Goddess Hiʻiaka in Mākua
the epic story of the travels of hiʻiaka: Mākua and native Hawaiian mythology
The goddess Hi‘iaka traveled from the island of Hawai‘i to Kaua‘i with her companions Wahine‘ōma‘o and Pā‘ū-o-pala‘a. The purpose of her journey was to fetch the chief Lohi‘au-ipo (Lohi‘au) from Ha‘ena, Kaua‘i. On the journey, Hi‘iaka and her party visited numerous locations on Hawai‘i, Maui, Moloka‘i, and O‘ahu. Having reached Kaua‘i she found that Lohi‘au had died, and following the ceremonies, she revived him and began her journey with Lohi‘au to return to Pele’s domain at Kīlauea, Hawai‘i.
The excerpts below detail Hiʻiaka's time at Mākua from the epic account of the journey to Kaua‘i made by Hi‘iaka-i-ka-poli-o-Pele (Hi‘iaka), the youngest sister of the goddess Pele. Titled “He Mo‘olelo Ka‘ao no Hi‘iaka-i-ka-poli-o-Pele” (A Traditional Tale of Hi‘iaka Who is Held in the Bosom of Pele), this account was published in the Hawaiian newspaper, Ka Hōkū o Hawaiʻi (September 18, 1924, to July 17, 1928), and was compiled by Julia Keonaona, Stephen Desha Sr., and various contributors. While this version of the legend has yet to be translated in its entirety, the following English translations (by Kepa Maly) provide a synopsis of the Hawaiian texts, with emphasis on the main events of the narratives.
From Hawaiian language newspaper Ka Hōkū o Hawaiʻi:
My fine readers of the wondrous tale, this account differs from some others which hold that Hi‘iaka departed from the canoe at Ka‘ena. But in this account she departed at the place described above, and then traveled overland to Wai‘anae. It was while on her journey overland that she did a wondrous thing at the sheltered place near the sea, a little to the north side of Keawa‘ula. Let us look at this event as we continue our journey in this story. At this shoreward place, mentioned above (Keawa‘ula), is a place called Kīlauea, and it was there that Hi‘iaka caused the sweet water to appear, thus Keawa‘ula had freshwater.
... Having departed from Kaua‘i on their canoe, Hi‘iaka chanted a greeting to her family at Kīlauea, on Hawai‘i. When her mele (chant) was finished, the canoe was near ka lae o Ka‘ena (the point of Ka‘ena). It was then, that Hi‘iaka saw her elder relatives Ka-lae- o-Ka‘ena and Pōhaku-o-Kaua‘i, and called out to them:
Aloha ‘olua e Ka‘ena me Pōhaku-o-Kaua‘i, E noho mai la i ka lae kahakai ‘ai ‘ole,
E ola nō ho‘i i ka ‘ehu a ke kai e, E inu ‘ana i ku‘u wai kumu ‘ole i ka pali e, Eia mai ho‘i wau a pae aku e
(Love to you Ka‘ena and Pōhaku-o-Kaua‘i
Who dwell at the point, of the foodless shore
You live by the mist of the sea
Drinking my water which has no source dripping from the cliffs I shall land here)
Finishing her chant of affection for her elders, Hi‘iaka then turned their canoe to the Waialua side of this famous point of Ka‘ena. It was near the place called “Ka-leina-a-ka-‘uhane” (The soul’s leap). Hi‘iaka leapt from the canoe, and then told Wahine‘ōma‘o and her companions that they were to continue their journey by sea, while she would travel overland...
As she continued her overland journey, Hi‘iaka met with her elders Ka-lae-o-Ka‘ena and Pōhaku-o-Kaua‘i, and asked them where the canoe landing of this land was... (November 16, 1926) They told her that it was there below, where the canoe could be seen in the canoe shed... Hi‘iaka bid her relatives aloha and then continued her journey overland, till she reached the place called “Kipuka kai o Kīlauea.” There she saw that there were men and women resting at the place, and some of the people were adorned in garlands of ‘ilima. The activity of many of these people that had gathered there was lele kawa (leaping and diving into the sea).
As Hi‘iaka drew near to the diving spot of these people of Mākua, they saw her beauty and their voices rose in speculation of where this beautiful stranger had come from. As Hi‘iaka drew near to the diving place, called “Ke-ki‘o-kai-o-Kīlauea,” the people became quiet, then some of them called out, inviting her to join them in the sport. Hi‘iaka declined the kind invitation of the natives, and at that time, one of the beautiful young women of the place, adorned with a lei of ‘ilima, drew near to the leaping spot and leapt. When she fell into the water, she struck a large rock the appeared to push out into the sea. This stone was of a supernatural nature (kupua), and the girl was killed in the water.
