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Cook's Visit to Hawaii

Updated: Mar 11

 Kii: Herb Kawainui Kane


Ruling Chiefs of Hawaii

(Revised Edition)



pgs. 92-104

Captain Cook's Visit to Hawaii


    ... It was eighty-eight years ago, in January, 1778, that Captain Cook first came to Hawaii.* Ka-ʻeo was ruling chief of Kauai, Ka-hahana of Oahu and Molokai, and Ka-hekili of Maui, Lanai, and Kahoolawe. The ship was first sighted from Waialua and Waiʻanae [on Oahu] sailing for the north. It anchored at night at Waimea, Kauai, that place being nearest at hand. A man named Moapu and his companions who were out fishing with heavy lines, saw this strange thing move by and saw the lights on board. Abandoning their fishing gear, no doubt through fright, they hurried ashore and hastened to tell Ka-ʻeo and the other chiefs of Kauai about this strange apparition. The next morning the ship lay outside Kaʻahe at Waimea. Chiefs and commoners saw the wonderful sight and marveled at it. Some were terrified and shrieked with fear. The valley of Waimea rang with the shouts of the excited people as they saw the boat with its masts and its sails shaped like a gigantic sting ray. One asked another, "What are those branching things?" and the other answered, "They are trees moving about on the sea." Still another thought, "A double canoe of the hairless ones of Mana!" A certain kahuna named Ku-ʻohu declared, "That can be nothing else than the heiau of Lono, the tower of Ke-o-lewa, and the place of sacrifice at the altar." (ʻAʻohe kela he meaʻe, o ka heiau no kela o Lono, o kaʻanuʻunuʻu no kela o Keo-lewa, a o na lele kela o ke kuahu.) The excitement became more intense, and louder grew the shouting.

    The chief sent some men on board to see what the wonderful thing was. Those who went were Kane-a-ka-hoʻowaha, the kahuna Ku-ʻohu, wearing a whaletooth ornament to show his rank, the chief Kiʻikiki', and some paddlers. When they drew near and saw how much iron there was along the side of the ship and on the rails they said excitedly to each other, "Oh, how much dagger material (pahoa) there is here!" for they called iron "pahoa" because that was what they used in old days for their fighting daggers (pahoa). One of them went on board and saw many men on the ship with white foreheads, sparkling eyes, wrinkled skins, and angular heads, who spoke a strange language and breathed fire from their mouths. The chief Kiʻikiki' and the kahuna Ku-ʻohu, each clothed in a fine girdle of tapa cloth about the loins and a red tapa garment caught about the neck, stepped forward with the left fist clenched and, advancing before Captain Cook, stepped back a pace and bowed as they murmured a prayer; then, seizing his hands, they knelt down and the tabu was freed. Captain Cook gave Ku-ʻohu a knife, and it was after this incident that Ku-ʻohu named his daughter Changed-into-a-dagger (Ku-a-pahoa) and The-feather-that-went-about-the-ship (Ka-hulu-kaʻa-moku). This was the first gift given by Captain Cook to any native of Hawaii.

    They called Captain Cook Lono (after the god Lono who had gone away promising to return). A man hoisting a flag they called Ku-of-the-colored-flag (Ku-ka-lepa-ʻoniʻoniʻo) after the image that stood against the outer wall of the heiau. A lighted pipe in the mouth of another gave him the name of Lono-of-the-volcanic-fire (Lono-pele). When they saw a heap of coconuts they said, "These are the fruits of Traveling-coconut (Nui-ola-hiki),* they must have killed this mischief-maker of the sea." Of a bullock's hide they said, "They must also have killed Ku-long-dog,† (Ku-ʻilio-loa)! Perhaps they have come here to kill all the mischief-makers of the sea." And they returned to shore and reported all they had seen, the men's acts and their speech; how they had killed the kupua of the sea, Niu-ola-hiki and Ku-ʻilio-loa, of which the coconuts and the hides were proof; how much iron there was lying about the floating heiau (for the Hawaiians had seen iron before); and how the men had fair skins, bright eyes, sharp noses, angular heads, and deep-set eyes. Then both chiefs and commoners, hearing this report, said to each other "This is indeed Lono, and this is his heiau come across the sea from Moa-ʻula-nui-akea‡ across Mano-wai-nui-kai-oʻo!" When the priest's prayer had freed the tabu and his words were ended the chief asked, "Would there be any harm in going to the heiau of the god?" The kahuna reassured him, saying, "No harm at all, for I did my work well. Only do not meddle with the things belonging to the god."

