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Kalaniopu'u his make loa


Death of Kalani‘ōpu‘u and a List of Progeny

August 4, 1921

After Kamehameha left his uncle, after a long stay at Kamā‘oa, Kalani‘ōpu‘u moved from that place of the heiau where Kamehameha and Kīwala‘ō had been instructed, and he stayed at Ka‘alu‘alu. After some time he then moved to Kalae, that waterless place of Ka‘ū. Because of the lack of water Kalani‘ōpu‘u organized digging for water at the juncture of the cliff of Mōlīlele. This was under the guidance of a certain kahuna named Naonaoaina, the cousin of Nu‘uanukapahu [Nu‘uanupā‘ahu] a kahuna who had been killed by the bite of a shark at Pololū, North Kohala.33 Kalani‘ōpu‘u trusted in the guidance of this kahuna who had boasted that he would truly get delicious water from the cliff of Mōlīlele, and also at a place called Kā‘iliki‘i.

A float was made in the sea and upon it stood the water diggers who dug in the cliff with stone daggers, with the thought of getting water.

However, after the passage of some time of digging in that cliff, there was not the least splash of water, which caused irritation to Kalani‘ōpu‘u. Because there was no water he became enraged at that kahuna, Naonaoaina, and ordered him to be hung on the scaffolding floating on the sea where he died by the order of King Kalani‘ōpu‘u. That digging for water by King Kalani‘ōpu‘u was called the Hanging Water (Liwai) of Kalani‘ōpu‘u. Perhaps this was the reason that the chiefess Ululani, wife of John T. Baker, was called Liwai. Also, John Ena was called Liwai because of this single act. It was said that these were people connected to that name Ululani and perhaps this was the reason these two were named for that famous action of King Kalani‘ōpu‘u.34

33 In versions told by Kamakau (1961:106) and Fornander (1969:200–01), Nu‘uanupā‘ahu died at Pololū of wounds he received while fending off a shark as he surfed near Hala‘ula, Kohala.

34 The connection implied between the name Liwai and Ululani is not clear.


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

After the failure of this work by Kalani‘ōpu‘u, he desired to go to Kona, therefore he left Kalae and stayed at Kā‘iliki‘i, at Waio‘ahukini. While he was living there he became ill with the ma‘i ‘ōku‘u [squatting sickness], and the knowledge of the kāhuna was unable to save him from that sickness. He died there at a time thought to be in the month of April 1782.

Perhaps it would be appropriate to tell of some wives of this ruler of Hawai‘i Nui Kuauli, and some of the descendants who issued from these various wives.

l. Kalola. She was the first wife of Kalani‘ōpu‘u, of very high blood, the daughter of King Kekaulike of Maui, and a sister of King Kahekili, the constant opponent of Kalani‘ōpu‘u. Kalani‘ōpu‘u was constantly defeated by his brother-in-law on various battlefields. From this high chiefess of Maui and Kalani‘ōpu‘u was born Kauikeouli [Kauikeaouli] Kīwala‘ō, the heir to whom Kalani‘ōpu‘u bequeathed the kingdom of the island of Hawai‘i.

2. Kamakolunuiokalani. She was the daughter of Kalanikamahao (k) and Wao (w) of Lahaina and that famous place was called Watercourse of Wao. With this wife he had a daughter named Pualinui, the mother of Luahiwa (k), a high chief of Lahaina, Maui.

3. Hākau. Daughter of Moana (w) and Heulu (k), the son of ‘Umi‘ulaika‘ahumanumanu (w) and Kapahiahuakane (k).With this wife Kalani‘ōpu‘u had a son, Kawelookalaninui (k).

4. Kalaniwahineuli. The daughter of Heulu (k) and Kahikiokalani (w). With this wife Kalani‘ōpu‘u had Kaleipaihala (k), who was the great-grandfather of Queen Emma Kaleleonalani.

5. Kānekapolei. Daughter of Kauakahiakua (k) and Umimoku (w), who were of the high-ranking family of Maui. By this wife Kalani‘ōpu‘u had twin sons, named Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula (k) and Keōuape‘e‘ale (k), the first named of whom contended with Kamehameha later on.


Muolehua. The daughter of Ka‘aloa‘api‘ilani (k) and Kāneikaheilani


of the high chiefs of Kaua‘i. Born to Kalani‘ōpu‘u and this wife

was Manoua (w), the grandmother of Asa Kā‘eo, and a great-grandmother of Peter Kā‘eo Kekuaokalani and his younger brother Albert




Kekupuohi. The daughter of Moana (w) and Kulaohe [Kukalohe]

(k), the only wife with whom Kalani‘ōpu‘u had no children.


Chapter 5 • The Death of Kalani‘ōpu‘u and a Power Struggle

We are able, O reader, to know the numbers of chiefs who came from this famous ruler of Hawai‘i Nui Kuauli, who was the own uncle of King Kamehameha, the very famous kingdom conqueror of the Pacific Ocean.

There are many parts of the various histories in the numerous stories written by the historians of the conqueror, but the one who writes here of the famous warrior of Ke‘ei selects the places where Kekūhaupi‘o enters into matters pertaining to the life of Kamehameha. The ali‘i Kamehameha was the great favorite of Kekūhaupi‘o and his uncles, who taught him the ancient martial arts of the land. Not only that, but Kekūhaupi‘o was affectionately attached to his foster son, and Kamehameha was extremely important in the life of this famous warrior of that ancient time. We have seen in the recent issues of this story of the famous conqueror of the pampering of their ali‘i, and how the uncles of Kekūhaupi‘o carried Kamehameha on their backs from that place where they left Waio‘ahukini in the district of Ka‘ū. We shall continue our story with the interweaving of some famous deeds by Kamehameha in this story of the famous warrior of “Ke‘ei o lalo lilo.” On the death of Kalani‘ōpu‘u at that place previously described, the chiefs entered into the court of the dead king with dirges of lamentation, and it was said that mourning by some of the chiefs and chiefesses lasted almost six months. The prominent chiefs who entered into this period of mourning were Keawemauhili, the high chief of the Hilo districts; Kānekoa, the district chief of Hāmākua; Ke‘eaumoku Pāpa‘iaheahe, of Keālia, South Kona; the sacred twins of Keawepoepoe, Kamanawa and Kame‘eiamoku; Kalani‘ōpu‘u’s own sons Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula and Keōuape‘e‘ale of Ka‘ū, and Kawelaokalani of Kahalu‘u, North Kona; Pualinui of Pu‘uokapolei, Olowalu, Maui; Kaleipaihala of Kailua, North Kona; and the numerous wives of King Kalani‘ōpu‘u and the lesser chiefs of his court. Keaweaheulu and Ululani, the mother of Keaweokahikona, and Kapi‘olani did not enter into this confusion of mourning because these high chiefs of the land were staying at Kohala with Kamehameha. However, when the death of Kalani‘ōpu‘u was heard of, Kamehameha and his court entered into mourning, although their behavior was not similar to that of those at the court of Kīwala‘ō, the heir to the kingdom bequeathed to him by his father.


