Skip to main content

Traditions of Oʻahu: Koʻolauloa

Stories of this island before high-rises, freeways and hotels, before sugar plantations and pineapple fields, before churches and the Bible.

Stories by Districts - Koʻolauloa

Ko'olauloa

Ko'olauloa is the northeastern district of O'ahu, from Waimea Bay on the North Shore to Ka'a'awa on the windward coast. ("Ko'olau" means "windward"; "loa" means "long")The valleys from La'ie to Kahana are well-watered and fertile. The most famous god of this land was Kamapua'a, "Pig-Child" whose home was in the valley of Kaliuwa'a (Sacred Falls) in Kaluanui. The gods Kane and Kanaloa wandered through this district, creating springs and fishing. Fish is abundant; the coastline is also noted for its shark gods and shark men (mano kanaka).

Map of Ko'olauloa Map of Oahu: Ko'olauloa

Kamapua'a

Pua'a: pig petroglyph

Genealogy and Birth
Kahiki'ula was the father, and Hina the mother. Kaliuwa'a, in Kaluanui, Ko'olauloa, was the land of Kamapua'a's birth. Kamapua'a was born in the form of a cord. His parents wanted to throw him away, but his grandmother Kamaunuaniho and his brother Kekeleiaku kept him on a kuahu (altar) and worshipped him.(a)

One day, he grew into his pig form. When he saw his mother go up Kaliuwa'a stream to bathe, he followed her and revealed his identity with a chant:

Here is Kamaunuaniho,
Who brought forth into daylight,
Hina, who gave birth to a human,
Kekeleiaiku.
The child of Kahiki'ula
Who lives in the upland of 'Oilowai
Calls to his mother,
"Dawn is here, dawn is here, there will be light,"
He waits for the morning star,
To rise above Hihimanu,
In the darkness,
A thin streak of light appears,
The wind blows faintly,
The hillside forest is gray,
Here at the pit at Pohakueaea,
Here, here I am, the pig-child,
Discarded by you two,
Abandoned by you two.
Here I am, a rainy wind [kuaua makani]
Blowing over Hanakaumalu,
Soaking the coastal lands, calming broad Kahiki,
The clouds over the uplands stand in pairs,
In the uplands, let us two live,
In the forests of Kaliuwa'a,
Where the water is bailed out,
By the pig who drinks foul water,
My name is a mystery!

His mother heard this chant and was delighted by it, but did not know who was chanting to her. When she went into the water to bathe, Kamapua'a laid down on her pa'u (skirt made of kapa). She found him, wrapped him in the pa'u and took him home. He thrashed about, tearing the pa'u, but she held on tightly. Inside the enclosure, she let the pig go and told her two sons, Kekeleiaiku and Kaikihonuakele, that the one who caught the pig could keep it. Kekeleiaiku caught the pig. Kaikihonuakele suggested they eat it, but his brother refused.

When Kekeleiaiku showed the pig to his grandmother Kamaunuaniho, she told him "That's your younger brother, the one we placed on the kuahu." She taught him how to call his brother to eat: "E Haunuu [Proud ruling-chief], E Haulani [Royal ruling-chief], come and eat." This was how Kekeleiaiku called the pig to eat until the pig was full grown.

One day the people of Kaluanui went to plant their taro. Kamapua'a took his grandmother's taro shoots from his brother Kekeleiaiku and carried them up to her taro patch named La'auhaele above Kaluanui. There he planted them for her.(b)

(To "Kamapua'a Battles with 'Olopana's Warriors")

 

NOTES
This version of the O'ahu adventures of Kamapua'a is from the Fornander Collection of Hawaiian Folklore and Antiquities (Vol. V, 314-327; with English and Hawaiian texts on facing pages). A second version, by G.W. Kahiolo, published serially in the newspaper Ka Hae Hawaii from 1856-1861, was translated by Esther T. Mookini and Erin C. Neizman as He Moolelo o Kamapua'a /The Story of Kamapua'a ; a translation of this version by Mary Kawena Pukui in typed manuscript form is available at the Bishop Museum Archives. A third version of the Kamapua'a story, originally published in Hawaiian in 1891 in Ka Leo o Ka Lahui, was translated and annotated by Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa and published as A Legendary Tradition of Kamapua'a, The Hawaiian Pig God. A fourth version can be found in Nakuina's Hawaii: Its People, Their Legends. An excellent discussion of the Hawaiian traditions of Kamapua'a has been published by John Charlot:The Kamapua'a Literature: The Classical Traditons of the Hawaiian Pig God as a Body of Literature. Tava Taupu, a native of Nukuhiva in the Marquesas Islands, says that the Hawaiian pig-god Kamapua'a is the same as Makaiaanui, the pig-god of his homeland (Langridge 32-35).

(a) Kahiolo presents the following details of Kamapua'a's genealogy. The pig-god's family is said to have come from Kahiki (a foreign land) to where, according to one tradition, the pig-man eventually returned.