Seeing the tragedy that had befallen the young native woman, a result of her careless leap, Hi‘iaka leapt into the water to retrieve her body. Having gotten her, Hi‘iaka swam to the shore at a place close to Mākua. The people saw this tragic event and that the stranger had leapt in to fetch the body of the girl. The natives drew near to the place where Hi‘iaka came on shore, and the girl’s family lamented the loss of their cherished child. Hi‘iaka instructed them not to cry, telling them that she would try to restore life to their daughter who had carelessly leapt upon the stones. Setting the girl down, Hi‘iaka called out in a prayer to restore life to the dead girl:
E ka pua o ka ‘ilima e Homai ana ho‘i he ola
E Mākua i ka nu‘a o ke kai e
Ha‘awi mai ana ho‘i ua ola e
E ola ku‘u kama i ka hua o ke kai e
A ola ho‘i ia Kāne i ka wai ola e
(Oh blossom of the ‘ilima
Let life descend
Oh Mākua of the ocean swells
That my child of the frothy sea may live
That life may be gained by the living waters of Kāne)
Completing the prayer, Hi‘iaka stood up and held her supernatural pā‘ū (outer skirt) in her hand and struck the girl on her right side and left side with the pāʻū. Hi‘iaka then kneeled down and breathed into the girl’s mouth, and she was revived. Some parts of the girl’s body were bruised from the fall upon the rock, and Hi‘iaka called to the girl’s family instructing them in how to care for her wounds.
Hi‘iaka told them: “There are many leaves in the forest, in the uplands of the mountain, these you must get to apply to the girls wounds. This must be done quickly to lengthen her life. And here is my task, to get the body of the stone which rises out at the place where you leap.”
Hearing these words, some of the people were troubled, and asked how Hi‘iaka could remove that large stone which rises out of the depths of the sea. Hi‘iaka told the multitudes of Mākua: “Do not worry about how I will remove the stone, it is for me to do. This stone which brings death will be destroyed. Now, here is what you should do, take the girl to the house, and I will go to destroy this impertinent stone which rises out of the water to your leaping place...” The name of the stone was Pōhakuloa, and he was a supernatural being who dwelt in the waters of Mākua. He was a stone which destroyed canoes and killed people, and at times, he himself also took human form. It was because the young girl had refused his advances, that he caused her death at the leaping place...
“This place is ka pōnaha wai o Kīlauea (the swirling water of Kīlauea). It is one of three places called Kīlauea. The second one is Kīlauea on Kaua‘i, and the third one is Kīlauea on the Island of Hawai‘i—Hawai‘i of the green ridges, in the bosom of Kāne. This thing which causes tragedy here among the stones, actually has the body of a man, and his true name is Pōhakuloa. I am going to leap in and fight him so that he will end his treachery at this place. That is, the destroying of canoes, and killing of people. When you look and see the ocean rise in a spout and fall upon Kulaokalā (Kuaokalā), then you will know that I have killed the human form of Pōhakuloa.”
Finishing these words, Hi‘iaka then leapt into the sea of Kīlauea, where the water swirls. The ocean then rose up, as never before, rising upon the shore, with waves breaking upon the land, and the coral washing up with the waves onto the land. On the promontories the roar could be heard, and the people had never before seen such violent seas. When Hi‘iaka fell into the swirling sea at Kīlauea, she was lost from sight. (November 23, 1926)
The people of Mākua thought that this stranger, the woman, had died in the violent sea. They did not know that she was the supernatural being of Kīlauea, the youngest sibling of the great goddess and ruler of Kīlauea. They felt much compassion for this woman who had been lost to them. While they were there discussing this among themselves, the people saw the water spout rise out of the sea and go directly above Kulaokalā. They saw this and then understood that the woman had not died, but the things that she had spoken of prior to diving into the swirling sea of Kīlauea had come to pass.
Then, a strong earthquake shook the entire Island of O‘ahu, and the people of Mākua heard a great roar from something nearby their place. Looking to the swirling water of Kiīauea, they saw a great black mass rise out of the swirling water of Kīlauea, and the people of Mākua cried out at the wondrous sight. This great black thing seemed to fly in the direction of the point of Ka‘ena.