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

It was said that the mourning at Kīwala‘ō’s court for his father lasted almost six months, and after that time some chiefs who did not like Kamehameha met with Kīwala‘ō and demanded that war be made on Kamehameha. In the minds of those chiefs there was jealousy because Kalani‘ōpu‘u had given Kamehameha the war god Kūkā‘ilimoku which had been Kalani‘ōpu‘u’s war god, as well as giving Kamehameha the power to guard all the heiau. This was a very high power much thought of in those times because it was the power which would gain the island. This demand of the chiefs to make war on Kamehameha was recorded in Ka Moolelo Hawaii [The History of Hawaii] by Rev. J.F. Pogue.35 Also, the thought of making war in order to snatch lands was entertained by the chiefs of Hilo, Puna, and Hāmākua. They wanted to seize the two Kona districts for in those days the two Kona districts were thought of as the makaha which furnished a good living for the rulers, and those districts were also desirable because of their pleasant living conditions—they were lands possessed of everything needful for existence. Perhaps because of this grumbling about seizing land, the chiefs of the Kona districts left the court of Kīwala‘ō and returned to their own lands. They were those twins, Kamanawa and Kame‘eiamoku, joined by the father of Ka‘ahumanu, Ke‘eaumoku Pāpa‘iaheahe, and some other chiefs of the Kona districts.

In order, however, to fulfill this thought of war by those chiefs of the east side of the island of Hawai‘i, it was decided in advance to take the embalmed body (ke kino i‘a loa ia) 36 of King Kalani‘ōpu‘u to Haleokeawe at Hōnaunau, but to disembark the body of Kalani‘ōpu‘u at Kailua and return him to Haleokeawe by land. This would be the sign that the Kona districts would pass to King Kīwala‘ō’s favorite chiefs.

35 See the referenced account in Pogue (1978:77–79).

36 Two references to embalming (i‘a loa) state that the body was cut open, the inner parts removed and the cavity filled with salt (Malo 1951:97; Kamakau 1964:33–34).


Chapter 5 • The Death of Kalani‘ōpu‘u and a Power Struggle

Kalani‘ōpu‘u’s Funeral Journey to Kona

August 11, 1921

Perhaps it would be well for us to lay aside the preparations at the court of PKīwala‘ō to take the body of King Kalani‘ōpu‘u to Haleokeawe at Hōnaunau, and turn to Kamehameha and his famous warrior Kekūhaupi‘o.

On the arrival of Kamehameha at Kohala under the guidance of Kekūhaupi‘o and Keaweaheulu, his first task was the construction of four long hālau to shelter his people and gather them together for instruction in martial arts. These shelters were built at a place called ‘Āinakea, close to Kapa‘au, where the statue of the famous kingdom conqueror of the Pacific now stands. At the same time that these shelters were being built, he encouraged farming and fishing. He soon realized that the way to attract the chiefs and commoners was to furnish their calabashes with vegetable food (‘ai) and their meat dishes with fish (i‘a) and to make the men sturdy and ready for instruction in martial arts. Kamehameha also, with the aid of Kekūhaupi‘o, began to build up the armies who were famous afterwards, the Hunalele and the Huelokū. Kekūhaupi‘o and his uncles assisted in the instruction of these armies of young men of the court of Kamehameha. While the court of Kīwala‘ō was in mourning those on Kamehameha’s side were being prepared. Also, the two years while King Kalani‘ōpu‘u was still alive, after Kamehameha had left his uncle’s court, had been spent in preparation. Therefore we, O reader, are able to understand this important truth. While his cousin was conspiring with those chiefs with bad thoughts, who were from the east side of the island, this young chief of the west was preparing himself. He was taking those actions which would furnish his court with the necessities, and defend against attack by his enemies. This was a truly wise act by this chief of the west, and perhaps we, O reader, shall see the value of these actions by Kamehameha, assisted by his war instructor and some other chiefs of his court.

It was said in the story of the kingdom conqueror that his men were treated as favorites and he fulfilled those words of instruction by his uncle, King Kalani‘ōpu‘u: “Return to your birthplace and take care of the chiefs and the commoners (mālama i ke kanaka nui me ke kanaka iki).” It is true that these good actions by Kamehameha


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

made him beloved of his people, and he formed a close bond with his previously mentioned armies. He used some of his time in entering personally into the tasks which would improve living conditions for his people as well as himself, nor did he teach the martial arts to empty stomachs, but to stomachs filled with vegetable food (‘ai) for which they had all worked and fish (i‘a) which they had all gone to catch. It is well at this place in our story to think of those persons who are strengthening the regeneration of our race, that we may reside in abundance upon this good land in which our ancestors’ skins were injured by the barbed spear.

Not only did Kamehameha direct the people who were performing these tasks, but he entered into the work with them, supported by his war instructor, Kekūhaupi‘o, and he heeded his good advice, which was that these activities would achieve the island in the future (Kū ai i ka moku ma ia hope mai).

In Ka Moolelo Hawaii written by Rev. J.F. Pogue,37 it was said that the main reason for the desire of the east Hawai‘i chiefs to make war on Kamehameha was because of their desire for Kona. Perhaps this is true; however, the real reason for their inciting to war was their envy of Kamehameha and the foundation of the malice these east side chiefs bore him began at the time of his birth. Their jealousy was aroused when Kamehameha triumphed over Kīwala‘ō at the heiau, when Kīwala‘ō took up the pig and Kamehameha took up the sacrificial corpse, and also when Kalani‘ōpu‘u bequeathed his war god Kūkā‘ilimoku to Kamehameha.

When the chiefs of the west side of the island realized the east side chiefs’ greed for land, they left Kīwala‘ō’s court at Ka‘ū and returned to their own lands. There they prepared to stand behind Kamehameha if the time of disaster should come. However, this opposition by the west side chiefs to Kīwala‘ō did not emerge until the very time it became widely known that Kīwala‘ō opposed and desired to make war on Kamehameha. We shall soon see the awakening of this desire for war on the part of Kīwala‘ō, when Kamehameha would be unable to avoid meeting his kinsman on the battlefield of Moku‘ōhai.

See the referenced account in Pogue (1978:78).


Chapter 5 • The Death of Kalani‘ōpu‘u and a Power Struggle

Just before the great mourning for King Kalani‘ōpu‘u was ended, Ke‘eaumoku Pāpa‘iaheahe left Kīwala‘ō’s court and went to stay at Honokua in Kapalilua [South Kona]. The chiefs of Hilo, Puna, and Hāmākua were staying at that time at Kīwala‘ō’s court, and the thoughts of war against Kamehameha were instigated by Keawemauhili, the high chief of Hilo. He was the chief who was thought to have uttered these words when Kamehameha was born: “Pinch off the tip of the young mulberry shoot.” It was said that when Kalani‘ōpu‘u was near death, he commanded Keawemauhili to take his bones to Haleokeawe at Hōnaunau, and perhaps this was true, but in the mind of this high chief of Hilo was the idea of making war on the Kona chiefs. However, above all, the undercurrent of his thoughts were upon the young chief Kamehameha. As a seer (kilo aupuni) of the kingdom he understood it would be unsuitable to make war on Kamehameha without some kind of wrongdoing as an excuse for war. He knew that attempting to take the lands of the Kona districts would bring about war with the Kona chiefs, and perhaps Kamehameha would be dragged into this war. We know, O reader, of the fulfillment of this thought of the high chief of Hilo.

Keawemauhili announced that the bones of Kalani‘ōpu‘u would be taken to Haleokeawe at Hōnaunau, and preparations were begun to take the body of the dead king there. However, the remarkable thing about this was the accompaniment on this sea journey by the numerous warriors of this chief of the east, joined by the warriors of the court of Ka‘ū, on a great many canoes which had been ordered for this journey.

