Northern California, Oregon, and the Sandwich Islands
Part 5 out of 6
night. This is a small place, remarkable to the traveler chiefly for the
geological collection which every traveler ought to see, belonging to
the Rev. Mr. Condon, a very intelligent and enthusiastic geologist,
the Presbyterian minister of the place. You have also at Dalles City a
magnificent view of Mount Hood, and Mr. Condon will tell you that he has
seen this old crater emit smoke since he has lived here.
There is no doubt that both Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens have still
internal fires, though both their craters are now filled up with ashes.
There is reason to believe that at its last period of activity Mount Hood
emitted only ashes; for there are still found traces of volcanic ashes,
attributable, I am told, to this mountain, as far as one hundred miles
from its summit. Of Mount St. Helens it is probable that its slumbering
fires are not very deeply buried. A few years ago two adventurous citizens
of Washington Territory were obliged, by a sudden fog and cold storm, to
spend a night near its summit, and seeking for some cave among the lava
where to shelter themselves from the storm, found a fissure from which
came so glowing and immoderate a heat that they could not bear its
vicinity, and, as they related, were alternately frozen and scorched all
night--now roasting at the volcanic fire, and again rushing out to cool
themselves in the sleet and snow.
[Illustration: THE DUKE OF YORK. QUEEN VICTORIA. Puget Sound Chiefs.]
The rocks are volcanic from near the mouth of the Willamette to and above
the Dalles, and geologists suppose that there have been great convulsions
of nature hereabouts in recent geological times. The Indians have
a tradition, indeed, that the river was originally navigable and
unobstructed where now are the Cascades, and that formerly there was a
long, natural tunnel, through which the Columbia passed under a mountain.
They assert that a great earthquake broke down this tunnel, the site
of which they still point out, and that the debris formed the present
obstructions at the Cascades.
Oregon, if one may judge by the fossil remains in Mr. Condon's collection,
seems once to have been inhabited by a great number and variety of
pre-adamite beasts; but the most singular object he has to show is a very
striking ape's head, carved with great spirit and vigor out of hard lava.
This object was found upon the shore of the Columbia by Indians, after
a flood which had washed away a piece of old alluvial bank. The rock of
which it is composed is quite hard; the carving is, as I said, done with
remarkable vigor; and the top of the head is hollowed out, precisely as
the Indians still make shallow depressions in figures and heads which
they carve out of slate, in which to burn what answers in their religious
ceremonies for incense.
But supposing this relic to belong to Oregon--and there is, I was told,
no reason to believe otherwise--where did the Indian who carved it get his
idea of an ape? The Indians of this region, poor creatures that they are,
have still the habit of carving rude figures out of slate and other
soft rocks. They have also the habit of cutting out shallow, dish-like
depressions in the heads of such figures, wherein to burn incense. But
they could not give Mr. Condon any account of the ape's head they brought
him, nor did they recognize its features as resembling any object or
creature familiar to them even by tradition.
The Dalles of the Columbia are simply a succession of falls and rapids,
not reaching over as great a distance as the Cascades, but containing one
feature much more remarkable than any thing which the Cascades afford, and
indeed, so far as I know, found nowhere else.
The Columbia above the Dalles is still a first-class river, comparable
in depth and width, and in the volume of its water, only with the Lower
Mississippi or the Amazon. It is a deep, rapidly-flowing stream, nearly a
mile wide. But at one point in the Dalles the channel narrows until it is,
at the ordinary height of the river, not over a hundred yards wide; and
through this narrow gorge the whole volume of the river rushes for some
distance. Of course water is not subject to compression; the volume of the
river is not diminished; what happens, as you perceive when you see this
singular freak of nature, is that the river is suddenly turned up on its
edge. Suppose it is, above the Dalles, a mile wide and fifty feet deep;
at the narrow gorge it is but a hundred yards wide--how deep must it be?
Certainly it can be correctly said that the stream is turned up on its
The Dalles lie five or six miles above Dalles City; and you pass these
rapids in the train which bears you to Celilo early the next morning
after you arrive at Dalles City. Celilo is not a town; it is simply
a geographical point; it is the spot where, if you were bound to the
interior of the continent by water, you would take steamboat. There is
here a very long shed to shelter the goods which are sent up into this
far-away and, to us Eastern people, unknown interior; there is a wharf
where land the boats when they return from a journey of perhaps a thousand
miles on the Upper Columbia or the Snake; there are two or three laborers'
shanties--and that is all there is of Celilo; and your journey thither
has been made only that you may see the Dalles, and Cape Horn, as a bold
promontory on the river is called.
What I advise you to do is to take a hearty lunch with you, and, if you
can find one, a guide, and get off the early Celilo train at the Dalles.
You will have a most delightful day among very curious scenery; will
see the Indians spearing salmon in the pools over which they build their
stages; and can examine at leisure the curious rapids called the Dalles.
A party of three or four persons could indeed spend several days very
pleasantly picnicking about the Dalles, and in the season they would shoot
hare and birds enough to supply them with meat. The weather in this part
of Oregon, east of the Cascade range, is as settled as that of California,
so that there is no risk in sleeping-out-of-doors in summer.
There is a singularly sudden climatic change between Western and Eastern
Oregon; and if you ask the captain or pilot on the boat which plies
between the Cascades and Dalles City, he can show you the mountain range
on one side of which the climate is wet, while on the other side it is
dry. The Cascade range is a continuation northward of the Sierra Nevada;
and here, as farther south, it stops the water-laden winds which rush up
from the sea. Western Oregon, lying between the Cascades and the ocean,
has so much rain that its people are called "Web-feet;" Eastern Oregon, a
vast grazing region, has comparatively little rain. Western Oregon, except
in the Willamette and Rogue River valleys, is densely timbered; Eastern
Oregon is a country of boundless plains, where they irrigate their few
crops, and depend mainly on stock-grazing. This region is as yet sparsely
settled; and when we in the East think of Oregon, or read of it even, it
is of that part of the huge State which lies west of the Cascades, and
where alone agriculture is carried on to a considerable extent.
You will spend a day in returning from the Dalles to Portland, and
arriving there in the evening can set out the next morning for Olympia,
on Puget Sound, by way of Kalama, which is the Columbia River terminus
for the present of the Northern Pacific Railroad. It is possible to go
by steamer from Portland to Victoria, and then return down Puget Sound to
Olympia; but to most people the sea-voyage is not enticing, and there are
but slight inconveniences in the short land journey. The steamer leaving
Portland at six A.M. lands you at Kalama about eleven; there you get
dinner, and proceed about two by rail to Olympia. It is a good plan to
telegraph for accommodations on the pretty and comfortable steamer _North
Pacific_, and go directly to her on your arrival at Olympia.
Puget Sound is one of the most picturesque and remarkable sheets of water
in the world; and the voyage from Olympia to Victoria, which shows you the
greater part of the Sound, is a delightful and novel excursion, specially
to be recommended to people who like to go to sea without getting
sea-sick; for these land-encircled waters are almost always smooth.
When, at Kalama, you enter Washington Territory, your ears begin to be
assailed by the most barbarous names imaginable. On your way to Olympia
by rail you cross a river called the Skookum-Chuck; your train stops at
places named Newaukum, Tumwater, and Toutle; and if you seek further, you
will hear of whole counties labeled Wahkiakum, or Snohomish, or Kitsap, or
Klikatat; and Cowlitz, Hookium, and Nenolelops greet and offend you. They
complain in Olympia that Washington Territory gets but little immigration;
but what wonder? What man, having the whole American continent to chose
from, would willingly date his letters from the county of Snohomish, or
bring up his children in the city of Nenolelops? The village of Tumwater
is, as I am ready to bear witness, very pretty indeed; but surely an
emigrant would think twice before he established himself either there or
at Toutle. Seattle is sufficiently barbarous; Steilacoom is no better; and
I suspect that the Northern Pacific Railroad terminus has been fixed at
Tacoma--if it is fixed there--because that is one of the few places
on Puget Sound whose name does not inspire horror and disgust.
[Illustration: NANAIMO, VANCOUVER'S ISLAND.]
Olympia, which lies on an arm of Puget Sound, and was once a town of
great expectations, surprises the traveler by its streets, all shaded with
magnificent maples. The founder of the town was a man of taste; and he
set a fashion which, being followed for a few years in this country of
abundant rains, has given Olympia's streets shade trees by the hundred
which would make it famous were it an Eastern place.
Unluckily, it has little else to charm the traveler, though it is the
capital of the Territory; and when you have spent half an hour walking
through the streets you will be quite ready to have the steamer set off
for Victoria. The voyage lasts but about thirty-six hours, and would be
shorter were it not that the steamer makes numerous landings. Thus you
get glimpses of Seattle, Steilacoom, Tacoma, and of the so-called saw-mill
ports--Port Madison, Port Gamble, Port Ludlow, and Port Townsend--the
last named being also the boundary of our Uncle Samuel's dominions for
the present, and the port of entry for this district, with a custom-house
which looks like a barn, and a collector and inspectors, the latter of
whom examine your trunk as you return from Victoria to save you from the
sin of smuggling.
From Port Townsend your boat strikes across the straits of San Juan de
Fuca to Victoria; and just here, as you are crossing from American
to English territory, you get the most magnificent views of the grand
Olympian range of mountains and of Mount Regnier. Also, the captain will
point out to you in the distance that famous island of San Juan which
formed the subject or object, or both, of our celebrated boundary dispute
with great Britain, and you will wonder how small an object can nearly
make nations go to war, and for what a petty thing we set several kings
and great lords to studying geography and treaties and international law,
and boring themselves, and filling enterprising newspapers with dozens
of columns of dull history; and you will wonder the more at the stupid
pertinacity of these English in clinging to the little island of San Juan
when you reach Victoria, and see that we shall presently take that dull
little town too, not because we want it or need it, but to save it from
perishing of inanition.
It is something to have taste and a sense of the beautiful. Certainly the
English, who discovered the little landlocked harbor of Victoria and chose
it as the site of a town, displayed both. It is by natural advantages one
of the loveliest places I ever saw, and I wonder, remote as it is, that
it is not famous. The narrow harbor, which is not so big as one of the
big Liverpool docks, is surrounded on both sides by the prettiest little
miniature bays, rock-bound, with grassy knolls, and here and there shady
clumps of evergreens; a river opening out above the town into a kind of
lake, and spanned by pretty bridges, invites you to a boating excursion;
and the fresh green of the lawn-like expanses of grass which reach into
the bay from different directions, the rocky little promontories with
boats moored near them, the fine snow-covered mountains in the distance,
and the pleasantly winding roads leading in different directions into the
country, all make up a landscape whose soft and gay aspect I suppose is
the more delightful because one comes to it from the somewhat oppressive
grandeur of the fir forests in Washington Territory.
