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Photo: Ku'ialuaopuna





Memoirs of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum Volume IV—Part III



pg. 364-369

Chapter 8 Histroy of Kualii . KUALII’S CHARACTER AND DOINGS.

IN THE legends and traditions the names of a large number of chiefs are spoken of that do not appear in the genealogical records from Opuukahonua to Liloa, and even from then on to Kamehameha. The name of Kualii is omitted in the genealogieal records of the chiefs, but his history and doings have often been spoken of.1 It is told that Kualii was once king of these islands, and in one of his characters2 he was known to have possessed certain knowledge from a god, and at times even assumed the real attributes of a supernatural being.

Kualii was a celebrated chief and noted for his strength and bravery; he was known to have won all the battles fought by him, defeating his enemies every time. He was also known for his great desire for war. It is said of Kualii that he began fighting battles in his childhood and so continued until he reached manhood. The following story exhibits some of the extraordinary traits in the character of this man.

When he was well advanced in life and unable to walk, he ordered his servants to make him a network of strings (koko).3 And in accordance with the wish of Kualii his servants proceeded to carry it out In the engagement of Kualii here on Oahu, against the chiefs from Koolauloa, sometime after the reign of Kakuhihewa over Oahu, or possibly at a time prior to the reign of Kakuhihewa (the exact time not being very clearly ascertained), which engagement was to be upon the plains of Keahumoa at Honouliuli, Ewa, he was carried by his men in a network of strings. No actual fighting occurred, however, as the two armies upon coming together entered into a declaration of peace.4 The number of men under Kualii in this contest was three mano,5 which is equal to twelve thousand, and the number of men comprising the other army was three lau, which is equal to twelve hundred; and the reason why the battle was not fought is told in the following story.


1 By comparative tradition Kualii’s time dates back to the middle of the seventeenth century.

2 Likened to Keaweikekahialiiokamoku, one of Hawaii’s kings.

3 A sort of manele or palanquin.

4 Through chanting the Song of Kualii; a successful bluff.

5 A mano is four thousand; a lau is four hundred in the Hawaiian method of counting. Forty thousand is kini, used at times for an indefinite number.

6 Imi haku, seeking a new master for the betterment of one’s condition. A laudable ambition in some cases; ill others, for a life of ease or self-preservation, as in the case of the priests, Nunu and Kolohe, in espousing Umi’s cause against Hakau.

Kapaahulani the elder and his younger brother Kamakaaulani were men who were in search of a new master6 or lord, so they composed a mele, or chant, and after it was completed placed it to Kualii as his name. Shortly after the two men had com pleted the mele they held a conference as to the proper course for them to follow in order that they might both reap equal benefit. Following is how they decided which course to pursue while all by themselves and before the mele was made public:

“Since we have composed and completed this mele, you (Kamakaaulani) must therefore go and give its name to Kualii, and I (Kapaahulani) will go to the other chief and urge him to make war upon Kualii. And when we become acquainted of the place where the battle is to be fought1 then you are to take Kualii to the place and there conceal yourselves in the bushes. You are to leave a mark on the road, however, so that I may be informed of your being there. I will then stand and chant this mele that we have just composed.”

After completing their arrangement, Kamakaaulani gave out the mele which was known as the name of Kualii. Some considerable time after this, these two brothers again got together and decided upon the time when they should bring about what they had agreed upon. The following is what they said at this last meeting while by themselves:

Kamakaaulani: “You go to the chief of Koolauloa’ and bring him to the plains of Keahumoa3 where we will conceal ourselves. When you see a knotted ti leaf and the tail of a small fish (aholehole)4 on a pile of sugarcane peelings, then remember that it is the sign that we are there and you can stand on that spot and chant the mele. This must, however, be on the eve of Kane.5 You will find as on the plains of Keahumoa.” As soon as this was agreed upon, Kapaahulani proceeded on his way to meet the chief of Koolauloa. When Kapaahulani reached Waialua where the chief of Koolauloa had come and was residing for the time being, soon after his arrival there he introduced himself to the chief, and thereupon urged him to go and make war on Kualii.

On a certain evening while the priests and the chief were watching the heavens in order to discover if they could defeat Kualii, the astrologers, after a careful study, were certain that their army would not be able to overcome the army of Kualii. When Kapaahulani heard the decision arrived at by the priests of the chief of Koolauloa, he remarked to one of the chief’s attendants: “You go to the chief and tell him for me that his priests are mistaken in their interpretations.” Upon hearing this remark made by Kapaahulani, the mau went and said to the chief: “O Chief, that man (Kapaahulani) has just said that your priests are mistaken in their interpretations.” The chief replied: “You go and bring that man to me. Let him come and say what he has told you.”

Kapaahulani was then sent for and he was brought in the presence of the chief, who asked him: “Is it true that you have said that my priests are mistaken in their interpretations?” Kapaahulani replied to the chief: “Yes, it is true your priests are

1 The place of battle was generally by mutual agreement of contesting parties. Taking the enemy unaware does not seem to have been it feature of Hawaiian warfare as a rule. 2 The name of this opponent is shown later to be Lonoikaika. 3 Ahumoa was in the Ewa district of Oahu. 4 Aholehole (Kahlia malo). 5 The night of kane was dark, the moon being twenty-seven days old.

mistaken in their interpretations; because according to what I have seen, being also a great priest, and in accordance with the knowledge gathered by my ancestors and handed to me by them, your priests have indeed made a mistake in their interpretations to you, O Chief.” Upon hearing this the chief asked Kapaahulani: “What are your interpretations then? It is proper that you relate them.” Kapaahulani then replied to the chief: “My interpretations are these: If we go and make war upon Kualii, we will be victorious in that battle. I believe that if we could go and make war upon Kualii tomorrow, and it should happen that we meet him in the early morning, that by noon the battle would not be fought;1 but if we happen to meet his army at noon time we would defeat him early in the evening.”