The chiefs who entered on this funeral journey on the sea were, first, Keawemauhili, the son of the high chief Kalaninui‘īamamao and Kekaulikeikawēkiuonālanialii (w), and the sons of Kalani‘ōpu‘u, Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula and his brother Keōuape‘e‘ale, and King Kīwala‘ō, and also followed by Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula’s wife who was named Kaiolani (w) and their daughter of very high rank, Wailuanuihoano (w). These [two] Keōua were the own sons of Kalani‘ōpu‘u and Kānekapolei (w). They were followed by Kānekoa of Hāmākua, and Ahia of Puna, and another chief named Keohuhu, and also Nae‘ole, foster father of Kamehameha, and Hewahewanui, from whose sister was born Hewahewa, the kahuna nui of


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

Kamehameha at the time of the restoration of the heiau Pu‘ukohola.38 The wives of Kalani‘ōpu‘u went overland, carried on mānele by young chiefs, with each of the mānele draped in a feather cloak, and with kāhili carried alongside.

The funeral journey at sea was made up of many canoes following the royal canoe which carried the body of the dead king. The entire sea was covered over with the many canoes of the chiefs and also the commoners. Perhaps such a funeral procession at sea had never been seen before. The air was full of the sounds of mourning of chiefs and commoners alike, and resounded from the cliffs of that part of Ka‘ū. When the fleet left Waio‘ahukini, the canoes were ordered in this fashion:

Keawemauhili Insults the Kona Chiefs

August 18, 1921

The large canoe carried the high chief Keawemauhili of Hilo, who was the grand marshal of the funeral. Following his great canoe was the canoe which carried the corpse of King Kalani‘ōpu‘u, and after it was the great canoe carrying King Kīwala‘ō, the sacred high chief to whom Kalani‘ōpu‘u had bequeathed the kingdom of Hawai‘i.

Just after the canoe of the young king was the canoe of his brothers, Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula and Keōuape‘e‘ale. These canoes following the canoe carrying the corpse of Kalani‘ōpu‘u were covered with the feathers of the ‘apapane bird. The canoe carrying Kalani‘ōpu‘u’s body was a peleleu type and at the bow of this canoe stood the sacred kāhili named ‘Ele‘eleualani and Kauaka‘ahonua. These were kāhili set up for high chiefs only from time immemorial.

On the canoe of young King Kīwala‘ō stood the kāhili named Hawai‘iloa, surrounded by the banners of the high chief, known by the names of Kaiwakiloumoku and Kaukalihoano. Kīwala‘ō’s canoe was covered over with great feather cloaks, and on the canoe of his brothers were placed the emblems of the high chiefs who were known as the sacred twins of Kalani‘ōpu‘u.

38 The name of this heiau is commonly written as Pu‘ukoholā because the name is believed to mean “hill of the whale (koholā).” In the December 14, 1922, issue, Desha says the name is derived from the desire (pu‘u) for death to be secured within the lagoon (kai kohola) that lies off-shore of the heiau. To honor Desha’s explanation, Pu‘ukohola is used throughout the text.


Chapter 5 • The Death of Kalani‘ōpu‘u and a Power Struggle

When the funeral fleet arrived at Kapalilua, Ke‘eaumoku and some chiefs of the Kona districts met it and boarded Keawemauhili’s canoe. They wailed for the dead king. When the wailing ceased, Ke‘eaumoku asked Keawemauhili this question: “Where shall the body of the king be laid?” When Keawemauhili heard this question he sat silent for a time, saying to himself: “Tshah! Having heard the word of the king to take his body to Hōnaunau, this is a mischievous question.” Because Keawemauhili was irritated at this question by Ke‘eaumoku he replied in a harsh voice: “The body of the king will be placed at Kailua.” Because of this reply by Keawemauhili, Ke‘eaumoku immediately understood the thought behind the reply. He was not the only one who understood, but also some other Kona chiefs who had sailed with him to see this funeral journey. They realized that the chiefs of the east side of Hawai‘i, by this journey were seeking a reason to initiate war between the chiefs of Hawai‘i’s west side and those of the east side. The idea behind the words that the body of the king would be placed at Kailua and then returned to Haleokeawe at Hōnaunau was that the lands between Kailua and Hōnaunau would go to the new favorites of the new king.

Because of Ke‘eaumoku’s observation and knowledge, he understood that this action sought a fault as a reason for the East Hawai‘i chiefs to make war, and he immediately thought of Kamehameha. Ke‘eaumoku returned ashore and immediately sent his swift messenger to order the Kohala chiefs to come quickly prepared for war and to see the corpse of King Kalani‘ōpu‘u. This news was also communicated to the district chiefs of Kona, commanding them to prepare for this land-snatching deed by East Hawai‘i’s plundering chiefs.

When the funeral canoes neared Kailua a very strong storm broke at sea, with mountainous waves, hard gusts of wind, and pelting rain so that the canoes were unable to go on and turned back to land at Hōnaunau. This great storm became a subject for conversation amongst some chiefs, and commoners also, who thought that it was because the wish of the dead king had not been carried out and that the gods opposed this action by Keawemauhili and his companions. They truly did land at Hōnaunau, and the corpse of Kalani‘ōpu‘u was laid before the Haleokeawe, and when this was done quiet descended upon the fragrant land in the calm of ‘Ehu.


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

This caused great astonishment in some people. Discussion broke out amongst the chiefs, who saw the work of the gods in this. Because of the attempt not to carry out the wish of the dead king this great storm, unprecedented in the entire Kona districts, had occurred.

At this time the body of the king was placed in a well-plaited coconut leaf shelter (hālau niu, a i nanala maika‘i loa ia) where it could be viewed and it was placed there so that chiefs and commoners could mourn for their lord who had gone on the road to Kāne’s invisible beyond. While the chiefs of Kona and the commoners were viewing the body, the voice of Keawemauhili, the marshal, was heard making an announcement which disturbed some Kona chiefs.

‘Auhea ‘oukou e nā ali‘i me nā maka‘āinana o ka haku ali‘i o kākou: The last command of our lord was to return his body to Kona and that Kanuha would care for it. This perhaps is the night of Akua, and perhaps the day in Kona is Akua.” When the Kona chiefs who had gathered to see the dead king heard this, it caused anger in their minds because it appeared as though their land was being called a land of ghosts [akua a pejorative term]. They applied this word to the taunting chant by Kamapua‘a to Pele, which is told in the famous story about the woman of the pit, which caused a battle between Kamapua‘a and the supernatural woman of Kīlauea. Here is that mischievous chant by Kamapua‘a, reciprocating the insult by Pele to him:39

Mākole mākole ‘akahi,Red-eyed, red-eyed, as no one else,Hele i kai o Pīheka,Go to the lowland of Pīheka,He aha ka ‘ai e ‘ai ai?What does she eat?He lihilihi pau i ke akua,That which has been left by the ghost,He akua lā, he akua,A ghost, a ghost,

He akua, nā ali‘i o Kona.The chiefs of Kona are ghosts.

These oblique words by Keawemauhili caused great offense to the Kona chiefs, and they guessed that Keawemauhili sought to irritate them and find fault in order to justify making war.

However, none of the Kona chiefs showed their annoyance at these words by Keawemauhili, but they kept it within themselves and discussed amongst themselves

39 The context of this chant can be seen within a longer version of this chant published by Fornander (1916–1920:[5]339).


Chapter 5 • The Death of Kalani‘ōpu‘u and a Power Struggle

these last words of the high chief of Hilo. This was the seed scattered for the bitterness to come. At this time when these words were causing pain to the Kona chiefs, Kamehameha had arrived at Ka‘ūpūlehu in Kekaha in North Kona, having been fetched by Kekūhaupi‘o. After he had assisted Kamehameha in his preparations he had left Kamehameha for almost six months and gone to stay with some of his uncles at La‘aloa, adjoining Kaumalumalu.