Now what had happened was that when Hi‘iaka leapt into pōnaha kai o Kīlauea (the swirling water of Kīlauea), she met with the shark body (kino manō) of Pōhakuloa. This Pōhakuloa was one of the evil dual formed deities of the ocean of Wai‘anae. A great battle raged between Hi‘iaka and the shark form of Pōhakuloa. The two moved out into the depths of the dark sea and Hi‘iaka was victorious over the shark form of Pōhakuloa. Hi‘iaka then returned to pōnaha kai o Kīlauea, where she thrust her hand down into the core of that supernatural stone and tossed it into the sky. That is how the earthquake came to shake the whole Island of O‘ahu. Being thrown from the sea, the stone flew and fell upon the land. Hi‘iaka then returned to the shore at pōnaha kai o Kīlauea and stood near the people of Mākua. Everyone was filled with awe at what this woman, the stranger had done.
The stone fell on the side of the point of Ka‘ena, near to Waialua. To this day, the people of Waialua and Wai‘anae still call the stone “Pōhakuloa.” The people who ride the train can see the long stone among the multitude of stones near the point of Ka‘ena. At the time when the ocean became very rough, Wahine‘ōma‘o and Lohi‘au landed at the shore of Keawa‘ula, and that is how they were saved from the rough seas. Hi‘iaka went to meet her companions and then she spoke to the natives of the area, telling them to:
“... take the girl who had lost her life and been revived, to bathe in the ocean five times—that is kua lima (doing something in fives, symbolic of a full hand, a complete task). Then, you are to bath her five times in freshwater. In completing the bathing ceremony, take a crab, the ‘ōhikimakaloa, and bury it at the foundation of the door to the house in which the girls lives.”
Having finished her instructions to the natives of Keawa‘ula, one of them spoke out and said: “Oh! The great trouble of this place, is that there is no water. We have only brackish water which we drink. This is a ‘āina wai ‘ole (waterless land) in which we live, and it has been this way since the time of our ancestors.”
Hearing these words of the native, that there was no freshwater on their land, Hi‘iaka spoke to them:
“This is a waterless land. When one travels from Waimanalo to Waialua, there is water at Waimanalo, water at Wai‘anae, and water at Waialua. Waialua, that is that land of Waia, the child of Hāloa and Hinamauouluae. The water of this place is there below the surface of the sandstone flats (papa one). Follow me, and I will show you a place where you can find water for yourselves, a water source that is unknown to you.”
Hi‘iaka led the natives of Keawa‘ula to the place that she had pointed out, it was on the side of the cliff at Keawa‘ula. Upon reaching the place, Hi‘iaka told them, “Break open this sandstone and dig a little below it, then you will find sweet water. But indeed, so you will not be burdened in digging, I will dig to the water for you.” Hi‘iaka then pulled up her supernatural pā‘ū (outer skirt), and drew it above her right shoulder, she then struck the base of the sandstone flats, and everyone heard the rumbling as a deep pit opened in the place where Hi‘iaka struck. All of the people of that place spoke in hushed tones among themselves at the astonishing thing done by Hi‘iaka. Hi‘iaka then told the people:
“Here is the mouth of your hue wai (water gourd). You can hear the murmuring of the water below. This water flows below the surface of the land and reaches out to the depths of the sea at Ka‘ie‘iewaho. This stream branch, and the stream branches of the four mountains of Ka‘ena, join together at this spot. Now, I will continue my travels, but don’t forget what I told you concerning the girl. Fulfill my instructions for her bathing in the sea five times, and then in the cold freshwater five times.”
Finishing these words, Hi‘iaka then bid aloha to these people and went to join her companions. (November 30, 1926)
She told them, “It is good for you to go by sea, and I by the inland route, to the place where we will meet again.” Now, the natives of this place, Keawa‘ula, had followed, and met with Hi‘iaka at the canoe of Lohi‘au. These people told Lohi‘au, “Get on your canoe, and we will carry you into the ocean.” Wahine‘ōma‘o agreed to these pleasant words of the natives of this place, and the people took up the canoe, carried it, and floated it in the ocean.
When the canoe was in the water, Wahine‘ōma‘o took up her paddle at the stern of the canoe and Pā‘ū-o-pala‘a took up her paddle at the bow and they set off to continue their journey... Hi‘iaka then continued her journey over land, and came to the “one ‘ōpiopio o Mākua” (clean white sands of Mākua). Hi‘iaka then saw the people of this place, and they were adorned with the maile lau li‘i o Ko‘iahi (small leafed maile of Ko‘iahi). They were indeed beautiful to behold along the shore, adorned in the famous maile of this mountain. Drawing nearer, Hi‘iaka also saw her relatives in the uplands, Mailelauli‘i and Ko‘iahi, and her love for them overflowed. Hi‘iaka called out in a chant to them:
Aloha wale ho‘i ‘olua e nā wāhine e
E nā wāhine noho kuahiwi, noho kualono e
E Mailelauli‘i me Ko‘iahi ho‘i e
I ke kilikili hau o Ka‘ala e
ʻA‘ala mai ana ka maile lau li‘i
Ho‘olalawe i ke kino o ke aloha
Aloha ‘olua e noho mai la i ke anu
Eia no ho‘i wau la ke ho‘i nei a
Aloha ‘olua, a aloha mai ho‘i a
(Love to you two women
The women who dwell on the mountain slopes and ridges Oh Mailelauli‘i and Ko‘iahi
In the fine dew of Ka‘ala
With the fragrance of the small leafed maile
Bearing affection to one’s body
Greetings to you two who dwell in the coolness
Here I have returned
Love to you, greetings of affection)
Then continuing her on her way, she went to the place where the people had gathered on the shore of Mākua, and she greeted them, “Affection to you who dwell here upon the clean white sands of this land (ke one ‘ōpiopio o kēia ‘āina) - Aloha!”