In the harbor of Victoria the most conspicuous object is the long range of
warehouses belonging to the Hudson Bay Company, with their little trading
steamers moored alongside. These vessels bear the signs of traffic with a
savage people in the high boarding nettings which guard them from stem to
stern, and which are in their more solid parts pierced for musketry. Here,
too, you see a queer little old steamboat, the first that ever vexed
the waters of the Pacific Ocean with its paddle-wheels. And as your own
steamer hauls up to the wharf, you will notice, arrayed to receive you,
what is no doubt the most shocking and complete collection of ugly women
in the world.
These are the Indians of this region. They are very light-colored;
their complexion has an artificial look; there is something ghastly and
unnatural in the yellow of the faces, penetrated by a rose or carmine
color on the cheeks. They are hideous in all the possible aspects and
varieties of hideousness--undersized, squat, evil-eyed, pug-nosed, tawdry
in dress, ungraceful in every motion; they really mar the landscape, so
that you are glad to escape from them to your hotel, which you find a
clean and comfortable building, where, if you are as fortunate as the
traveler who relates this, you may by-and-by catch a glimpse or two of
a fresh, fair, girlish English face, which will make up to you for the
Victoria hopes to have its dullness enlivened by a railroad from the
mainland one of these days, which may make it more prosperous, but will
probably destroy some of the charm it now has for a tourist. It can hardly
destroy the excellent roads by which you may take several picturesque
drives and walks in the neighborhood of the town, nor the pretty views you
have from the hills near by, nor the excursions by boat, in which you can
best see how much Nature has done to beautify this place, and how little
man has done so far to mar her work.
Silks and cigars are said to be very cheap in Victoria; and those who
consume these articles will probably look through the shops and make a
few purchases, not enough to satisfy, though sufficient to arouse the
suspicions of the Collector of Customs at Port Townsend. If you use your
time well, the thirty-six hours which the steamer spends at Victoria will
suffice you to see all that is of interest there to a traveler, and you
can return in her down the Sound, and make more permanent your impressions
of its scenery.
You will perhaps be startled, if you chance to overhear the conversation
of your fellow-passengers, to gather that it concerns itself chiefly with
millions, and these millions run to such extraordinary figures that you
may hear one man pitying another for the confession that he made no more
than a hundred millions last year. It is feet of lumber they are speaking
of; and when you see the monstrous piles of sawdust which encumber the
mill ports, the vast quantities of waste stuff they burn, and the huge
rafts of timber which are towed down to the mills, as well as the
ships which lie there to load for South America, Tahiti, Australia, and
California, you will not longer wonder that they talk of millions.
Some of these mills are owned by very wealthy companies, who have had the
good fortune to buy at low rates large tracts of the best timber lands
lying along the rivers and bays. A saw-mill is the centre of quite a
town--and a very rough town too, to judge from the appearance of the men
who come down to the dock to look at the steamer, and the repute of the
Indian women who go from port to port and seem at home among the mill men.
Having gone by sea to Oregon, I should advise you to return to California
overland. The journey lies by rail through the fertile Willamette Valley,
for the present the chief agricultural country of Oregon, to Roseburg, and
thence by stage over and through some of the most picturesque and grand
scenery in America, into California. If you are curious in bizarre social
experiments, you may very well stop a day at Aurora, thirty miles below
Portland, and look at some of the finest orchards in the State, the
property of a strange German community which has lived in harmony and
acquired wealth at this point.
Salem, too, the capital of Oregon, lying on the railroad fifty miles below
Portland, is worth a visit, to show you how rich a valley the Willamette
is. And as you go down by stage toward California you will enjoy a long
day's drive through the Rogue River Valley, a long, narrow, winding series
of nooks, remote, among high mountains, looking for all the world as
though in past ages a great river had swept through here, and left in its
dry bed a fertile soil, and space enough for a great number of happy and
May and June are the best months in which to see Oregon and Puget Sound.
With San Francisco as a starting-point, one may go either to Portland or
to Victoria direct. If you go first to Victoria, you save a return journey
across Puget Sound, and from Olympia to Kalama, but you miss the sail up
the Columbia from Astoria to Portland. The following table of fares will
show you the cost of traveling in the region I have described:
From San Francisco to Portland................... 3 days $30 00
From San Francisco to Victoria................... 3 " 30 00
From Portland to Celilo.......................... 1 day 7 00
Excursion tickets, good from Portland to Celilo and
back............................................. 3 days 10 00
From Portland by Olympia to Victoria............. 3 " 12 25
From Portland to San Francisco by railroad and
stage............................................ 79 hours 42 00
Meals on these journeys are extra, and cost from half a dollar to
seventy-five cents. They are generally good. All these rates are in
coin. On the steamer from San Francisco to Portland or Victoria meals are
included in the fare.
When you are once in Portland, a vast region opens itself to you, if you
are an adventurous tourist. You may take boat at Celilo, above the Dalles,
and steam up to Wallula, where you take stage for Elkton, a station on
the Pacific Railroad, in Utah; this journey shows you the heart of the
continent, and is said to abound in magnificent scenery. I have not made
it, but it is frequently done. If you have not courage for so long an
overland trip, a journey up to the mouth of Snake River and back to
Portland, which consumes but a week, will give you an intelligent idea of
the vastness of the country drained by the main body of the great Columbia
The great plains and table-lands which lie east of the Cascades, and are
drained by the Columbia, the Snake, and their affluents, will some day
contain a vast population. Already enterprising pioneers are pushing into
the remotest valleys of this region. As you sail up the Columbia, you will
hear of wheat, barley, sheep, stock, wool, orchards, and rapidly growing
settlements, where, to our Eastern belief, the beaver still builds his
dams, unvexed even by the traps and rifle of the hunter.
[Illustration: ANCIENT HAWAIIAN IDOL.]
CONTRIBUTIONS OF A VENERABLE SAVAGE TO THE ANCIENT HISTORY OF THE HAWAIIAN
TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH OF M. JULES REMY, BY WILLIAM T. BRIGHAM.
[I am indebted to Mr. William T. Brigham, of Boston, the
translator of the following "Contributions of a venerable Savage,"
and the author of a valuable treatise on the volcanoes of the
Sandwich Islands, as well as of several memoirs on the natural
history of the Islands, for his kind permission to use this very
curious fragment, with his additions, in my volume. The original
I have not been able to lay my hands on. It gives a picturesque
account of the Hawaiian people before they came into relations
with foreigners. It should be remembered by the reader that
Mr. Remy is a Frenchman, and that his relations with the Roman
Catholic missionaries somewhat colored his views of the labors of
the American missionaries on the Islands.
The "contributions" in this translation of Mr. Brigham were
privately printed by him some years ago, and the following note
by him explains their origin. It will be seen that Mr. Brigham
translated the Mele, or chant of Kawelo, from the original.]
One evening, in the month of March, 1853, I landed at Hoopuloa, on the
western shore of Hawaii. Among the many natives collected on the beach
to bid me welcome and draw my canoe up over the sand, I noticed an old
man of average size, remarkably developed chest, and whose hairs,
apparently once flaxen, were hoary with age. The countenance of this
old man, at once savage and attractive, was furrowed across the
forehead with deep and regular wrinkles. His only garment was a shirt
of striped calico.
A sort of veneration with which his countrymen seemed to me to regard him
only increased the desire I at first felt to become acquainted with
the old islander. I was soon told that his name was Kanuha, that he
was already a lad when Alapai died (about 1752), that he had known
Kalaniopuu, Cook, and Kamehameha the Great. When I learned his name
and extraordinary age, I turned toward Kanuha, extending my hand. This
attention flattered him, and disposed him favorably toward me. So I
resolved to take advantage of this lucky encounter to obtain from an
eye-witness an insight into Hawaiian customs before the arrival of
A hut of pandanus had been prepared for me upon the lava by the care of
a missionary. I made the old man enter, and invited him to partake of my
repast of poi, cocoa-nut, raw fish, and roast dog. While eating the poi
with full fingers, Kanuha assured me that he had lived under King Alapai,
and had been his runner, as well as the courier of Kalaniopuu, his
successor. So great had been Kanuha's strength in his youth that, at the
command of his chiefs, he had in a single day accomplished the distance
from Hoopuloa to Hilo, more than forty French leagues. When Cook died, in
1779, the little children of Kanuha's children had been born. When I spoke
of Alapai to my old savage, he told me that _it seemed to him a matter of
yesterday_; of Cook, _it was a thing of to-day_.
From these facts it may be believed that Kanuha was not less than one
hundred and sixteen years old when I met him on this occasion. This
remarkable example of longevity was by no means unique at the Hawaiian
Islands a few years since. Father Marechal knew at Ka'u, in 1844, an
aged woman who remembered perfectly having seen Alapai. I had occasion to
converse at Kauai with an islander who was already a grandfather when he
saw Captain Cook die. I sketched, at this very Hoopuloa, the portrait of
an old woman, still vigorous, Meawahine, who told any who would hear her
that her breasts were completely developed when her chief gave her as wife
to the celebrated English navigator.
Old Kanuha was the senior of all these centenaries. I took advantage of
his willing disposition to draw from him the historical treasures with
which his memory was stored. Here, in my own order, is what he told me
during a night of conversation, interrupted only by the Hawaiian dances
(_hulahula_), and by some pipes of tobacco smoked in turn, in the custom
of the country.
OF GOVERNMENT AND SOCIETY WITH THE ANCIENT HAWAIIANS.
The soil was the property of the king, who reserved one part of it for
himself, assigning another to the nobles, and left the rest to the first
occupant. Property, based on a possession more or less ancient, was
transmitted by heritage; but the king could always dispose, according to
his whims, of property of chiefs and subjects, and the chiefs had the same
privilege over the people.
Taxes were not assessed on any basis. The king levied them whenever it
seemed good to him, and almost always in an arbitrary way. The chiefs
also, and the priests, received a tribute from the people. The tax was
always in kind, and consisted of:
Kalo, raw and made into poi; Potatoes (_Convolvulus batatas_, L.) many
varieties; Bananas (_maia_) of different kinds; Cocoa-nuts (called _niu_
by the natives); Dogs (destined for food); Hogs; Fowls; Fish, crabs,
cuttle-fish, shell-fish; Kukui nuts (_Aleurites moluccana_) for making
relishes, and for illumination; Edible sea-weed (_limu_); Edible ferns
(several species, among others the _hapuu_); Awa (_Piper methysticum_,
Forst.); Ki roots (_Cordyline ti_, Schott.), a very saccharine vegetable;
Feathers of the _Oo_ (_Drepanis pacifica_), and of the _Iiwi_ (_Drepanis
coccinea_): these birds were taken with the glue of the _ulu_ or
bread-fruit (_Artocarpus incisa_); Fabrics of beaten bark (_kapa_)
and fibre of the _olona_ (_Boehmeria_), of _wauke_ (_Broussonetia
papyrifera_), of _hau_ (_Hilasens tiliasens_), etc.; Mats of Pandanus and
of Scirpus; Pili (grass to thatch houses with); Canoes (_waa_); Wood for
building; Calabashes (serving for food vessels, and to hold water); Wooden
dishes; Arms and instruments of war, etc., etc.