Kanananuunuikumamao, the husband, was from Waihe'e, Maui, and Humahuma, the wife, was from Kuaihelani, Kahiki. To the couple was born a female child, Kamauluaniho [Kamaunuaniho in the Fornander and other versions]. She was brought up in the uplands of Waihe'e by special caretakers and grew up to be a beautiful woman. Humahuma had her husband and their daughter become mates because she wanted to leave them and return to Kahiki. When she saw the two sleeping together, she left. The father and daughter had a daughter named Hina. Kamauluaniho promised to give the child as wife to 'Olopana, the chief of O'ahu.

Hina was carefully nurtured and became a beautiful woman like her mother. The two women, Kamauluaniho and Hina, came to O'ahu to fulfill the mother's promise to give Hina to 'Olopana. The two women, with two servants, arrived at Pahonu, Waimanalo.

At that time, the whole island of O'ahu was kapu because 'Olopana's heiau (named Kawa'ewa'e) was under construction in Kane'ohe. A subject of 'Olopana told the travelers that O'ahu was kapu­no canoe was supposed to land. Another subject ran to 'Olopana in Kane'ohe and reported to the chief, "A canoe from Maui has arrived with two servants and two women­two beautiful women." The chief told him to return and kill the servants, but bring the women to him; he thought the beautiful women could become wives for his younger brother, Kahiki'ula.

The man went back to the canoe, killed the servants, and brought the women to the chief, who asked them, "Why have you two come to O'ahu?"

Kamauluaniho answered, "I promised my daughter here she would be your wife." 'Olopana looked at her and saw she was beautiful.

He replied, "Let her marry my younger brother." Kamauluaniho agreed to the match.

Kahiki'ula and Hina were told they could sleep together. They went to Kaluanui to live. However, this match was not right in Hina's mind; her mother had promised her to 'Olopana, not Kahiki'ula. When Kamauluaniho heard Hina protest, she became angry at her daughter.

But Hina told her mother: "This is not 'Olopana, the person you promised would be my husband."

Kamauluaniho replied, "You're right. But 'Olopana arranged for you to sleep with this man, his younger brother."

Hina and Kahiki'ula slept together and she gave birth to two daughters, Keaokiikii and Keaokauikalaeomakahaloa, who both died. Later, Kaikihonuakele, a son, was born.

'Olopana remained in Kane'ohe for a while. Then he felt a longing to see his younger brother Kahiki'ula and went to visit him in Kaluanui. There he slept with Hina, who gave birth to Kekeleiaiku. Then Kahiki'ula and Hina slept together again, and she gave birth to Kamapua'a.

Kamakau's Tales and Traditions of the People of Old contains a different genealogy of the Kamapua'a family (111):

Kalana-nu'u-nui-ku-amaomao, Humu, and Ka-maunu-a-niho are said to have come from Kahiki and to have landed at Kahahawai in Waihe'e, Maui, and to have lived mauka of Wailua. Kamaunuaniho became the wife of Kalana; Humu returned to Kahiki. Hina was born to Kamaunuaniho and Kalana--the Hina who married the Kahiki chief 'Olopana who came to live on O'ahu. The heiau of Kawa'ewa'e in Kane'ohe, O'ahu, belonged to him. His younger brother was Kahiki'ula. 'Olopana and Hina had Kahiki-o-honuakele, and Hina and Kahiki'ula had Kelekele-aiku and Kama [Kamapua'a]. They all had Kahiki names because they came from Kahiki--not Kahiki Bolabola, however, but from the Kahiki called Keolo'ewa, Ha'enakula'ina, and Kauaniani. Where these lands were is unknown; perhaps they were in Ke'e-nui-a-Kane.

(b) The pig god was associated with Lono, the god of agriculture, and with farming and fertility. This was based on the perception that pigs root in the earth, like a farmer. (Charlot 20-21). Charlot points out that the pig-god has the attributes of pigs: big, strong, gluttonous, bristly, noisy, agile, sharp-eyed; also a loner, a wanderer, a trespasser who could be aggressive and destructive; and sexually potent (13-26). Various episodes in his tradition depict him as struggling to become more "human."

Kamapua'a

pua'a: pig petroglyph

Battles with 'Olopana's Warriors
After planting his grandmother's kalo, Kamapua'a said, "We'll go hungry unless we take the kapu chickens of 'Olopana." Some men went to Kane'ohe to take the chickens of 'Olopana, who was the king of O'ahu at that time. [Kamapua'a's father, Kahiki'ula, was the younger brother of 'Olopana.] Kekeleiaiku got his share of chickens. After he cooked them, Kamapua'a ate most of the meat and left the juices. Kekeleiaiku complained: "It was a mistake to befriend this voracious pig." After hearing this complaint, Kamapua'a stopped eating.

'Olopana had placed a kapu on his chickens, reserving them for himself. Kamapua'a began stealing chickens at night from 'Olopana's lands at Kapaka, Punalu'u, and Kahana. In one night he could take all the chickens in a district. On one of these raids, just before daylight while on his way home, he met Kawauhelemoa, a supernatural being who had the form of a chicken. This chicken led him on a chase until morning. When 'Olopana's soldiers saw him with the chicken, they knew Kamapua'a was the thief and reported him to 'Olopana.