On hearing the news that the body of Kalani‘ōpu‘u was being taken to Kona, Kekūhaupi‘o, by his status as kahuna and kuhikuhipu‘uone, had a premonition of the coming fight between the two chiefs. He hastened to Kohala to fetch his foster son, to go with him to the place where the body of the dead king was being taken. Kekūhaupi‘o found Kamehameha enjoying himself at games of lele kawa and also dallying with a woman. He was accompanied in these activities by his younger brother, Kaleimamahū. In accordance with his independence as a chief, and also as a chief over Ke‘ei, as well as his status as a kahuna well seasoned in this profession, he spoke directly and without reservations to his chiefly foster son:

I have seen you, O chief, given over to pleasure with a woman. This is of no value—the warrior has only one work of value, to rule the island, then you can have to do with women, because you will have the tree of Mākālei40 which will attract the fish. The care and worship of the god is that which will gain you the island. Therefore, my heavenly one, I have come to fetch you to return to Kona and join with your elders who are residing at Kona. Stand, my lord, and take with you the little man and the big man for the meeting which will gain the island. Your side has been prepared in advance.

Kīwala‘ō Humiliates Kamehameha During ‘Awa Ceremony

August 25, 1921

When Kamehameha heard these harsh words from his chiefly guardian and instructor, his feelings were not hurt. He assented agreeably and, quickly preparing himself and his relatives, he boarded the canoes which had been readied,

40 Mākālei is the legendary supernatural fish-attracting tree of Kawainui Pond, O‘ahu (Sterling and Summers 1978:230–31). It is also the name of the supernatural tree of Moloka‘i whose roots were placed by fishpond gates to attract fish (Pukui and Elbert 1986:226).


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

with a command to his warriors to follow after their leader. Kamehameha sailed with Kekūhaupi‘o and stayed at Mapulehu [Ka‘ūpūlehu], awaiting the appropriate time to go and see the body of his royal uncle.

Because of the words uttered by Keawemauhili, the feelings of the Kona chiefs had been hurt. That, together with the words Keawemauhili had spoken to Ke‘eaumoku on board the canoe about returning the body of the king to Kailua, made it quite clear that the east side chiefs had the plunder of the land in mind. With those hurt feelings the chiefs of the west side of the island only awaited an appropriate reason to desert Kīwala‘ō and join themselves behind the nī‘aupi‘o chief Kamehameha. Perhaps, O reader, we shall soon see the arrival of this time and the fault from which arose the war between the two kinsmen, and the fulfillment of the words of the ancestors: “The navel cord between the kinsmen is cut.” On the evening of a certain day after the funeral canoes had landed at Hōnaunau, the body of King Kalani‘ōpu‘u was finally taken into the Haleokeawe. Kamehameha and Kekūhaupi‘o arrived that evening on which the corpse of Kalani‘ōpu‘u was taken within the sacred walls of Haleokeawe.

When the king’s body had been placed in the area prepared for it, a ceremonial offering of ‘awa was made for Kīwala‘ō and also to ceremonially cleanse the kapu corpse. We must understand at this place that this task was to be performed by Kamehameha because he was the one to whom the war god had been bequeathed, as well as the care of all the heiau. Kamehameha sat down and he himself chewed and strained the ‘awa for himself and his kinsman Kīwala‘ō. These are the things which were combined with what Kamehameha chewed. When the pieces of chewed ‘awa became soft, there stood ready two kinds of water: a container of spring water and water combined with turmeric (ōlena). Placed in these containers were mahiki grass and nāwāhineikapumeka‘a grass.

The liquid strained into their ‘awa cups was the water of the niu lelo coconut and the juice of the Pi‘ihonua sugar cane which had been squeezed. The first liquid was strained into the cup of Kīwala‘ō, the second, with the Pi‘ihonua sugar cane juice was put in Kamehameha’s cup. The third cup was the one offered to the god. The liquid mixed in this cup of ‘awa was the water of the niu hiwa, or black coconut, that had been brought from Wailua, Kaua‘i, which had become the water for Kalani‘ōpu‘u’s war god.


Chapter 5 • The Death of Kalani‘ōpu‘u and a Power Struggle

Kamehameha poured the three cups. When they were ready he took hold of the third cup which was to be offered to the god, and he offered this prayer to the god:41

Eia ka ‘awa e ke akua,Here is the ‘awa O god,He ‘awa lani wale nō,Choicest ‘awa only,He ‘ai na ke kamaiki,Food for the child [the offerer],Inu aku i ka ‘awa laulani,Drink of the prized leafed ‘awa,I ka ‘awa a Kāne i kanuOf the ‘awa of Kāne, plantedi Kahiki,in Kahiki,A ulu, a lau, a o‘o nō i Kahiki,Which grew, leafed and maturedin Kahiki,A kā ‘ia a‘ela, a mama ‘iaFrom him who chewed innō i ka waha,his mouth,Kū i ke kāhe‘e i ka ‘apu.[It] stands ready to be poured.‘O Hoakaailanika‘āinaola,O heavenly being whose shadows fallupon the land of the living,Iā kini akua,To the myriad gods,Iā ‘oe ho‘i e Kū, ua ola ho‘i,To you, O Kū, you who are life,Eia ke kaikū, ke kaiala,Here is the still sea, the rising sea,ke kaiola,the living sea,Ke kai pupule, ke kai,The crazy sea, the insane sea,hehena, ke kai ‘ūlala,the unbalanced sea,Kai ‘aumakua, kai nu‘u,Ancestral sea, billowy sea, rising sea,kai ea,Kai po‘i, kai ‘īnana, ke kaiCrashing sea, wrathful sea,pili‘aikū ē,overwhelming seaUa puni,Which surrounds us,Ua puni ho‘i nā moku i ke kai,The islands are surrounded by the sea,‘O hu‘ahu‘akai wale,Everywhere is the foam of the sea,‘o Napenape ka wai;the water ripples;‘O ka wai ‘eli a ke koena.This is the water [to mix with the‘awa] and what remains of it.‘O ke au miki, a ‘o ke au kā,O receding current, O rising current,Au kā iho, a au kā aku,Smiting within, smiting without,Au kā i uka, a au kā i kai,O current that runs ashore, that runsback to the sea,I ka ‘ale ‘ī, a i ka ‘ale moe,O rising billow, flattening billow,I ka ‘ale hōkai ho‘i ē,O billow that mingles and rises again,I Kahiki ē,At Kahiki,

This prayer in which Kamehameha offers ‘awa to his war god also appears in the newspaper series written by Poepoe (1905–06: Jan. 15, 1906). This translation is by M.K. Pukui (Barrère 1986:125).


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

‘O ka lana a Kahiki,O float there at Kahiki,A hiki, he nei make,42Arrive there and be still,Iā ‘oe lā e Lono;Hearken O Lono;Iā Kūikekala,O Kū the releaser,Iā Lonoika‘uweke,To Lono who opens,Iā Kāneikapōhāka‘a,To Kāne of the rolling stones,Hōka‘a ‘ia mai ke alo oRoll hither to the presence of theka moku,moku [Kīwala‘ō],Eia, ka ‘awa lā,Here is the ‘awa,Iā Kānehoalani, huli maiHearken Kāne companion of heaven,ko ka lani,turn hither those of heaven,Iā Kānelūhonua, lū maiO Kāne earth shaker, shake hitherko ka honua,those of the earth,Iā Kānehuliko‘a, huli mai nāTo Kāne the coral overturner, turnko‘a ‘āina a me nā ko‘a kai,hither land coral and the sea coral,Iā Kāneikawaiola, huli maiO Kāne of the water of life, turn hitherke kai me ka wai,the salt and the waters,Iā Kāneikapōhāka‘a, ke ho‘okōO Kāne of the rolling stone, I amaku nei wau i ka ‘awa,fulfilling [the ritual of] the‘awa [ceremony],Iā Lonomakua pau loa nāO parents of Lono, all the ‘aumākua‘aumākua a me ke akua,and great gods,Hele wale ‘o ke alaloa.Go [thou] on the long trail.Ua noa ka ‘awa lā,The ‘awa [ceremony] has beenmade free,E ho‘i ke kapu a nā paenihoLet the kapu return to you [literallyo ‘oukou,to your rows of teeth],‘Āmama, ua noa ka ‘awa.‘Āmama, the ‘awa [ceremony] is free[from kapu].