Because of these remarks, the chief thereupon ordered his men, amounting to three lau (twelve hundred) to get ready to go to war. That night they went to the upper part of Lihue, and from there on down to Honouliuli, till they arrived on the plains of Keahumoa, just as the sun was coming up. At this same time Kapaahulani saw the mark agreed upon by him and his brother. He then rushed to the front of the army to the chief warriors and spoke to the people in the chief's immediate circle as follows:

“Say, Nuunewa (the chief warrior), we are surrounded by the enemy. I had thought that we would be the victors if we arrived here first, but I see that we are surrounded. Therefore I will chant my prayer, and if it should be acceptable this morning, we will be saved; but if I chant my prayer and it should end badly this day, then we will all be killed.”

Because of these remarks spoken by Kapaahulani, the chief's priests spoke up saying: “It does seem strange. You told us that we would not be surrounded by the enemy, and that we would be victorious if we were to reach this place first; but it now turns out that we are surrounded by the enemy.”

The chief then spoke up: “Stop your remarks. We have staked the life and death of the army in his keeping, therefore we must abide by what he says. If what he says is true, that we are indeed surrounded by the enemy, then it will redound to his own good, and he shall be rewarded. But in case he lies and is deceiving us, then my firm command as to his treatment is this: he shall die, and all his relations also, and death shall gather up even those who befriend him.”

Kapaahulani then stood up in the presence of the army and prayed by chanting the mele composed by him and his brother.

( Chant left out)

At the conclusion of the chanting of the mele by Kapaahulani, the two armies came together and the battle was declared off. The king of Koolauloa then gave over, or ceded, the districts of Koolauloa, Koolaupoko, Waialua and Waianae. When the king of Kauai heard how Kualii excelled over all the others in war, and how he had gained the victory at the battle of Hououliuli on the plains of Keahumoa, he came to meet Kualii and gave him Kauai, and by this act Kualii became possessed of all the islands from Hawaii to Niihau.



AFTER the battle of the plains of Keahumoa as related in the preceding chapters, Kapaahulani, the elder brother of Kamakaaulani, the one on the side of the king of Koolau, received great riches from the king. Kapaahulani also became a great favorite with the king, and the king gave away his own lands to him; and on the same day in which the battle ended and while on their return by way of Lihue, Kapaahulani was presented with swine, food and various other tilings; and when they arrived at Waianae presents of property were again given him.

It was while on this return to Koolau that Kapaahulani remarked to the chief these words: “Here I am possessed of all this property, while my younger brother and my wife are without any knowledge of what amount of property I am in possession of.”

Because of these words spoken by Kapaahulani, the chief warrior of the king, in obedience to the order of the king, picked out a certain number of canoes and loaded them with some of the presents given to Kapaahulani to be taken to his people. After the presents were loaded into several large double canoes, they were sent out to meet Kamakaulani who was then at Puuloa, and there the presents were given him.

Before Kamakaaulani parted from his brother they had an understanding where he would be at the close of hostilities. This was why Kamakaaulani resided at Puuloa, that being the place agreed upon by them. Thus by this conduct of theirs both sides were deceived through their duplicity.


When Kapaahulani was returning to Waialua with the king, after leaving Waianae, the king said to him: “How about the lands I gave you while we were on the plains of Keahumoa on the day the battle was called off ? ”

Kapaahulani replied: “Listen, O King! I do not care for the lands nor for anything else. The only thing I want you to give me is to have the general care of your store houses.”1 When the king saw that Kapaahulani had made the proper answer in the matter, he was thereupon made chief steward over the store houses in the name of the king.

After he became chief steward and had control of the king’s store houses, he took it upon himself as a duty to continuously supply his younger brother with the different good things in the store houses, in accordance with their first agreement.


1 Having an eye to self provision through a lucrative stewardship.

In Kuali'i's genealogical tree there are eleven generations from Kapapaiakea1 to Wakea. It is, however, told that the genealogical tree to which Kane is the head, and the genealogical tree of Kapapaiakea, were handed down by those who had the keeping of the Oahu genealogy, and these divisions are seen in the history of Kualii; and the genealogical tree from Opuukahonua2 to Wakea and from Wakea to Kamehameha had been handed down by the Hawaii genealogy keepers, and this genealogical tree is seen in the history of Moikeha. But the genealogical tree that is commonly seen these days is the one from Wakea to Kamehameha as told by Kalauwalu and other genealogy keepers.

In trying to ascertain the truth of the different divisions of these genealogical trees one is left in doubt as to their correctness, but in looking them over one cannot help seeing that each island had a separate tree, the Maui one being different from that of Kauai. Molokai’s genealogy differs again. In the records kept by the Molokai genealogist it is stated that Hookumukahonua was the progenitor of the royal family of Hawaii, but in the opinion of historians they generated from Wakea.



THE battle on the plains of Keahumoa at Honouliuli, Ewa, is described in Chapter I. In looking over the history of Kualii related in that chapter, it is thought to have been the last battle in which he took part, for in Chapter II it is shown that Kauai was simply given over by its king to Kualii, whereby the whole group from Hawaii to Niihau was united [under him]. Therefore it is believed that was Kualii’s final contest.

The first battle on Oahu in which Kualii took part where a general war was had, was the one fought on Kawaluna, the heights above Waolani,1 where a great slaughter took place that reddened the pili grass of Keanakamano. The history of that battle is told as follows:

Oahu had four kings just prior to the time of Kakuhihewa; Lonohulimoku was the king of Koolaupoko; Lonohulilani was the king of Koolauloa and Waialua; Louokukaelekoa was the king of Waianae and Ewa: and Lonoikaika was the king of Kona, from Moanalua to Maunalua. While Kualii was residing at Kalehuawehe, in Waikiki, at a time when he was about to attain the age of manhood, he began to be dissatisfied with the king of Kona district, because his immediate attendants often complained of being oppressed and would come to him with the following remarks:

“If your muscular body was only that of a fearless warrior these bones would indeed be saved: but no, your strength is worthless. Here we are being ordered roughly by the different chiefs which is so degrading and angers us. In your younger days you could beat everybody whom you fought against. Being so fearless in your childhood days, one would think it would continue; yet alas, it was only the fearlessness of youth.” Kualii replied: “There will be fighting then, since you have found the cause why I should urge it. A few days hence the pili grass will be reddened.”2

On the expiration of the days during which the temple on Kawaluna was dedicated,3 the following night the army of Lonoikaika arrived on Keanakamano, as word had been carried to Lonoikaika that “Kualii has rebelled.” This was the reason why the soldiers slept that night on the plains of Keanakamano, Kualii in dedicating the temple on Kawaluua had overstepped himself. Very early that morning Kualii arousedhis father Kauakahiakahoowaha4 with the words: “Say, Where art thou? Rouse up the men, we are now surrounded by the enemy; there is one army below us, there is another army from Koolau and there is still another one from Waialua; there is but one pali left, that of Waolani, therefore you must rouse up the men and get them together as I am ready for the battle.” Kauakahiakahoowaha replied: “How do you know that we are surrounded by the enemy?”