When 'Olopana heard that Kamapua'a was the thief, he sent word to the people from Kahana to Kaluanui, eight hundred strong, to go after Kamapua'a and bring him to his heiau for sacrifice. When the people came to Kaliuwa'a, they captured Kamapua'a and bound him with ropes, tied him to a carrying pole, and took him as far as Punalu'u. His brother Kekeleiaku wept for him; but his grandmother, Kamaunuaniho, told Kekeleiaku not to worry. When the pig reached Punalu'u, she called out in a chant composed in honor of Kamapua'a:

Be alert, be alert,
You, given birth by Hina,
The eyes of the pig,
Dart toward the heavens
Dart toward the mountains,
Eight are the eyes of the pig child of Hina.
You are Hina's child,
Kahiki'ula's,
Kahikilei's,
You are little Lono,
Great Lono,
My beloved, my cherished one, O Lono,
A sacrifice to be laid on the altar of 'Olopana,
Of our chief,
To your name, respond.(a)

At the close of the chant Kamapua'a grunted. When the company arrived at Kahana, the tusks of Kamapua'a cut loose his bindings and he killed and ate the whole company, with the exception of Makali'i, a relative of his, who was spared to carry the tidings to 'Olopana. Makali'i ran to 'Olopana and told him how Kamapua'a destroyed everyone else and escaped.

'Olopana then ordered the men from Kahana to Kalaeoka'oi'o, numbering about twelve hundred, to go and bring Kamapua'a to him. When these people found Kamapua'a, he was again bound and placed on a pole to be carried to 'Olopana. When Kamaunuaniho saw this, she again chanted in honor of Kamapua'a:

You are the cherished black one,
The anointed one,
The favorite of the gods,
Stretching into view in the sky,
Breaking, murmuring,
The day draws near,
The pregnant time, the chiefly time,
The heavens are ready to burst,
You are a man,
Born in the uplands of Kaliuwa'a,
With eight feet,
Forty hooves,
The many bodies of the cherished one­
The ti, the light-colored ti,
The white taro,
The white pig
With streaked bristles,
With hot bristles,
The red pig, the dark pig,
The black pig, the pig with white temples,
The kukui [tree], the ma'uma'u [fern],
The hala 'uhaloa [a small, downy weed],
The powerful rock, the solid rock,
The big foreigner with bright eyes,
You are Kama of the pig excrement,
The pig-shaped cloud in the heavens,
The pig bodies of Kama in the wilderness,
You are Haunuu, Haulani,
Kaalokuloku,
The shark, the great fish,
Turn to me; to your name, respond. (b)

When this chant ended, the hog grunted again, whereupon the ropes loosened. Then he broke free and killed and ate up all the men, with the exception of Makali'i. Makali'i ran to 'Olopana again and told him what the hog had done.

When 'Olopana heard this, he ordered all the people from Kaluanui to Kahuku to go and bring Kamapua'a to him. When the people came to Kamapua'a, they took him and bound him again with ropes, tied him to a pole, and proceeded on their way to Punalu'u. When the Kamaunuaniho saw this, she chanted:

You are Kaneiahuea,
The sharp-eyed god,
Whose eyes look to heaven,
Watching over this island,
In Kahiki is that heavenly one,
Pausing, listening to our petitions,
You are Hi'iaka at Pu'uokapolei,
You are the god Haia,
You are Haia; to your name, respond.

At this Kamapua'a broke free again and ate all the men, except Makali'i, who ran to 'Olopana and told him of their defeat. So 'Olopana ordered all the men from Kahuku to Keahuohapu'u, to go for Kamapua'a. When the men found Kamapua'a, they tied him up as before and carried him as far as Kapaka, when Kamaunuaniho chanted:

Silent, the heavens,
Silent, the assembly,
The crawling maggots,
The niniole [a fish],
By the great offspring,
Of Lono in the clouds,
By the power of the pig,
Tusk-thrusting, gnashing,
Mashing, grinding,
Kicking and kicking,
The pig that roots up the land,
Rooting up the island of Kaua'i,
And now O'ahu, here he is,
To your name, respond.

When the chanting ended, Kamapua'a again destroyed all the men, with the exception of Makali'i, who again ran to 'Olopana and reported Kamapua'a's escape.

Finally, 'Olopana ordered all the men of O'ahu--all the chiefs under him, all the warriors, all the commoners--to arm themselves with long spears, short spears, darts, clubs, shark's teeth swords, and stone daggers; and to don their feather cloaks and feather helmets to make war on Kamapua'a.

At Kaluanui, Kamapua'a heard about 'Olopana's preparations for battle, so he made plans to escape before 'Olopana and his men arrived.

Kaliuwa'a is a very high cliff, impossible to climb up or down since there is no trail. The cliff is about two thirds of a mile high. Against this cliff Kamapua'a leaned forward and stretched his body to the top to provide a way for his parents, his older brothers, his grandmother, and their servants to escape with all their possessions.

