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The Naha Stone

June 23, 1921

The men who were kilo and kuhikuhipu‘uone, who understood the omens having to do with mankind, deliberated amongst themselves and announced without reservation: “If a civil or a unanimous war shall arise in the land, all things being equal, there is one who can thwart this young chief, because he has been consecrated by the gods to seek land for Hawai‘i Nui Kuauli.” Having heard the group of male seers, planners, and those skilled in omens, Kalani‘ōpu‘u turned and inquired of the group of women whose names were famous as seers (kāula). They were Kaho‘okahikua‘a, a kāula wahine of Waiakamali‘i, North Kohala; Kalelemauliokalani, a kāula wahine of Pihanakalani, Wailua, Kaua‘i, residing on Hawai‘i in those days; Kanoena, a kāula wahine of Keālia, South Kona; and from this same place, Kalaniwahine, a woman of most high kapu, who had the prostrating kapu and was perhaps the only female chief whose navel cord had been placed at the heiau of Hikiau, at Nāpo‘opo‘o. She was famous for her knowledge, and was the chiefess to whom these high chiefs of the land looked for her knowledge concerning the young chief Kamehameha.

After the kāhuna wahine had disclosed their knowledge which agreed with that of the men previously spoken of, then the eyes of the chiefs turned to Kalaniwahine. She had sat in silence when her female companions had spoken. When the chiefs’ eyes turned to Kalaniwahine, this high chiefess of the profession of kilokilo rose and spoke in a voice which gave confidence to the high chiefs who listened to her:

‘Auhea mai ‘oe, e ku‘u ali‘i, this is what I tell you: there is only one opponent who could best my chiefly foster son, and who could negate the warlike ability of this one here [Kamehameha]. This boxing companion (hoa mokomoko) who could put down my foster son is his hoahānau, Keaweokahikona. I speak my mind before you, e ke ali‘i, and the chiefs who listen to my words on this day. We shall go and my foster son shall see his piko and they shall try in every way to know each other. To live as elder and younger brother in the future (noho muli a mua) with no deceit in their knowledge of each other.


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

When Kalani‘ōpu‘u and the other chiefs of his court heard the high chiefess Kalaniwahine, in whose words they had great confidence, half of the chiefs approved. Those chiefs who had begrudged Kamehameha had mental reservations. Amongst those who approved the thought of Kalaniwahine was Kekūhaupi‘o, the daring one of Ke‘ei o lalo lilo. He thought it was a very good idea for Kamehameha to go for he knew of the grumbling of some chiefs about his foster son, his lord whom he thought to preserve for the days to come.

Some days later preparations were complete for Kamehameha to go to see Keaweokahikona and also to see the Naha Stone, the symbol of the naha chiefly class. Some young chiefs had been chosen to go with Kamehameha, as well as his war instructor.23 The heavens were calm and the doubly overturning waves of the wide ocean were quieted. The priestess Kalaniwahine said that the journey of Kamehameha would be well. After passing the cliffs of Waimanu and Waipi‘o, and the steep trails of Hāmākua, the numerous canoes of the young chief passed the valleys and cliffs of Hilo Palikū, without meeting with unfortunate accidents. At this time when Kamehameha had sailed to Hilo to meet Keaweokahikona, and to see the Naha Stone, Keawemauhili had not returned to Hilo and was at Kalani‘ōpu‘u’s court. However the high chiefess Ululani, his wife, was then staying at Hilo at a place now called Pi‘opi‘o, a place of residence of chiefs from ancient times.

When Kamehameha’s numerous double canoes landed at Kanukuakamanu, which was the mouth of the stream, Nāihe and Kalanimāloku, young men with the status of high chiefs went ashore in advance of Kamehameha to the house of Chiefess Ululani, and when she saw them she called out these hospitable, affectionate words: “I have longed for the arrival of my relatives. What of this journey hither on the sea?” “Here is your keiki who is coming: Kalaninuimehameha, the bud of Hāloa. It is a journey seeking the elder (makua) by this heavenly one of yours who has arrived here in Hilo.”

23 This account of the Naha Stone closely parallels that of Poepoe (1905–06: December 25–29, 1905) and an earlier article by Desha which appeared in the December 9, 15, and 23 issues of Ka Hoku o Hawaii. See McKinzie (1982) for transcription and partial translation of Poepoe.


Chapter 4 • The Naha Stone Is Moved

When Ululani heard of the arrival of the young chief she emerged from her house and when she saw him ascending, she wailed a chant of remembrance and hospitality, beckoning with her hands to Kamehameha:24

Auwē, he mai ho‘i ē, Auwē,Come hither,‘O ‘oe kā ia eIt is you, O Kalaninuimehameha,Kalaninuimehameha ē,E hea aku ana i ka ‘iwaThe frigate bird whichkīlou mokulā.interweaves the islands is calling.E komo ho‘i ē,Enter,‘A‘ole wehewehena,Dawn has not begun to break,‘A‘ole i waihona kona pō,Night has not departed,‘O ka hō‘ā kēia lā.Torches still burn.A‘u lei o ka ua Hā‘ao,My garland [precious one] of theHā‘ao rain,

E lele a‘ela ma uka o ‘Au‘aulele, Flying in the upland of ‘Au‘aulele, E komo i ka hale o ke Enter into the house of people who aloha lani,love their chief,

‘Au‘au i ke ki‘owai kapu ‘o Bathe in the sacred pool

Pōnahakeone,of Pōnahakeone,

E inu i ka ‘awa a Kāne i Drink of the ‘awa which kanu ai i Hawai‘i,Kāne planted in Hawai‘i, ‘Oia ia kini akua iā ‘oe lā.The myriad spirits are yours.