The people then asked Hi‘iaka, “You are a stranger, that has come to visit us here at Mākua?” Hi‘iaka confirmed this, saying, “Yes, I am a visitor from Hawai‘i, having gone to Kaua‘i, and now I have arrived here...I travel across the land, while my companions travel by the sea...” The people then inquired “What land do you come from?” Hi‘iaka answered, “My land is there in the east, in the fragrant hala (pandanus groves) of Kea‘au. It is like the place that you call Kea‘au. My land is at Puna with its walls of hala...”
The people then asked Hi‘iaka to call her companions to land on the shore and partake in a meal before continuing on the long journey. It was agreed, and before long, Wahine‘ōma‘o drew the canoe near to the shore and the people of Mākua helped to carry the canoe inland. Looking upon the visitors, the natives of Mākua recognized the beauty of their guests, and the most beautiful among them was the one whom they had first met, Hi‘iaka... The people of Mākua were skilled and quickly had a pig ready for the imu, along with chickens, broiled fish, and mixed bowls of poi ‘uwala (sweet potato poi). Others of the men and women went diving for wana (urchins), while others went to gather ‘opihi (limpets), and ‘ina and haukeuke (other varieties of urchins). The ‘inamona (kukui nut relish) was set out in a bowl, and the people of Mākua had their welcoming feast prepared.
Calling to the Ali‘i wahine (chiefess) and people of this land, Hi‘iaka said that she would first offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the foods that had been set before them. Hi‘iaka chanted:
O Mākua ‘āina o Mailelauli‘i
‘Āina aloha o Ko‘iahi i ka uka Ma uka
Ho‘i kāʻu hele ana mai I ka nopu hulili a ka lā
La o lalo o Wai‘anae e
O ku‘u nae aloha i ke oho o ke kupukupu
O kupu o lāua ka mana‘o e ai
E ‘ai i ka ‘ai a ke aloha
Ua ‘ai iho la wau e ke hoa e
I kō ‘ai leo ole, he ho‘okahi no leo
He mai, he mai ho‘i e
E kamau a hele a‘e ke kamahele
Ua ‘ike iho la no ho‘i i ke one ʻōpiopio.
(O Mākua, land of Mailelauli‘i
Land loved by Ko‘iahi in the uplands, My journey takes me over land
In the dazzling heat of the sun, Sun which descends below Wai‘anae
The fragrant sprouts of the kupukupu fern are loved by me The thought of them two is to eat
Partake in the food made with love
I have eaten my companions
Of the food without a voice, there is only one voice
Come, come partake
That the journey of the companions may be continued
So seen are the fine clean sands (of Mākua).)
Finishing her prayer, Hi‘iaka invited Lohi‘au to eat to his contentment. She called to him to eat of the generosity of the Ali'i wahine (chiefess) of Mākua, ‘Ōhikilolo, and Kea‘au. Lohi‘au then partook of the feast... (December 7, 1926)
... The chiefess inquired, and learned that her beautiful visitor was Hi‘iaka-i-ka-poli-o-Pele, the woman with the lightning skirt of Halema‘uma‘u. The chiefess herself was very beautiful, and Hi‘iaka compared her beauty to the fine clean sands of Mākua (ka u‘i o ke one 'ōpiopio o Mākua). Hi‘iaka called out in chant to the chiefess:
Onaona wale ka maile lauli‘i o Ko‘iahi He ahi ke aloha, he ‘apa ka pauku kino...
(The Mailelauli‘i of Ko‘iahi is very fragrant Love is like a fire, rolling over the body...)