Everyone except Kamaunuaniho, his grandmother, climbed to the top of the cliff of Kaliuwa'a on Kamapua'a's back; Kamaunuaniho refused to climb up the back of her grandson; so he turned face forward, and the grandmother climbed up on his breast and reached the top. Thus, Kamapua'a's family escaped from being killed by 'Olopana.

When 'Olopana and his men arrived at Kaluanui, Kamapua'a wasn't there. 'Olopana then searched for him along the cliffs of Ko'olau down to Kailua; and from there to Maunalua, Wailupe, Waikiki, 'Ewa, and Wai'anae, where 'Olopana remained since he suspected Kamapua'a was living somewhere toward that side of the island. After reaching the top of the cliff of Kaliuwa'a, Kamapua'a had descended to Wahiawa and started farming there.

'Olopana and his men settled at Wai'anae. However, he still couldn't capture Kamapua'a because he didn't have a kahuna (priest) to direct his efforts. Lonoaohi was 'Olopana's kahuna when 'Olopana became king of O'ahu; however, Lonoaohi had been removed from office, bound with ropes, imprisoned, and sentencesd to death for a transgression against the chief.

To replace Lonoaohi, 'Olopana summoned the kahuna Malae from Kaua'i.

(To "Kamapua'a Defeats 'Olopana")

NOTES
This version of the O'ahu adventures of Kamapua'a is from the Fornander Collection of Hawaiian Folklore and Antiquities (Vol. V, 314-327).

(a) This name chant for Kamapua'a and those that follow empower him. Name chants were composed for high-ranking chiefs.

(b) This chant reveals all the different body forms of Kamapua'a--plants, animals, and clouds called ao-pua'a (cloud banks), pregnant with rain.

Kamapua'a

pua'a: pig petroglyph

'Olopana Victory
When Malae arrived at Wai'anae, he told 'Olopana: "My lord and king, your opponent Kamapua'a has the character of a god. You will never be able to destroy him; nor will you survive if you fight him in a regular battle. There is but one way for you to overcome your opponent, and it is this: Get all the pigs, 'awa, chickens, fish, men, and bananas you can; take these and lay them before Kamapua'a as offerings. These offerings will enfeeble him, and his strength will be gone."

'Olopana carried out Malae's instructions and prepared all the different things ordered by the priest. Then he and his followers went to Kamapua'a's dwelling place. The offerings were laid at Kamapua'a's feet as directed by the kahuna, and Kamapua'a became weak and feeble. The men then seized Kamapua'a and dragged him to Pahoa in Wai'anae. When they arrived at there, 'Olopana was very tired from the excitement and hard work of capturing and carrying the pig, so he returned home, leaving his men to bring Kamapua'a along later.

Lonoaohi was bound and fastened to a post in the center of a house. 'Olopana intended to sacrifice him with Kamapua'a on the altar of the heiau.

Through his powers as a kahuna, Lonoaohi knew what the men intended to do to Kamapua'a, which was this: When the men arrived with Kamapua'a at Pahoa, they would look for stone knives with which to cut open the pig and take out his intestines and other innards, making him easier to carry back to 'Olopana's place. Lonoaohi knew that if Kamapua'a was killed, he, too, would be killed, so he directed his sons Kapuaaolomea and Kapuaahiwa to go and speak to the men: "You two, go to the men and tell them, 'E! the king said not to cut the pig open. Take him as he is to the sacrificial altar. It will take several days to reach 'Olopana's place; if you kill the pig now, he will surely decay, and the king's sacrifice will be spoiled.The pig must not be dragged on the ground, either, for his skin will get bruised and damaged. The pig must be carried on poles. When you get tired, put the hog on the ground and rest. Thus said the king. This is the only way to save your master from death. If he lives, we will all live; but if he dies, we will all die.'"

When Lonoaohi's two sons reached the men at Pahoa, they found the men sharpening their knives so they could cut open Kamapua'a's belly. The sons told the men what their father told them to say, and the men abandoned their knives. (Till this day, this area is called Pahoa, or "Stone Knives.") The men carefully carried Kamapua'a to 'Olopana's place and put him in the heiau.

That night Lonoaohi slept at the post to which he was tied, his sons with him, while the guards kept watch around the house; and Kamapua'a slept in the heiau, also under guard. Late that night when the Milky Way turned (i.e. past midnight), Lonoaohi was awakened by his god. Lonoaohi then kneeled down and prayed, and at the close of his prayer, the ropes which held him fell from his body and he rose and walked out of the house, where he found the guards all asleep. When he arrived at the place where Kamapua'a was being held, he found the guards asleep. Lonoaohi then placed his hand at the nostrils of Kamapua'a and discovered he was still alive and breathing. Lonoaohi said: "Alive! I thought you might be dead, but I see that you're not. These bones will live!"

After a while he again said to Kamapua'a: "E! The wai lands of O'ahu are mine."