A labor tax was also enforced, and it was perhaps the most onerous,
because it returned almost regularly every moon for a certain number of
days. The work was principally cultivating the _loi_, or fields of kalo,
which belonged to the king or chiefs.
The Hawaiian people were divided into three very distinct classes; these
1. The nobility (_Alii_), comprising the king and the chiefs of whatever
2. The clergy (_Kahuna_), comprising the priests, doctors, prophets, and
3. Citizens (_Makaainana_), comprising laborers, farmers, proletaries, and
THE NOBILITY. NA'LII.
The chiefs or nobles were of several orders. The highest chief bore the
title of _Moi_, which may best be rendered by the word majesty. In a
remote period of Hawaiian history, this title was synonymous with _Ka
lani_, heaven. This expression occurs frequently in ancient poems: _Auhea
oe, e ka lani? Eia ae_. This mode of address is very poetic, and quite
pleasing to the chiefs.
The Moi was still called _kapu_ and _aliinui_. To tread on his shadow
was a crime punished with death: _He make ke ee malu_. The chief next the
throne took the title of _Wohi_. He who ranked next, that of _Mahana_.
These titles could belong at the same time to several chiefs of the
blood-royal, who were called _Alii kapu, Alii wohi_. The ordinary nobility
furnished the king's aids-de-camp, called _Hulumanu_ (plumed officers).
By the side of the nobility were the _Kahu alii_, literally guardians of
the chiefs, of noble origin by the younger branch, but who dared not claim
the title of chief in the presence of their elders. The Kahu alii of the
male sex might be considered born chamberlains; of the female, ladies of
There were five kinds of Kahu alii, which are: Iwikuamoo, Ipukuha,
Paakahili, Kiaipoo, Aipuupuu.
These titles constituted as many hereditary charges reserved for the
lesser nobility. The functions of the Iwikuamoo (backbone of the chief)
were to rub his lord on the back, when stretched on his mat. The Ipukuha
had charge of the royal spittoons. The Paakahili carried a very long plume
(_kahili_), which he waved, around the royal person to drive away the
flies and gnats. The duties of this officer were continual and most
fatiguing, for he must constantly remain near the person of his master,
armed with his kahili, whether the king was seated or reclining, eating
or sleeping. The Kiaipoo's special charge was to watch at the side of his
august chief during sleep. The Aipuupuu was the chief cook, and, besides,
performed functions similar to those of steward or purveyor.
There were, besides, other inferior chiefs, as the _Puuku_, attendants of
the house or palace; _Malama ukana_, charged with the care of provisions
in traveling; _Aialo_, who had the privilege of eating in the presence of
the chief; and, at the present day, the _Muki baka_, who had the honor of
lighting the king's pipe and carrying his tobacco-pouch.
Although the people considered these last four orders as belonging to the
nobility, it seems that they were of lower rank than the citizens favored
by the chiefs.
Finally, the king had always in his service the _Hula_, who, like the
buffoon or jester of the French kings, must amuse his majesty by mimicry
or dancing. The _Kahu alii_, or _Kaukaualii_, as they are now styled,
are attendants or followers of the high chiefs by right of birth. They
accompany their masters everywhere, almost in the same manner that
a governess follows her pupil. From the throne down nobility was
hereditary. The right of primogeniture was recognized as natural law.
Nobility transmitted through the mother was considered far superior to
that on the father's side only, even if he were the highest of chiefs.
This usage was founded on the following proverb: _Maopopo ka makuahine,
aole maopopo ka makuakane_ (It is always evident who the mother is, but
one is never sure about the father). Agreeably to this principle, the
high chiefs, when they could not find wives of a sufficiently illustrious
origin, might espouse their sisters and their nieces, or, in default of
either of these, their own mother. Nevertheless, history furnishes us
several examples of kings who were not noble on the maternal side.
THE CLERGY. NA KAHUNA.
The priests formed three orders:
1. The _Kahuna_ proper. 2. The _Kaula_, or prophets. 3. The _Kilo_,
diviners or magicians.
The priesthood, properly so called (_Kahuna maoli, Kahuna pule_), was
hereditary. The priests received their titles from their fathers, and
transmitted them to their offspring, male and female, for the Hawaiians
had priestesses as well. The priest was the peer of the nobility; he had
a portion of land in all the estates of the chiefs, and sometimes acquired
such power as to be formidable to the alii. In religious ceremonies, the
priests were clothed with absolute power, and selected the victims for the
sacrifices. This privilege gave them an immense and dangerous influence in
private life, whence the Hawaiian proverb: The priest's man is inviolable,
the chief's man is the prey of death, _Aole e make ko ke kahuna kanaka, o
ko ke 'lii kanaka ke make_.
The kahuna, being clothed with supreme power in the exercise of his
functions, alone could designate the victim suitable to appease the anger
of the gods. The people feared him much for this prerogative, which gave
the power of life and death over all, and the result was that the priest
had constantly at his service an innumerable crowd of men and women wholly
devoted to him. It was not proper for him to choose victims from a people
who paid him every imaginable attention. But among the servants of the
alii, if there were any who had offended the priest or his partisans,
nothing more was necessary to condemn to death such or such an attendant
of even the highest chief. From this it may be seen how dangerous it was
not to enjoy the good graces of the kahuna, who, by his numerous clan,
might revolutionize the whole country. History affords us an example
in the Kahuna Kaleihokuu of Laupahoehoe, who had in his service so
considerable a body of retainers that he was able in a day, by a single
act of his will, to put to death the great chief Hakau, of Waipio, and
substitute in his place Umi, the bastard son (_poolua_) of King Liloa,
who had, however, been adopted by Kaleihokuu. Another example of this
remarkable power is seen in the Kahuna of Ka'u, who massacred the high
chief Kohookalani, in the neighborhood of Ninole, tumbling down upon him a
huge tree from the top of the _pali_ (precipice) of Hilea.
The _Kahuna_, especially those of the race of Paao, were the natural
depositaries of history, and took the revered title of _Mo'olelo_, or
historians. Some individuals of this stock still exist, and they are all
esteemed by the natives, and regarded as the chiefs of the historical
and priestly caste. The sacerdotal order had its origin in Paao, whose
descendants have always been regarded as the _Kahuna maoli_. Paao
came from a distant land called Kahiki. According to several chiefs, his
genealogy must be more correct than that of the kings. Common tradition
declares that Paao came from foreign countries, landing on the north-west
shore of Hawaii (Kohala), at Puuepa, in the place where, to this day, are
seen the ruins of the Heiau (temple) of Mokini, the most ancient of all
the temples, and which he is said to have built. The advent of Paao and
his erection of this heiau are so ancient, according to the old men, that
Night helped the priest raise the temple: _Na ka po i kukulu ae la Mokini,
a na Paao nae_. These sayings, in the native tongue, indicate the high
antiquity of Paao.
To build the temple of Mokini, which also served as a city of refuge, Paao
had stones brought from all sides, even from Pololu, a village situated
four or five leagues from Mokini or Puuepa. The Kanakas formed a chain the
whole length of the route, and passed the stones from one to another--an
easy thing in those times--from the immense population of the
Paao has always been considered as the first of the Kahuna. For this
reason his descendants, independently of the fact that they are regarded
as _Mookahuna_, that is, of the priesthood, are more like nobles in the
eye of the people, and are respected by the chiefs themselves. There are,
in the neighborhood of Mokini, stones which are considered petrifactions
of the canoe, paddles, and fish-hooks of Paao.
At Pololu, toward the mountain, are found fields of a very beautiful
verdure. They are called the pastures, or grass-plots, of Paao (_Na mauu a
Paao_). The old priest cultivated these fields himself, where no one since
his time has dared to use spade or mattock. If an islander was impious
enough to cultivate the meadow of Paao, the people believe that a terrible
punishment would be the inevitable consequence of that profanation.
Disastrous rains, furious torrents, would surely ravage the neighboring
Some Hawaiians pretend that there exists another sacerdotal race besides
that of Paao, more ancient even than that, and whose priests belonged at
the same time to a race of chiefs. It is the family of Maui, probably
of Maui-hope, the last of the seven children of Hina, the same who
captured the sea-monster Piimoe. The origin of this race, to which Naihe
of Kohala pretends to belong, is fabulous. Since the reign of Kamehameha,
the priests of the order of Maui have lost favor.
The second class of the clergy was composed of the prophets (_Kaula_),
an inoffensive and very respectable people, who gave vent to their
inspiration from time to time in unexpected and uncalled-for prophesies.
The third order of the clergy is that of _Kilo_, diviners or magicians.
With these may be classed the _Kilokilo_, the _Kahunalapaau_ and
_Kahunaanaana_, a sort of doctors regarded as sorcerers, to whom was
attributed the power of putting to death by sorcery and witchcraft. The
Kahunaanaana and the Kahunalapaau have never been considered as belonging
to the high caste of Kahuna maoli.
The Kahunaanaana, or sorcerers, inherited their functions. They were
thoroughly detested, and the people feared them, and do to this day. When
the chiefs were dissatisfied with a sorcerer, they had his head cut off
with a stone axe (_koipohaku_), or cast him from the top of a pali.
The doctors were of two kinds. The first, the Kahunalapaau proper,
comprised all who used plants in the treatment of disease. Just as the
sorcerers understood poisonous vegetables, so the doctors knew the simples
which furnished remedies to work cures. The second kind comprised the
spiritual doctors, who had various names, and who seem to have been
intermediate between priests and magicians, sharing at once in the
attributes of both. They were:
_Kahuna uhane_, the doctors of ghosts and spirits;
_Kahuna makani_, doctors of winds;
_Kahuna hoonohonoho akua_, who caused the gods to descend on the sick;
_Kahuna aumakua_, doctors of diseases of the old;
_Kahuna Pele_, doctors or priests of Pele, goddess of volcanoes.
All the doctors of the second kind are still found in the islands,
where they have remained idolaters, although they have been for the most
part baptized. There is hardly a Kanaka who has not had recourse to them
in his complaints, preferring their cures and their remedies to those
of the foreign physicians. Laws have been enacted to prohibit these
charlatans from exercising their art; but under the rule of Kamehameha
III., who protected them, these laws have not been enforced.
THE CITIZENS. NA MAKAAINANA.
The class of _Makaainana_ comprises all the inhabitants not included in
the two preceding classes; that is to say, the bulk of the people.
There were two degrees of this cast: the _kanaka wale_, freemen, private
citizens, and the _kauwa_ or servants. The Hawaiian saying, _O luna, o
lalo, kai, o uka a o ka hao pae, ko ke 'lii_ (All above, all below, the
sea, the land, and iron cast upon the shore, all belong to the king),
exactly defines the third class of the nation, called makaainana, the
class that possesses nothing, and has no right save that of sustenance.
