‘uhonua o Waimānalo, a Hawaiian cultural village and traditional lo‘i kalo (taro paddy) agricultural restoration project in Waimānalo, Hawai‘i. Pu‘uhonua is a Hawaiian word meaning "sanctuary" or "place of refuge".

The Nation of Hawai‘i group, which administers the village, regards itself as a sovereign government under international law, acting as a successor state to the independent Kingdom of Hawai‘i and therefore not subject to United States rule. Kanahele, like many Hawaiians, claims to be a descendant of King Kamehameha I.[1] In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Kanahele became known for militant activism on behalf of Hawaiian sovereignty, publicly resisting U.S. federal and state laws.


In 1993—the 100th anniversary of the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i, and the year in which the U.S. passed a joint resolution of Congress apologizing for that action—Kanahele led 300 people in an occupation of Makapu‘u beach. After 15 months, Gov. John D. Waihee III proposed a deal: If Kanahele and his group would leave Makapuʻu beach peacefully, the state would give them a 45-acre (18 hectare) parcel above Waimānalo in the foothills of the Ko‘olau Mountains. Kanahele's group signed a renewable 55-year lease at a cost of $3,000 a year, and in June 1994, Pu‘uhonua o Waimānalo came into being.

In 1998, Kanahele was sentenced to four months in prison for interfering with U.S. marshals seeking to arrest a federal fugitive. The judge gave Kanahele credit for the three and a half months he spent in prison without bail. The judge also fined him $500 and ordered him to spend another four months under electronic monitoring at his Waimānalo home. In 2002, Gov. Benjamin J. Cayetano granted Kanahele a full pardon. Kanahele vowed to avoid all violence.[citation needed]

In 2005, Kanehele spoke out against the proposed Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act (S.147, known as the Akaka Bill) pending in the Senate, and called upon Native Hawaiians to establish their own bank.

In 2006, Kanehele solicited over 53,000 votes in his bid for a seat in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. As of 2007, Kanehele had transitioned to a less confrontational activism. Living out of the 45 acres of refuge in Waimānalo, won in the Makapu'u Beach occupation resolution, he had been working as an alternative healer according to a 2007 'where are they now?'[2] interview profile piece in Honolulu Magazine. At the time Pu'uhonua o Waimānalo had begun to live up to its name as a place of refuge for over 80 residents and thriving marijuana grow-op, regulated in part by an elected council of women because the men wouldn't stop fighting amongst each other. Beginning in 2015, Kanahele is the face and advocate for a new crypto currency called Alohacoin. He declared this digital currency the official store of value for the Native Hawaiian People.[3]

Film and TV Appearances[edit]

Kanahele appeared as himself in the 2015 film Aloha. He also played himself in the episode of Hawaii Five-0 entitled "Ka Laina Ma Ke One (Line in the Sand)".[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tizon, Tomas Alex (July 21, 2005). "Rebuilding a Hawaiian Kingdom". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  2. ^ Udell, Joseph. "Whatever Happened To Bumpy Kanahele? The Once-combative Sovereignty Activist Practices A Less Controversial Way To Help His People". Honolulu Magazine. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Hawaii - Independent and Sovereign - THE NATIONAL MONETARY SYSTEM ACT introducing Aloha Coin". www.hawaii-nation.org.
  4. ^ "Hawaii Five-0" Ka Laina Ma Ke One (TV Episode 2017) at IMDb. Retrieved January 20, 2017.

External links[edit]