When Kamehameha completed the chant which has been shown, he took hold of an ‘awa cup and gave it to his kinsman, Kīwala‘ō, believing that he would drink it. Kīwala‘ō took hold of the ‘awa cup and gave it to his favorite friend, whose name was Kuikuipua, a grandson of Kalakauaehu [son of] Kamalālāwalu of the Bays of Pi‘ilani [Maui], one of the rulers of Maui in times past. When Kekūhaupi‘o saw Kīwala‘ō giving away that cup of the ‘awa which

Kamehameha himself had masticated, at the very moment that Maui chief lifted the cup to drink, Kekūhaupi‘o dashed the cup from his hand so that the ‘awa scattered

42 In the version of this chant published by Poepoe (1905–06: Jan. 15, 1906), this line appears as

“A hiki a he nei make.”


Chapter 5 • The Death of Kalani‘ōpu‘u and a Power Struggle

and not a drop entered the mouth of that favorite of Kīwala‘ō. At that same moment Kekūhaupi‘o, that warrior of Ke‘ei, spoke these fearless words to the ruler, Kīwala‘ō:

You have done wrong by this action—you two are the chiefs who have the land and the god, as you heard very well the word of your king who lies here. You alone are the lord, over your kaikaina [younger cousin] who is performing this priestly work of the saving of life from sorcery.43 Your kaikaina is your subject as kahuna nui. The food given you, O chief, is for you, and not for anyone else. You have done great wrong in debasing your younger brother.

Without delay after these fearless words Kekūhaupi‘o exhorted his chiefly foster son: “Bestir yourself, stand up firmly and let us leave this place where you have been insulted, my heavenly one.” Kamehameha listened to these words and they left and boarded the canoe which awaited them. Kekūhaupi‘o, that brave man, had heard some chiefs of Kīwala‘ō’s court saying: “This is an act of rebellion by this warrior of Kamehameha.” With a fearless heart he turned toward those chiefs, always ready to defend the life of his foster son, then began his retreat, prepared, however, to fight if any of those chiefs should dare to harm the life of his foster son. He placed fear upon those chiefs who wished to fight. Not one of them attempted to bar the way of this famous warrior of Ke‘ei, and not one of them thought of attempting to bar the high nī‘aupi‘o chief Kamehameha from boarding his canoe. When they boarded the great canoe Kekūhaupi‘o ordered the stalwart paddlers to dip their paddles strongly as it was not known whether they would be followed.

They had a head start and the canoe of Pai‘ea Kamehameha had such a forward thrust that the strongest paddlers of Kīwala‘ō’s men were unable to follow after his incomparably fast canoe. Furthermore, those people within the house had been silenced as though seized by paralysis, by Kekūhaupi‘o’s forceful words.

After the departure of Kamehameha and Kekūhaupi‘o a great din of voices began amongst the chiefs who remained, some terming Kekūhaupi‘o’s actions and words to be haughty. At this same time, Keawemauhili called out to Kīwala‘ō these important words: “Ea, e Kalani ē, hewa lā [Heavenly one, a fault]!”

43 Kekūhaupi‘o is here reminding Kīwala‘ō that as kahuna kuni ola Kamehameha had the power to protect him from black magic.


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

War Conference and Kīwala‘ō Calls on Kamehameha

September 1, 1921

When Kīwala‘ō heard these words by Keawemauhili he did not reply a single word, perhaps because he realized he had done wrong and therefore sat mute.

At this same time some Ka‘ū chiefs, the Keōua twins, quickly stood up to return to Ka‘ū, for they realized that this action would lead to something extremely unpleasant. When these two stood up and left for Ka‘ū, Kaleipaihala, one of the nephews of Kalani‘ōpu‘u, also rose and returned to his place at the shore of Kaluhika‘a, Kawaihae, for these young chiefs of King Kalani‘ōpu‘u understood the wrongdoing of their lord toward Kamehameha. This young chief Kaleipaihala, who was perhaps the son of Keōua, turned to Kamehameha’s side at the time that the war began between Kamehameha and Kīwala‘ō. Also, the Keōua twins only stood and watched. However, at the time that Kīwala‘ō died, they turned and attempted to take the kingdom for themselves.

Let us return for a little bit to the time when Ke‘eaumoku Pāpa‘iaheahe met Keawemauhili at Kapalilua and heard the insolent words of a certain chief named Kaihekioi who talked a great deal about the place where the body of Kalani‘ōpu‘u was to be laid, to wit, the shore of Kailua, which perplexed the Kona chiefs. At that time, living at Ka‘ūpūlehu, Kekaha, where Kamehameha had landed on his journey from Kohala, was one of his twin uncles, Kame‘eiamoku, whose twin, Kamanawa was living at Kīholo. When Ke‘eaumoku Pāpa‘iaheahe heard those words about the body of Kalani‘ōpu‘u being taken as far as Kailua, he understood the thoughts of war of the eastern chiefs and he left the funeral canoe. He made his path straightaway that evening, after sending a swift messenger to Kamehameha to ask him to come to Kona. However, Kekūhaupi‘o had previously arrived at Kohala and told Kamehameha to go to Kona and join with his twin uncles. At this same time Kekūhaupi‘o openly spoke these words which the writer has not previously disclosed. Here are those words which Kekūhaupi‘o spoke before that ‘awa drinking with the kinsman.

It would be well if you would agree with my thought, my lord. Your haku kaikua‘ana [elder brother-lord] is taking the body of your uncle


Chapter 5 • The Death of Kalani‘ōpu‘u and a Power Struggle

to Hōnaunau, and if the idea in going there is good, then our existence in the future will be good, but, if they are coming with the thought of plundering land and giving it to new favorites to occupy, then it will not bode well for the future, and the land must be held by strength.

Kekūhaupi‘o spoke these words in advance to his foster son while they were still at Kohala, so that Kamehameha was aware of what was coming. If his royal kinsman had thoughts of taking the land, then there would be extensive bloodshed between them in the future.44 It was fully accepted when the Kona chiefs met to confer that Kekūhaupi‘o was to be the leader in organizing the battle to come, as we shall see in this beginning of the story of that famous warrior of Ke‘ei.

Before Kamehameha and Kekūhaupi‘o had sailed to Hōnaunau to that meeting of the ‘awa ceremony, Ke‘eaumoku Pāpa‘iaheahe had arrived at Ka‘ūpūlehu where Kamehameha was staying, and the Kona chiefs were called to come quickly to a meeting at that place as Kamehameha’s twin uncles were staying close by. When they had all gathered, Ke‘eaumoku Pāpa‘iaheahe disclosed his meeting with Keawemauhili and the funeral sea journey of King Kalani‘ōpu‘u, and the words spoken to him by Keawemauhili and that aggressive chief whose name has been previously mentioned, about extending the journey with the body of Kalani‘ōpu‘u as far as Kailua.