Kamehameha entered and met with his chiefly makuahine [aunt], Ululani, and they wailed in greeting as was the custom of this land in those beloved days past. After this greeting, food appropriate for the entertainment of this high chief was prepared: the lehua kaohi pu‘u poi of Hilo Hanakahi, the fat humpbacked mullet of Kanakea, the doubly fattened pigs, and some other delicacies of the ancient times, appropriate for entertaining this distinguished young chief. When everything was ready the chiefs ate at their place [separate from the women], and at the same time the chief’s men who had sailed with him on his great double canoe were also feasted.

At the end of the meal Chiefess Ululani turned to Kamehameha and questioned: “E, ku‘u lani ē, was there no word given by you for your arrival at Hilo?”

24 See Pukui and Korn (1973:10–11) for a discussion and another translation of this chant.


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

“A word indeed, my aunt, and it is this: I have come hither to feel the sacred cheeks (papālina la‘ahia) of the Naha Stone and to move it, or to overturn it, and to see my piko hoahānau, a relative by whom I may live, or perhaps, who may strip my bones.” When Ululani heard these words from her keiki lani ali‘i, her tears rolled down. She did not reply immediately as Kamehameha and his chiefs waited for her words.

Ululani wiped away her tears, which had fallen because of those last words of Kamehameha concerning the stripping of his bones.

E ku‘u lani ali‘i hulu keiki ē [My beloved chiefly nephew], your idea is good. Tomorrow you shall see the Naha Stone.” Perhaps it would be appropriate for the writer to explain some matters pertaining to this royal stone which is now situated alongside the Hilo Library. It had been previously situated at a place very close to the ancient heiau of Pinau [Pinao], just seaward of the house site of Governor Kipi, occupied at this time by Thomas Cook.25 This stone, called Pōhaku Naha, had been brought from Kaua‘i, from a place close to that great heiau which was situated near the estuary of the Wailua River. This royal birthstone had been brought by a certain chief named Makali‘inuikuakawaiea, and it was the mark of the chiefly naha line. It was said in its story that from no other chiefly line, but only that of the blood of the naha line could a chief be recognized upon this stone. When a chiefess of high rank gave birth to a son, then this child was taken, enwrapped in his afterbirth, and placed upon this royal stone. The kahuna would offer his prayer to the gods. If that child cried during the prayer, he was no child of the naha royal line, and would be a man without bravery. If the child did not cry until the kahuna had completed his prayer, then the royal blood of naha ran in him and he would be a brave man when he grew up. This is the story concerning this rock believed to have been brought from Kaua‘i in the twelfth century. Perhaps this is a sufficient explanation of that royal birthstone of Hilo.

25 Pinao Heiau and the Naha Stone were located at the site of the current Hilo Public Library which is immediately ma kai of the properties once owned by Governor Kipi and Thomas Cook (Stokes 1991:154; Thrum 1907:56). In 1916 the Naha and Pinao Stones were moved to the recently built public library on the corner of Keawe and Shipman Streets. The two stones were then returned to a place near their original location when the current Hilo Library was built in 1951 (de Vis Norton 1952).


Chapter 4 • The Naha Stone Is Moved

Kamehameha Moves the Naha Stone

June 30, 1921

In the very early morning of the next day, after the morning meal Chief Kamehameha’s procession went to the site of the Naha Stone, accompanied by Ululani and her entire court. Kamehameha’s chiefs who had come with him to Hilo, and the common people of Hilo, followed this procession, as numerous as the well-known saying about the people of Kohala (Lē‘ī Kohala, eia i ka nuku nā kānaka). The reason for this great press of people was that it had been rumored that Kamehameha was going to move the Naha Stone, which was very important to the people of Hilo.

Amongst this crowd was Keaweokahikona. He was not enthusiastic about Kamehameha because as he thought it not possible for Kamehameha to overturn the stone and he himself was the only one entitled to move or overturn this stone. He stayed far off from the crowd of chiefs until they reached the site of that royal stone. By Kamehameha’s side was the high chiefess Kalaniwahine, the female kahuna who had led Kamehameha to seek accord between himself and Keaweokahikona.

At the same time during this procession, the watchful eyes of Kekūhaupi‘o were upon the high naha chief of Hilo, that young chief of whom Kalaniwahine had spoken as being the only one whose head Kamehameha would be unable to slap in a strong contest, if one should occur between these young chiefs. Truly, if this young Hilo chief should oppose Kamehameha it would be extremely difficult for Kamehameha to triumph over him. The watchful eyes of Kekūhaupi‘o remarked his imposing appearance and his evident strength. In the words of observers of warfare of ancient times, the fighting condition of this chief was “sufficient”: broad-shouldered, wide of chest but narrow in the waist, well-sprung ribs, clearly an excellent body. He had ‘ehu [reddish] hair, was clean-cut, and very handsome to look at. There was no resemblance between him and his sister Kapi‘olani. This young chief of the Hilo districts was handsome and imposing.

Before the arrival of the procession at the site of the Naha Stone, Ululani, the high-ranking chiefess of Hilo Hanakahi, said these true words to Kamehameha which were heard by those chiefs of Kohala and Hilo who were present:


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

How is it with you, O chief? Perhaps you have seen this royal birth-stone, which is for the naha blood line. Only they can have the right to ascend upon this stone. Only they have the right to move and overturn the Naha Stone, to move it from its place. You, my heavenly one, are of the nī‘aupi‘o 26 descent, which may bar your ability to touch and overturn the Naha Stone.

