The concept of land ownership was foreign to ancient Hawaiians. A holistic view of all things from the ocean to the sea meant that no one owned land. Instead the land was divided into ahupuaa, sections of land tha usually extended from the mountain summit, through valleys to the edge of the reef in the sea. Thus providing all people with everything they needed for daily living.
A few days after Christmas, Mark Zuckerberg shared a series of photographsof his family at their $100m, 700-acre property in Kauai. The Facebook CEO and his wife “fell in love with the community and the cloudy green mountains”, he wrote, and decided to “plant roots and join the community ourselves”.
Two days later, Zuckerberg’s lawyers filed lawsuits against hundreds of Hawaiians who may own an interest in small parcels within the boundaries of Zuckerberg’s estate. The “quiet title” suits, first reported by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, are used to clarify the often complicated history of land ownership in Hawaii and can result in owners being forced to sell their land at auction. In some cases, defendants are even required to pay the legal fees of the plaintiff – in this case, the world’s fifth richest man.