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Ka Moʻolelo o Kalaniʻōpuʻu

Updated: Mar 11, 2021

Ruling Chiefs Pg. 76-77


He Moʻolelo kēia ...Ater a fight at Kalepolepo there was a battle between Alapaʻinui amd Kalaniopuʻu with their chiefs and warriors at Paʻieʻie adjoining Puaʻaloa. There after a great battle was fought at Kualoa and Mokualele all the way to Mahinaakaaka, at which Kalaniʻōpuʻu nearly died. Cornered on all side, he slipped on the pahoehoe and two strong warriors siezed him one on either side; but the high cheif Kalaniʻōpuʻu summoned all his strength killing the two great warriors and two more that were almost upon him. When two more lua warriors came upon Kalaniʻōpuʻu and siezed this high chief, he held them off, one with his powerful right hand and another with his left hand and he boasted these words for all to hear and remember:



He moku Kaʻula i hoa me Niʻihau


I Kaulua ia Kawaihoa a Kāne


O Kaulana a ka la i Halalii la


Hala ka la nalo ma Lehua


Hiki ka molehulehu o ke ahiahi


Moe e no Kauai i luna ka la


E ao ana o Lehua i ke kai


Kaʻula is a companion to Niihau

On these islands are the living waters brought forth by Kane.

Kane shines bright over Halaliʻi

The sun passes by and sets at Lehua

The dusk of evening approaches quickly

Kauai sleeps, here the sun sets

Lehua lies shining in the sea







These two men I now hold both have life from Kane.

They are warriors in full strength, they are soon to die.

Early death approaches them both

Glorious in battle is this high chief


Kalaniʻōpuʻus lua fighters were victorious on that day. The chief then realized how powerful his following was in warrior and chiefs and how strong he himself was to break the bones of seasoned warriors with his strong hands.


After studying this moʻolelo and this chant by Kalaniʻōpuʻu very carefully do you know what this type of chant is for and what term we call it in our Lua ? There is much kaona in his words as our kupuna were and still are proficient in poetic thinking. Let us know what you think of the moʻolelo and more importantly what is important to understand about the words that were uttered by our Chiefly warrior on the battle field that day. His words were so stong that they were memorized by those at the battle and passed down to us today.. some things to consider where do you think these place names in the moʻolelo are located today? Did you get any impression of how Kalanʻōpuʻu's character was? Have you ever wondered what would you do if you were in his kamʻaa? And lastly what is important in the words he boasted that day?


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