Kamehameha did not reply to these words but continued to go toward the Naha Stone. On his arrival there, when that great heavenly lonely one saw how the stone was situated he heaved a sigh and said to Ululani and the chiefs who surrounded the stone:

This is not a rock: truly, it is a mountain. Perhaps there will be a reward if it moves for me. The greatest barrier for me is that it is consecrated to the chiefly naha line. What of it? I shall try with my little strength and if it does not move for me on this day, then it is well understood the law is strong, but, if I shall move it on this day, then by strength and by the help of the gods the choice tribute of the land shall be gained. On this day my piko [blood relationship] shall be known, on this day the navel cord may be cut by the hoahānau.

With these last words he turned and looked directly at Keaweokahikona, the famous naha chief of the Hilo districts, of whom the prophetess Kalaniwahine had said that he was the only young chief who could check Kamehameha in his progress. At those words, a genial smile appeared on the countenance of Keaweokahikona, as though his smile was saying to Kamehameha: “Let the Naha Stone make us hoahānau on the battlefield.” As Kamehameha uttered these words, the expression in his eyes changed, and the people standing close by were terrified to see a red blaze in his eyes. He seemed to expand in size and the change in his appearance was noticeable to the common people who were watching him.

Pai‘ea Kamehameha prepared to move the Naha Stone, placing his strong hands on its sides, with the eyes of the chiefs and commoners fixed upon him. In the minds of the Hilo people this was of great importance, as they had just heard of Kamehameha’s fight with the Maui warriors under Kahāhāwai, when Kahekili’s favorite “black” warrior had been killed.

26 See glossary for discussion of naha and nī‘aupi‘o.


Chapter 4 • The Naha Stone Is Moved

Before Kamehameha moved the stone Kalaniwahine seized his hands and lovingly spoke these words:

E ku‘u lani ali‘i ē! You will move the Naha Stone on this day, and this will move the islands from Hawai‘i to Kaua‘i. But, if you hemo [lift off] the Naha Stone this day this will lift off the strands which bind all the islands. Then, you will live, O chief, and also the precious maka‘āinana, as well as myself, the kahuna.

Slowly, after these words by Kalaniwahine, Kamehameha gripped the rock in an appropriate place, with all eyes upon him, some people holding their breath in excitement because of this super-human effort to be made by the young chief. Then he uttered these words: “Ah! You are naha, and the chief who frees your kapu is naha—I am nī‘aupi‘o, a smoke arching in the wilderness.” Then Kamehameha drew in his breath, and that supernatural stone of the chiefly naha line moved, amazing the great gathering of people and chiefs of various ranks who watched. They truly saw that sacred stone move, and not only that, but it was overturned from the place it had formerly occupied. Then they well understood the prophecy of Kalaniwahine, as well as her utterance before the rock was moved. The chiefs and people who witnessed this realized that the site where they stood had moved as well. This supernatural action perhaps had stricken them with awe. Loud talk broke out amongst the chiefs who had witnessed it, about the chief who was to move the islands of Hawai‘i Nei, and perhaps cause a shift in the lives of the chiefs in the future.

It was also said in the story of this famous kingdom conqueror of the Pacific Ocean, later to be distinguished by the title the Napoleon of the Pacific, that the moving of the Naha Stone would perpetuate the Kamehameha line through his acts of war. At a certain time when his forward progress would be stopped, he would remember having moved the Naha Stone, and would say to himself: “The Naha Stone moved for me, the districts are moving for me; the Naha Stone moved for me, and I shall go forward until all the islands shall move under my power.” Kamehameha became famous after he had moved the Naha Stone. His feat became known in many places and is always remembered by the people of this island of Hawai‘i Nui Kuauli. Later, when Kamehameha engaged in the conquest of the islands, this feat at Hilo led the common people to believe in him.


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

Kalani‘ōpu‘u’s Bequests

July 7, 1921

After Kamehameha had moved the Naha Stone he returned to the house of Ululani, chiefess of the Hilo districts, followed by a great crowd of chiefs and commoners. Food was prepared and the male chiefs ate their morning meal. Amongst those who shared the meal with Kamehameha and Kekūhaupi‘o was the young chief Keaweokahikona. After the meal, while the chiefs were taking their ease, Keaweokahikona moved close to Kamehameha, grasping his hands and saying these words:

Aloha ‘oe e ku‘u hoahānau i ka piko: Hear the voice of the brother. As you have moved the Naha Stone today, which no other chief could have done, excepting only your kinsman of the blood, I will tell you something without reservation. My spear is for you, to you also will I give the spears of my band of warriors. Therefore, let us be as brothers, and you and I shall know each other, and shall care for each other’s well-being and lives. We shall wear each other’s loin-cloths [in other words, absolute trust, with no fear of sorcery] and you and I shall dwell as brothers.

When Kamehameha heard these good words by his relative, he embraced him and they bound themselves by an unshakable oath. Thus was fulfilled the great desire of the prophetess Kalaniwahine, and it was said that because of this oath by Keaweokahikona, Kamehameha’s life was saved many times, and these young chiefs became like David and Jonathan. When Kamehameha later learned that Keaweokahikona had died of poison secretly administered to him at his mother Ululani’s house, which was named Kahale‘iole‘ole [house without rats], built at a place at Hilo called Kaipalaoa, he mourned greatly. Keaweokahikona had been of great help to Kamehameha at the Battle of Moku‘ōhai, and he had been a famous warrior on difficult battlefields.