The Hawaiians honored canoe-builders and great fishers as privileged
citizens. The chiefs themselves granted them some consideration; but it
must be confessed that the honorable position they occupied in society was
due to their skill in their calling rather than to any thing else. These
builders were generally deeply in debt. They ate in advance the price of
their labor, which usually consisted of hogs and fowls, and they died of
starvation before the leaves ceased to sprout on the tree their adze had
transformed into a canoe.
The _kauwa_, servants, must not be confounded with the _kauwa maoli_,
actual slaves. A high chief, even a wohi, would call himself without
dishonor _ke kauwa a ke 'lii nui_, the servant of the king. At present,
their excellencies the ministers and the nobles do not hesitate to sign
their names under the formula _kou kauwa_, your servant; but it is none
the less true, for all that, that formerly there were among the common
people a class, few in number, of slaves, or serfs, greatly despised by
the Hawaiians, and still to our days so lowered in public opinion that a
simple peasant refuses to associate with the descendants of this caste.
They point the finger at people of kauwa extraction, lampoon them, and
touch the soles of their feet when they speak of them, to mark the lowness
of their origin. If they were independent, and even rich, an ordinary
islander would deem himself disgraced to marry his daughter to one of
The slaves were not permitted to cross the threshold of the chiefs'
palace. They could do no more than crawl on hands and knees to the door.
In spite of the many changes infused into Hawaiian institutions, the kauwa
families remain branded with a stigma, in the opinion of the natives, and
the laws, which accord them the same rights as other citizens, can not
It seems certain that the origin of slavery among the Hawaiians must
be sought in conquests. The vanquished, who were made prisoners, became
slaves, and their posterity inherited their condition.
From time immemorial the islanders have clothed themselves, the men with
the _malo_, the women with the _pau_. The malo is bound around the loins,
after having passed between the legs, to cover the pudenda. The pau is a
short skirt, made of bark cloth or of the ki leaves, which reaches from
the waist half down to the knees. The old popular songs show clearly that
this costume has always been worn by the natives. To go naked was regarded
as a sign of madness, or as a mark of divine birth. Sometimes the kings
were attended by a man sprung from the gods, and this happy mortal alone
had the right to follow, _puris naturalibus_, his august master. The
people said, in speaking of him, _He akua ia_, he is a god.
_Kapa_, a kind of large sheet in which the chiefs dressed themselves, was
made of the soaked and beaten bark of several shrubs, such as the wauke,
olona, hau, oloa. Fine varieties were even made of the kukui (_Aleurites
moluccana_). In ancient times it was an offense punishable with death for
a common man to wear a double kapa or malo.
The Hawaiians have never worn shoes. In certain districts where lava is
very abundant, they make sandals (_kamaa_) with the leaves of the ki and
pandanus. They always go bare-headed, except in battle, where they like
to exhibit themselves adorned with a sort of helmet made of twigs and
The women never wear any thing but flowers on their heads. Tattooing was
known, but less practiced than at the Marquesas, and much more rudely.
The Hawaiians are not cannibals. They have been upbraided in Europe as
eaters of human flesh, but such is not the case. They have never killed a
man for food. It is true that in sacrifices they eat certain parts of the
victim, but there it was a religious rite, not an act of cannibalism. So,
also, when they ate the flesh of their dearest chiefs, it was to do honor
to their memory by a mark of love: they never eat the flesh of bad chiefs.
The Hawaiians do not deny that the entrails of Captain Cook were eaten;
but they insist that it was done by children, who mistook them for the
viscera of a hog, an error easily explained when it is known that the body
had been opened and stripped of as much flesh as possible, to be burned
to ashes, as was due the body of a god. The officers of the distinguished
navigator demanded his bones, but as they were destroyed,[B] those of a
Kanaka were surrendered in their stead, receiving on board the ships of
the expedition the honors intended for the unfortunate commander.
The condition of the women among the ancient Hawaiians was like that of
servants well treated by their masters. The chiefesses alone enjoyed equal
rights with men. It is a convincing proof that women were regarded as
inferior to men, that they could in no case eat with their husbands, and
that the kapu was often put upon their eating the most delicious food.
Thus bananas were prohibited on pain of death. Their principal occupations
consisted in making kapa, the malo and pau, and in preparing food.
Marriage was performed by cohabitation with the consent of the relations.
Polygamy was only practiced by the chiefs. Children were very independent,
and although their parents respected them so much as seldom to dare lay
hands on them, they were quite ready to part with them to oblige a friend
who evinced a desire for them. Often an infant was promised before birth.
This singular custom still exists, but is much less frequent.
They had little regard for old men who had become useless, and even killed
them to get them out of the way. It was allowable to suffocate infants to
avoid the trouble of bringing them up. Women bestowed their affection upon
dogs and pigs, and suckled them equally with their children. Fleas, lice,
and grasshoppers were eaten, but flies inspired an unconquerable horror;
if one fell into a calabash of poi, the whole was thrown away.
The Hawaiians practiced a sort of circumcision, differing from that of
the Jews, but having the same sanitary object. This operation _(mahele)_
consisted in slitting the prepuce by means of a bamboo. The mahele has
fallen into disuse, but is still practiced in some places, unbeknown to
the missionaries, upon children eight or ten years old. A sort of priest
(kahuna) performs the operation.
The Hawaiian women are always delivered without pain, except in very
exceptional cases. The first time they had occasion to witness, in the
persons of the missionaries' wives, the painful childbirths of the white
race, they could not restrain their bursts of laughter, supposing it to
be mere custom, and not pain, that could thus draw cries from the wives of
the Haole (foreigners).
The ancient Hawaiians cared for their dead. They wrapped them in kapa
with fragrant herbs, such as the flowers of the sugar-cane, which had the
property of embalming them. They buried in their houses, or carried
their bodies to grottoes dug in the solid rock. More frequently they were
deposited in natural caves, a kind of catacombs, where the corpses were
preserved without putrefaction, drying like mummies. It was a sacred duty
to furnish food to the dead for several weeks. Sometimes the remains were
thrown into the boiling lava of the volcanoes, and this mode of sepulture
was regarded as homage paid to the goddess Pele, who fed principally on
THE STORY OF UMI; HIS BIRTH AND YOUTH.
Liloa reigned over the island of Hawaii. In the course of one of his
journeys through the province of Hamakua, he met a woman of the people
named Akahikameainoa, who pleased him, and whose favors he claimed as
Akahikameainoa was then in her menses, so that the malo of the king was
soiled with the discharge. Liloa said to the woman: "If you bring into the
world a man-child, it shall belong to me; if a girl, it shall be yours.
I leave with you as tokens of my sovereign will my _niho palaoa_ (whale's
tooth), and my _lei_. Conceal these things from all eyes; they will one
day be a souvenir of our relation, a proof of the paternity of the child
who shall be born from our loves."
That would, indeed, be an unexceptionable testimony, for by the law of
kapu a wife could not, under pain of death, approach her husband while in
her courses. The soiled malo and the time of the child's birth would give
Akahikameainoa carefully concealed the royal tokens of her adultery,
saying nothing to any one, not even to her husband. The spot where she
hid them is known to this day as _Huna na niho_, the hiding place of the
Liloa then held his court at Waipio in all the splendor of the time.
Besides a considerable troop of servants, he had in attendance priests
(kahuna), prophets (kaula), nobles, and his only son, Hakau. The palace
was made merry night and day by the licentious motions of the dancers, and
by the music of the resounding calabashes.
Nine moons after her meeting with the king, Akahikameainoa gave birth to
a man-child, which she called Umi, and brought up under the roof of her
husband, who believed himself the father. The child developed rapidly,
became strong, and acquired a royal stature. In his social games, in the
sports of youth, he always bore away the palm. He was, moreover, a great
eater: _Hao wale i ka ai a me ka ia_. In a word, Umi was a perfect
Kanaka, and a skillful fighter, who made his comrades suffer for it.
At this time he conceived a strong affection for two peasants of the
neighborhood, Koi of Kukui-haole and Omakamau, who became his _aikane_.
One day his supposed father, angry at his conduct, was about to punish
him: "Strike him not," exclaimed Akahikameainoa, "he is your lord and
chief! Do not imagine that he is the son of us two: he is the child of
Liloa, your king." Umi was then about fifteen or sixteen years old.
His mother, after this declaration, startling as a thunder-bolt, went and
uncovered the tokens Liloa had left as proof, and placed them before her
husband, who was motionless with fear at the thought of the high treason
he had been on the point of committing.
In the mean time, Liloa had grown old, and Akahikameainoa, deeming the
moment had arrived, invested Umi with the royal malo, the niho palaoa, and
the lei, emblems of power, which high chiefs alone had the right to wear.
"Go," said she to him then; "go, my son, present yourself at Waipio to
King Liloa, your father. Tell him you are his child, and show him, in
proof of your words, these tokens which he left with me."
Umi, proud enough of the revelation of his mother, at once departs,
accompanied by Koi and Omakamau.
The palace of Liloa was surrounded by guards, priests, diviners, and
sorcerers. The kapu extended to the edge of the outer inclosure, and no
one might pass on penalty of death. Umi advanced boldly and crossed the
threshold. Exclamations and cries of death sounded in his ears from all
sides. Without troubling himself, he passed on and entered the end door.
Liloa was asleep, wrapped in his royal mantle of red and yellow feathers.
Umi stooped, and, without ceremony, uncovered his head. Liloa, awakening,
said, "_Owai la keia_?--Who is this?" "It is I," replied the youth; "it is
I, Umi, your son." So saying, he displays his malo at the king's feet.
At this token Liloa, while rubbing his eyes, recognized Umi, and had him
proclaimed his son. Behold, then, Umi admitted to the rank of high chief,
if not the equal of Hakau, his eldest son, at least his prime minister by
The two brothers lived at court on an equal footing. They took part in the
same amusements, wrestling, drawing the bow, plunged with eagerness into
all the noble exercises of the country and the time. The people of Umi's
suite matched themselves with those of Hakau in the combat with the long
lance _(pololu)_, and the party of Umi was always victorious, compelling
Hakau to retire in confusion.
Liloa, perceiving that his last hour was drawing near, called his two
children to him, and said to them, "You, Hakau, will be chief, and you,
Umi, will be his man." This last expression is equivalent to viceroy or
prime minister. The two brothers bowed, in token of assent, and the
old chief continued: "Do you, Hakau, respect your man; and do you, Umi,
respect your sovereign. If you, Hakau, have no consideration for your
man, if you quarrel with him, I am not disturbed at the results of your
conduct. In the same way, Umi, unless you render your sovereign the homage
you owe him, if you rebel against him, it will be for you two to decide
your lot." Soon after, having made known his last wishes, Liloa gave up
Umi, who was of a proud and independent character, foreseeing, no doubt,
even then, the wicked conduct of his brother, would not submit to him,
and refused to appear in his presence. Giving up his share of power,
he departed from Waipio with his two _aikane_, and retired into the
mountains, where he gave himself up to bird-catching.