    The people made ready to go on board. When Ka-pupuʻu, a warrior of Ka-ʻeo's guard, heard of the quantity of iron on the ship, he said to the chief, "I shall go on board and take the iron." The chief answered, "The kahuna warned us not to take the god's property lest there be trouble." "Let my lands be surety for any trouble." "Just as you say," replied the chief.* Ka-pupuʻu went out to the ship and, seeing a quantity of iron objects lying about, he seized some hastily and threw them into his canoe. The stranger saw him taking the iron and shot him with a gun and killed him. Then all the men in the canoes paddled ashore and told the chiefs and the people how Ka-pupuʻu had died, and of the death-dealing thing which the white men used and which squirted out like the gushing forth of water. Some called the weapon a "water squirter" (wai-kiʻ"), because of its squirting out like water from a bamboo; others called it a "water gusher" (wai-pahu1).

    The strangers asked where they could find water, pointing to water with their hands, and the people told them that there was abundant supply inland. The strangers therefore went ashore to draw water. The Hawaiians, observing the way they rowed, said, "They must be nursing babies the way they lean over!" and as the men swayed as they rowed they exclaimed in surprise, "They row their canoe swaying back and forth and they seem to be bending back the tips of their paddles!" For this reason they called a boat a "doubling-up canoe" (waʻa-pelupelu). When the boat landed at the mouth of the Waimea river, the beach of Luhi and the opposite side of Laʻau-akala were crowded with people. There was not a bare spot visible. Chiefs and commoners, old and young, came from Polihale, Napali, and Ki ʻpu', like a rushing stream.

    Some chiefs cried, "Let us kill these people for killing Ka-pupuʻu!" but the kahuna Ku-ʻohu said, "That is not a good thought, for they were not to blame. The fault was ours for plundering, for Ka-pupuʻu went to plunder. I have told you that we live under a law; if any man rob or steal, his bones shall be stripped of flesh. The proper way to do is to treat these people kindly. For listen, you chiefs and people! I do not know whether these are gods or men. Here is the test of a god: if we tempt them and they do not open their gourd container which holds their ancestral gods (ʻaumakua) then they are themselves gods, but if they open the sacred gourds (ipu kapu) [that is, if they yield to the temptation of women] then they are not gods— they are foreigners (haole), men from the land of Kaʻekaʻe and Ku-kanaloa and their companions.* Many of the old people felt doubtful, for they had heard of foreigners, but the majority of the people and the young men shouted, "A god! a god! Lono is a god! Lono is a god!" Thus the name Lono spread from Kauai to Hawaii.

    When night fell, the men on the ship shot off guns and skyrockets, perhaps to express their joy in having discovered this first land of the group, Kauai. The people called the rockets "the fires of Lono-makua" and they named the flash of the gun "the lightning" and its report "Kane in the thunder," The next day Captain Cook, his officers, and some of his men went ashore with their guns in readiness, and were taken before Ka-ʻeo, the ruling chief, the chiefess Ka-maka-helei, and the other chiefs. They greeted him well and gave him gifts of hogs, chickens, bananas, taro, potatoes, sugar cane, yams, fine mats, and bark cloth. Captain Cook accepted their gifts; it may be that he took them to show the British people what the products of Kauai were like. To the Hawaiians he gave gifts of cloth, iron, a sword, knives, necklaces, and mirrors. The cloth they called "foreign fiber" (aʻa kahiki) because it resembled coconut fiber. Glass they called kilo [from the practice of the kilo, or soothsayer, looking into a shallow bowl of water where he was supposed to see reflected the persons or acts about whom inquiry was made], and iron they called "dagger" (pahoa). They ceased to believe the foreigners to be gods. At first they had taken their cocked hats to be a part of their heads and their clothing to be wrinkled skin. Ka-ʻeo gave to Captain Cook his wife's daughter Lele-mahoa-lani, who was a sister of Ka-umu-aliʻi, and Captain Cook gave Kaʻeo gifts in exchange for Lele-mahoa-lani.† When the other women noticed that the chiefess had slept with foreigners, they too slept with foreigners in order to obtain cloth, iron, and mirrors.