When the chiefs at that meeting heard this, their anger rose, but not one of them spoke of taking the lead in the action to come. As the chiefs of the Kona districts did not speak, Kekūhaupi‘o took the lead in speaking, and this is what he said to those chiefs gathered at Ka‘ūpūlehu at that time:

My thought to you, my lord and the chiefs gathered here with you, is that it would be well for us to go to Ka‘awaloa and Nāpo‘opo‘o, and as far as Ke‘ei, which will be the meeting place for our side. If there is trouble in battle, then the most excellent site to try our strength is Hauiki. Between Ke‘ei and Hōnaunau, the ground is pitted and there is much rough lava (‘a‘ā). Hauiki is the very best place for us to show our strength, if indeed there is to be war.

When Kamehameha and the other high chiefs heard these words of guidance by the famous warrior of Ke‘ei, they unanimously agreed with him.

44 The translation of this sentence is only a guess as the translator is puzzled by the text “a laila e kā loa aku ana nō i ka ‘ula loa ko lāua noho ‘ana aku o mua aku.”


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

On their approval of Kekūhaupi‘o’s words they immediately departed from Ka‘ūpūlehu in Kekaha, and moved toward that place of which Kekūhaupi‘o had spoken. Kamehameha and Kekūhaupi‘o moved to Ka‘awaloa, and Kamanawa and his twin Kame‘eiamoku moved to Nāpo‘opo‘o, and the war-loving father of Ka‘ahumanu, Ke‘eaumoku, went to stay at Ke‘ei.

When King Kīwala‘ō heard that Kamehameha had moved to Ka‘awaloa, he determined to go there to meet with his kinsman again, and perhaps to disclose some matters.

At their meeting at Ka‘awaloa, they wailed together in greeting. Kamehameha did not bear a grudge over the insulting behavior of his hoahānau ali‘i [chiefly cousin] toward him, in respect to that cup of ‘awa struck from the hand of [Kīwala‘ō’s] favorite by Kekūhaupi‘o. Kamehameha disclosed that he did not wish for war, as though he was forgiving what Kīwala‘ō had done before Kamehameha had seen the corpse (kino kupapa‘u) of his uncle. They wailed together in remembrance of the death of their makua kāne [father and uncle] and then Kīwala‘ō said to Kamehameha: “‘Auhea mai ‘oe e ku‘u pōki‘i: perhaps we two shall die. Our makua kāne is pressing the two of us to fight. Perhaps both of us will die in this war to which he is summoning us. Woe unto the two of us.” This makua kāne of Kīwala‘ō of whom he spoke was none other than Keawemauhili, the one who had said of old, when Kamehameha was born: “Pinch off the tip of the young mulberry shoot.” Under his leadership the body of Kalani‘ōpu‘u had almost been taken to Kailua, causing fear of loss of their land to grow in the high chiefs of the Kona districts.45 When Kīwala‘ō spoke of the warlike thoughts of the chiefs under him, he disclosed in advance the dream cherished by the chiefs who supported him, and this is something for the readers of Ka Hoku to understand. There was no thought on the part of Kamehameha to oppose his kinsman Kīwala‘ō in war. If Kīwala‘ō had acted justly toward the Kona chiefs, perhaps that very first battle at Moku‘ōhai would not have begun. However, let us go on to what preceded that famous Battle of Moku‘ōhai, which is told in the history of our race.

When Kamehameha heard these words by Kīwala‘ō, he responded amiably without understanding those words concerning war which Kīwala‘ō had spoken.

45 Some words are missing in this sentence so the translation is partly a reconstruction based on context.


Chapter 5 • The Death of Kalani‘ōpu‘u and a Power Struggle

“Tomorrow we shall go to see the corpse of the king, our makua ali‘i.” Kīwala‘ō approved of these words, and after they bade each other farewell, he returned to Hōnaunau.

On the next day Kamehameha and his chiefs, whose names have been previously mentioned, went to see the corpse of King Kalani‘ōpu‘u and to hear of the new division of lands by this new ruler of the island of Hawai‘i.

Kīwala‘ō Divides the Lands

September 8, 1921

On the arrival of Kamehameha and his people at Haleokeawe at Hōnaunau, the wails of mourning resounded, as this was the first time Kamehameha had seen the bodily remains of his uncle. When the chiefs’ wailing ended, young King Kīwala‘ō stood forth to make an announcement before the chiefs of the land. It was the custom amongst the chiefs of this land that when a ruler died, his land divisions also “died,” and the right to portion out land was inherited by the ruler who took his place. Therefore, the grants of land by Kalani‘ōpu‘u to his chiefs who had helped him in his wars became void, and the new king had the power to announce his new apportionments of land. If Kīwala‘ō had been just, and he had announced the continuation of his father’s land apportionments, then perhaps there would have been no reason for a fight between him and his kinsman, Kamehameha. Here are Kīwala‘ō’s words before the chiefs gathered there on that day:

‘Auhea ‘oukou, O chiefs and commoners gathered here: Two of us were given bequests by the dead: myself and my kaikaina [younger kinsman], Kamehameha. The bequest to my kaikaina was our god, Kūkā‘ilimoku, and the land previously given him by our makua kāne is his. I have no right to take this land, it is his. My bequest was the kingdom. I am the ruler over the entire kingdom. I cannot take the portion of land granted by our makua kāne, nor has he the right to take all the lands of the kingdom, all these lands are under my authority. That was the firm bequest of the deceased while he was alive, and you, O chiefs, heard these words by my father whose body lies before you today.


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

When the Kona chiefs heard these words by King Kīwala‘ō, which did not disclose his thoughts of new land apportionments, they grumbled amongst themselves and said:

How strange! How remarkable that our ruler has no word concerning occupancy in the future. He is taking the entire land for himself. He is not dividing the six land divisions equally between the two of them, three of the land divisions on the east for himself and his chiefs, and also three on the west for his kaikaina and his chiefs. All these districts are for him and his chiefs of the east side, and we shall all be impoverished under our new king, for it is clear who his favorites are in his court. There is only one thing that shall secure benefits for us, and that is a land war, and to the victor shall belong the land.

Kamehameha did not at all entertain thoughts of opposing his royal “brother” in war, but the chiefs under him demanded that, if they were to be impoverished as a consequence of having no land, it would be better for Kona’s high chiefs to fight and regain possession of the land. We shall see in the future, O reader, the bitter result of King Kīwala‘ō’s announcement.

Some days after this, Keawemauhili demanded that King Kīwala‘ō divide the land for the chiefs, and the persons who were in control of the kingdom.

Kīwala‘ō assented to Keawemauhili’s desire for land for himself and the chiefs who joined with him in those days, and at this same time, however, Kīwala‘ō said to Keawemauhili, being heard by the other chiefs in his presence: “I desired that the lands be divided and that some lands be granted to my kaikaina, Kamehameha.” This was a really good idea, but when Keawemauhili heard it he was irritated for he had been resentful of Kamehameha since his birth and had uttered those words about pinching off the young shoot of the mulberry. Keawemauhili spoke words which denied Kamehameha the land but the trouble was that Kīwala‘ō only listened to these malicious words without refuting them:

Perhaps that was not the commandment of your father. The right presented to your kaikaina was the bequest of the god, the heiau, and his land, also, from ancient times. Perhaps you have no right to redivide the land for him and to oppose the command of your father who is laid in the Haleokeawe.


Chapter 5 • The Death of Kalani‘ōpu‘u and a Power Struggle

These words of opposition by Keawemauhili caused Kīwala‘ō to hesitate, the result being that he agreed to Keawemauhili’s opposition of Kamehameha. Thus Kamehameha was not given a portion of land, excepting only the Kohala land, his birthplace, given him of old by Kalani‘ōpu‘u. As Kamehameha lacked for a land apportionment, the following high chiefs who supported him also lacked for land: the sacred twins of Kekaulike, Kamanawa and Kame‘eiamoku, and Keaweaheulu, and Ke‘eaumoku, the father of Ka‘ahumanu, and some other chiefs under these ali‘i ‘ai kalana of Hawai‘i Nei.