Kamehameha stayed some anahulu at Hilo, enjoying himself with the chiefs of Hilo Hanakahi, and engaging with them in some strengthening exercises.

While he and the chiefs who had accompanied him, and also his war instructor of whom this heart-stirring story is told, were enjoying themselves, a messenger


Chapter 4 • The Naha Stone Is Moved

arrived from his uncle Kalani‘ōpu‘u, commanding him to return and meet with him at Kawaihae, a place beloved by the ancient chiefs. When Kamehameha heard his uncle’s command he immediately had his canoes prepared and bade farewell to his makuahine [aunt] Ululani and his kinsman, Keaweokahikona. However, before he left Hilo, Kamehameha spoke these important words to Keaweokahikona: “E ku‘u hoahānau i ka piko: I am returning at the command of our uncle and take with me our oath. Perhaps the day will come when I shall call for your spear and your battle knowledge, and we two shall meet before the spears of our enemies.” Keaweokahikona apprehended his kinsman’s words, and he truly did fulfill his unshakable oath at the Battle of Moku‘ōhai, as his own father, Keawemauhili was on the side of Kīwala‘ō who disputed Kamehameha, his own kinsman. This fearless young warrior of the Hilo districts fought on the side of the heavenly chief Pai‘ea Kamehameha, who had sworn to the good words which we, O reader, have read. This demonstrates the genuinely honorable actions of some ancient chiefs of this land, to whom an oath was very important. This is something in which we, the Hawaiian race, should take pride: the truly honorable actions of the chiefs thought at this time to be ignorant, but their actions and their oaths were fulfilled unto death. The land and race of Hawai‘i are distinguished by them.

When Kamehameha returned to Kawaihae he met with his uncle,

Kalani‘ōpu‘u, who was told of the super-human action of his nephew. Kalani‘ōpu‘u sighed because he immediately recognized the bravery of the son of his kinsman, Keōuanui. Also he had inward doubts concerning the life of this young chief. This new feat by Kamehameha at the Naha Stone had caused anger in the minds of some prominent chiefs of Hawai‘i who greatly wondered at this action by Kamehameha. Kalani‘ōpu‘u privately conversed with Kekūhaupi‘o who was the personal bodyguard of Kamehameha and told him to keep unsleeping scrutiny over the food given to Kamehameha. Kekūhaupi‘o’s eyes were very watchful because of this command by Kalani‘ōpu‘u, and it was said in the story of those days at court, that Kamehameha ate nothing that was not first tried by his own guardian. This action demonstrated the genuine love for the ali‘i by the ancestors of this race, who dared to take death upon themselves, rather than allow it to fall upon their beloved chiefs.

Because of this secret command by Kalani‘ōpu‘u to Kekūhaupi‘o this warrior became more closely attached to his foster son and was eternally watchful


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

of his life, so that he was unable to return to Ke‘ei to see his family. Their close association brought firm affection between this famous warrior chief of Hawai‘i and his personal bodyguard.

At this same time Kalani‘ōpu‘u received the news of an insurrection against him by a Ka‘ū chief, Nu‘uanukapā‘ahu [Nu‘uanupā‘ahu], of Nā‘ālehu. Possibly the rebellion of this chief was because of dissatisfaction at not receiving his share of land from Kalani‘ōpu‘u. Because of this Ka‘ū chief ’s rebellion Kalani‘ōpu‘u sent some alert warriors to seize him, led by Keaweaheulu, one of the chiefs very close to Kalani‘ōpu‘u. Nu‘uanukapā‘ahu fled, but was captured and died at the hands of Kalani‘ōpu‘u’s warriors. His corpse was taken to be sacrificed at Mo‘okini heiau at North Kohala.27 At the time this corpse was taken, Kīwala‘ō and his mother Kalola had gone to Maui to see King Kahekili, who was Kalola’s brother. The arrangements for placing the body of this rebellious chief in the heiau were done under its priests. It was noticed that Kamehameha showed no fear during the ceremony at the heiau which secretly increased the opposition of the chiefs at the court toward him.

On the death of that rebellious Ka‘ū chief there remained another rebellious man, Imakaloa [‘Īmakakoloa], a very handsome Puna chief, of whom we shall soon tell.

After Kalani‘ōpu‘u had resided some time at Kohala, he bestirred himself to move the court to “Waipi‘o of the cliffs which face one another” and to refurbish the heiau of the god. At this same time Kalani‘ōpu‘u sent a chief named Kamehaiku to Maui to fetch Kalola and Kīwala‘ō to Waipi‘o, at which place some actions pertaining to the god would be taken, and also perhaps to grant some land to some young chiefs.

When Kīwala‘ō and his mother arrived at Waipi‘o, the chiefs gathered for the purpose of discussing the granting of some land and the inheritance of the government. When this gathering of prominent chiefs sat to hear the thought of the king, Kalani‘ōpu‘u spoke, and his words were also heard by Kamehameha and Kīwala‘ō.

27 The death of Nu‘uanukapā‘ahu described here differs from that given by Kamakau (1961:106–07), by Fornander (1969:200), and in the August 4, 1921, issue. This may be a variant account or the subject may be a different person with the same name.