    Captain Cook left Kauai and sailed northwest of America through Bering Strait to seek lands to the north. To these islands he bequeathed such possessions as the flea, never known on them before his day,

 and prostitution with its results, syphilis and other venereal diseases. These serious diseases caused the dwindling of the population after the coming of Captain Cook.

    Ka-ʻeo, chief of Kauai, sent Kane-a-ka-hoʻowaha and Kau-ka-puaʻa to Ka-hahana on Oahu to relate all that had happened at the coming of Captain Cook to Kauai and to describe the appearance of the white men. They said that their speech was like the twittering and trilling of the ʻoʻo bird, with a prolonged cooing sound like the lali bird, and a high chirping note. They said that they [the foreigners] were clothed from head to foot, wore triangular shapes on their heads, and shoes on their feet. Said Kane-a-ka-hoʻowaha, "They were not gods for they opened the sacred netted gourd; Ka-ʻeo caused Lele-mahoa-lani, the chiefess, to sleep on the heiau," The leading kahuna of Ka-hahana, Kaʻopulupulu, said, "They are foreigners from Hiʻikua, Uliuli, Melemele, Keʻokeʻo—they are men who will possess the land." Some said, "Perhaps they are the people whom Kekiopilo, the prophet (kaula) of Kupihea, prophesied would come, white men, having dogs with long ears which men would ride upon." Others said, "These are the men spoken of by Kekio Pilakalo in the time of Kualiʻi:

                                        A messenger is Ku from the heavens

                                        A stranger is Ku from Kahiki.*

There was a great deal of talk about Captain Cook.

    Another canoe came from Kauai bearing Kau-a-ka-piki, another chief of lesser rank. When people questioned him he told them the story. The ship was like a heiau with a tower upon it. There were were three masts with three sails shaped like a sting ray, a long stick at the prow, holes for guns along the sides, and shining holes behind. As for the men, they were fair with angular heads, their clothes were fastened to their skin and had openings on the sides over each thigh and in front; they had narrow foot coverings, and fire at the mouth from which smoke issued like Pele's fires. "What was their speech like?" asked the men. Kau-a-ka-piki tied on his loin cloth, wrapped his shoulder cape around his buttocks and between his legs, wound a piece of tapa around his head, put the stem of a cane blossom in his mouth, lighted the end, and blew smoke from his mouth. Then he stuck it inside his garment and said, "They spoke thus: ʻHi-ka-pa-lale, hi-ka-pa-lale, hi-ohi-ai, o-a-laki, wala-wala-ki, wai-ki, po-ha. Aloha kahiki, aloha haʻehaʻe, aloha ka wahine [the women], aloha ke keiki [the children], aloha ka makua [the men] aloha ka hale [the house].'" Thus he went on to Hawaii and Maui telling his story wherever he went.

    Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu was in Koʻolau, Maui, fighting against Ka-hekili, the chief of Maui. When Moho told him and the other chiefs of Hawaii the story about Captain Cook and described his ship they exclaimed, "That was surely Lono! He has come back from Kahiki." Pai-lili, son of Holo-ʻae, who had accompanied Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu said, "Life is ours! The god of our ancestors has returned!" Others said, "Lono is a true god to us; he has come back. We descendants of his shall have life."

    While Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu was in Wailua in Koʻolau, Maui, on the evening of November 19, 1778, Captain Cook's ship was sighted northeast of Mokuhoʻoniki with the prow turned a little to the southeast. It was seen at Kahakuloa, and the news spread over the island, then at Hamakua, and at evening it was seen in Koʻolau. The night passed, and the next day the ship was anchored at Haʻaluea just below Wailua. When they saw that its appearance exactly fitted the description given by Moho, there was no end of excitement among the people over the strange object. "The tower of Lono! Lono the god of our fathers!" they exclaimed, redoubling their cries at the thought that this was their god Lono who had gone to Kahiki. The men went out in such numbers to visit the ship that it was impossible for all to get on board.