Kualii spoke up: “The night tells me that there will be war in the day time, for the king, Lonoikaika, has remarked, that we have rebelled against him, because we have come here to dedicate this temple on Kawaluna, thus taking upon ourselves something which only a great god has power to do.” Kauakahiakahoowaha replied: “Say, Kualii, since the night has told you that there will be war during the day and you say there is left us but one more pali, that of Waolani, my idea is this: let us escape by way of that pali this early morning and return to Waikiki.” Kualii replied: “Why should we run? Do you suppose that we would be saved by escaping? If we are to die in this battle, running will not save us, we would indeed die; and if we are to live, we will surely live.”


1 On the northerly side of Nuuanu Valley, now the Country Club.

2 Reddened with men: the gathering armies.

3 Kualii appears here to assume a hereditary royal right to this high service, though rival aliis were ruling Oahu’s several districts.

4 Kauakahiakahoowaha. Kualii’s father was a great-grandson of Kahuihewa, king of Oaha. Mahulua was Kualii’s mother.

Kauakahiakahoowaha again asked: “What are we to do then?” Kualii replied: “Let us remain and fight them.” Kauakahiakahoowaha remarked: “If you want to fight, you may do so, but as for myself I am going to look for a way of escaping.” Kualii then said: “You must not go; remain where you are; if you go, I may not be able to see you, for you might get killed by mistake; it is best that you stay with me and let us die together in this battle against Lonoikaika if need be.”

This conversation with his father took up a good part of Kualii’s time and the day grew brighter. When it became broad daylight, Kualii looked forth and behold the pili grass was red with men; the pili grass of Keanakamano was entirely covered with men. Kualii at this time covered himself over as though asleep; he was not, however, really asleep, but he did this to show his father and their men that he had indeed spoken the truth that early morning. While the men and Kauakahiakahoowaha were sleeping they heard a great commotion from the mountain, somewhere near Kawaluna. Kauakahiakahoowaha was therefore startled and looking around he saw that the enemy was already formed for battle. When he looked down the bottom of Waolani, one wing of the army was climbing Puuiwa; the army from Koolau was coming down Kaniakapupu, while one of the wings of the army from Koolau was already on the Kalihi cliffs, and still another wing from Kona was coming up soon to meet the army from Koolau, whereby Kualii would be entirely surrounded.

When Kauakahiakahoowaha saw this he called out to Kualii: “Say, where are you? Are you to continue sleeping, when here we are surrounded by the enemy?” When Kualii heard this he spoke from within the bed clothes that covered his head: “What can I do by getting up? There is only one thing for me to do, that is, to remain where I am till the slaughter gets here. What have we on hand to fight them with when we can see for ourselves that they have no end of men on their side. On the other hand it is entirely within reason that this battle is not intended for us.”

That morning a messenger was seen coming as though sent by Lonoikaiaka. He approached Kualii and said: “There is going to be a battle today.” When Kualii heard the messenger he replied: “Why did they send you? If you wish to make war come and do so, I shall not prevent it. You know well enough that I have not as yet acquired the art of warfare. All would have been well if there was reason for this. With all this lack of reason, still you come and make war on a mere youngster whose bones are not even matured. You go back and ask Lonoikaika what is my fault.” Hema, the messenger, replied: “I have heard of your fault. It is the fact that you dedicated the temple, taking upon yourself something only a god has the right to do.” Kualii replied: “Go back and tell Lonoikaikaole1 that I have the right to dedicate this temple.”

Hema thereupon returned to the king and reported as follows: “Kualii told me to come back and tell you the following words: ‘Go back and tell Lonoikaikaole that I have the right to dedicate this temple.’” When Lonoikaika heard what Hema had to say, he became very angry and remarked: “Is this youngster who is still so young that he has no knowledge of what shame is, going to be the one to tell me that I am


1 Taunting play on name of Lono, implying no strength.

not strong enough? Well, we’ll see about it.” Lonoikaika then sent Hema to hasten and inform the army from Koolau to bring the wings of the armies together so as to surround Kualii.

When the armies were ready to begin the conflict, Kualii looked about him and saw that the different armies were closing in on him, and the grass was so thickly covered with men that it was dried up from the tramping; he then remarked to his own personal attendant, Maheleana: “Say, where are you? This morning you must learn how to fight and how to be brave.” Maheleana replied: “One cannot show his strength against such odds. The rain clouds are encircling from above, from sea-ward and from all sides.” Kualii spoke up: “There are two of us as Kane and Kanaloa are also two. Let us then make a stand and you will see these numbers flee.” While the armies were closing around Kualii he entered the temple to pray. At the close of Kualii’s prayer Maheleana looked and lo, the enemy was close upon them. Kualii then reached for his war club Manaiakalani1 and handed it to Maheleana with the remark: “Here is my war club, go out and enter into the army of Lonoikaika.”

As directed by Kualii, Maheleana went forth and began the slaughter of the people with such courage that the enemy retired from before him and ran directly toward Lonoikaika. When these people withdrew the whole of the enemy retreated, those on the pali of Waolani fell over like pebbles down the pali. Kualii then slew almost all the chiefs on Lonoikaika’s side. The dead bodies were strewn around like logs of wood, so great was the number of those that were killed in this battle. Kualii was therefore victorious in this his first battle and he became the owner of all the land from Moanalua to Maunaloa. Shortly after this Kualii went and lived in Kailua, Koolaupoko, in a great palace callad Kalanihale.