Hakau then reigned alone, and ruled according to his fancy. Abusing his
authority, he made himself feared, but, at the same time, detested by his
people. He brought upon himself the censure of the chief attendants of his
father, whom he provoked by all sorts of humiliations and insults. If he
saw any one of either sex remarkable for good looks, he had them tattooed
in a frightful manner for his good pleasure.
Meanwhile Umi, who had a taste for savage life, had taken leave of his
favorites, and wandered alone in the midst of the forests and mountains.
One day, when he descended to the shore at Laupahoehoe, in the district
of Hilo, he fell in love with a woman of the people, and made her his
companion without arousing a suspicion of his high birth. Devoting
himself, then, to field labor, he was seen sometimes cultivating the
ground, and sometimes going down to the sea to fish.
By generous offerings, he knew how to skillfully flatter an old man named
Kaleihokuu, an influential priest, who at last adopted him as one of his
children. Umi always kept at the head of the farmers and fishermen, and
a considerable number, recognizing his physical superiority, voluntarily
enrolled themselves under his orders and those of his foster-father;
he was only known by the name of Hanai (foster-child) of Kaleihokuu.
Meditating probably, even then, a way of acquiring supreme power, Umi
exerted himself to gain the sympathies of the people, in whose labors he
took an incredible part. There are seen to this day, above Laupahoehoe,
the fields which Umi cultivated, and near the sea can be seen the heiau,
or temple, in which Kaleihokuu offered sacrifices to the gods.
Hakau continued to reign, always without showing the least respect to the
old officers of Liloa, his father. Two old men, high chiefs by birth, and
highly honored under the preceding reign, had persisted in residing near
the palace at Waipio, in spite of the insults to which the nearness of the
court exposed them. One day when they were hungry, after a long scarcity
of food, they said to one of their attendants: "Go to the palace of Hakau.
Tell his Majesty that the two old chiefs are hungry, and demand of him, in
our name, food, fish, and awa." The attendant went at once to the king
to fulfill his mission. Hakau replied with foul and insulting terms: "Go
tell the two old men that they shall have neither food, fish, nor awa!"
The two chiefs, on hearing this cruel reply, commenced to deplore their
lot, and regret more bitterly than ever the time they lived under Liloa.
Then rousing themselves, they said to their attendant, "We have heard of
the foster-son of Kaleihokuu, of his activity, courage, and generosity.
Lose no time; go directly to Laupahoehoe, and tell Kaleihokuu that two
chiefs desire to see his adopted son." The servant went with all speed
to Laupahoehoe, where he delivered his master's message. Kaleihokuu told,
him, "Return to your masters, tell them that they will be welcome, if
they will come to-morrow to see my foster-son." The old men, at this news,
hastened to depart. Arrived at the abode of Kaleihokuu, they found no one,
except a man asleep on the mat. They entered, nevertheless, and sat down,
leaning their backs against the walls of the pandanus house. "At last,"
said they, sighing, "our bones are going to revive, _akahi a ola na iwi_."
Then, addressing the slumbering man, "Are you, then, alone here?"--" Yes,"
replied the young man; "Kaleihokuu is in the fields."--"We are," added
they, "the two old men of Waipio, come expressly to see the priest's
The young man rises without saying a word, prepares an abundant repast--an
entire hog, fish, and awa. The two old men admired the activity and skill
of the youth, and said to themselves, "At all events, if the foster-son
of Kaleihokuu were as vigorous a stripling as this, we should renew our
life!" The young unknown served them food, and made them drunk with awa,
and, according to the usage of those times, gave up to them the women
of Kaleihokuu, that his hospitality might be complete.
The next morning the old men saw Kaleihokuu, and said to him, "Here we
have come to become acquainted with your foster-son. May it please the
gods that he be like that fine young fellow who entertained us at your
house! Our bones would revive."--"Ah, indeed," replied Kaleihokuu; "he who
has so well received you is my _keiki hanai_. I left him at the house on
purpose to perform for you the duties of hospitality." The two old men,
rejoiced at what they learned, told the priest and his adopted son the ill
treatment they had received at the court of Hakau. No more was needed to
kindle a war at once.
At the head of a considerable troop of people attached to the service of
Kaleihokuu, Umi went by forced marches to Waipio, and the next day Hakau
had ceased to reign. He had been slain by the very hand of the vigorous
foster-son of the priest.
THE REIGN OF UMI.
Umi ruled in place of Hakau. His two aikane, Koi and Omakamau, had joined
him, and resided at his court. Piimaiwaa of Hilo was his most valiant
warrior. _Ia ia ka mama kakaua_--to him belonged the baton of war, a
figurative expression denoting the general-in-chief. Pakaa was one of the
favorites of Umi, and Lono was his kahuna.
While Umi reigned over the eastern shores of the island, one of his
cousins, Keliiokaloa, ruled the western coast, and held his court at
Kailua. It was under the reign of this prince, about two centuries before
the voyage of Captain Cook, that a ship was wrecked near Keei, in the
district of Kona, not far from the place where the celebrated English
navigator met his death in 1779. It was about 1570[C] that men of the
white race first landed in the archipelago. One man and one woman escaped
from the wreck, and reached land near Kealakeakua. Coming to the shore,
these unfortunates prostrated themselves on the lava, with their faces to
the earth, whence comes the name Kulou, a _bowing down_, which the place
which witnessed this scene still bears. The shipwrecked persons soon
conformed to the customs of the natives, who pretend that there exists to
our day a family of chiefs descended from these two whites. The Princess
Lohea, daughter of Liliha, still living, is considered of this origin.
Keliiokaloa, who reigned over the coast where this memorable event took
place, was a wicked prince, who delighted in wantonly felling cocoa-nut
trees and laying waste cultivated lands. His ravages induced Umi to
declare war against him.
He took the field at the head of his army, accompanied by his famous
warrior, Piimaiwaa; his friends, Koi and Omakamau; his favorite, Pakaa;
and Lono, his Kahuna. He turned the flanks of Mauna Kea, and advancing
between this mountain and Hualalai, in the direction of Mauna Loa, arrived
at the great central plateau of the island, intending to make a descent
upon Kailua. Keliiokaloa did not wait for him. Placing himself at the head
of his warriors, he marched to meet Umi. The two armies met on the high
plain bounded by the colossi of Hawaii, at the place which is called _Ahua
Two men of the slave race, called Laepuni, famous warriors of Keliiokaloa,
fought with a superhuman courage, and Umi was about to fall under their
blows, when Piimaiwaa, coming to his rescue, caused the victory to incline
to his side. Although history is silent, it is probable that the king of
Kailua perished in the battle.
This victory completely rid Umi of his last rival; he reigned henceforth
as sole ruler of Hawaii; and to transmit to posterity the remembrance of
this remarkable battle, he caused to be erected on the battle-field, by
the people of the six provinces, Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Kona, Ka'u, and
Puna, a singular monument, composed of six polyhedral piles of ancient
lava collected in the vicinity. A seventh pyramid was raised by his nobles
and officers. In the centre of these enormous piles of stone he built
a temple, whose remains are still sufficiently perfect to enable one to
restore the entire plan. The whole of this vast monument is called, after
the name of its builder, the Heaps of Umi--_Ahua Umi_.
Umi built another temple at the foot of Pohaku Hanalei, on the coast of
Kona, called _Ahua Hanalei_. A third temple was also erected by him on
the flank of Mauna Kea, in the direction of Hilo, at the place called
Puukeekee. Traces of a temple built by the same king may also be
recognized at Mauna Halepohaha, where are found the ruins of Umi's houses
covered with a large block of lava.
They give Umi the name of King of the Mountains. Tradition declares that
he retired to the centre of the island, through love for his people, and
these are the reasons which explain the seclusion to which he devoted
himself. It was a received custom in Hawaiian antiquity that the numerous
attendants of the chiefs, when traversing a plantation, should break
down the cocoa-nuts, lay waste the fields, and commit all sorts of havoc
prejudicial to the interests of proprietors or cultivators. To avoid a
sort of scourge which followed the royal steps, Umi made his abode in the
mountains, in order that the robberies of his attendants might no longer
cause the tears of the people to flow. In his retreat Umi lived, with his
retainers, upon the tribute in kind which his subjects brought him from
all parts of the coast. In time of famine, his servants went through the
forest and collected the _hapuu_, a nourishing fern which then took the
place of poi.
Umi, however, did not spend all his time in the mountains. He came to
live at various times on the sea-shore at Kailua. He employed everywhere
workmen to cut stones, to serve, some say, in the construction of a
sepulchral cave; according to others, to build a magnificent palace.
Whatever may have been their destination, the stones were admirably
hewn. In our days the Calvinistic missionaries have used them in the
erection of the great church of Kailua, without any need of cutting them
anew. There are still seen, scattered in various places, the hewn stones
of King Umi, _na pohaku kulai a Umi_. It is natural to suppose that they
used to hew these hard, and very large stones with other tools than those
of Hawaiian origin. Iron must have been known in the time of Umi, and its
presence is explained by the wrecks of ships which ocean currents may have
drifted ashore. It is certain that they were acquainted with iron long
before the arrival of Cook, as is proved by the already cited passage from
an old romance: _O luna, o lalo, kai, o uka, a o ka hao pae, ko ke'lii_.
Umi, some time before his death, said to his old friend Koi: "There is
no place, nor is there any possible way to conceal my bones. You must
disappear from my presence. I am going to take back all the lands which
I have given you around Hawaii, and they will think you in disgrace. You
will then withdraw to another island, and as soon as you hear of my death,
or only that I am dangerously sick, return secretly to take away my body."
Koi executed the wishes of the chief, his _aikane_. He repaired to
Molokai, whence he hastened to set sail for Hawaii as soon as he heard of
Umi's death. He landed at Honokohau. On setting foot on shore, he met a
Kanaka, in all respects like his dearly-loved chief. He seized him, killed
him, and carried his body by night to Kailua. Koi entered secretly the
palace where the corpse of Umi was lying. The guards were asleep, and Koi
carried away the royal remains, leaving in their place the body of the old
man of Honokohau, and then disappeared with his canoe. Some say that he
deposited the body of Umi in the great pali of Kahulaana, but no one knows
the exact spot; others say that it was in a cave at Waipio, at Puaahuku,
at the top of the great pali over which the cascade of Hiilawe falls.