Kamapua'a grunted: "Huh!" The meaning of the request was this: Lonoaohi wanted all the lands containing the word "wai," such as, Wai'anae, Waialua and so on.(a) Lonoaohi knew, through his great powers, that 'Olopana would be killed, and that Kamapua'a would conquer and possess the island of O'ahu. This was the reason he made this request. After this exchange between Lonoaohi and Kamapua'a, the kahuna returned to his place and sat down. For the rest of the night, he prayed to his god because at dawn he was to be placed on the sacrificial altar with Kamapua'a.

When the early morning crowing of the cocks became a din, 'Olopana and the priest Malae came to began the ceremonies performed before a human sacrifice was offered. The two went and climbed onto the terrace ('anu'u) of the sacrificial stand (lele); Kamapua'a was unbound and placed on the terrace as well. 'Olopana and the priest, both naked, turned to face each other and began chanting and praying. Before the prayer ended, Kamapua'a rose above them and opened his fiery eyes. When Malae and 'Olopana saw Kamapua'a standing above them, they froze with fear and awe. Kamapua'a prayed and invoked his many bodies and all his gods. At the close of the prayer the heiau was surrounded by the gods and pigs. Kamapua'a then called out to the priest Lonoaohi:

E Lonoaohi e!
Line the imu with rocks;
Gather them there, gather them here.

Then Lonoaohi appeared and raised a kapa banner to mark off an area of kapu; those who entered this area would be saved from death. After this, the slaughter began and the only one who survived Kamapua'a's wrath was Makali'i, who sat on the lap of Kamaunuaniho [another kapu place]. This was how Kamapua'a killed 'Olopana and conquered O'ahu.(b)

NOTES
This version of the O'ahu adventures of Kamapua'a is from the Fornander Collection of Hawaiian Folklore and Antiquities (Vol. V, 314-327).

(a) Kahiolo gives the following list of O'ahu's "wai"-lands given to Lonoaohi by Kamapua'a: "Waialua, Wai'anae, Waimanalo, Waikele, Waipi'o, Waiawa, Waimano, Waiau, Waimalu, Waikiki, Wai'alae, Wailupe, Waimanalo 2, Waihe'e, Waiahole, Waiale'e, and so on."

These were the best agricultural lands on O'ahu: "When Kamapua'a's parents, Hina and Kahiki'ula, realized how many choice sections of land with water was given to the kahuna, they complained. His older brothers and grandmother, however, did not complain; they agreed that the kahuna should have all these lands, and that the rest of the lands of O'ahu were theirs."

(b) The traditions of Kamapua'a contains more incidents from his life. For example, the Kahiolo version continues on with the following episodes:

Hina and Kahiki'ula moved to Moloka'i because Kamapua'a had given away all the "wai"-lands of O'ahu. Kamapua'a swam to Moloka'i in his fish form (the humuhumunukunukuapua'a, or trigger fish; the sea form of the pig). He told them to return to O'ahu.

Kamapua'a went to Kahiki, the home of his great grandmother Humahuma. He married Kekaihaakuloulaniokahiki, the daughter of the chief Koea, then defeated a rival chief named Lonoka'eho from the other side of the island (cf. the battle between Kaulu and Lonoka'eho in "Kaulu").

On the way back to Hawai'i, Kamapua'a fought with and defeated the giant dog Ku'ilioloa (cf. the battle between Kaulu and Ku'ilioloa in "Kaulu").

Arriving on the Big Island of Hawai'i, he traded insults and fought with Pele. As he was about to marry her on a lava field, a bunch of supernatural bananas enticed him away. He chased after the bananas. To save her brother from being eaten by the voracious pig-man, Kapomailele lured Kamapua'a to Wailua, Maui, and slept with him. Her husband beat him with a canoe paddle until he realized that it was Kamapua'a.

Kamapua'a continued on to Moloka'i, where he got news from O'ahu: his brother Kekeleiaiku was dead, his parents had gone to Kaua'i, and O'ahu had been taken over by some usurpers.

Arriving on O'ahu, he devoured all the bananas in the plantation in Kalua'olohe (Palolo Valley) belonging to the O'ahu chiefs. At Pu'uokapolei, he found his grandmother living in poverty. He ate all her sweet potatoes, then visited the hut of some fishermen and ate all their poi and bananas. He revived his dead brother Kekeleiaiku, whose spirit was wandering around the desolate plains of Pu'uokapolei. Then he went and demanded fish from those who ruled O'ahu; only Lonoawohi's two sons Kapua'a-hiwa [The black pig] and Kapua'a-olomea [The brown spotted or striped pig] gave him fish. Kamapua'a then killed and ate the stingy chiefs and reconquered O'ahu. On his way back to 'Ewa, he straightened the humpback of Kuolohele by throwing a stone at it. (Cf. a similar incident in "Maui," in which the demigod Maui straightens the back of his grandfather Kuolokele.)

Kamapua'a reaffirmed the right of Lonoawohi's two sons to the "wai"-lands of O'ahu, and gave the remaining O'ahu lands to his grandmother and the brother he revived. Then he continued on to Kaua'i to seek his parents.