Sometime after this, Kualii and Maheleana, his personal attendant and fellow companion in battle, took lessons in learning the art of using the war club, and he took Kahai and Malanaihaehae to be his chief warriors. They all studied the different arts of warfare until they were quite proficient. Shortly after this Kualii and his chief war- riors sailed for Kauai, being desirous of procuring certain kinds of war clubs.2 On this tour they were able to obtain what they wanted and returned with their new weapons. Kualii named his war club Hulimokualana.3

On their return from Kauai, Kualii desired to laud at Kamaile, Waianae, but upon arrival there he found that the place was already prepared for battle under the command of the chief of Waianae and Ewa, the Koolau chief and his army had also arrived there and all were waiting for Kualii’s return from Kauai when they would engage him.

While out at sea some distance from land Kualii, by his supernatural powers, knew beforehand that Waianae was surrounded by an army which was waiting for him. So he remarked to Malanaihaehae and Maheleana: “Say, Waianae is surrounded by an army that is ready to fight us as soon as we make a landing.” Before Kualii had sailed for Kauai he ordered his men to come and meet him at Waianae upon his


1 Taking the name of the fabulous fish-hook of Maui.

2 Weapons of kauila wood, very hard and durable, were said to be the kind sought.

3 Huli-moku-alana, victorious land turning.

return from Kauai, but when Kuala and his fellow travelers arrived outside of Kamaile they saw the place surrounded by an army. Upon seeing this they laid off in their canoes all that day and night. In the morning when Kualii looked he saw the pili grass of Kamaile was completely covered by the people.

While on the canoes that morning Kualii, upon seeing the people, addressed, them in the following words: “You no doubt want to fight Kualii, but where will the battle be?” The people from the shore replied: “As soon as the canoes land the fighting will commence.” Kualii answered back: “Let us go to Kalena and fight there. If you insist on fighting here the canoes will continue by sea and land at Molokai.” Because of this request of Kualii to go to Kalena and there fight, the chiefs of Waianae consented because it was but a reasonable request. Kualii, Maheleana and Malanaihaehae therefore came ashore and proceeded by land to Malamanui. All that night both sides took a long rest; but early in the morning the fighting commenced at Kalena on the plains of Haleauau, at Lihue. On the one side there were twelve thousand men, while on Kualii’s side there were but three men, and yet the armies of the chiefs of Waianae and Koolauloa were routed. Kualii named this the battle of Kalena.

A few days after this three more battles were fought, at Malamanui, Pulee and Paupauwela. These were the greatest of the battles fought by Kualii in all the Oahu contests. Sometime after he had conquered the whole of Oahu he heard that there was a battle in Hilo, Hawaii; he therefore made up his mind to make a trip to Hawaii with his chief warriors. When Haalilo heard that Kualii had arrived at Laupahoehoe lie immediately prepared for war, so that when Kualii reached Peahi in Hilo he ran into Haalilo and the battle commenced. It was of but short duration and Kualii was victorious. When the chiefs of Puna heard that Haalilo was beaten they too fell back.

Shortly after this word was brought to Kualii at Hilo that the chiefs of Oahu had again risen against him and were ready to dispute his title as king of Oahu. Upon hearing this Kualii returned from Hilo to Oahu and found upon his arrival that all the people, together with the rebellious chiefs, had gone to Waianae to hold a council of war with the one set purpose of fighting him. When Kualii heard that all the chiefs were gathered at Waianae, he continued on with his chief warriors for that place. Upon arrival at the seat of war they looked and saw that the rebellious chiefs had indeed a very large army. No time was lost, however, for the battle immediately commenced, and again Kualii was victorious. After the battle Kualii and his chief warriors looked over the battle ground and saw that a very large number of men had been killed, so much so that the waters of Kalapo were dammed and a large number of dead bodies were strewn below Eleu. Because of this great victory certain lines of mele were composed by his attendants which read as follows:

A battle for Ku,

Beating his enemy on the heights of Kawaluna.

Where, where is the battle field

Where the warrior is to fight?


On the field of Kalena,

At Manini, at Hanini,

Where was poured the water of the god

At Kahana, at Malamanui;

On the heights of Kapapa, at Paupauwela,


Where they lean and rest;

At the hala trees of indolent Halahalanui,

At the ohia grove of Pule-e,

The god of Lono, of Makalii,

The fragrant branch of the Ukulonoku,


Mayhap from Kona, from Lihue,

For the day at Maunauna,

For the water at Paupauwela;

Growing low at Nepee,

At the slaughter of Aui,


Where the priests joined in the battle.

Ku is arrayed in his feather cloak,

The sun-lighted rain in the heavens,

The sun at Kauakahihale.

Red is the leaf of the mamane.


The koaie of Kauai:

The sea grass has been stripped by Ku—

The waving [grass] of Kamaile;

The towering surf of Maihiwa,

Which dammed up the waters of Halapo.


The breaking up is below at Eleu,

The rain is drawn away to the sky,

Like a full retreat from the mountain;

It must be the defeat of Hilo by Puna,

There at Hilo is Peahi.


Red is the water of Paupauwela,

From the slain at Malamanui,

The slain on the ridge at Kapapa.

The tidings reached Haalilo

Your younger brother is beaten.


Haalilo is sore at heart,

For Ku has left but few of the priests;

They are beaten by Ku,

The children of Haalilo.

Here is Malanaihaehae,


Offspring of mischief-making Niheu,

The dammer of the waters of Kekeuna.

A prodigy among the people.

He is girding on his robe,

He is whirling his weapon [in the air],


The war club is caught in his robe.

Here is Haalilo,

Ku is indeed king. CHAPTER VI.


SOMETIME after the battles spoken of in Chapter V were fought, where Kualii maintained his title of king of Oahu, after the land matters were satisfactorily arranged, he again set sail for Hawaii and landed in Hilo where he took up his residence for some time. While there word was brought to him of wars on Molokai, where several pitched battles had been fought and the chiefs were in conflict with one another all the time. The cause of all the trouble was this: The chiefs on the Koolau side of Molokai were anxious to get possession of Kekaha, a stretch of country from Kawela to Maamomi; and the reason why these chiefs were so desirous of getting possession of this section of country was on account of the fishing. But the chiefs of Kekaha, knowing the value of these fishing grounds, were determined to hold on to them; so this determination on their part caused a general internal conflict at this time.