From time immemorial it was the custom at Hawaii to eat the flesh of
great chiefs after death, then the bones were collected in a bundle, and
concealed far out of the way. Generally it was to a faithful attendant, a
devoted _kahu_, that the honor of eating the flesh of his chief belonged
by a sentiment of friendship, _no ke aloha_. If they did not always eat
the flesh of high chiefs and distinguished personages, they always took
away their dead bodies, to bury them in the most secret caves, or in most
inaccessible places. But the same care was not taken with chiefs who had
been regarded as wicked during their lives. The proverb says of this:
_Aole e nalo ana na iwi o ke 'lii kolohe; e nalo loa na iwi o ke 'lii
maikai_--The bones of a bad chief do not disappear; those of a good chief
are veiled from the eyes of all the world.
The high chiefs, before death, made their most trusty attendants swear to
conceal their bones so that no one could discover them. "I do not wish,"
said the dying chief, "that my bones should be made into arrows to
shoot mice, or into fish-hooks." So it is very difficult to find the
burial-place of such or such a chief. Mausoleums have been built in some
places, and it is said that here are interred the nobles and kings; but
it would seem that there are only empty coffins, or the bodies of common
natives substituted for those of the personages in whose honor these
monuments have been raised.
THE HISTORY OF KEAWE.
Whatever the historian, David Malo, may say, it is very doubtful whether
there were several chiefs of the name of Keawe. It is probable that there
was only one high chief of this name, that he was the son of Umi, and was
called Keawe the Great--_Keawe nui_ _a Umi_. David Malo was interested, as
the natives know, in swelling the genealogy of the alii, and he wished to
flatter both nobility and people by distinguishing Keawe nui, of the race
of Umi, from another Keawe. There are two Keawe, as seven Maui, and nine
Hina. It is not, indeed, so long a period from Umi to the present era,
that we can not unveil the truth from the clouds which surround, it.
The people, in general, only speak of one Keawe, who inherited the power
of his father Umi. He was supreme ruler in the island of Hawaii, and is
even said to have united, as Kamehameha has since done, all the group
under his sceptre. Kamehameha conquered the islands by force of arms;
Keawe had conquered them by his travels and alliances. While he passed
through the islands of Maui, Molokai, and Oahu, he contracted marriages
everywhere, as well with the women of the people as with the highest
chiefesses. These unions gave him children who made him beloved of all
the high chiefs of that time. He was regarded at Maui and Oahu as supreme
king. The king of Kauai even went so far as to send messengers to declare
to him that he recognized his sovereignty. Such is the origin of Keawe's
By his numerous marriages with chiefesses and common women without
distinction, this king has made the Hawaiian nobility, the present alii
say, bastard and dishonored. The chiefs descended from Keawe conceal their
origin, and are by no means flattered when reminded of it. From Keawe
down, the genealogies become a focus of disputes, and it would be really
dangerous for the rash historian who did not spare the susceptibilities of
chiefs on this subject.
The principle on which those who condemn the conduct of Keawe rests is the
purity of the blood of the royal stock, required by ancient usages, whose
aim was to preserve the true nobility without alloy. Disdaining this rule,
Keawe contracted numerous marriages, which gave him as mothers of his
children women of low birth. The posterity of this chief, noble without
doubt, but of impure origin, likes not to have its lame genealogy
recalled. It is with the sensitiveness of the Hawaiians on this subject,
as with many other things in this world: they attack bitterly the amours
of Keawe, and seem to forget that Umi, their great chief, whose memory
they preserve with so much care, was of plebeian blood by his mother.
It seems certain that King Keawe usually resided at the bay of Hoonaunau,
in Kona. The heiau of Hoonaunau, where may still be seen the stakes of
ohia (_Metrosideros_) planted by Keawe, is called _Hale a Keawe_--The
house built by Keawe. It served also as a City of Refuge.
VARIOUS DOCUMENTS ON THE PROVINCE OF KA'U.
The people of Ka'u are designated in the group under the name of _Na Mamo
a ke kipi_--The descendants of the rebellion. The province of Ka'u has
always been regarded as a land fatal to chiefs. At the present day
an inhabitant of Ka'u can be distinguished among other natives. He is
energetic, haughty in speech, and always ready to strike a blow when
occasion presents. He is proud, and worships his liberty. Several Hawaiian
chiefs have been killed by the people of Ka'u, among others Kohaokalani,
THE HISTORY OF KOHAOKALANI.
He was, according to tradition, the most important chief on the island,
and reigned in royal state at Hilea. He it was who built the heiau
situated on the great plain of Makanau. The sea worn pebbles may still be
seen, which Kohaokalani had his people carry up on to the height, about
two leagues from the shore. These pebbles were intended for the interior
pavement of the temple. The people, worn out by the great difficulty of
transportation, tired of the yoke of royalty, and incited by disloyal
priests, began to let their discontent and discouragement show itself. A
conspiracy was soon formed by these two classes leagued against the chief,
and a religious ceremony offered an occasion to rid themselves of the
The temple was completed, and it only remained to carry a god up there.
This divinity was nothing but an ohia-tree of enormous size, which had
been cut down in the forest above Ninole. At the appointed day the chief
priests and people set to work to draw the god to his residence. In order
to reach the height of Makanau there was a very steep pali to be ascended.
They had to carry up the god on the side toward Ninole, which was all the
better for the execution of their premeditated plan. Arrived at the base
of the precipice, all pulled at the rope; but the god, either by the
contrivance of the priests, or owing to the obstacles which the roughness
of the rock presented, ascended only with great difficulty. "The god
will never come to the top of the pali," said the Kahuna, "if the chief
continues to walk before him; the god should go first by right of power,
and the chief below, following, to push the lower end; otherwise we shall
never overcome his resistance." The high chief, Kohaokalani, complied with
the advice of the priests, placed himself beneath the god, and pushed
the end from below. Instantly priests and people let go the cord, and the
enormous god, rolling upon the chief, crushed him at once. The death of
Kohaokalani is attributed chiefly to the Kahuna.
THE HISTORY OF KOIHALA.
Koihala reigned at Ka'u. He was a very great chief--perhaps the entire
island recognized his authority. An abuse of power hastened his death.
He had commanded the people of Ka'u to bring him food upon the plain of
Punaluu, at the place known under the name of Puuonuhe. A party of men set
out with pounded kalo (_paiai_, differing from poi in not being diluted),
bound up in leaves of ki, called _la'i_ (a contraction for _lau-ki_). When
they arrived at the top of the plateau, which is very elevated, they found
that the chief had set out for Kaalikii, two leagues from Puuonuhe, and
that he had left orders for them to bring him the provisions in this
distant place. The bearers hastened toward Kaalikii. As soon as they
came there, orders were given for them to proceed to Waioahukini, half
a league's walk in the same direction, and beneath the great pali of
Malilele, on the shore. They went on. Arrived at Waioahukini, they were
ordered to go and join the chief at Kalae. There they had to climb again
the great pali, and two leagues more to go. When they reached the cape of
Kalae, the most southern point of the Hawaiian group, they were sent to
seek the chief at the village of Mahana; but he had left for Paihaa, a
village near Kaalualu, a little bay where the native vessels now anchor.
There, at last, they must find the tyrant. Exasperated, dying of hunger,
indignant at the cruel way in which the chief made sport of their pains,
the bearers sat down on the grass and took counsel. First they decided to
eat up the food, without leaving any thing for the chief who entertained
himself so strangely in fatiguing his people _(hooluhi howa_). They
moreover determined to carry to him, instead of kalo, bundles of stones.
The trial of Koihala is ended, his insupportable yoke is about to fall.
The determined conspirators, after satisfying their hunger, set off, and
soon arrived, with humble mien, in the presence of the chief, between
Paihau and Kaalualu. "Prince," said they, "here are your servants with
provisions." They humbly laid at his feet their bundles wrapped in la'i.
The wrappers were opened, and the scene changes. These people, apparently
half dead, became in an instant like furious lions, ready to devour their
prey. They armed themselves with stones, and showered them upon Koihala
and his company, who perished together.
Two other high chiefs of the island were exterminated by the same people.
One was killed at Kalae, beaten to death by the paddles of fishermen; the
other was stoned at Aukukano.
These revolts against the chiefs have given birth, to several proverbial
expressions, applied to the district of Ka'u. Thus it is called _Aina
makaha_--Land of torrents: a nation which removes and shatters every
thing like a torrent; _Ka'u makaha_--Ka'u the torrent; _Ka lua kupapau
o na'lii_--The sepulchre of the high chiefs; _Aina kipi_--The rebellious
LEGEND OF KALEIKINI.
He was a chief of the olden time.
On the sea-shore, between Kaalikii and Pohue, the waves were ingulfed
beneath the land, and shot into the air by a natural aperture some fifty
feet from the shore. The water leaped to a prodigious height, disappeared
in the form of fine rain, and fell in vapor over a circuit of two leagues,
spreading sterility over the land to such an extent that neither kalo nor
sweet-potatoes could be grown there. The chief Kaleikini closed the mouth
of the gulf by means of enormous stones, which he made the natives roll
thither. It is plainly seen that this blow-hole has been closed by human
hands. There still remains a little opening through which the water hisses
to the height of thirty or forty feet.
Kaleikini closed at Kohala, on the shore of Nailima, a volcanic mouth like
that of Ka'u.
On the heights of Honokane, he silenced the thunders of a water-fall by
changing its course. At Maui Hikina, he secured the foundations of the
hill of Puuiki, which the great tides had rendered unstable. To do this,
he put into the caverns of Puuiki a huge rock, which stopped the tumults
of the sea, and put an end to the trembling of the hill.
For these feats of strength, and many others like them, Kaleikini was
DOCUMENTS ON THE PROVINCE OF PUNA.
According to common tradition, the district of Puna was, until two
centuries ago, a magnificent country, possessing a sandy soil, it is true,
but one very favorable to vegetation, and with smooth and even roads. The
Hawaiians of our day hold a tradition from their ancestors, that their
great-grandparents beheld the advent of the volcanic floods in Puna. Here,
in brief, is the tradition as it is preserved by the natives:
LEGEND OF KELIIKUKU.
This high chief reigned in Puna. He journeyed to the island of Oahu. There
he a prophet of Kauai, named Kaneakalau, who asked him who he was. "I am,"
replied the chief, "Keliikuku of Puna." The prophet then asked him what
sort of a country he possessed. The chief said: "My country is charming;
every thing is found there in abundance; everywhere are sandy plains which
produce marvelously."--"Alas!" replied the prophet, "go, return to your
beautiful country; you will find it overthrown, abominable. Pele has made
of it a heap of ruins; the trees of the mountains have descended toward
the sea; the ohia and pandanus are on the shore. Your country is no longer
habitable." The chief made answer; "Prophet of evil, if what you now tell
me is true, you shall live; but if, when I return to my country, I prove
the falsity of your predictions, I will come back on purpose, and you
shall die by my hand."