As Hi‘iaka chanted, the sweet fragrance of the maile and hala surrounded the people who had gathered for the feast at Mākua. The fragrance of the maile came from the uplands of Ko‘iahi, and the sweet essence of the hala came from the land of Kea‘au, which is there on the south side of Mākua, next to ‘Ōhikilolo... Everyone partook in the feast that had been prepared by the natives of the land. And as they ate the poi ‘uwala (sweet potato poi), the pieces of pig, the wana (urchins), the ‘ina (small urchins) in their gravy, poke uhu momona (raw fish made of the rich parrot fish), and various foods that had been prepared, three beautiful women arrived at the gathering.
One woman was completely covered with garlands of maile lauli‘i. Another woman was adorned in garlands of lehua, lehua of every color. And the other woman was adorned in garlands of hala and hinano. These women with all of their adornments were truly beautiful, but the beauty of Hi‘iaka surpassed them. Hi‘iaka knew that these women were her relatives, who dwelled in the uplands.
These women had heard Hi‘iaka’s chant, and had descended from the uplands to greet her. Hi‘iaka called out to her relatives in chant:
O ‘oukou ‘ia e nā wāhine kūpaoa i ke ‘ala
Onaona hala o Kea‘au me Maile lauli‘i
Ku‘u lehua nenehiwa pua ho‘ohihi a nā manu
He manu ke aloha, a‘ohe lala kau ‘ole
Eia wau la o Hi‘i
Hi‘i pū no me ke aloha o ka ipo o ku‘u ipo, na‘u anei?
(So it is you, the women surrounded in fragrance
The fragrant hala of Kea‘au and small leafed maile
And my cherished lehua blossoms admired by the birds
The birds are beloved, and there is no branch that they don't land on Here I am, it is Hi‘i Hi'i together with the loved one,
the sweet heart (Pele’s lover Lohi‘au) My sweet heart, is he for me?)
The three women then entered the area of the feast. They were Mailelauli‘i, Ko‘iahi, and Hala-i- ka-ipo of Kea‘au, Wai‘anae. They greeted one another with kisses. Hi‘iaka then spoke the following words to Hala-i-ka-ipo.
Hala mai la no ‘oe ma kēia ‘ao‘ao o kahi pu‘u one o ‘oukou a‘e nei, o ka‘anapa mai la nō ia o ka wai li‘ula i ke kula o ‘Ōhikilolo, a kau mai la ho‘i ke one o Mākua nei i ka ‘ōlapalapa?
(Did you perhaps pass by the side of the sand dunes, that glisten like the mirage forming waters on the plane of ‘Ōhikilolo, and walk on the rumbling sands of Mākua?)
When Hi‘iaka said these words to one of her relatives, the chiefess of Mākua then spoke to Hi‘iaka... (December 14, 1926)
Hear me oh kind stranger, this is the place of my birth, where my food has been cooked, and I, along with the natives of Mākua have never seen the resonating sands of Mākua; sands like those of Nohili, Kaua‘i. If we go, and see it as you have said, it will truly be a great mystery, for we the multitudes of this land, have never before seen the sands that you describe...
After completing the feast, Hi‘iaka took the chiefess of Mākua along with her people, to see the one kani (resonating [barking] sands) of Mākua. When they arrived at the pu‘u one (dunes), Hi‘iaka climbed to the top of the dune. As Hi‘iaka climbed up the dune, everyone was startled because of the ringing and sounds like purring, that rose from each place where Hi‘iaka stepped. It was like the growling of a dog. Then, from atop the dune, Hi‘iaka called to the chiefess of Mākua, inviting her to climb up to where she was standing. As she ascended the dune, everyone heard the same sounds as when Hi‘iaka had ascended the dune. Seeing this mysterious characteristic of the sands of their land, the natives of Mākua began to follow their chiefess up the dune. From the very top of the dune, Hi‘iaka said to the chiefess:
Say, oh chiefess of Mākua, if you will lay down with your head above and your feet below, I will call the chief (Lohi‘au) to come and pull you by your feet, then you will hear a different sound. This sound can be discerned as being different from the one heard when we climbed up the dune.
Hearing this, the chiefess of Mākua laid down, with thoughts of pleasure, at being pulled by the ali‘i of Kaua‘i. Hi‘iaka then called to Lohi‘au, to get the chiefess of Mākua and to pull her by her feet: Oh Lohi‘au-ipo, from the hala groves of Naue by the sea! Take the chiefess by her feet and pull her down. You will hear again, the resonating of the sands of Mākua (ke kani o ke one o Mākua), and indeed, you will think that it is the sound of the sands at the land of your birth ... With pleasure and desire for the chiefess of the fine clean sands of Mākua, Lohi‘au pulled the chiefess down the pu‘u one (dune). A ghostly sound, like that heard in the night (hanehane o ka pō) rose up when the chiefess was pulled down the dune.