    When the canoes returned to shore, Kalaʻi-mamahu' persuaded Kamehameha and one other to remain on board, and that night the ship sailed away taking Kamehameha and his companions and by morning it had disappeared. Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu thought that Kamehameha must have gone away to Kahiki. He was displeased and ordered Ke-paʻa-lani to bring them all back. Ke-paʻa-lani took six paddlers and a large single canoe supplied with food and water. Puhie declared that within two days and two nights they would sight the ship. Maui disappeared, and Mauna Kea rose before them out of the waves. Kamehameha, looking out, saw a white object on the wave and said to Kalaʻi-mamahu', "Is that a canoe or only a wave?" "Where?" "Yonder." As they watched it became clearly a canoe, and Kamehameha guessed that it was Ke-paʻa-lani come to seek them. But Captain Cook had no intention of carrying them away; he only wanted them to guide him to a good harbor on Hawaii. Captain Cook may have sailed by a map made by the Spaniards, for how else could he have found the proper harbors at Waimea, Mahukona, and Kealakekua? As for Ke-paʻa-lani he was relieved, for he had already sailed two days and nights without sighting the ship. Kamehameha pointed out the canoe to Captain Cook and then pointed toward Maui. Cook would not consent; he pointed to the ship and then to Hawaii. Again Kamehameha pointed to Maui, and the ship turned about and reached Wailua in a single night.*

    It was eleven days after leaving Maui before Captain Cook entered the channel between Maui and Hawaii and sailed close to Kohala. The day was December 2, and Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa were capped with snow. He landed close to Kukuipahu, and the whole population of Kohala, men, women, and children, the aged and the feeble, flocked to the cliff-side along the coast; the place was covered with them. They came from ʻAwini to Kekaha along the coast from the uplands of Waimea and Kahuwa. "Look!" they exclaimed, "How tall it is! The back looks like a hammerhead shark, the front comes to a point; it is wide in thecenterand will hold ever so many men." When they went out to the ship, seeing some of the strangers peering out of the holes at the back one man said, "Those are the gods of the upland of Mouths-shining-with-fat (Kanukuhinuhinu), Peep (Kiʻei) and Peer (Halo)."† Seeing one of the strangers with a telescope they said, "Long-eyes (Maka-loa) and Eyes-that rove (Na-maka-okaʻa) the stargazers who see the heavens and the earth." Captain Cook bought hogs with pieces of iron and iron hoops to be used for weapons, hatchets, knives, and fishhooks. A hog a fathom long was had in exchange for a piece of iron a yard long. This was for a dagger for the chief. A commoner could not keep it; it was taken from him, and if he resisted he was killed.

    Captain Cook sailed past Hamakua, Hilo, Puna, and Ka-ʻu and put in at Kealakekua Bay, and on January 17, 1779, he put in at Kaʻawaloa Bay. Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu was fighting Ka-hekili on Maui at the time. Captain Cook arrived during the tabu time of the Makahiki when no man could paddle out to the ship without breaking the law and forfeiting all his possessions. But when Captain Cook appeared they declared that his name must be Lono, for Kealakekua was the home of that deity as a man, and it was a belief of the ancients that he had gone to Kahiki and would return. They were full of joy, all the more so that these were Lono's tabu days. Their happiness knew no bounds; they leaped for joy [shouting]: "Now shall our bones live; our ʻaumakua has come back. These are his tabu days and he has returned!" This was a great mistake. He was a long-tailed god, a scorpion, a slayer of men. What a pity! But they believed in him and shouted, "Lono is a god! Lono is a god!"

    Hikiau was the name of Lono's heiau at Kealakekua, and it lay dose to the beach. The kahunas of the heiau were among the first, together with those who fed the god, to adopt the error of the rest of the people. The men hurried to the ship to see the god with their own eyes. There they saw a fair man with bright eyes, a high-bridged nose, light hair, and handsome features. Good-looking gods they were! They spoke rapidly. Red was the mouth of the god. When they saw the strangers letting out ropes the natives called them Ku-of-the-tree-fern (Ku-pulupulu) and Coverer-of-the-island (Moku-haliʻi). These were gods of the canoe builders in the forest. When they saw them painting the ship they said, "There are Maʻikoha' [originator of the wauke plant]* and Ehu (Faired-haired) daubing their canoe, and Lanahu (Charcoal) daubing on the black!" When they saw the strangers smoking they said, "There are Lono-pele and his companions [of the volcano] breathing fire from their mouths!" Another sailor who put up a flag at the masthead they called Ku-of-the-colored-ensign (Ku-ka-lepa-ʻoniʻoniʻo)."