When Kualii heard of tills general conflict on Molokai, he left Hilo and set sail for Molokai. On the way Kualii touched at Honokawai in Kaanapali, Maui, where a chief by the name of Paepae arrived at the same time. This Paepae was one of the chiefs of Kekaha, and the reason why he had come to Maui was to enlist Kanhi, one of the chiefs of Maui, to come to their aid. This Kauhi was the son of Kauhiakama, the younger brother of Kamalalawalu. Upon Paepae’s arrival at Kaanapali he was. told that Kualii had already arrived there. Upon hearing this he went to ascertain whether it was really the Kualii who was noted for his great strength. That was the sole purpose of Paepae’s visit to see and be assured that it was Kualii.

When Paepae saw for himself that it was indeed Kualii he decided there and then to abandon his first idea of enlisting Kauhi’s aid, and left in haste for Kekaha to notify the chiefs of his discovery and to ask their consent to the change in the programme. Upon his arrival at Kaunakakai he found that all the chiefs of Kekaha had gone to Kalamaula preparing for another battle to commence upon the arrival of Kauhi. But when Paepae arrived at Kalamaula the chiefs saw that Paepae had returned alone and so were anxious to hear what he had to say about his mission.

When Paepae came up to the chiefs he was asked: “Where is Kauhi, the chief?” Paepae replied: “I left here with my mind fully made up to procure Kauhi, but upon my arrival at Kaanapali I met Kualii, the king of Oahu, so I returned to inform you of this fact and to urge upon you to try and enlist him on our side, else the Koolau chiefs will get him first.” When the chiefs heard this they urged upon Paepae to again set sail, and also sent Kapolei, daughter of Keopuolono, to entertain Kualii. Early that morning Paepae reached Kaanapali, but to his surprise found that Kualii had already left for Molokai at dawn.

Upon hearing that Kualii had already left for Molokai, he boarded his canoes again and returned in haste. While in mid-channel he saw the flapping of the sails of canoes inside of the reef at Kamalo, so Paepae followed in. Before the several things in Kualii’s canoes could be taken ashore and before the canoes could be hauled on the beach, Paepae arrived and moored his canoe at the stern of Kualii’s canoes. Without further delay Paepae told Kualii the object of his errand in the following words: “I have come to entreat you to come to our rescue. The chiefs of Koolau have taken up arms against us with the intention of taking away from us our lands from Kawela to Maamomi. Because of this desire on their part we have had several disputes and a battle is about to commence. A minor engagement has already taken place, however, in which we were beaten. The majority of the chiefs are encamped on the top of Maunaloa.”

When Kualii heard this he immediately gave his consent and the canoes were again put to sea and they set sail for Kaunakakai where they arrived in due time. A council was then held by the chiefs, at the close of which they set out. The men were embarked on the canoes, while the Molokai chiefs and Kualii went by land until they reached Maamomi, where Kualii and the chiefs took the canoes and set sail for Kalaupapa.

When the chiefs of Koolau heard that the war was to be carried into Kalaupapa, the war canoes were put out from Halawa and from all the Koolau side to go to battle. But Kualii and his chief warriors, Maheleana and Malanaihaehae, with two other warriors had already encountered the chiefs residing at Kalaupapa and had defeated these chiefs. But other chiefs of Koolau and Kona with their men arrived soon after this who were prepared to continue the battle against the chiefs of Kekaha. In this battle Paepae was very conspicuous both in strength and bravery, so much so that he and his force surpassed the chief warriors of Kualii. When Kualii and his followers were victorious over all the chiefs of Molokai all the lands on the Koolau side came into Paepae’s possession. This victory was not, however, gained through the use of the war clubs, but through the use of Kualii’s stone axe named Haulanuiakea. Following is the story of the destruction of the enemy by Kualii with the blade of the axe.

While Kualii and his followers were floating in their canoes over the sand bar at Kalaupapa the soldiers from Koolau swam out to the canoes of Kualii with the intention of capturing them; there were some forties in number. When they got to the canoes they took hold of them and 1fted them onto their shoulders. While this was being done Kualii rose with his axe in hand and swung it along one side of the canoes killing those on that side, which caused the canoes to lean toward that side as the canoes were then on the shoulders of the men. When Malanaihaehae saw that the people on one side of the canoes were all slain, he rose and reached for the axe which was being held in Kualii’s hand and swung it along the other side of the canoes, which slew all the people on that side; and the canoes again fell on even keel in the sea and floated as before.

Not very long after this some more of the enemy came along, equal in number to those that had been slain, and again lifted up the canoes of Kualii just as the others had done, without any signs of fear, although the others were floating around dead. Again the axe was used with deadly effect and again Kualii and his followers were victorious by the use of the blade of Haulanuiakea. This was kept up until the whole army was slain.

At the final battle which was fought at Pelekunu, Kualii left the fighting to Paepae and Malanaihaehae. Again Paepae showed his quality by routing the whole army. After this great slaughter at Pelekunu, Paepae stood up in the canoe and spoke to the people in a boastful manner saying: “You are all slain by the war club of Kualii.” At these words the people were for the first time made aware of the fact that it was Kualii that had killed their men. The chiefs of Koolau then gave up to Kualii the whole of Molokai. It was this battle that a few lines of the Kualii mele speaks of in Chapter I, which run as follows:

Kuku, Aa,

Haulanuiakea the axe.

Paepae, Manau his wife.

They brought forth Kanaenae that dwells on the mountain.


The Hinihini that sings on the high mountain.

Broken on the front seat of the canoe,

That is [Molokai] torn asunder,

Deserted by Kanaloapuna,



[There is] death if you run toward the mountains;

[There is] death if you run toward the sea.

Luukia is suffering headache,

Made sick by the unpleasant sensation of pregnancy

Conceiving the child.