Now Mailelauli‘i, Ko‘iahi, and Hala-i-ka-ipo, adorned in their finery saw this, and in them arose the desire to also be touched by the handsome chief of Kaua‘i. So they ascended the resonating dune of Mākua (pu'uone kani o Mākua) and laid down, asking Hi‘iaka to call Lohi‘au to pull them as well... Hi‘iaka cautioned her relatives not to become enamored with Lohi‘au, for he was chosen for Pele, and no others could enjoy his affections...Lohi‘au first took Maile-lauli‘i and as she was pulled down, her garlands of maile were ruffled. He then took Ko‘iahi, followed by Hala-i-ka- ipo who was adorned in garlands of hala and hinano. As each of the chiefesses were pulled down the dune, the soft crying of the dune (ka ‘uwe hone o ke pu‘eone) was heard by all.
Hi‘iaka then descended the pu‘u one, joining the women and said to them:
“You have truly been blessed by the handsome child of Kaua‘i, but I say to you that it is well to remember the words spoken by our ancestors, ʻHe ‘i‘imi loa‘a a na ha‘i na‘e e inu ka wai.ʻ” (Searched for, it is found, but indeed, the water will be tasted by another).
Hi‘iaka then asked the chiefess of Mākua if she had been mistaken about the resonating sands of the land of her birth. She responded that yes she had been wrong in denying the presence of resonating sands of Mākua. But from her youth, she had played at the dune, and leapt down its slopes, and never heard the mysterious sounds...(December 21, 1926)
Most of the group then returned to the chiefess’ compound, though some of the people of Mākua remained at the dune playing in the sands, with fond thoughts of this wondrous place... The chiefess of Mākua invited Hi‘iaka to spend the night at Mākua so that they could rest prior to continuing their journey. This was agreed to, and while they were talking, everyone was startled at hearing the sounds of wailing coming from along the ala loa (trail), from the Wai‘anae side. This voice filled with pain, was the cry of a man. His hands were clasped behind him and he was crying out. Hi‘iaka asked the people to bring the man to the house, so that they could inquire if they could be of help.
Brought to the house, Hi‘iaka asked, “Has someone died?” The man wiped his face, looked at Hi‘iaka, and with a trembling voice he said:
“Yes, it is I who will die. I have been on a journey seeking knowledge. I have traveled around O‘ahu, and not found that thing which I seek. I then thought that perhaps I would find life at the hill of Ha‘upu, Kaua‘i. Yet traveling around Kaua‘i, I did not find that which I seek. I have also been to Maui, Lana‘i, and Moloka‘i, and not been able to find that which I seek.”
Hearing this, Hi‘iaka asked, “Is it a riddle that someone has spoken to you that you seek the answer to?” Surprised, the man confirmed this and told Hi‘iaka that she was the first one to discern the trouble that had befallen him. “So here perhaps is the place where I can be rid of this trouble, and I will escape the death that awaits me...” (December 28, 1926)
... Hi‘iaka then asked the man to tell them the riddle that he had been given. The man said, “Let me tell you a little story and then I will tell you the riddle.”
Hi‘iaka said, “Before starting your story, let me tell you, ‘You are perhaps Kaulana-a-ka-lā, a chief of Moloka‘i.’” Astonished, the man confirmed this, and asked, “Are you a native of Moloka‘i, that you should know my name?” Hi‘iaka simply told him that she had traveled throughout the islands. She then told Kaulana-a-ka-lā:
“It was at Waipi‘o, Hawai‘i, that you received this riddle. And, if you can answer it, you will be awarded one half of Waipi‘o, but, if you are unable to find the answer, you will be killed. Is that not so?”
The Ali‘i of Moloka‘i confirmed this, and he was filled with awe at the wisdom of Hi‘iaka. Hi‘iaka then continued:
“You have journeyed around Hawai‘i, and yet found no one who could explain the riddle to you. You have traveled around Maui, Kanaloa Kaho‘olawe and found no one who could answer it. Now arriving at O‘ahu, at the point of Koko, you have traveled and met with us here.”
The man confirmed that all of this was true. Hi‘iaka then asked Kaulana-a-ka-lā to tell them the riddle. Standing up the Ali‘i of Moloka‘i began to chant, offering a prayer first. He then spoke the riddle. Hi‘iaka then said that she would inquire of the natives of this land, if they could answer the riddle, and found that none could. Hi‘iaka then asked the chiefess of Mākua, “Is there not a fishpond at the side of the cliff of Ka‘ena, and its name is Manini?” The chiefess answered:
“Yes there is a fishpond on the cliff side of Ka‘ena, and it is named as you said. In that pond, I have seen all manner of fish, and there is one large fish, Moanawaike‘o‘o.” (That is the moanakai as it is known from here to Kahuku).
