The Kuleana Act remains the foundation of law pertaining to native tenant rights and prescribed the following.
August 6, 1850
An Act confirming certain resolutions of the King and Privy Council passed on the 21st day of December 1849, granting to the common people allodial titles for their own lands and house lots, and certain other privileges.
Be it enacted by the Nobles and Representatives of the People of the Hawaiian Islands in Legislative Council assembled;
That the following sections which were passed by the King in Privy Council on the 21st day of December A.D. 1849 when the Legislature was not in session, be, and are hereby confirmed, and that certain other provisions be inserted, as follows:
Section 1 Resolved. That fee simple titles, free of commutation, be and are hereby granted to all native tenants, who occupy and improve any portion of any Government land, for the land they so occupy and improve, and whose claims to said lands shall be recognized as genuine by the Land Commission; Provided, however, that the Resolution shall not extend to Konohikis or other persons having the care of Government lands or to the house lots and other lands, in which the Government have an interest, in the Districts of Honolulu, Lahaina and Hilo.
Section 2 By and with the consent of the King and Chiefs in Privy Council assembled, it is hereby resolved, that fee simple titles free of commutation, be and are hereby granted to all native tenants who occupy and improve any lands other than those mentioned in the preceding Resolution, held by the King or any chief or Konohiki for the land they so occupy and improve. Provided however, this Resolution shall not extend to house lots or other lands situated in the Districts of Honolulu, Lahaina and Hilo.
Section 3 Resolved that the Board of Commissioners to quiet Land titles be, and is hereby empowered to award fee simple titles in accordance with the foregoing Resolutions; to define and separate the portions belonging to different individuals; and to provide for an equitable exchange of such different portions where it can be done, so that each man’s land may be by itself.
Section 4 Resolved that a certain portion of the Government lands in each Island shall be set apart, and placed in the hands of special agents to be disposed of in lots of from one to fifty acres in fee simple to such natives as may not be otherwise furnished with sufficient lands at a minimum price of fifty cents per acre.
Section 5 In granting to the People, their House lots in fee simple, such as are separate and distinct from their cultivated lands, the amount of land in each of said House lots shall not exceed one quarter of an acre.
Section 6 In granting to the people their cultivated grounds, or Kalo lands, they shall only be entitled to what they have really cultivated, and which lie in the form of cultivated lands; and not such as the people may have cultivated in different spots, with the seeming intention of enlarging their lots; nor shall they be entitled to the waste lands. [Generally wetlands, ponds, and fallow fields. See citations later in this section.]
Section 7 When the Landlords have taken allodial titles to their lands the people on each of their lands shall not be deprived of the right to take firewood, aho cord, thatch, or ti leaf from the land on which they live, for their own private use, should they need them, but they shall not have a right to take such articles to sell for profit. They shall also inform the Landlord or his agent, and proceed with his consent. The people shall also have a right to drinking water, and running water, and the right of way. The springs of water, and running water, and roads shall be free to all should they need them, on all lands granted in fee simple. Provided, that this shall not be applicable to wells and water courses which individuals have made for their own use.
Done and passed at the Council House, Honolulu this 6th day of August 1850.1
1Copied from original handwritten “Enabling Act,” Hawaii State Archives, DLNR, 2–4. See also Kanawai Hoopai Karaima no ko Hawaii Pae Aina (Penal Code) 1850.