The ieie is conceived that creeps in the forest,

Makaaulii was his wife

Which brought forth the lupua and laulama

Like unto the bushy stock of Lono,

Kapolei was the wife.


Kukaikaina behind the spider,

Of Kukonaihoae,

Ku of the rising sea.

Like unto a dancing sea is Ku;

Here is the woman that hides,


Covered by the dust of Keaau,

The calabash of kneaded earth.

Like unto the leaf of the sugar-cane is the path.

Here is the company of travelers,

The slippery road that makes men fall,


Which softened the dirt of Mahiki,

Being trodden down by the foot.

In this mele the battles fought by Kualii as related in this chapter are spoken of. After Kualii had made a new division of the lands, he then left Paepae and Manau his wife in charge of the island of Molokai subject to his further pleasure. Kualii then returned to Oahu and went to live in Kailua, Koolaupoko, in his palace called Kalanihale.



AFTER Kualii completed the redivision of the lands of Molokai, those pertaining to the chiefs as well as to the people, he returned to Oahu accompanied by his companions, his chief warriors. Upon arriving from Molokai he proceeded on his way to Kailua where he found that the chiefs and people were all living in peace. After residing on Oahu for some time Kualii again set out for Hawaii and again took up his residence in Hilo, this being the third time that he decided to go and live there. After Kualii had been living in Hilo for some time word was brought to him that war had broken out on Lanai, caused by Kauhi, son of Kauhiakama; the chief of Lanaihaving taken up arms against the son of Kauhiakama, one of Kamalalawalu’s ministers. Following is the story of this battle:

Haloalena, the chief of Lanai, was considered a very good ruler. His great favorite pastime was the collection of the skeletons of birds. When the chief's bird tax was about due it was the usual custom of the agents to go out and proclaim the chief’s wishes. Following was the proclamation announced by the agents:

Tomorrow cook the food.

The following day,

[Is] the snaring of birds for the king.

Pick the feathers off the birds,

Pick all the meat,

Be careful with the bones lest you break them.

If the bones are broken and you are a chief of a district

You shall no longer be a district chief;

If you are a chief of an ahupuaa

You shall no longer be chief of that ahupuaa1

If it be a common farmer who breaks the bones of the bird.

Death shall be his portion.

This was the king’s constant proclamation to the people in order that they be informed of his law. After a person has cleaned the skeleton of a bird it is then carried into one of the king’s warehouses and there made to stand. These skeletons are picked clean of their meat and are stood up in rows in their storehouses. After the king’s wishes are carried out he is then sent for to come and look at the skeletons. After looking through one house he would go to the next one and inspect the skeletons in that house. This was Haloalena's usual way of passing his time. After inspection the king would retire to his house.

Once upon a time Kauhi happened to be in Lanai and saw the king returning to his house one day after inspecting his skeletons. Kauhi then went into Haloalena’s storehouses with long poles and knocked down all the skeletons from their places, and he kept this up until he had gone through all the storehouses of the chief of Lanai. When the king heard that Kauhi had entered the storehouses and had destroyed all his skeletons he sent for the son of Kauhiakama and asked him: “Whose mischievous son


1 Ahupuaa. a division of land larger than an ili.

art thou?” Kauhi answered without fear: “Kauhiakama’s.” Haloalena again asked him: “Was it Kauhiakama that told you to destroy all my skeletons?” Kauhi replied: “Kauhiakama did not tell me to destroy the skeletons in your storehouses, but what he told me was to come and act in a mischievous manner and to be fearless. This was all he told me; therefore I came and acted mischievously.” This was the cause of the hostilities between the king of Lanai and the king of Maui, and the reason why the king of Lanai wanted to be independent and not be any longer under the king of Mani. At this time the chiefs of Lanai were under the control of Kamalalawalu, king of Maui.

When Kualii heard of this proposed war he set sail from Hilo and first touched at Kaupo where he found that the Maui chiefs had gone to Lanai. Upon hearing this Kualii continued on his way to Lanai and landed at Wailehua. Upon his arrival at this place Kualii saw a fleet of war canoes in Kekaa. Kamalalawalu at this time was on Lanai with his army waiting for the return of Haloalena when the fight would commence. When Haloalena heard that Kualii was on his way to this war he decided to wait with his fleet of war canoes at Kekaa. On the next day the news of Kualii’s arrival at Wailehua was carried to Haloalena. Immediately upon hearing this he started off to meet Kualii and entreat him to take up his cause and fight Kamalalawalu.

That night Kualii and the chiefs of Lanai sailed under the lee side of Kaena as directed by the people who were acquainted with the place. All that night until the next day Kualii’s canoes were moored along the beach at Manele. [In the meantime Kamalalawalu was still waiting for Haloalena.] After a time Kamalalawalu grew anxious and sent for his messenger Hinau and instructed him to make a circuit of Lanai. When Hinau arrived at Manele he saw Kualii’s fleet of canoes moored there, and according to their appearance judged them to be war canoes. Upon making this discovery Hinau drew closer with the intention of ascertaining if they were Haloalena’s. He did not, however, see Haloalena and Kualii, but by the paddlers he recognized. Haloalena’s canoes, and by the shape and appearance of the others he was positive they belonged to Kualii.

Upon making this last discovery Hinau returned to Kamalalawalu and informed him of what he had seen in the following words: “I ran by way of Maunalei to Kaena without seeing the king. From this last place I continued to Manele and there I saw some canoes moored along the beach which had the appearance of war canoes. Upon making this discovery I drew closer so as to ascertain their true character. I did not, however, see the chiefs who owned the canoes, but I saw the king’s paddlers; they appeared to me to be Haloalena’s men, and the other canoes looked like those of Kualii. I did not, however, see Kualii.