Chapter 4 • The Naha Stone Is Moved

‘Auhea mai ‘oukou, O high chiefs of the land: I bequeath the land to my son Kīwala‘ō, who will rule over the chiefs. The land shall be his, and the power to give it, and our ancestral god of war, Kūkā‘ilimoku, shall be for this nephew of mine, Kamehameha, and he shall care for the kapu of the god, and shall live under his kinsman, Kīwala‘ō. He shall have the right to chew the ‘awa which only his royal kinsman shall drink and no other person.

‘Īmakakoloa Sacrificed

July 14, 1921

It would be well for the reader to understand Kalani‘ōpu‘u’s bequests of the kingdom to Kīwala‘ō and the care of the war god to Kamehameha. It was said in the story of Kamehameha that this bequest by King Kalani‘ōpu‘u cleared the way for Kamehameha’s victories, whereas Kamehameha became embodied with the kapu of Kūkā‘ilimoku, the war god. This was the beginning of hope for victory in conquering the kingdom, closely aided by brave men such as Kekūhaupi‘o and that young chief Keaweokahikona, and also other very brave chiefs told of in the story of Hawai‘i Nei. This was the fulfillment of the prophecy by the kahuna nui Holo‘ae when he spoke with the chiefs and King Kalani‘ōpu‘u at Kīheipūko‘a, Maui, before the slaughter of the Pi‘ipi‘i and the tragedies at the battlefield of Kakanilua and near Wailuku.

By the account of some persons who know the story of Kamehameha and also of this famous warrior of Hawai‘i Nei, it was not at Waipi‘o that Kalani‘ōpu‘u gave the kingdom to his son Kīwala‘ō, and the care of the war god to Kamehameha, but the correct place according to some with knowledge of the old tales was at a place called Waio‘ahukini, in the district of Ka‘ū. This is a little diversion of this story of the ancient people. It would be well to tell about it in order for the story to arrive at the time of the Battle of Moku‘ōhai, and the entrance of Kekūhaupi‘o into the beginning at the site of that “cutting of the navel cord of the kinsmen” (to wit, Kīwala‘ō and Kamehameha, and we shall see, O reader, the place where Kekūhaupi‘o enters into this matter).


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

When Kalani‘ōpu‘u had finished refurbishing the heiau at Waipi‘o, news came to him of the rebellion of a certain Puna chief named Imakaloa [‘Īmakakoloa]. He was a chief strong in battle, and he raised up a war against the kingdom of Kalani‘ōpu‘u. Because of this news, Kalani‘ōpu‘u quickly organized his chiefs and army and returned to Hilo to consecrate the heiau of Kanoa (that is the place at Pu‘ueo where the residence of Kawalena now stands). He consecrated his war god Kūkā‘ilimoku and when this was finished at Pu‘ueo, he moved to ‘Ohele at Waiākeakai, and prepared to move to battle against ‘Īmakakoloa, the rebellious Puna chief. Kalani‘ōpu‘u’s and ‘Īmakakoloa’s warriors engaged in a strong battle but, in the end, ‘Īmakakoloa’s side was put to flight, and he fled and hid in the Puna forest for almost a year, secretly cared for by his own guardians.

Kalani‘ōpu‘u left Hilo and returned with his chiefs to Ka‘ū and dwelt at Punalu‘u for a time, and from thence moved to Wai‘ōhinu. After some anahulu of idling pleasurably at Wai‘ōhinu he again moved and stayed at Kamā‘oa, where he built and consecrated Pākini heiau for his war god.

On its completion there was no offering of a chief of suitably high rank to place upon this new heiau. Therefore he sent one of his own kahu, named Pūhili, who was very proficient in martial arts, to go to Puna and slay the people, the purpose being to secure the body of ‘Īmakakoloa. A strong army under the leadership of Kalani‘ōpu‘u’s kahu moved to do Kalani‘ōpu‘u’s bidding. The houses of the blameless people of Puna were burnt, and some innocent people were killed so that all of Puna was in terror.

When ‘Īmakakoloa’s own kahu learned of this harm visited upon the blameless people of Puna, he determined that it would be better for the one to die rather than the multitude. He revealed the hiding place of ‘Īmakakoloa who was seized in order to end the needless slaughter of the innocent people of Puna. He was immediately taken to Ka‘ū as an offering to be placed on the new heiau of Pākini. It was said that ‘Īmakakoloa was a very handsome man with long hair which was said to have reached almost to his feet, like Absalom, the rebellious son of David, the “Bard King of Israel.”


Chapter 4 • The Naha Stone Is Moved

When ‘Īmakakoloa was seized by Kalani‘ōpu‘u’s warriors, he was taken before Kalani‘ōpu‘u at Kamā‘oa. When Kalani‘ōpu‘u saw this handsome, distinguished chief, with his long hair, he had no regard for his handsome body. He ordered his marshals to slay this rebellious chief who had disturbed the peace of the chiefs and commoners. ‘Īmakakoloa was killed and left for two days at a place close to the heiau of Pākini. After two days, the body of the Absalom of Hawai‘i Nei, having been smoked over a fire of broken kukui-nut shells until it was cooked, was taken above the entrance to the heiau where the features and the eyes were rubbed with fish [oil] so that the eyes shone like those of the niuhi shark of the deep sea. A spotted pig was placed on one side of ‘Īmakakoloa and on the other side was placed an “altar” banana stalk (pūmai‘a mai‘a lele). When ‘Īmakakoloa’s corpse with its accompanying offerings was ready it was displayed on high, and as the evening darkened the features glowed, understandably causing terror.