On Kaua'i, he married the two sisters (or daughters) of Kaneiki. After Kaneiki fed him, Kamapua'a defeated the warriors of Makali'i, who had fled O'ahu after the defeat of 'Olopana and settled on Kaua'i. Makali'i acknowledged Kamapua'a's superiority by chanting in honor of Kamapua'a, so Kamapua'a spared his life and allowed him to live on Kaua'i.

Kamapua'a went next to Waiahulu, where he married again. After he became sick with dropsy, his wife deserted him, but his parents-in-law and brother-in-law took care of and fed him. He sent his parents-in-law to ask for some fish from his mother Hina, but Hina refused, believing that the request could not have come from her son Kamapua'a because of a rumor that he had been killed by Pele. Angry, Kamapua'a appeared to his family and sat on, then trampled his mother, his father and his older brother Kaikihonuakele. After his anger subsided, he lived peacefully with them until he felt an urge to return to Kahiki. He revealed all of his bodily forms to his parents, then swam back to Kahiki in his fish form. His father-in-law Koea wanted to prevent his further wanderings so he cut Kamapua'a's scrotum. Thus Kamapua'a remained in Kahiki, and after his death, he "became a mountain with tree and forests growing all over."

Sharks Stories of Ko'olauloa

On O'ahu there lived a woman who was noted for her ability to catch squid, of which the chiefs of high rank were fond. Any person who could catch a lot of squid was in demand. One day a great luau was to be given by a chief, and he wanted some squid, so he sent some of his men in search of someone who could catch squid. They brought the woman to him. He told her he wanted squid from a certain reef and asked her if she could catch some for him. She said she could catch all he wanted. She went down to the beach at the place designated by the chief, but before she entered the water, an old man met her. He told her the rules of the place: she was supposed to catch only a certain number and when she had caught that number she should go home, or something would be sure to happen to her. She called for her daughter, who had followed her, and told her daughter to come with her into the water. Another thing the old man told her was to go home when she said she would and not to stop for anything. The lady caught all she had been allowed by the old man, but she kept on fishing until she had more than she could handle. She sent her daughter to shore with half the load and told her she was going home, but instead she remained, for she saw a huge squid she wanted to get. Just then a large shark came and bit off her legs. She yelled for help. Her daughter came to her rescue, but too late. The woman died from the loss of blood and the shock. When the people examined her later, they found one deep gash on her right arm made by one of the shark's teeth. They knew that it was done by a shark who guarded that particular reef. After that incident they named the place Paumalu . (McAllister 151).

The name "Paumalu," a land section on O'ahu's North Shore including Sunset Beach, means "taken secretly or illegally."

Kawela Bay
J.D. Holt (from Recollections)
Off we went to the place in the reef where the sides slanted sharply to the bottom. Here we had to dive much deeper than before. Kai'a was old but extremely strong. He had dived all of his life and knew how to get down to the bottom quickly, with little exertion. I clung tightly to my old friend and kahu, and we passed through layers of sunlight in the water. I saw brilliant fish scattering in all directions around us. I was transfixed by the beauty but held on firmly to Kai'a, feeling his muscles and bones moving as he pulled his way to the bottom, following the steep ledge. It was darker down there, with shafts of light slipping through the cracks in the coral above and illuminating the sand in a dim glow. Then I saw these great living things lying on the bottom, rolling slowly from side to side in the lolling current. The sharks, apparently satiated by a previous feeding, were resting. We hovered about six feet above them for some time. They looked like tiger sharks and fish sharks with long tails. I was both exhilarated and terrified. My little legs jammed into Kai'a's sides and he understood. We shot to the surface, leaping out of the water like humpback whales. I remember being ready to burst just as we broke free. Once we were at the surface, I was relieved to see that no shark had followed us. We would dive down again and again. Afterwards, when we rested on the warm coral surface at the water's edge, Kai'a told me of the ali'i makua­the old sharks that had been living in the bay for ages and ages. They all had names, odd names, personal names that he had given them. One in particular he called Haku nui, the Big Boss. He also told me of one that had been young when he was just a boy himself. As we dove down again and again, I would learn to recognize these sharks as he had. Whatever fears I had were lessened. I began to really enjoy these plunges and the creatures; they became very real to me. Sometimes, with me on his back, Kai'a would go down and come up close to the older sharks and reach out slowly with a hand to pick off barnacles that had encrusted their eyes. Such a build up of barnacles could eventually blind the old animals. They somehow trusted him and allowed him to do the cleaning. The great yellow eyes stared at us, floating inches from us as Kai'a picked away at the hard material that was often covered with limu. It must have hurt the sharks at least a little. They moved around slowly like a herd of cattle in a corral. Kai'a jabbed at them and pushed them away in order to stay with the shark he was working on. It was quite unreal, hanging onto this white-bearded man shoving these large, dark creatures glaring at us. I would look up to the surface to see the brighter fish darting above, and the sky-blue of the surface and rolling waves. It was an ancient feeling, like something from Merlin's strange, enchanted world or the magical times of Pele and Hi'iaka. Sometimes the sharks moved away and swam to the surface. It was a habit they developed because fishermen fed them 'awa to pacify them in order to prevent them from interfering with the fishing boats. When the sharks surfaced, they were of a different color in the brighter light. With growths of barnacles and limu on their backs, they looked like islands emerging from the sea. After the sharks left, we stayed out in the water for hours, rarely if ever, talking. Once Kai'a told me that when he was fourteen or fifteen and had not slept with a woman, which meant he still had the mana of innocence, he was chosen as one of the youths to tie ropes of braided coconut fiber around the tail of a shark. The shark would be dragged out of the sea so that its skin could be used for making drums. I have never seen a reference to this particular practice of old Hawai'i, but Kai'a's mo'olelo was dependable.