When Kamalalawalu heard Hinau speak of Kualii, he immediately sent for some soldiers and ordered them to go and bring Kualii. When Kauhi heard the orders given to the soldiers he thereupon set out and ran to Manele to meet Kualii without receiving any orders from Kamalalawalu to do so, but took it upon himself to be the first person to bring Kualii. When Kauhi arrived at the place where the canoes moored he first looked for Haloalena’s canoes and upon ascertaining which canoes were his, this mischievous son of Kauhiakama unfastened the rope that held Haloalena’s canoes

to the shore and dropped it in the sea. At this time a strong breeze was blowing and the canoes were carried out to sea, leaving Kualii’s canoes by themselves at their mooring place. Kauhi next took up the rope which held Kualii’s canoes to the shore and pulling on it drew them toward him and when near he jumped aboard, approached Kualii and sat on his lap. By the action of the boy Kualii knew he was a mischievious fellow and therefore asked him: “Whose mischievious son art thou?” Kauhi replied: “Kauhiakama’s.” Kualii again asked him: “Did Kauhiakama tell yon to come and sit on my lap?” Kauhi replied: “Yes, he told me to sit on your lap.”

Because of these positive replies made by Kauhi, Kualii made up his mind to go to Kauhiakama and ask him directly on the matter. Kualii then set off with Kauhi on their way to meet Kamalalawalu. Upon coming up to Kamalalawalu and his company, Kualii turned to Kauhiakama and asked him: “Is this your son Kauhi?” Kauhiakama replied: “Yes, my own son.” Kualii again asked him: “Was it you who told him to come and sit on my lap?” Kauhiakama replied: “I did not tell that deceitful boy to go and sit on your lap, O King.” Kualii remarked: “He told me that you had told him to sit on my lap.” Kauhiakama then replied: “What a deceitful boy; send for that mischievious boy.” Kauhi was then sent for and he was brought in the presence of Kauhiakama his father and was then asked: “Say, Kauhi, is it true that you told the king (Kualii) that it was I that had instructed you to go and sit on his lap?” Kauhi replied: “Yes, you told me to do it.” The father then said: “You are indeed a deceitful boy. When did I tell you to do such a thing?”

Kauhi then answered his father without fear: “Here is what you told me. While I was teasing the boys and was pulling up our newly planted fields till you had about enough of my mischievous capers, you then spoke to me in the following words: “At last I am sick and tired of your capers; the best thing for you to do is to go and behave this way in the presence of the king, there you can cut as much of your capers as you like.’ These were your very words to me, and that is the reason why I acted the way I did to the king.”

Because Kauhi spoke the way he did to his father, Kualii made up his mind that Kauhi had in him the makings of a brave soldier, and thereupon took him as one of his soldiers. In course of time Kauhi proved to be what Kualii had predicted of him and was made his chief warrior, even over Maheleana and Malanailiaehae.

The battle prepared by Haloalena was declared off by Kualii, and Lanai once more came under the rule of Kamalalawalu. Shortly after this, Kualii returned to Oahu taking Kauhi along with him.



IN most of the battles fought by Kualii it was customary for him to accompany his soldiers. But later on when Kualii saw that his soldiers were proficient and that they showed great strength he decided to let them go to war by themselves, while he stayed behind at Kailua. But nevertheless, his soldiers usually told him the time and place the battles were to be fought, so as to keep the king informed. This was the

practice regularly observed. Kualii, however, often went to witness these battles without the knowledge of his soldiers. In these secret tours of his, he always took part in the battles against his enemies and carried away the feather cloaks. Kualii often went out to battle in this secret way and the soldiers were puzzled at certain things they saw which they were not able to unravel. Every time an engagement occurred Kualii was there, fighting those who were opposed to his men. At the close of the battle the men would then see some one come out of the conflict bearing a feather cloak who would disappear on the way to Kailua. It was no one else but Kualii.

After a while Kualii’s soldiers became very anxious to know who this person was that always came out from the ranks of the enemy carrying a feather cloak on his arm. So the soldiers made up their minds to seize him, so that they would be able to find out who this brave soldier was. Several battles were fought after this where Kualii joined in without being recognized by his men, and the soldiers began to question amongst themselves: “Is it possible that this is indeed Kualii? Who can it be?” The soldiers therefore held a council to decide what must be done to him.

One early morning just before dawn Kualii set out from Kailua; leaving Kaneohe he went by sea and the sea was dried up. When Kualii arrived at Kahaluu that same morning he was seen by a certain boy at Kualoa. The boy resided at Kaoio Point. Upon seeing Kualii the boy remarked to his grandmother: “Say, how swiftly that man runs along the sea.” The grandmother replied: “Watch him closely; it cannot be anybody else; it must be the king, Ku.” The grandson then remarked: “When the king arrives I am going to follow him.” The grandmother replied: “If you are thinking of following your lord you must cany along these shrimps wrapped in ti-leaf together with the king’s fan. It is possible that the king may look behind him and see the fan and would like to know who you are; then make yourself known to him. Don’t go near him, however; your shadow may pass over the king; and don’t go on his lee side for you may step over the king’s shadow, but keep at a little distance away from him.”

Just as the grandmother concluded her instructions Kualii passed by. The boy then followed. Kualii kept on running and passed Kaaawa, then along and over Makaua and as he was going up the rise from which place you can see Kahana, Kualii looked behind and saw a boy following him. The king then remarked: “I see there is a boy following me.” As the king did not wish to be followed for fear that his intention of going to battle might be known, he ran much faster with the idea that when they reached the sands of Kahana he would outrun the boy. When Kualii reached the sands of Kahana he then ran at great speed along the sea, with the boy close be- hind; when Kualii got on the other side of Kahana which adjoins Punaluu he looked around and saw the boy still close behind him. The king then remarked to himself: “Surely this boy is a fast runner.” Passing Punaluu, Kaluanui and up the summit of Kaipapau, the boy kept on following close behind till the king reached Waimea; Kualii continued down the slope and sat down on the other side of the Waimea stream; but the boy remained on this side at a place called Piliaama where he sat down, as the sun had now risen. The boy wanted to get nearer to the king, but was afraid his shadow might pass over him, so he concluded to stay where he was.