Before the young chiefs moved to perform their function, Kekūhaupi‘o quietly spoke to his foster son: “E ku‘u lani ali‘i, if there is great fearlessness, your actions shall draw the admiration of some great chiefs of this great island of Keawe. This is the thing which will frustrate the wicked thoughts of those who oppose you, and they shall see that the war god of your ancestors supports you.” These words to Kamehameha by his war instructor were in order to prepare the mind of this young chief and warn him that the time was coming to exhibit fearlessness. They were brought before the altar where the corpse of ‘Īmakakoloa was placed, and King Kalani‘ōpu‘u himself instructed them. Here are the first words spoken by King Kalani‘ōpu‘u to his own son, Kīwala‘ō: “O my son! Here is the long-legged pig with drawn eyes, here is the spotted pig, and here also the lohelohe i honua [banana stalk, bowing-to-the-ground, symbolizing obedience]. These three are representative of lands, therefore, take hold. Seize it!” When Kalani‘ōpu‘u finished speaking to Kīwala‘ō, perhaps because he was nauseated by that dead man, he took up the spotted pig in his hands, and when this was seen by Kalani‘ōpu‘u he turned to his nephew and said these words: “Ah, your cousin has laid hold of his pig, and it is your turn, therefore take hold of your pig, my nephew.”


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

Kūkā‘ilimoku Given to Kamehameha

July 21, 1921

When Kamehameha heard his royal uncle’s command, with one strong hand he took hold of ‘Īmakakoloa’s leg and with the other hand he took hold of an arm and lifted the corpse so that it was stretched out, and the young chiefs stood with their “pigs” in their hands. At this moment the kahuna Holo‘ae directed his conversational prayer to the supernatural guardians of Hawai‘i Nei, as follows:28

Kūlia e Uli,Lift up O Uli,Ka pule, ka lama ola,The prayer, torch of life,Kūlia i mua,Strive onward,Kūlia i Ke‘ālohilani ē,Lift it toward Ke‘ālohilani,Kūlia e ui aku ana i ke kupuaSeek the supernatural ones above,o luna nei ē,‘O wai ke kupuna?Who is the ancestor?‘O wai ka ‘eu oluna mai ē?Who is the daring one above?‘O ‘Iouliokalani,‘Io of the dark heavens,‘O ‘Ioehu,‘Io of the mist,‘O ‘Iomea,‘Io without markings,‘O Kūkeaoloa,Kū of the long cloud,‘O Kūkeaopoko,Kū of the short cloud,‘O Kūkeao‘āwihiwihi‘ulaKū of the red glowing cloud ofo ka lanithe heavens‘O kanaka lōloa o ka mauna lā,Long man of the mountain,‘O Kūpulupulu i ka nahele ē,Kū of the forest underbrush,‘O nā Akua mai ka wao kele,The gods from the wet upland forest,‘O Kulipe‘enuiahiahua,Kulipe‘enuiahiahua, Kīkekalana‘o Kīkekalana,and Kauhinoelehua,a ‘oKauhinoelehua,‘O ke kahuna i ka puokoKahuna of the raging fire,o ke ahi,‘O ‘I‘imi, ‘o Loa‘a‘I‘imi, Loa‘aUa loa‘a a‘e neiIt has been foundKa mohai ‘ālana e mōliaThe offering set apartaku ai,for the gods,Iā ‘oukou e ka po‘e mānu‘uTo you, multitudinousa Kāneembodiments of Kāne

28 The chants in this issue also appear in the newspaper serial written by Poepoe (1905–06: Jan. 3, 1906).


Chapter 4 • The Naha Stone Is Moved

Iā Kānehoalani, huli maiTo Kānehoalani, those ofkō ka lani,the heavens turn,Iā Kānelūhonua, huli maiTo Kānelūhonua, those ofko ka honua,the earth turn,Iā Kānehuliko‘a, huli maiTo Kānehuliko‘a, those of thekō ke ko‘acorals turnIā Kāneikawaieola, huli maiTo Kāneikawaieola, those ofka wai me ke kai,fresh water and the sea turn,Iā Lonomakua, huli maiTo Lonomakua, the guardiannā ‘aumakua,spirits turn,Mai kūkulu o Kahiki a kaFrom the pillars of Kahikipe‘a kapu o Hi‘ilei,to the sacred border of Hi‘ilei,E mōlia ke kapu o kēiaSet apart the kapu of these offerings,mau ‘ālana,I nā po‘e niho o nāTo the rows of companion-gods,hoa-akua,‘O kūkulu ka pahu kapu aSet up the sacred drum of the voice,ka leo,Hōkikī kānāwaiEnforce the lawsHe kua‘a‘ā,The [kapu of] the flaming back,He kai‘okia lā,Sea separation law,He ala no Kāne me Kanaloa,A pathway for Kāne and Kanaloa,He kī ho‘iho‘i kānāwai lā,A sacred plant is the law,29No Kūkā‘ilimoku lā, ē,For Kū snatcher of land,Ua noa,It is freed,Noa honua a noa lani ē.Earth is freed, heaven is freed.Ua noa, ua noa lā.It is freed, freed. When Holo‘aecompleted that prayer, he again prayed, and here is this newprayer which he directed to the young chiefs holding their offerings in their hands:Eia ka pua‘a lā,Here is the pig,Nā kula uka,For the upland plains,Nā kula kai,The seaward plains,Nā Kanikanihia ē,For the noisy ones,E kania‘ā aku ana lā,Who wander about,Iā ‘Ūlili Kīna‘u,To ‘Ūlili Kīna‘u,Ua lilo iā Nālaumāhikihiki,[Who] becomes the herbs of exorcism,Na ka wahine ‘o Hilihililau,For the woman of Hilihililau,ka maile,the maile,

29 According to Handy and Handy (1972:222), the ti (kī) plant “played such an important part in religious ceremonies it was called kānāwai ‘the law.’”