Kahuku / Puna-mano Spring
S. Kuapuu
In Kahuku is a spring called Punamano and it was there that a man was destroyed by a shark. The shark was found when it was small by a man and a woman who went fishing at the beach with a draw net at night. They wanted to save the shark so they let it go free in the spring. On the bank of the spring, they planted a breadfruit tree. Later as the shark grew in size so did the breadfruit tree till it bore fruit. They wondered at the disappearance of the breadfruit, and thought that the fruits might have been blown down by the gusts of wind. Upon looking under the tree, they came to the conclusion that they must have been stolen for not one was found there. One day they wanted to go to the upland to farm but were a little worried about the breadfruits lest all be stolen by the thief. Therefore they spoke certain words in command to the shark, "We are going to the upland, so watch our breadfruit tree." They went up. The own brother of the woman who owned the shark was the one who went after the breadfruit as soon as they were gone and so he was killed. The man went to get some taro, lighted the imu and because he longed for roasted breadfruit he climbed the tree in secret. When he threw fruits down they rolled and fell into the spring. He descended and reached out into the spring but before he seized them, the shark leaped and devoured him. The sister returned with her husband from their farming and while on the plain love for her brother welled up in her, and it seemed as though he were dead. When they reached the brother's house, the imu and taro were seen there but he was not to be seen. Instead a new spring had ap peared near by, about ten fathoms from the shark's spring. There they saw the water reddened with blood and the man's cluster of love (scrotum) was also found there. It seemed as though there was a passage be neath from one spring to the other. The shark was never seen again after that. (Ka Hae Hawaii, March 2O, 1861, in Sterling and Summers 151)

Mano-niho-kahi

mano-niho kahi: shark man

Near the water hole in Malaekahana, between La'ie and Kahuku, lived a man called Mano-niho-kahi ("Shark-with-one-tooth"), who was possessed of the power to turn himself into a shark. Mano-niho-kahi appeared as other men except that he always wore a kapa cloth which concealed the shark's mouth in his back. Whenever he saw women going to the sea to fish or to get limu (edible seaweed), he would call out, "Are you going into the sea to fish?" Upon hearing that they were, he would hasten in a roundabout way to reach the sea, where he would come upon them and, biting them with his one shark's tooth, kill them. This happened many times. Many women were killed by Mano-niho-kahi. At last the chief of the region became alarmed and ordered all the people to gather together on the plain. Standing with his kahuna, the chief commanded all the people to disrobe. All obeyed but Mano-niho-kahi. So his kapa was dragged off and there on his back was seen the shark's mouth. He was put to death at once and there were no more deaths among the women. (Rice, 111)

NOTE
On June 10, 1993, surfer Jonathan Mozo was bitten on the feet by a large shark near Goat Island [Moku'auia] off Malaekahana. He escaped by paddling to shore. The wounds required thirty stitches on each foot. Kamakau mentions the tradition of a one-toothed shark name 'Unihokahi who belonged to "the waters of Kahaloa at Waikiki and Mokoli'i, at Hakipu'u and Kualoa in Ko'olaupoko." His bite was a warning of the approach of an enemy. See People 75.)

Kane and Kanaloa in Ko'olauloa

For background on the god Kane, see "Waiakeakua."

'Opana

Papaamui, Rocks (Sterling and Summers 147)

Apparently Kane, who was joined by Kanaloa, lived at 'Opana for some time, for just outside of Kawela Bay there are rocks, horseshoe in shape and known as Papaamui, wbere these brothers were wont to scoop for fish. (McAllister Arch. of Oahu 152)

Kawela

Waikane Stone and Pahipahi'alua Ko'a (Sterling and Summers 148)

Large stone, known as Waikane ("Water of Kane"), beside the stream bed on the mountain side of Kawela Bay and at the foot of the pali in the land of Hanaka'oe.

Long ago the Hawaiians had to go far up the valley in order to get fresh water, but when Kane struck the stone, water flowed from it and continued to flow up to the time the plantation built a pump just below the rock.

Near the beach and in line with Waikane was a fishing shrine called Pahipahi'alua (McAllister. Arch. of Oahu)

Kahuku

Kalaiokahipa Ridge (Sterling and Summers 151)

Kane and Kanaloa lived in the vicinity of Kalaiokahipa Ridge; but that was at the time when the Kahuku plain was still underwater, and waves lapped about Kalaiokahipa. The brothers are said to have obtained fish by dipping into two holes on opposite sides of a large rock which now lies in the cane field. (McAllister. Arch. of Oahu)

Kaipapa'u

(Sterling and Summers 160)

There is a valley near Hau'ula called Kaipapa'u. Here lived an old kahuna who always worshipped the two great gods Kane and Kanaloa. These gods had their home in the place where the old man continually worshipped them.