Unable, in spite of his incredulity, to forget this terrible prophecy,
Keliikuku set sail for Hawaii. He reached Hamakua, and, landing, traveled,
home by short stages. From the heights of Hilo, at the village of
Makahanaloa, he beheld in the distance all his province overwhelmed in
chaotic ruin, a prey to fire and smoke. In despair, the unfortunate
chief hung himself on the very spot where he first discovered this sad
This tradition of the meeting of Keliikuku and Kaneakalau is still
sometimes chanted by the Kanakas. It was reduced to metre, and sung by the
ancients. It is passing away in our day, and in a few years no trace of it
Whether the prediction was made or not, the fact is that Puna has been
ravaged by volcanic action.
LEGEND OF THE CHIEF HUA.
The high chief Hua, being in Maui, said to Uluhoomoe, his kahuna, that
he wished for some _uau_ from the mountains (a large bird peculiar to
the island of Hawaii). Uluhoomoe replied that there were no uau in the
mountains--that all the birds had gone to the sea. Hua, getting angry,
said to his priest: "If I send my men to the mountains, and they find any
uau there, I will put you to death."
After this menace, the chief ordered his servants to go to bird-hunting.
They obeyed; but instead of going to the mountains (_mauka_), they set
snares on the shores (_makai_), and captured many birds of different
kinds, among others the uau and ulili. Returning to the palace, they
assured the chief that they had hunted in the mountains.
Hua summoned his kahuna, and said to him: "There are the birds from the
mountains; you are to die." Uluhoomoe smelled of the birds, and replied:
"These birds do not come from the mountains; they have an odor of the
sea." Hua, supported by his attendants, persisted in saying, as he
believed truly, that they came from the mountains, and repeated his
sentence: "You are to die." Uluhoomoe responded: "I shall have a witness
in my favor if you let me open these birds in your presence." The chief
consented, and small fish were found in the crops of the birds. "Behold my
witness," said the kahuna, with a triumphant air; "these birds came from
Hua, in confusion, fell into a terrible rage, and massacred Uluhoomoe
on the spot. The gods avenged the death of the priest by sending a
distressing famine, first on the island of Maui, then on Hawaii. Hua,
thinking to baffle the divine vengeance, went to Hawaii to escape the
scourge; but a famine more terrible yet pursued him there. The chief
vainly traversed every quarter of the islands; he starved to death in the
temple of Makeanehu (Kohala). His bones, after death, dried and shrunk in
the rays of the burning sun, to which his dead body remained exposed.
This is the origin of the Hawaiian epigram always quoted in recalling the
famine which occurred in the reign of Hua, an epigram which no one has
understood, and which has never been written correctly:
_Koele na iwi o Hua i ka la_--The bones of Hua are dry in the sun.[E]
On the island of Hawaii are many places called by the name of this
celebrated chief. At Kailua, in the hamlet of Puaaaekolu, a beautiful
field, known by the name of Mooniohua, recalls one episode of Hua's
misery. Here it was that, one day, running after food which he could never
attain, he fell asleep, weary with fatigue and want. The word Mooniohua is
probably a corruption of _Moe ana o Hua_--The couch of Hua.
THE STORY AND SONG OF KAWELO.
Kawelo, of the island of Kauai, was a sort of giant; handsome, well made,
muscular, his prodigious strength defied animate and inanimate nature. In
his early youth, he felt a violent passion kindle in his bowels for the
Princess Kaakaukuhimalani, so that he sought in every way to touch her
heart. But the princess, too proud, and too high a lady, did not deign to
cast her eyes upon him.
Despairing of making her reciprocate his love, Kawelo poured into his
mother's bosom his grief and his tears. "Mother," said he, "how shall I
succeed in espousing this proud princess? What must I do? Give me your
"My son," replied his mother, "a youth who wishes to please ought to make
himself ready at labor, and skillful in fishing; this is the only secret
of making a good match."
Kawelo too eagerly followed his mother's advice, and soon there was not
on the island a more indefatigable planter of kalo, nor a more expert
fisherman. But what succeeds with common women is not always the thing
to charm the daughters of kings. Kaakaukuhimalani could make nothing of a
husband who was a skillful farmer or a lucky fisherman; other talents are
required to touch the hearts of nobles, and hers remained indifferent,
insensible to the sighs of Kawelo. Nobles then, as to-day, regarded
pleasure above all things; and a good comedian was worth more to them than
an honest workman.
In his great perplexity, Kawelo consulted an old dancing-master, who told
him, "Dancing and poetry are the arts most esteemed and appreciated by
those in power. Come with me into the mountains. I will instruct you,
and if you turn out an accomplished dancer, you will have a sure means of
pleasing the insensible Kaakaukuhimalani." Kawelo listened to the advice
of the poet dancing-master, and withdrew into the mountains to pursue his
He soon became a very skillful dancer, and an excellent reciter of the
mele; so the fame of his skill was not slow in extending through all the
valleys of the island.
One day when Kaakaukuhimalani desired to collect all the accomplished
dancers of Kauai, her attendants spoke to her of Kawelo as a prodigy in
the art, who had not his equal from one end to the other of the group,
from Hawaii to Niihau. "Let some one bring me this marvel!" cried the
princess, pricked with a lively curiosity. The old and cunning preceptor
of the mountains directed his pupil not to present himself at the first
invitation, in order to make his presence more ardently desired. Kawelo,
understanding the value of this advice, did not obey until the third
request; he danced before the princess with a skill so extraordinary that
she fell in love with him, and married him. So Kawelo found himself raised
to princely rank.
The happy parvenu had three older brothers. They were: Kawelomakainoino,
with fierce look and evil eye; Kawelomakahuhu, with unpleasant countenance
and angry expression; Kawelomakaoluolu, with a lovable and gracious face.
All three were endued with the same athletic strength as their younger
Jealous of the good fortune which a princely marriage had brought their
brother, they resolved to humble him for their pleasure. Taking advantage
of the absence of Kaakaukuhimalani, they seized Kawelo and poured a
calabash of poi over his head. Poor Kawelo! The paste ran down from his
head over all his body, and covered him with a sticky plaster which almost
suffocated him. Overwhelmed with shame at having to undergo so humiliating
a punishment, Kawelo fancied that he could no longer live at Kauai; he
determined to exile himself, and live in Oahu.
He had already embarked in his canoe and prepared to set sail with some
faithful friends, when he saw his wife on the shore. Seated beneath the
shade of a kou (_Gordia sebestena_) Kaakaukuhimalani waved her hand to
Hoi mai Toi mai kaua! Mai hele aku oe!
Return, Return with me! Go not away from me!
Kawelo, touched with love for his wife, but immovably determined to leave
his island, chants his adieu, which forms the subject of the first canto.
Aloha kou e, aloha kou;
Ke aloha mai kou ka hoahele
I ka makani, i ka apaapaa
Anuu o Ahulua.
Moe iho uei au
I ka po uliuli,
Po uliuli eleele.
Anapanapa, alohi mai ana ia'u
Ke aa o Akua Nunu.
Ine ee au e kui e lei
Ia kuana na aa kulikuli.
Papa o hee ia nei lae.
E u'alo, e u'alo
Ua alo mai nei ia'u
Ka launiu e o peahi e;
E hoi au e, e hoi aku.
Thou lovest me still! Oh yes
Thou lovest me; thou,
The companion who has followed me.
In the tempest and in the icy
Winds of Ahulua. I, alas!
Sleep in dark night, in dark
And sombre night. My eyes
Have seen the gleaming flashes
Of the face of the god Nunu.
If I resist, I am smitten as by
The thunder-bolts of the deepening storm.
Go, daughter of Papa, away from this
Headland; cease thy lamentations;
Cease to beckon to me
With thy fan of cocoa-nut leaves,
I will come again. Depart thou!
On his arrival at Oahu, Kawelo was well received by the king of that
island, Kakuihewa, who loaded him with favors, and even accorded him great
privileges, to do honor to his wonderful strength. Kawelo did not forget
himself in the midst of the pleasures his strength procured him. He had
vengeful thoughts toward Kauai for the injury he had received from his
brothers. Retiring to a secluded place, and concealing himself as much as
possible from the notice of Kakuihewa, he secretly set about recruiting a
small army of devoted men for an expedition against the island of Kauai.
When he had collected enough warriors, he put to sea with a fleet of light
canoes. Hardly had he left the shore of Oahu, when the marine monster,
Apukohai, met him--an evil omen. He was but the precursor of another
monster, Uhumakaikai, who could raise great waves and capsize canoes. The
oldest sailors never fail to return to land at the first appearance of
Apukohai; all the pilots then advised Kawelo to go back with all speed.
But the chief, full of determination which nothing could shake, would not
change his course; he persisted in sailing toward his destination. This is
the subject of the second canto.
O ka'u hoa no ia,
E hoolulu ai maua i ka nahele,
I anehu au me he kua ua la
I oee au me he wai la.
I haalulu au me he kikili la.
I anei wau me he olai la.
I alapa au me he uila la.
I ahiki welawela au me he la la.
Melemele ka lau ohia,
Kupu a melemele,
I ka ua o na' pua eha,
Eha, o na ole eha eha,
O na kaula' ha i ke kua
No paihi, o ka paihi o main.
A Haku, Haku ai i ka manawa,
E Pueo e kania,
Manawai ka ua i ka lehua,
E hoi ka ua a ka maka o ka lehua;
La noho mai;
E hoi ka makani
A ka maka oka opua
La noho mai
E hoi ke kai a manawai
Nui ka oo, la noho mai.
E kuu e au i kuu wahi upena
Ma kahi lae:
E hei ka makani la'u.
E kuu e au i kuu wahi upena
Ma ka' lua lae,
E hei ka ino ia 'u
E kuu e au e kuu wahi upena
Ma ka 'kolu lae,
E hei ke kona ia 'u
E kuu e au e kuu wahi upena
Ma ka' ha lae,
E hei luna, e hei lalo,
E hei uka, e hei kai,
E hei Uhumakaikai.
I ke olo no Hina,
E hina kohia i ka aa,
I had a friend with whom
I lived peacefully in the wilderness.
I swung like a cloud full of rain,
I murmured like a rivulet,
I shook like a thunder-bolt,
I overturned every thing like an earthquake,
I flashed as lightning,
I consumed like the sun.
Yellow was the ohia leaf;
Unfolding, it turned yellow
Under the rain of the four clouds,
In the month of the four _ole_,
When the fisherman, four ropes
Upon his back, enjoyed calm and fair weather.
Be Lord, be lord of the weather.
O Owl, whose cries give life!
Send down the rain upon the lehua;
Let the rain come again upon
The buds of the lehua. Rest, O Sun!
Let the wind fly
Before the face of the clouds.
Rest, O Sun!
Return, O Ocean of the mighty waters;
Great is thy tumult! Sun rest here.
Rest, O Sun! I will cast my net
At the first headland;
I shall catch the wind.
I will cast my net
At the second headland;
I shall catch a tempest.
I will cast forth my net
At the third headland;
I shall get the south wind.
I will cast forth my net
At the fourth headland;
I shall take above, below,
Land and sea--
I shall take Uhumakaikai.