Kīwala‘ō did indeed cut up these various lands, and what was seen was that all the valuable lands went to Chief Keawemauhili of Hilo, followed by the chiefs of Hāmākua and Puna. The chiefs of the west were without lands so that they were unable to restrain their thoughts of war with Kīwala‘ō and the land-grabbing chiefs of East Hawai‘i.

Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula Denied Lands

September 15, 1921

Kīwala‘ō, in his granting of land, forgot his own brothers, Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula Kand Keōuape‘e‘ale. When this news reached these chiefs they made haste to the presence of Kīwala‘ō on the day after, to speak with him about land and for some new portions as well, since Ka‘ū had already been granted them. Ka Hoku readers must remember that at the time of the ‘awa ceremony, when Kekūhaupi‘o struck away the ‘awa cup, these two chiefs had left the court and gone to stay at a place close to the boundary of Ka‘ū and the Kona districts, but had left some men to listen to the goings-on at the court.

When the announcement of the land division by Kīwala‘ō was made, word went quickly to these Ka‘ū chiefs, and they hastened to the court, followed by their warriors. By evening, Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula appeared before his royal brother and spoke his mind:

E ke ali‘i ē! I have heard that you have divided the land for your favorites, therefore I and my brother have come to ask you for land,


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

and also some other districts of land that we46 may enjoy for the sake of our father who has died: those lands of Ka‘ū and Kea‘au for you and me to enjoy.

Kīwala‘ō responded: “‘Auhea ‘oe, we shall not have these lands for they have already been granted.” “Not what has been conveyed, for it has been taken, but what about the lands of Waiākea and Pōnahawai, what about these districts for us to enjoy?” Kīwala‘ō responded “These lands you asked for are conveyed, we have no land there.” Again, Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula asked, “Yes, perhaps those districts are conveyed, then we can enjoy the lands of Waipi‘o and Waimanu. It is best that we have those lands, to enjoy with our people.” “We have no land there, those lands were granted to those chiefs who asked first, and we do not have those lands” said Kīwala‘ō in a quiet voice.

“These lands are conveyed, but what about Pu‘uwa‘awa‘a and Pu‘uanahulu, it would be good for us to have those.” Kīwala‘ō paused and finally replied: “‘Auhea ‘oe, we lack these lands, they have been conveyed to the chiefs who asked first for them.” “These lands are conveyed, then it would be good for us to have Kahalu‘u and the two Keauhou districts, the two of these lands for us.” “Those lands have been conveyed, we have no land there. Perhaps our lands are those held anciently, previously given us by our father. Perhaps you, of the two of us, who have an entire district to enjoy are better off, and here I have none. Perhaps I have only a mouth to “eat” the land, by means of the kindness of all of you who have land. That which our uncle Keawemauhili has, is what I have. You have heard, my brother.” When Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula heard Kīwala‘ō say this, he breathed deeply and said these sarcastic words: “Tshah! I am lacking for a grant of land, and our brother, Keōuape‘e‘ale, who sits here, and also those who have some claims in this land division. How truly remarkable is this land division of yours!”

46 Keōua uses the dual inclusive pronoun kāua throughout his long conversation with Kīwala‘ō about gaining more land for the two of them. It illustrates attitudes toward land tenure in that it recognizes the sovereign right of the ali‘i and that Keōua would not have exclusive claim to the land.


Chapter 5 • The Death of Kalani‘ōpu‘u and a Power Struggle

Kīwala‘ō assented, bowing his head. While Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula was speaking with Kīwala‘ō, Keōuape‘e‘ale had sat quietly. It was said that he was one of the quiet ones amongst the chiefs of Hawai‘i Nei, perhaps because his mother, during her pregnancy, craved the hilu, the quiet fish.47 He did not grumble about land, but only sat with peaceful eyes observing his brothers arguing about land.

Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula, his twin, was born a warrior and was famous for the beauty of his features and physique. He wore his hair long, uncut—it reached to the knees of this Absalom of Hawai‘i. Amongst the high chiefs of those days there was no chief to approach his handsomeness, except for his brother, Keōuape‘e‘ale, as they were twins born to the high chiefess Kānekapolei, one of the great beauties of Hawai‘i Nei. Perhaps their beauty equaled that of Kekuapo‘i, the very beautiful wife of Chief Kahahana of O‘ahu, for whom was composed that foremost lament: “Two together, fleeing as twain to ‘Ewa. You have gone and one was my heavenly one (‘O pililua ‘oe o hele lua i ‘Ewa. ‘O ka hele ‘oe a kau lani).” 48

When Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula was denied land besides the district of Ka‘ū, he became extremely indignant, he left Kīwala‘ō’s court and returned to the place where his warriors were. He ordered Kapua‘ahiwalani, one of the very brave chiefs under him, to prepare all their warriors for war. (This aforesaid warrior chief was the grandfather of Judge Kauhane, and he was descended from Kapua‘akuni who was his grandfather. He was a very brave leader under Chief Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula.) The chief Kapua‘ahiwalani immediately took up the leadership of the army named the Pōniu. These were persons skilled in whirling their spears like windmills. The second unit of warriors was led by the famous warrior Ka‘ie‘iea who was famed for his prowess in battles begun by Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula. Ka‘ie‘iea’s army was named the Pūkeawe, and consisted of warriors skilled with the spear and also with slingstones. These armies under these Ka‘ū chiefs were brave men chosen from amongst the youth and strength of Ka‘ū who were accustomed to the use of the weapons of those ancient times.

47 This saying is explained by Pukui as follows: “When a pregnant woman longed for hilu fish, the child born to her would be a very quiet, well-behaved person” (Pukui 1983:67, #578).

48 This alludes to a death chant for Kahahana who, with his wife, fled to ‘Ewa after he lost control of O‘ahu in a battle with Kahekili of Maui. They wandered for several years until their capture (Kamakau 1961:137–38).


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

Until midnight that night Keōua’s warriors were drilled, and the hubbub of voices at the camp of these Ka‘ū chiefs was heard. This aroused wonder in some other chiefs as to what was happening at the place where Keōua and his people were staying. When dawn came the warriors bound up their loincloths, put on their cloaks and helmets and prepared themselves for the great task ahead. At the same time these warriors of Keōua were seen preparing their pale kaua, coconut fiber shields [or defensive armor], which had been well plaited by the warriors and their women who were skilled at this task.

That morning, after their early meal, they were ordered to go to the place where the game of lele kawa was enjoyed. The word had been spread amongst them to say that they were going to the lele kawa place if they were asked where they were going.

When Kīwala‘ō saw the movement of Keōua’s numerous warriors, garbed in battle garments and furnished with their weapons, he and the chiefs with him wondered at it, and he asked indirectly: “Say, where are the two Keōua going at this time of the morning?”49 At this time, some of the people of Kīwala‘ō’s court reported that they had heard that the Ka‘ū chiefs were going to swim and leap into the sea, as they were long accustomed to leaping at the famous kawa of Kaumaea at Ka‘ū [Kona]. Some of the chiefs laughed at this, because the chiefs, such as Keawemauhili and his people who were accustomed to making war, realized that this was an act of incitement to war by the Ka‘ū chiefs. Keawemauhili and his people thought it would be well to prepare themselves, for it was not known which way the battle might slant. If, indeed, these Ka‘ū chiefs turned to support King Kīwala‘ō, then it would be of great assistance to Keawemauhili’s side. He well understood the affection between Kīwala‘ō and his kinsman Kamehameha. Also, there was no way to allay Kekūhaupi‘o’s action in striking that ‘awa cup except on the battlefield.