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘oKa maile hilihili ē,The entwined maile,Hilihili wale mai nō,So entwined,Kāu e ho‘olono ē,Yours to hear the news,E Lono i ka ‘uweke ē,O Lono who reveals,E Kāne i ka pohā ka‘a,O Kāne of the pealing thunder,

Kūkā‘ilimoku i ke kāla‘e.O Kūkā‘ilimoku in the calm.

The kahuna Holo‘ae continued with numerous concentrated prayers and, because of the extreme length of these prayers, Kamehameha’s arms became weary and he fell and slept that night beside the corpse, with one of his uncles watching over him. Outside of the heiau, also, was his constant companion, Kekūhaupi‘o. While Kamehameha lay sleeping the corpse was still gripped in his hands, as he did not fear to lie thus.

Also watching over the place where Kamehameha slept was his uncle, Keaweaheulu, for he had heard the grumblings of some chiefs in opposition to Kamehameha. When the sun rose in the morning, Keaweaheulu called Kamehameha with this chant:

E ala, e ala ho‘i lā,Arise, arise indeed,E ala, e ho‘āla‘ālahia,Arise, O one to be awakened,Ua ao,It is day,Ua mahiki ka lā,The sun has come forth,Ua wehe ho‘i kaiao,The dawn has opened up,E ala ē Kalaninui Pai‘ea,Arise, O Kalaninui Pai‘ea,E ala ho‘i,Arise, indeed,

E Kalaninuimehameha.O Kalaninuimehameha.

Kamehameha heard the chanting voice of his uncle and he arose, his skin shiny with the grease from the human sacrifice, of which however he was unaware. When he saw his uncle Keaweaheulu he smiled, as though he had slept in a very comfortable place that night. Some chiefs who supported him took this incident to be a good omen for the great work before him, and some chiefs with a large following decided to support this fearless young chief. Perhaps we, O reader, shall see the fulfillment of these supportive thoughts at that first battle at Moku‘ōhai.


Chapter 4 • The Naha Stone Is Moved

When Kamehameha had fully awakened and emerged outside of the heiau, on the first platform, that place was filled with the chiefs of Kalani‘ōpu‘u’s court, and within this circle of the high chiefs of the land was King Kalani‘ōpu‘u. When he saw Kamehameha emerge, with a changed appearance, he immediately turned and pronounced these words:

‘Auhea mai ‘oukou, O chiefs of the land: we have all been eyewitnesses, therefore, I announce as follows: My son Kīwala‘ō is the ruler over all the chiefs, and Kamehameha here is his subject. To him is the care of the sacred god, the sacred kapu of Kūkā‘ilimoku. Kamehameha has inherited its care, and he is the only one with the right to consecrate all the heiau to be built, and he alone shall have the care of all the godly kapu.

Furthermore, I announce to you, the high chiefs of the land, that Kīwala‘ō has been consecrated as ruler after me, and he alone has authority over Hawai‘i Kuauli, and also, this young chief of the royal nī‘aupi‘o line, Kalani Ali‘i Kamehameha, is consecrated as caretaker of the god Kūkā‘ilimoku, and he alone will be the caretaker of the heiau hereafter. Hear you this, O chiefs, and announce the news to the common people of Hawai‘i Nui Kuauli.

While Kalani‘ōpu‘u was making his announcement in the presence of the chiefs outside of the heiau, these high chiefs were gazing intently, and not only the high chiefs, but also the seers (kilo) and the prominent kāhuna and the famous planners (kuhikuhipu‘uone), as these words caused great wonderment, and they looked at one another without speaking a word.

Because of this announcement by King Kalani‘ōpu‘u, fault-finding quickly arose amongst some chiefs who had wicked thoughts, and they began to plan a secret assassination of Kamehameha, perhaps to fulfill that old remark made at the time of Kamehameha’s birth: “Pinch off the tip of the mulberry shoot while young—break it off.” However, Kalani‘ōpu‘u heard of this grumbling by the chiefs and he immediately called Kalua‘āpana Keaweaheulu, and on the arrival of this chief who had stood guard over Kamehameha in the heiau on that remarkable night, he said the


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

following words: “E ke ali‘i, here is the land of your nephew Kamehameha, it is the coconut-shell bowl in which to place the word by Pi‘i [his people] and Lono.30 Take and care for our nephew, for the sea is rising.

“Return to ‘Āinakea, then build the long house, care for the little man and the big man [the commoners and the chiefs]. That is my command to you, Keaweaheulu.” As soon as Keaweaheulu heard these words from Kalani‘ōpu‘u he assented, his face showing his sincerity, that he would take Kamehameha and guard him securely.