While they were at Waimea, Kualii looked and saw that the boy was holding his fan; he then watched the boy to see if he would use it, but the boy did not, because he knew that the fan belonged to the king. Had the king seen the boy use the fan the boy would have been killed. After waiting for a while the king called for the boy and the boy stood up and went over to meet the king. The king then asked him: “Who gave you that fan?” The boy answered: “Your honored servant.” Kualii again asked the boy: “Where are you going to?” The boy replied: “I am following the king.” The king again asked him: “If I should run and grab hold of a feather cloak, would you grab one too?” The boy answered: “I would grab a feather cloak too.” Kualii again asked him: “If I should seize hold of a man, would you seize one too?” “Yes, I would seize one too,” replied the boy. After hearing the boy answer all his questions, Kualii made up his mind that this must be a very brave boy.

Upon their arrival at Lihue they heard that the two armies were encamped at Kalakoa, so they kept right on and went into the battle. This is known as the battle of Kukauiloko. When they drew close to the enemy, Kualii entered into the thickest part of the fight with the boy behind him. Kualii, upon entering into the fight, left his own men far behind him, but he and the boy kept on with the desire of again encountering the enemy at Paia where another battle was being fought. Upon reaching Paia, Kualii saw the opposing king dressed in a feather cloak. Kualii then drew near to the other king and after killing him seized the feather cloak and took it. While Knalii was carrying off the feather cloak the boy cut off one of the man’s small fingers and took it. The boy also cut off one of the man’s ears and took it.

After getting the feather cloak Kualii returned with the idea that the boy would not be able to follow him out of the fight. While Kualii was on his way to Kailua with the idea that he was all by himself, he thought he would look behind him; when he did, he saw to his surprise that the boy was still behind him. When Kualii saw the boy following he stopped and waited for the boy to come up to him. When the boy got up to him, the boy asked him: “How are you?” Kualii replied: “Just as usual.” Kualii then asked the boy: “Where is your man?” The boy replied: “When yon took the feather cloak, I took the small finger and one of his ears.”

When the boy made this answer, Kualii made up his mind that this must be a brave lad. They then resumed their journey until they reached Kaoio Point at Kualoa, where the king asked his servant for his malo. Upon receiving it he gave it to the boy to be his own, and he fastened it to the boy with his own hands.1 They then returned to Kailua in Koolaupoko.

While they were approaching near the houses, Kualii told the boy to stay where he was. “You stay here while I go on ahead to the mua.2 When you hear the beating of the drum, then someone will come and bring you along.” With these words Kualii went on and entered the mua. Soon after this the boy heard the beating of the drum and saw someone coming for him.


1 This is certainly royal recognition and reward for faithful service.

2 The mua house of the temple.


The Royal Kolowalu Statule.1—This was the best law during the reign of Kualii Kuniakea Kuikealaikauaokalani.2 It was strict, unvarying and always just. It was for the care and presentation of life; it was for the aged men and women to lie down in the road with safety; it was to help the husbandmen and the fishermen; to entertain (morally) strangers, and feed the hungry with food. If a man says, “I am hungry for food,” feed [him] with food, lest he hungers and claims his rights by swearing the kolowalu law by his mouth, whereby that food becomes free, so that the owner thereof cannot withhold it; it is forfeited by law. It is better to compensate. He who swears must observe the law faithfully, lest he be accountable to the law of the king which he has sworn to observe,3 and the punishment be upou him. If it is simple robbery of others’ food, or of others’ property, then severe punishment shall be meted out to the person who violated the law. A transgressor,4 or one who is about to die, is, under the application of this law exonerated of his death or other penalty. Through the uprightness of his [Kualii’s | law, and the honesty with which he administered the government, God preserved him, so that he lived a long life, and his is that notable life spoken of in the annals of the ancient people, of the king of Oahu, who lived four times forty and fifteen years. In the last stage of life he was bent with age and withered, with the eyes reddened and bedimmed; and was carried about in a netting. He died at Kailua, in Koolaupoko, in A.D. 1730, in the one hundred and seventy-fifth year of his life.


Kualii is thus shown to have lived to an extremely old age, and to have possessed unusual strength and vigor throughout. Fornander, in his Polynesian Race Vol. II, pages 283-4, furnishes the following additional legendary data and characteristic final of this eminent worthy:

“It is related that when Kualii was upwards of ninety years old, Peleioholani arrived one time from Kauai on a visit to his father on Oahu. Without endorsing the details of the legend, it suffices to say that a quarrel arose between father and son; that the latter assaulted the former, and a scuffle ensued in which the old man, getting the grip of the lua5 on his son, handled him so severely that, when released from the paternal grasp, he started at once for Kauai, and never revisited Oahu until after his father’s death.

“Kailua, in Koolaupoko, seems to have been the favorite residence of Kualii, and there he died at a very advanced age. Shortly before his death he called his trustiest kahu and friend to his side and strictly enjoined upon him the duty of hiding his bones


1 A beneficent law which, on occasions, appears to supercede the established ordinance.

2 The historian Kamakau here furnishes Kunlii’s full name for the first time, though this latter appellation is used in the supplementary mele.

3 A safeguarding against seeking to obtain benefits under this law by false representation.

4 Under the old order mercy was unknown; death penalty for transgressions usually prevailed.

5 The lua was like the strangle-hold in wrestling, giving one the complete mastery over the other. It is said that one getting this grip on his opponent could break his bones in mid-air as he threw him.

after death, so that mortal man should never get access to them or be able to desecrate them. When Kualii was dead, and the body, according to custom, had been dissected and the flesh burned, the kahu carefully wrapped the bones up in a bundle and started off, as everybody thought, to hide them in some cave, or sink them in the ocean. Instead of which, he repaired to a lonely spot and there pounded up the bones of the dead king into the finest kind of powder. Secreting this about his person, the kahu returned to court and ordered a grand feast to be holden in commemoration of the deceased. Immense preparations were made, and the chiefs from far and near were invited to attend. The night before the feast the kahu quietly, and unobserved, mixed the powdered bones of the dead king in the poi prepared for the morning’s feast. At the close of the meal the following day the kahu was asked by the chiefs present if he had faithfully executed the wishes of the late king regarding his bones. With conscious pride at his successful device, he pointed to the stomachs of the assembled company and replied that he had hidden his master’s bones in a hundred living tombs. The legend does not say how the guests liked their repast, but the kahu was greatly applauded.”

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