Once the gods came to their sister's home and received from her dried fish for food. This they carried to the sea and threw into the waters, where it became alive again and swam along the coast while the gods journeyed inland. By and by they came to the little river on which the old man had his home. The gods went inland along the bank of the river, and the fish turned also, forcing their way over the sand bank which marked the mouth of the little stream. Then they went up theriver to a pool before the place where the gods had stopped. Ever since, when high water has made the river accessible, these fish, named ulua, have come to the place where the gods were worshipped by the kahuna and where they rested and drank 'awa with him. (Westervelt Legends of Honolulu, 145)

Makao

Ka-lae-o-ka-palaoa (Sterling and Summers 161)

When Kane and Kanaloa left the kahuna (in Kaipapa'u) they warned him that when he heard a great noise on the shore he must not go down to see what the people were doing, but ask what the excitement was about, and if it was a shark or a great fish he was to remain at home. He must not go to that place.

A few days later a big wave came up from the sea and swept over the beach. When the water flowed back there was left a great whale, the tail on the shore and the head out in the sea. The people came to see the whale. They thought that it was dead, so played on its back and leaped into the sea from its head.

The kahuna heard their shouts of joy and was very anxious to see the marvellous fish. He forgot the warning of the gods and went to the seaside.

He stood by the tail of the great fish. The tail moved. The kahuna climbed on the back and ran to the head and leaped into the sea. The people cheered and he returned to the beach and a second time approached the whale. Again there was the motion of the tail and again he ran along the back, but as he leaped the whale caught him and carried him away to Tahiti. There fore a name was given to a point of land not far from this place--the name "Ka-lae-o-ka-palaoa" (The cape of the whale; also spelled "Kalaipaloa").

(Westervelt, Legends of Honolulu, p 145; Rice, in "Makuakaumana," Hawaiian Legends, tells a similar story. )

Punalu'u

Kuka'iole Pool (Sterling and Summers 168)

When Kanaloa came to Kahana Valley, he was evidently of unusual proportions, for with one foot placed on Puiu o Mahie, he stepped with the other to Punalu'u Point. Then, over the ridge, he could see two men planting taro up Punalu'u Valley. Kneeling on the Kahana side of the ridge, where his knee prints are still to be seen, he watched the two men at work. It annoyed him that they planted their taro in uneven rows, so he said, "Your rows of taro are not straight." The men heard the voice but could see no one. Kanaloa repeated this statement several times, yet the men were never able to see the speaker. Soon Kanaloa grew tired of this teasing and went to Kuka'iole pool up Punalu'u Valley and drank of the waters. Near the pool there grew 'awa, which the rats were fond of chewing. It made them giddy an dizzy and they fell into the water, for which reason the pond was given its name ["'iole" means "rat"]. (McAllister Arch. of Oahu)

Punalu'u

Punalu'u Stream (Sterling and Summers 168)

Kane and Kanaloa came in disguise to a little grass house that stood near this stream. "Come in and eat," the fishermen said. "Rest on the mats. Here is fruit and poi. We would offer you fish, but the nets have been empty for many days."

As they sat down, the men performed the simple rite of thanks to the gods. "And what gods do you worship?" the visitors asked. "Kane and Kanaloa," the fishermen answered. The meal went on. They ate fruit and poi. "You surely need fish," Kane said at last. The men looked chagrined. They took their nets. One tries to do all one can for a guest.

"We will go with you," the two gods said. They passed a hut where dried fish hung. "Go on," said the gods, "look into the stream." "E inu, e inu i ka wai kukae 'iole," the gods muttered low. They put the dead fish into the stream. Its scales became shiny. Its blank eyes glistened. It was alive. Down the stream a charmed fish swam. The fishermen saw it; they uttered a cry; they put their nets into the stream. When they came back to the gods in the hut, their eyes were alight. They ate of the fish. The gods went away.

Sometime you may linger along the coast and see men mutter over a pool. For "E inu, E inu i ka wai kukae'iole," still brings life to a dying fish. (Raphaelson Kamehameha Highway, 34)

Kahana

Kapuwai o Kane (Sterling and Summers 172)

This is a name of a spring of water in Kahana, Ko'olauloa, Oahu, where Kane stamped his foot giving the shape of his foot to the spring. Before this act of his there was no water there. (Emerson Notes, Feb. 1884)

Kapiʻolani Community College - © 2001-2004. All Rights Reserved.
https://guides.library.kapiolani.hawaii.edu/apdl/oahu
Content Manager: Dennis Kawaharada - dennisk@hawaii.edu
Web Manager: KCC Library - kapcc-diglib@laulima.hawaii.edu
Last Modified: 08-Aug-2012 6:45 HST