49 As the speaker seemingly takes no notice of their warlike appearance, this is a ho‘omaoe or indirect question.


Chapter 5 • The Death of Kalani‘ōpu‘u and a Power Struggle

Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula’s Aggressive Act at Ke‘ei

September 22, 1921

Our readers should remember that the aforementioned warrior named Ka‘ie‘iea had been adopted by Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula because of his great bravery.

He was said to have been one of the very brave and very strong men of Hawai‘i Nei. They [he and Kekūhaupi‘o] met on the battlefield afterwards, but neither one of them triumphed over the other since they were men extremely proficient in warding off spears and were also skilled in lua fighting. Each was able to stand without doubt before his opponent. However, this fearless warrior on the side of his lord Keōua, his adoptive father, was unable to lead him to victory. Perhaps Kekūhaupi‘o’s ability to triumph was the cause of Kamehameha’s absolute faith in his war instructor.

Keōua was accompanied on his journey by Uhai, an orator and adviser, and also there were some friends who were famed for their warlike qualities. On this “lele kawa” journey, Keōua and his warriors arrived at a certain place called Keomo, between Ke‘ei and Hōnaunau, where many coconut trees had been planted. From this boundary of Keomo with Ke‘ei, the land was occupied at that time by Kamehameha’s people. Many of them had gone to Ke‘ei to surf, and they did not know about this incitement to war by Keōua.

The remarkable thing about the cutting down of the coconut trees by Keōua was that he was starting a war between himself and Kīwala‘ō, because he was irritated at Kīwala‘ō for leaving him out of the land apportionment. It was strange that he chopped down the coconut trees of Kamehameha’s people who were under the authority of Kekūhaupi‘o, Kamehameha’s warrior. Our readers must remember that the act of cutting down the coconut trees was in the nature of a declaration of war, because the ancient people compared a coconut tree to a man. The head of the coconut was under the earth, and its fruit [testicles] swung above. Therefore, if the coconut tree was cut down, the man wilted. Perhaps this is what is referred to in a


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

certain phrase in the famous chant by Hi‘iakaikapoliopele when these famous words were spoken: “Kīkē ka a la, uwē ka māmane.” 50 This was a symbol of the announcement of war between some high chiefs of the land.

After Keōua had cut down the coconut trees, his wrath was not appeased, and he directed his journey straight to Ke‘ei, Kekūhaupi‘o’s home. There he found some chiefs and commoners surfing, and he ordered his men to beat some of the people. Three men died at the hands of his people while others fled. At this time at which Keōua arrived at Ke‘ei, although Kamehameha and Kekūhaupi‘o had been staying at Ke‘ei, on this day Kamehameha and Kekūhaupi‘o had gone to meet some important chiefs of the Kona districts at Ka‘awaloa. These were the chiefs mentioned previously in a certain place of this story.

If, perhaps, Kamehameha and Kekūhaupi‘o had been present when the two Keōua arrived at Ke‘ei, they would have immediately met in a hot battle, because Kamehameha was a chief who loved his people, and he would never have allowed them to be slaughtered. The three men who were killed in this assault by Keōua’s people were named Po‘omahoe, Kalino, and Kaihekaola. They were prominent men on Kamehameha’s side and were the owners of that coconut grove needlessly cut down by Keōua’s men. Besides these three men who were killed, five people were taken captive, and Keōua ordered that they and the bodies of those killed be taken before Kīwala‘ō at Hōnaunau.

Keōua’s idea, in sending the five captives and the three dead men to Kīwala‘ō, was to test Kīwala‘ō’s mind. If Kīwala‘ō did not take these men and offer them at the heiau, it would mean that he did not approve this action by Keōua, at which time Keōua’s mind would turn to warfare with Kīwala‘ō. If, on the other hand, Kīwala‘ō took these bodies and offered them on the altar at the heiau, it would signify his approval of Keōua’s action, and the result would be war between Keōua and Kamehameha. The needless cutting of the coconut trees and the slaughter of those blameless men was a cause for war, and this was a strong attempt on the part of Keōua to initiate a fight between the two kinsmen.

50 Pukui translates this saying as follows: “When the boulders clash, the māmane tree weeps.” It indicates that “when two people clash, those who belong to them often weep” (Pukui 1983:193, #1797).


Chapter 5 • The Death of Kalani‘ōpu‘u and a Power Struggle

On the arrival of the captives before King Kīwala‘ō, when he learned that these were men who had been killed by Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula, he offered the bodies of the dead men at the heiau. He also had the living captives killed and they were also offered on the altar of the heiau at Hōnaunau, perhaps becoming moepu‘u [victims slain to accompany a dead chief] for his royal father who was laid in Haleokeawe.

When this news was brought to Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula, he knew that Kīwala‘ō had approved his actions, and he turned and attacked Kamehameha’s men. Some small actions were begun between his men and Kamehameha’s men, in which the high chiefs did not engage. Three days passed with these small engagements between the two sides, and on the fourth day of these increasing fights, at a place between Hōnaunau and Ke‘ei, the great Battle of Moku‘ōhai began.

The first to join Keōua in these little fights was King Kīwala‘ō, with the guidance of Keawemauhili and his people. Also, some chiefs, believed to have been for Kamehameha, turned to assist Kīwala‘ō. One chief was Kānekoa of Hāmākua, who was a makua kāne of Kamehameha. Kānekoa was followed by Keahia, another chief thought to have been on Kamehameha’s side—another name of his was said to have been Kaha‘i. This Kaha‘i followed Kānekoa, as he was a hoahānau pono‘ī [blood cousin] of that Hāmākua chief. The Puna chiefs, one of whom was Ahia, also turned. He was most brave in warfare, however he was killed by the lua skill of Ke‘eaumoku, father of Ka‘ahumanu. Ke‘eaumoku, the famous chief on the side of Kamehameha, was thought of as his supreme commander. It was said that most of the generals on Kīwala‘ō’s side yielded their leadership to Keawemauhili, high chief of Hilo, supported by the Keōua twins of Ka‘ū.

On Kamehameha’s side were Chief Ke‘eaumoku; the sacred twins of Kekaulike, Kamanawa and Kame‘eiamoku; Keaweaheulu; and also Kekūhaupi‘o, who was the foremost warrior on Kamehameha’s side. Kamehameha was also well supported by his kaikaina, Kala‘imamahū and Kawelookalani and his own younger blood brother, Kalanimālokulokuikepo‘okalani, afterwards known as Keli‘imaika‘i. There were also some lesser chiefs who followed Kamehameha, who were prepared to support their chief, Pai‘ea Kalaninuimehameha, and also some very young chiefs who entered into the dust of battle.


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

However, the most amazing thing in this Battle of Moku‘ōhai was that the famous young chief Keaweokahikona turned to support Kamehameha and opposed the side of his own father, Keawemauhili, the high chief of the Hilo districts. This was perhaps the fulfillment of the advice by the prophetess Kalaniwahine when she guided Kamehameha to Hilo to see his piko pono‘ī, who was most highly skilled with the weapons of Hawai‘i Nei. It was said that in this Battle of Moku‘ōhai the genuine fearlessness of this young Hilo chief was such that it terrified the men on Kīwala‘ō’s side, and they fled before Kamehameha’s forces. However, the readers of this story are aware of the fearlessness and proficiency of the one whose story passes before the Hoku’s readers, and we are able to say that Kekūhaupi‘o was no less able than that young warrior of the Hilo districts.


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