    A man named Kila stood up and told the people a story about the ship and its crew, saying:

    Great and strong Pakaku' is the chief of this canoe, and his astronomers are Roving-eyes (Na-maka-okaʻa) and Great-eyes (Maka-loa). As they sailed along in the ocean great Pakaku' called out to Roving-eyes and Great-eyes, "O Roving-eyes and your comrade, peer and listen! Climb the mast of our ship, gaze about, seek and look for any mischievous one who could trouble our ship. Haʻehaʻe-ke!" "O great and strong Pakakuʻ! we have gazed and gazed. Lo! here is the mischievous one. Oho! oho! here is Ku-long-dog (Ku-ʻilio-loa) with wide-open mouth before r.s. Here is the upper jaw of the dog extending above us; his lower jaw is beneath us. One more huge wave and we shall be devoured!" Then Pakaku' called out to the people of the ship, to Lono-of-the-volcanic-fires (Lono-pele), to Lightning (Ka-huila) and his company, to Flash (ʻAnapu) and his company, to Kane-of-the-thunder (Kane-hekili), to Father Lono (Lono-makua) and his company, to Steam (Mahuia) and his company, to Kukuʻena and her company, to Na-kola-i-lani and his company, and to Little-flame (Lapalapa-iki) who was in charge of the fires, "O Little-flame, Little-flame! Gaze about you, gaze about! Ready! Pause! Charge! Hoi-he-ke! Hoi-he-ke!" Then the great and mighty Pakaku' called to Shooting-water and to Exploding-water, "When I shoot, leap! when I shoot, leap! when I shoot, leap! O smooth pebbles of Great Britain! hard-grained pebbles of Great Britain! Oh, exploding waters of America! when I shoot, leap forward! when I shoot, leap!" A bullet sped forth striking Ku-long-dog on the forehead, splitting his skull apart. This hide here was his. The coconuts lying here are the remains of Traveling-coconut. The ropes on this ship are the intestines of Great-black-turtle (Ka-honu-nui-mae-loku). The points of the anchor are the foreheads of Lono-ka-ʻeho, Ku-anuenue, and Lele-ia-naha. Thus all the gods of the ocean have been destroyed.

    At the conclusion of Kila's story the people said, "It is true, this is Lono, our god! this is Lono, our god!" (Perhaps this man Kila had heard Cook's name from the chiefess with whom Cook slept and had corrupted 'Captain Cook' into Paka-kuka or Pa-kuka.) Then the people brought hogs, taro, potatoes, bananas, fowls, everything he wanted, thinking him to be their god Lono.

    When Captain Cook went ashore at Kealakekua the kahuna, believing him to be a god, led him to the heiau, and seated him above the altar where sacrifices were offered. The kahuna stepped back, and had a soft white tapa wrapped about his loins. Captain Cook was covered with a cloak of red tapa like that about the images. Then the kahuna prayed thus:

    Your heavenly bodies, O Lono, are the long clouds, the short clouds., the peeping cloud, the peering cloud, the clouds gathering in clusters in the sky, from Uliuli, from Melemele, from Kahiki, from Ulunui, from Haʻehaʻe, from ʻOmaʻokuʻululu', from Hakauʻai, from the land that Lono split in twain, in the lower heavens, in the higher heavens, at the foundation of Laka of Lalohana, from the foundations of the earth. O Ku! O Lono! O Kane! O Kanaloa! gods from the upper regions, from the lower regions, from Kahiki in the east and Kahiki in the west, here is an offering, a gift. Grant life to the chief, life to your children until they reach the world of light, the fruitful land. It is ended, it is freed.