[The editor then notes that the paper with the next part of the story has been lost. And he observes that there is perhaps someone still living today, who remembers the riddle, and they might share it with us at Ka Hōkū o Hawai‘i... (January 4, 1927 - a reader replied to the request on Jan. 18, 1927)]
The account continues in describing a game of kilu played between the chiefess of Mākua and Lohi‘au.
In kilu, a small coconut or gourd cup (quoit) is tossed at an item in front of an opponent; if the quoit hits the item, the one who tossed it wins a kiss from the other contestant. In a conversation during the contest, the chiefess mentioned a place called Pu‘uohulu. Hi‘iaka asked:
“Where is this place called Pu‘uohulu, is it in Wai‘anae.” The chiefess of Mākua responded that it was indeed in Wai‘anae, a place with which all of the people were familiar... Hi‘iaka then chanted:
Lele ka huna kai
Pi‘i a‘e la i ka makalae
Aloha wale ka lae o Ka‘ena i ka ehu kai Kai o lalo o Wai‘anae
Ke he‘e nei i ka pu‘eone
‘Oia one aloha o Mākua e
Mai ho‘omākua ke aloha o hewe au—e O kou inoa ia la e Pu‘u-o-hulu
Ua ‘ike a ho‘i e...
(The ocean mist flies
Rising upon the coastal point
The point of Ka‘ena greets the sea
The sea of Wai‘anae is there below
Sliding across the dunes
It is the beloved sands of Mākua
Don’t let this affection (for Lohi‘au) mature lest you be found at fault Your name is Pu'u-o-hulu
So now it is revealed...)
(January 11, 1927)
Hi‘iaka’s chant brought great pleasure to the people at Mākua, and the game continued for some time... The next day preparations were made, and Wahine‘ōma‘o Pā‘ū-o-pala‘a, and Lohi‘au boarded the canoe to depart from Mākua and continue their journey through Wai‘anae. With one dip of Pāʻū-o-pala‘a’s paddle the canoe was out in the deep sea beyond the clean sands of Mākua.
Hi‘iaka then turned and looked to the uplands of Wai‘anae and turning around, she saw two of their cherished elders, Kua and ‘Aleikapōki‘i. These were shark-formed elders (kupuna mano) of her family. These elders saw Hi‘iaka, and Kua said to ‘Aleikapōki‘i, “Behold, here is our descendant (grandchild), Hi‘iaka-i-ka-poli-o-Pele.” The other shark agreed with the words spoken by its companion. The two continued to speak among themselves, and they feared that perhaps Hi‘iaka would be angry with them (Earlier in the account, these two sharks had tried to stop Hi‘iaka from going to get Lohi‘au at Kaua‘i because they did not believe that a human was a good companion for Pele.). The two sharks were afraid that Hi‘iaka might try to kill them, and that they would have no way to escape from her great power. Kua told his companion, “We will not die if we go and hide.” The two sharks at first thought that they might go hide in their caves, but then they knew that they could be found, so they then thought that perhaps they should go and hide upon the land (pae i kula o ka ‘āina). So the two sharks agreed and went inland, where one lies on one side and the other lies near by (to this day). Hi‘iaka saw her shark elders swim away and hide, she called affectionately to them in a chant:
A makani Kaiaulu o lalo o Wai‘anae Ke wehe aku la i ka poli o ka hoa
Ha‘i ka nalu o Kua me ‘Aleikapōki‘i I hiki i moe aku i uka ka luhi o ke kai...
(The kaiaulu breeze blows to the lowlands of W ai‘anae
Making known what is in the heart of the companions
The waves are broken by Kua and ‘Aleikapōki‘i
So that they may rest in the uplands away from the burden of the sea...)
Hi‘iaka’s chant was carried to the shore and heard by Pōka‘ī, who saw that Hi‘iaka was drawing near. Pōka‘ī bent her head down and thought that perhaps Hi‘iaka would kill her. The canoe with Hi‘iaka’s companions then landed on the sandy shore of Wai‘anae, at the landing place called Ke‘a‘ali‘i. Joining them, Hi‘iaka looked all about this famous land of the wind lau-niu. Hi‘iaka’s tears then fell from her eyes down her cheeks, and Wahine‘ōma‘o inquired why Hi‘iaka was crying: “Ea! He mau waimaka aha ho‘i kēia e helele‘i wale mai no i ka lihilihi o ka lehua makanoe?” (“Why are the tears falling from the fringes of the dewy centered lehua blossoms?”). Hi‘iaka responded to her companion, “You have asked a good question, and the reason is that this is the land of the kaiaulu breezes which cause the coconut leaves to sway back and forth, and it is greatly loved. Here before me, I have had a vision, that there will be great treachery here, and the saying of the children shall be fulfilled. The saying is this, ʻNo ke kai ka hale, e noho ia e ka puna, no ka puna ka hale e noho ia ana e ke kai a mohala ka lau ke naenaeʻ (The house is on the shore, situated there on the coral, the house is on the coral rocks there on the shore and the leaves of the naenae bloom forth). This is the reason that my tears are shed, my companion.”