When Kalani‘ōpu‘u finished speaking, tears fell upon his cheeks and he embraced Kamehameha and caressed him. Kekūhaupi‘o and his uncles were standing outside of the place where Kalani‘ōpu‘u was speaking with Kalua‘āpana Keaweaheulu. In no time after the uncle had caressed his nephew, Keaweaheulu took Kamehameha’s hand and turning, spoke to Kekūhaupi‘o: “O Kekūhaupi‘o, here is your chief. Take and care for your foster son, and remember the words of the ancients: ‘He mai‘a ke kanaka a ka lā e hua mai ai’

  • A man is like a banana tree on the day it bears its fruit].” 31 As soon as Keaweaheulu had spoken, the strong hand of Kekūhaupi‘o

grasped Kamehameha as though he were a little child. From his hands, Kekūhaupi‘o placed Kamehameha in the cherishing hands of his uncles, Kaukoko and Kukalohe, the husband of Moana, a certain kahuna chiefess of those days. These uncles of Kekūhaupi‘o were warriors, prepared to protect the life of their chiefly foster son, if any attempt was made to rob their heavenly one of his life.

Kamehameha Returns to Kohala

July 28, 1921

The young chief placed in the hands of Kekūhaupi‘o’s uncles asked whither they were going as their journey began, and was told they were returning to the land of North Kohala. They proceeded straight from the land of Waio‘ahukini to Manukā, a place adjacent to Kaulanamauna, the boundary of Kona and Ka‘ū. It was

30 The phrase “coconut-shell bowl” refers to the skull, implying that information should be kept secret.

It is also a warning to Keaweaheulu that trouble was coming.

31 A similar saying is discussed by Pukui (1983:86, #779) which alludes to knowing what kind of person a man is by his deeds.


Chapter 4 • The Naha Stone Is Moved

said in the story of the famous kingdom conqueror that he was carried on their backs, showing how Kekūhaupi‘o and his aforementioned uncles cherished their ali‘i.

On their arrival at Manukā, they stopped for a breath and set Kamehameha down for a little rest. At this time Kekūhaupi‘o prepared some ‘awa for his foster son, and at this time Kamehameha questioned his guardians: “Are we the only ones going? Where are all the rest of our people?” Kekūhaupi‘o did not reply to this question but continued to prepare the ‘awa and when it was ready poured it into the cup, then he turned and said: “E Kalani ē! Make offering to your god. Here is the ‘awa to offer to your god, Kūkā‘ilimoku.” Kamehameha immediately agreed, drank from the cup and sprayed the ‘awa as an offering, with a prayer to Kūkā‘ilimoku, which was participated in by one of his guardians. The prayer was as follows:

Eia ka ‘awa,Here is the choicest ‘awa,E Kūkā‘ilimoku,O Kūkā‘ilimoku,He ‘awa lani wale nō,‘Awa for the heavens only,He ‘ai na ke kamaikiFood from the little childInu aku i ka ‘awa o ‘Oheana,Drink the ‘awa of ‘Oheana,Pupū aku i nā niu a La‘a,Accompany [it] with the coconutsof La‘a,Ua la‘a, ua noa ka ‘awa,It is consecrated, the ‘awa is freed,Noa honua, noa ē.Freed, established, freed.A ua noa lā.It has been freed.32When Pai‘ea had completed the ceremonial offering, Kekūhaupi‘o encouragedthem to go, as it was not known what secret harm might come after them, as someof the chiefs had treacherous thoughts. Because of this thought by Kekūhaupi‘o hedirected them to leave the customary pathway, and to travel where they could notbe followed.

They climbed straight up from that place to a certain part of Mauna Loa and came down seaward at a certain part of Ka‘ū named ‘Ōhaikea. They spent the rest of that night in a cave called Alanapo. The next morning, after Kamehameha had made

32 For a translation of this chant by M.K. Pukui see Barrère (1986:107).


Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o

his ceremonial offering and prayer to Kūkā‘ilimoku, they left that place and climbed up another mountain trail till they reached the summit of Mauna Kea. At a place close to Lake Waiau, Kamehameha again made an offering. They were unable to remain there for long because of the cold, and so they descended to Waimea at a place called Moana by the ancients, going straight down to the wide plain of Waimea.

They continued on until their arrival at Lanikepu when it was becoming dusk. Here Kekūhaupi‘o left his foster son with his uncles while he sought out the local people in order to find Chief Keohuhu of Waimea. He was a chief who afterwards married Hākau, one of the wives of Kalani‘ōpu‘u. Kekūhaupi‘o told this chief the news concerning Kamehameha and when he heard this he immediately ordered his people to kill and bake a pig and a dog, strangle a chicken, and hastily prepare an evening meal for Kalaninuimehameha. At the same time he invited Kekūhaupi‘o to fetch Kamehameha to the house to spend the night.

Chief Keohuhu’s men displayed their expertise at baking a pig and dog, and in a very short time everything prepared with haste was ready so that when Kamehameha and his guardians arrived everything was almost ready for the evening meal. The high chief Kamehameha was hospitably received by the Waimea chief with all the honor due him and, after a short rest, the evening meal was ready for them. They were weary and hungry since their journey had been long and strenuous that day.

In the early dawn of the next morning Kamehameha was ready for the return to the beloved land of his birth:

‘O Kohala nui, ‘o Kohala iki,Great Kohala, little Kohala,‘O Kohala ua ‘Āpa‘apa‘a,Kohala of the ‘Āpa‘apa‘a wind,‘O Pili, ‘O KalāhikiolaOf Pili, of Kalāhikiola

A o nā pu‘u haele pālua.Of the hills that go by twos.

Kekūhaupi‘o felt secure as his foster son was entering into the place of his birth where the people loved their ali‘i. His mind was at rest because they had left the place of worry, where harm could come to his chiefly foster son. By the setting of the sun on that day, they arrived at Hālawa where Kamehameha had been reared by Nāihe [Nae‘ole].


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