    Now it is doubtful whether Captain Cook consented to have worship paid him by the priests. He may have thought they were worshiping as in his own land. But he was a Christian and he did wrong to consent to enter an idolater's place of worship. He did wrong to accept gifts offered before idols and to eat food dedicated to them. Therefore God smote him.

    Some days later, many women went on board the ship to offer themselves to the sailors and received in return iron, mirrors, scissors, and beads. When the women looked into the mirrors and saw their own likenesses as if alive, they scraped the quicksilver off the backs of the mirrors, but when the glass could no longer reflect their images they regretted their act. The natives took hogs a fathom in length to trade for guns, for they liked the sound of the report. They said, "Trade, trade! we will trade the hogs for your shooting-water, your exploding-water; guns, guns, guns!" The strangers said, "No!" "Trade! trade! guns!" "No more." "The moa (fowl) are all gone from Molea in Hamakua." The natives said, "Ha! the white men know where the fish are hid. These long-tailed gods know well, for they are taking our women on board."

    On Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu's return with his chiefs and warriors from Maui on January 24, 1779, he landed at ʻAwili in Kaʻawaloa and stayed in Hanamua at the home of Keawe-a-heulu, who had been with them on Maui fighting with Ka-hekili and when he saw how many women went aboard the ship to prostitute themselves to the strangers, he forbade their going. When the strangers could get no more women on the ship, they came ashore at Na-poʻopoʻo, at Kahauloa, and on this side of Kaʻawaloa, and numerous were the ʻopala haole [foreign rubbish] born to the women. Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu treated Captain Cook hospitably, giving him hogs, taro, potatoes, bananas, and other provisions, as well as feather capes, helmets, kahili, feather leis, wooden bowls beautifully shaped, tapa cloths of every variety, finely-woven mats of Puna, and some especially fine mats made of pandanus blossoms. In return Captain Cook gave Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu some trifles. It is said that the hat Cook gave to Ka-lani-ʻipuʻu is in the wrappings of the head of Keawe-i-kekahi-aliʻi-o-ka-moku.

    On February 4, Lono sailed away in his ship and had got beyond Kawaihae when he discovered that one of the masts was decayed and he had to put back to Kealakekua to repair it. The natives saw him return, and the women took up once more their association with the sailors, but not in such numbers as before. The natives had begun to be suspicious, and some said, "These are not gods; these are men, white men from the land of Ku-kanaloa." Others declared them to be gods. Still others said, "The legends of Kane, Kanaloa, Ku, and Lono say that they came from Kahiki; they do not lie with women. Lono-i-ka-makahiki was a defied man, not a god." One man said, "The woman [Lele-mahoa-lani]who was on the ship says that they groan when they are hurt. When the woman sticks her nails into them they say, 'You scratch like an owl; your nails are too long; you claw like a duck!' and more that she did not understand." The natives tried to provoke Lono to wrath to see whether he would be angry. They reasoned, "Perhaps the god will not be angry because he has received offerings of hogs, clothing, red fish, bananas, and coconuts, and the god Lono has been propitiated." The natives accordingly went on board the ship and took some iron. The sailors caught them stealing it and shot them; then a fight began. One of the sailors grasped the canoe of a certain chief named Palea who was an intimate friend of Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu. Palea defied the sailor, thrusting him to one side. Another sailor ran toward them and struck Palea down with a club. The natives fell upon the sailor, but Palea recovered consciousness, and the fighting ceased. They were afraid lest Lono kill them, hence they stopped fighting.*

    Palea no longer believed in the divinity of Lono and he plotted to steal a boat. He and his men secretly took a boat from Lono's ship and, conveying it to Onouli, they broke it up in order to get the iron in it, also perhaps because they were angry with the white men for striking Palea with a club. It was this theft of a boat by Palea that led to the fight in which Captain Cook was killed. When Captain Cook and the sailors awoke in the morning and found their boat gone they were troubled; so Captain Cook went ashore at Kaʻawaloa to inquire about the boat of Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu, the ruling chief. Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu denied any knowledge of the affair, saying, "I know nothing about it; perhaps the natives stole it and carried it away." Possibly Captain Cook did not quite understand what Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu said. He returned to the ship, and the officers discussed the affair and resolved to take the high chief Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu on board and hold him there until the boat was found and restored, when he was to be given his liberty. It was resolved that an officer be chosen to fetch the chief; and an officer and some marines were selected and armed with swords and guns for the purpose of bringing the chief on board the next day. However, because on that day, Thursday, Febuary 14, the officer appointed for the duty was ill, Captain Cook took his place.