At a single word of Hina
He shall fall; hard pressed
Shall be the neck of Uhumakaikai.
In the sixteenth verse of this second canto Kawelo invokes the owl, which
the Hawaiians regarded as a god. In extreme perils, if the owl made
its cries heard, it was a sign of safety, as the voice of this bird
was sacred; and more than once has it happened that men, destined to be
immolated on the altar of sacrifices as expiatory victims, have escaped
death merely because the owl (_Pueo_) was heard before the immolation. It
is easy to understand, after this, the invocation that Kawelo made to Pueo
when he found himself in combat with the terrible Uhumakaikai.
In the third canto Kawelo endeavors to destroy the monster. He commences
by saying that he, a chief (_ka lani_), does not disdain to work as a
simple fisherman. Then he pays a tribute to those who have woven the
net he is going to use to capture the monster of the sea. The olona
(_Boehmeria_), a shrub whose bark furnishes the Hawaiians with an
excellent fibre, was regarded as a sort of deity. Before spinning its
fibres, they made libations, and offered sacrifices of hogs, fowls, etc.
Kawelo refers to all this in his song.
Huki kuu ka lani
Kupu ola ua ulu ke opuu.
Ke kahi 'ke olona.
Kahoekukama kohi lani.
O kia ka piko o ke olona,
Ihi a ka ili no moki no lena,
Ahi kuni ka aala,
Kunia, haina, paia,
Holea, hoomoe ka Papa,
Ke kahi ke olona,
Ke kau ko opua,
Ke kea ka maawe
Kau hae ka ilo ka uha,
Ke kaakalawa ka upena:
O kuu aku i kai,
I kai a Papa; ua hina,
E hina, kohia i ka aa
I, a chief, willingly
Cast my net of olona;
The olona springs up, it grows,
It branches and is cut down.
The paddles of the chief beat the sea.
Stripped off is the bark of the alona,
Peeled is the bark of the yellow moki.
The fire exhales a sweet odor;
The sacrifice is ready.
The bark is peeled, the board[F] is made ready,
The olona is carded,
And laid on the board.
White is the cord,
The cord is twisted on the thigh,
Finished is the net!
Cast it into the sea,
Into the sea of Papa; let him fall,
Let him fall, that I may strangle the neck
After having exterminated Uhumakaikai, the conqueror sailed unmolested
toward Kauai, to defeat his other enemies. Kawelo had on this island two
friends, who were at the same time his relations; they were the chiefs
Akahakaloa and Aikanaka. When these chiefs learned that their cousin
intended to return to Kauai, they enrolled themselves in the ranks of his
enemies, and prepared to make a vigorous resistance to his landing. It was
on perceiving their armies upon the shore that Kawelo commenced his fourth
O oe no ia, e ka lani Akahakaloa,
Kipeapea kau ko ohule ia
I kea a kau io k'awa
Hahau kau kaua la.
Kii ka pohuli
Na na na.
E naenaehele koa
Ah! it is then you, chief Akahakaloa.
A roosting-place is thy bald head become
For the gathering birds.
Thou appearest as a warrior
Offshoot of Kiipueaua.
Defeat has come upon you in the
Day of battle, O Aikanaka!
You require transplanting--
Yes, a nursery of warriors--
You do, indeed.
Unfruitful of warriors
Is his country.
In the following song Kawelo exhorts his two old friends, Kalaumaki
and Kaamalama, who had followed him to Oahu, to fight bravely in the
approaching battle. The return of Kawelo was expected, and, foreseeing it,
the islanders had taken advantage of his absence to roll, or carry, to the
bank of the Wailua River immense quantities of stones. The relatives
and friends of Kawelo, who had remained at Kauai during his exile, had
themselves assisted in these warlike preparations, ignorant of their
object. It is on beholding the hostile reception prepared for him that
Kawelo chants the fifth song--a proclamation to his army.
E hooholoia ka pohaku;
E kaua ia iho na waa;
He la, kaikoonui nei;
Be auau nei ka moana;
He kai paha nei kahina 'lii[G]
Ua ku ka hau a ke aa;
Be ahu pohaku
O ua one maikai nai
Ua malua, ua kahawai,
Ua piha i ka pohaku
He hula paha ko uka
E lehulehu nei.
He pahea la, he koi,
He koi la, he kukini;
I hee au i ka nalu, a i aia,
Paa ia'u, a hele wale oukou:
Ka aina o Kauai la
Behold how they heap stones.
Let us draw our canoes ashore;
This is a day when the surf rolls high;
The ocean swells, the sea perchance
Portends another deluge.
Piles of pebbles are collected;
A heap of stones
Has the Wailua become.
This beautiful sandy country
Is now full of pits like the bed of a torrent;
And all Kauai
Has filled it with rocks.
A dance perchance brings hither
This great multitude;
Games or a race--
If I cast myself upon the surf,
I am caught: you will go free.
Fled is the land
The combat has commenced. The people of Kauai rain showers of stones upon
the landing troops. Kawelo, buried beneath a heap of stones, but still
alive, compares himself to a fish inclosed on all sides by nets, and then
to the victims offered in sacrifices. He then begins his invocations to
Puni ke ekule o kai
Ua kaa i ka papau
Ua komo i ka ulu o ka lawaia.
Naha ke aa o ka upena,
Ka hala i ka ulua.
Mau ia poai ia o ke kai uli.
Halukuluku ka pohaku
A Kauai me he ua la.
Kolokolo mai ana ka huihui
Ka maeele io'u lima,
Na lima o Paikanaka.
E Kane i ka pualena,
E Ku lani ehu e,
Na'u na Kawelo,
Na ko lawaia.
The ekule of the sea is surrounded;
Stranded in a shallow,
It is within the grasp of the fisherman.
Broken are the meshes of the net
Within the hala and ulua.
A sacrifice is to be offered.
Surrounded are the fish of the blue sea.
The rocks fall in showers--
A storm of the stones of Kauai.
The coldness of death creeps over me.
Numb are my limbs,
The limbs of Paikanaka.
O Kane of the yellow flower;
O Ku, ruddy chief;
It is I, Kawelo,
Left for dead beneath the heap of stones, Kawelo, perceiving his danger,
continues his prayer.
Ku ke Akua
I ka nana nuu.
O Lono ke akua
I kama Pele.
O Hiaka ke akua
I ka puukii.
O Haulili ke akua
I ka lehelehe
Aumeaume maua me Milu.
I'au, ia ia;
I'au, ia ia;
I'au iho no:
Pakele au, mai make ia ia.
O divine Ku,
Who beholdest the inner places.
O Lono, divine one,
Husband of Pele.
O holy Hiaka,
Dweller on the hills.
O Haulili, god
Ruling the lips!
We two have wrestled, Milu and I.
I had the upper hand;
I had the upper hand;
Then was I beneath:
I escaped, all but killed by him.
He opua la, he opua,
He opua hao walo keia,
Ke maalo nei e ko'u maka.
He mauli waa o Kaamalama.
Eia ke kualau
Hoko o ka pouli makani,
Oe nei la, e Kaamalama
Ke hele ino loa i ke ao.
Ua palala, ua poipu ka lani,
Ua wehe ke alaula o ke alawela,
He alanui ia o Kaamalama.
Oe mai no ma kai,
Owau iho no ma uka;
E hee o Aikanaka
I ke ahiahi.
E u ka ilo la i ko' waha;
Ai na koa i ka ala mihi.
Ai pohaku ko' akua.
Ai Kanaka ko maua akua.
Kuakea ke poo
I ka pehumu.
Nakeke ka aue i ka iliili.
Hai Kaamalama ia oe,
Hae' ke akua ulu ka niho.
E Ku lani ehu e;
Na'n na Kawelo
Na ko lawaia.
Here is a cloud, there another.
This cloud bears destruction;
I have seen it pass before my eyes.
The obscure cloud is the canoe of Kaamalama.
This is the tempest,
Wind in the darkness;
Thou art the sun, Kaamalama,
Rising clouded in the dawn.
Dark and shaded are the heavens,
A warm day begins to dawn.
This is the path of Kaamalama.
Thou art from the sea,
I, indeed, beneath the land mountain.
Fly, O Aikanaka,
In the evening!
Maggots shall fatten in thy mouth;
The soldiers eat the fragrant mihi.
Thy god is a devourer of rocks;
Our god eats human flesh.
Bleached shall be thy head
In the earth-oven.
Thy broken jaw shall rattle on the beach pebbles.
Kaamalama shall sacrifice you,
The god's tooth shall grow on the sacrifice.
O Kane of the yellow flower;
0 Ku, bright chief;
I am Kawelo,
In the following canto Kawelo reproaches and menaces the chief Kaheleha,
who had deserted him for Aikanaka.
Kulolou ana ke poo o ka opua,
Ohumuhumu olelo una la'u:
Owau ka! ka ai o ka la na.
E Kaheleha o Puna
Kuu keiki hookama
O kaua hoi no hoa
Mai ka wa iki
I hoouka'i kakou
Lawe ae hoi au, oleloia:
Haina ko'u make
E pono kaakaa laau
Aole i iki i ka alo i ka pohaku.
Aloha wale oe e Kaheleha
A pa nei ko'poo i ka laau,
Ka laulaa o kuikaa.
Nanaia ka a ouli keokeo.
Papapau hoa aloha wale!
Aloha i ka hei wale
O na pokii.
The head of the cloud bears down
And whispers a word in my ear:
It is I! the food of a rainy day.
O Kahelaha, of Puna,
My adopted son,
We two were comrades
In times of poverty;
In the day of battle
We were together at Wailua.
It might be said
My death was proclaimed
Good to look upon
Is the strength of Kawelo.
He knows not how to throw stones.
Farewell to you, Kaheleha
Thy head is split by my spear,
A spliced container!
The whitening form is to be seen.
O Aikanaka, loving only in name,
To you and yours,
Farewell to the ensnared,
The youngest born.
History declares, and this ninth canto confirms it, that Kaheleha of Puna,
Kawelo's friend from his youth, and one of his powerful companions in
arms at the descent on Wailua, believed that Kawelo was mortally wounded
beneath the shower of stones that had covered him, and this belief had
induced him to go over to the camp of Aikanaka. Verses fourteen to sixteen
are the words that Kawelo reproaches Kaheleha with saying before his
enemies. Kaheleha was slain by the hand of Kawelo at the same time with
Me he ulu wale la
I ka moana,
O Kauai nui moku lehua;
Aina nui makekau,
Makamaka ole ia Kawelo.
Ua make o Maihuna 'lii,
Maleia ka makuahine;
Ua hooleiia i ka pali nui,
O laua ka! na manu
Kikaha i lelepaumu.
Aloha mai o'u kupuna:
O Au a me Aalohe,
O Aua, a Aaloa,
O Aapoko, o Aamahana.
O Aapoku o Aauopelaea:
Ua make ia Aikanaka.
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