Hi‘iaka stopped speaking for a moment, then resumed her explanation of the prophesy, “Ke kū ka makai‘a a ke Ali‘i o O‘ahu nei i kēia wahi ma luna o ke kanaka o ke akua, a laila, No keia ‘āina o O‘ahu nei i ‘Āina one ‘ai ali‘i” (The chief of O‘ahu will bring forth treachery upon a man of the gods here, thus this land of O‘ahu will become a land in which the sands consume the chiefs.)... (January 18, 1927)
Now some people say that this name Pōka‘ī is a recent name, given from the time when Mo‘ikeha traveled from Kahiki, when he left his relative Olopana; but it is not so, because it is from the time when Pele came to these islands. Hi‘iaka then went a short distance inland, and the kupua (supernatural being) Pōka‘ī of Wai‘anae came face to face with her and they met with aloha (affection). Pōka‘ī instructed her people to go to the uplands to gather lū‘au (taro greens) and kalo (taro) from the taro lands of Lehano in the uplands of Wai‘anae. She also commanded that some of her people bake a pig and prepare food for the chief of Kaua‘i and Wahine‘ōma‘o. The sweet, tender lūau of upper Wai‘anae was gathered and cooked in the imu along with all the other foods. The baked pig, poi uwōuwō (thick poi) of Wai‘anae, were among the foods eaten by the Lohi‘au and his companions.
Pōka‘ī then said to Hi‘iaka, “My lord, I have no other gift to give you.” Hi‘iaka responded, telling her that her hospitality had been more than adequate, for great indeed is the food which you have prepared for us to satisfy our hunger. And this is what I give to you ‘o Pōka‘ī: Your dwelling upon the land shall be relieved by the gentle kaiaulu breezes. Your name shall be spoken by the generations which are yet to come. And I also tell you that Wai‘anae shall become the corner post (pou kihi) for this land of O‘ahu which consumes its chiefs (‘Āina ‘ai ali‘i o O‘ahu nei).”
There will be a day when one who betrays the gods shall stand here (this is a reference to the chief Kahahana who in betrayal ordered the death of his priest and bard, Ka‘opulupulu, at Nānākuli (see Kamakau 1961:134) ... Hi‘iaka and her companions then prepared to depart from Pōka‘ī. She told Lohi‘au and Wahine‘ōma‘o that they would travel by canoe, while she would travel for a while over land, and that they would meet again at Kou (Honolulu).... Hi‘iaka then continued her journey along the upland trail. Now the trail upon which Hiʻiaka chose to travel, is the trail which passes above Pohakea. Hiʻiaka passed along the kula (plain) of Māʻili, and then turned to look at the uplands. She saw a dazzling light of the sun on the uplands of Lualualei and Hiʻiaka chanted:
Wela ka lā e! Wela ka lā e!
Ua wela i ka lā ke kula o Lualualei Ua nau ‘ia e ka lā a ‘oka‘oka...
(The sun is hot! The sun is hot!
The heat of the sun is on the plain of Lualualei, The sun chews it up entirely.)
Hi‘iaka then continued her ascent on the trail in the stifling heat of the sun and she chanted:
A Waikonene i ke alanui
Ka pi‘ina i Kamoa‘ula
Ka lā wela i ka ‘umauma
Waha ka ‘io i ke kua o Puhamalo‘o
Ke ho‘ohaehae mai la i ka naulu
Moku kahawai, miha ka poli o Puhawai
Ua hakakā, kipikipi ke kaiaulu me ke kanaka Ua kuikui wale a haena nā ihu
Ua kā wale i ka hupe
Ka lā wela o Lualualei e
(The path is at Waikonene
Ascending at Kamoaʻula
The heat of the sun is upon the breast
ʻĪlio is born upon the back of Puhamalʻo
The naulu winds rage
Breaking the stream, but the breast of Puhawai is quiet
The kaiaulu breeze seems to fight and rebel against the people Striking and causing the noses to rage
The mucus flows freely
Is the hot sun of Lualualei.)
Hi‘iaka then continued her journey onto the plains of Lualualei.