    Cook landed with his company at Kaʻawaloa between Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu's place at ʻAwili and Keawe-a-heulu's at Hanamua. As a result of the conference held in the men's eating house before Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu, his older chiefs, and his sons, Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu consented to go on board the ship. Ke-ku-hau-piʻo, meanwhile, seeing Cook on his way to Kaʻawaloa. hastily set out from Keʻei with another chief named Ka-limu. The strangers, seeing a man sitting at the outrigger of the canoe wearing a feather cape, shot at him. The shot struck Ka-limu and killed him. Ke-ku-hau-piʻo then hurriedly turned back and landed at Kaʻawaloa. Just then Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu and some of the chiefs dressed in chiefly array and carrying their war-clubs, appeared on the shore, ready to go on board the ship. Ke-ku-hau-piʻo cried, "O heavenly one! stop! it is not safe on the sea; Ka-limu is dead. Go back to the house." When Ka-lola heard that Ka-limu was dead, shot by the strangers, she ran out of the sleeping house, threw her arms about the shoulders of Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu and said, "O heavenly one! let us go back!" Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu turned to go back. Captain Cook tried to grasp him by the hand, but Ka-lani-mano-o-ka-hoʻowaha stuck his club in the way, and Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu was borne away by his chiefs and warriors to Maunaloia, and the fight began. Captain Cook struck Ka-lani-mano-o-ka-hoʻowaha with his sword, slashing one side of his face from temple to cheek. The chief with a powerful blow of his club knocked Captain Cook down against a heap of lava rock. Captain Cook groaned with pain. Then the chief knew that he was a man and not a god, and, that mistake ended, he struck him dead together with four other white men. The rest of the party fled to their boats and shot the gun, and many of the Hawaiians were killed. Some of those who were skillful with the sling, shot stones after the boat. Of one of these named Moa the strangers said, "Mahi-moa is a bad one. He twists his sling and the stone flies forth. He who flees, dies; he who stands still, lives."

    When the strangers on the ship knew that their chief was dead, they shot their guns from the ship while the natives tried to ward off the shots with sleeping mats. The bodies of Captain Cook and the four men who died with him were carried to Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu at Maunaloia, and the chief sorrowed over the death of the captain. He dedicated the body of Captain Cook, that is, he offered it as sacrifice to the god with a prayer to grant life to the chief (himself) and to his dominion. Then they stripped the flesh from the bones of Lono. The palms of the hands and the intestines were kept; the remains (pela) were consumed with fire. The bones Ka-lani-ʻopuʻu was kind enough to give to the strangers on board the ship, but some were saved by the kahunas and worshiped.

    Eight days after the death of Captain Cook, friendly relations were resumed with those on board the ship. On Monday, February 23, the ship sailed and it anchored at Kauai on the 29th of that month to get water and food supplies, then sailed to Niihau and got a supply of yams, potatoes, and hogs. On March 15, the ship sailed into the blue and disappeared. This was the end of Captain Cook's voyages of exploration among these islands . . .*

    Captain Cook was a [man of] Britain famous for his explorations in the Indian, Atlantic, and the Pacific oceans. He discovered lands in the ocean which were [previously] unknown. He had been but a short time in Hawaii when God punished him for his sin. It was not the fault of the Hawaiian people that they held him sacred and paid him honor as a god worshiped by the Hawaiian people. But because he killed the people he was killed by them without mercy, and his entrails were used to rope off the arena, and the palms of his hands used for fly swatters at a cock fight. Such is the end of a transgressor. The seeds that he planted here have sprouted, grown, and become the parents of others that have caused the decrease of the native population of these islands. Such are gonorrhea, and other social disease; prostitution; the illusion of his being a god [which led to] worship of him; fleas and mosquitoes; epidemics. All of these things have led to changes in the air which we breathe; the coming of things which weaken the body; changes in plant life; changes in religion; changes in the art of healing; and changes in the laws by which the land is governed.*






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