Volume 2 1893 > Volume 2, No.3, September 1893 > The Song of Kualii, of Hawaii, Sandwich Islands, translated by Curtis J. Lyons, with an introduction by Professor W. D. Alexander, p 160-178
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IT may be regarded as settled that after the ancestors of the Hawaiian people had lived secluded from the rest of the world for many generations, intercourse between them and the islands of the South Pacific was re-opened, and that many voyages were made which were celebrated in songs and legends.

The native historian, S. M. Kamakau, published a series of these legends in the “Kuokoa” newspaper of 1869. Judge Fornander afterwards showed from the genealogies that this second period of migrations must be placed in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries of the Christian era.1 In the second volume of his work may be found a summary of the traditions relating to these voyages, and an able discussion of the whole subject. As he has stated, the name, date and other circumstances connected with Laa-mai-ka-hiki, the ancestor of the Oahu and Kauai chiefs, remarkably coincide with those of Raa, the founder of the line of chiefs reigning in Raiatea. Let me add that in Lawson's manuscript collection of Marquesan songs are two which evidently refer to these islands. For example, the song of Tupaa relates his return from “Hawaii,” where stood Mauna 'Oa (Loa), burning on top, which served him as a landmark to set his course by, when he sailed for Nukuhiva.

After this intercourse with the southern groups had continued for about 150 years, it seems to have entirely ceased, for there is no evidence of it in any of the ancient legends, songs or genealogies for more than 400 years.

As communication ceased, the ideas of the ancient Hawaiians about foreign countries became vague and confused. The word “Kahiki” is identical with the New Zealand word “Tawhiti,” which means “far away,” “distant.”

It was used in Hawaiian to designate any foreign country. As time went on, it became to their minds a land of mystery and magic, full of marvels, and inhabited by supernatural beings.

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Such are the ideas conveyed by a famous passage in the song of Kualii quoted in “Dibble's History,” and by Judge Fornander, which has been wrongly interpreted as implying that Kualii himself had visited some foreign country.

Kualii was a celebrated chief of Oahu, who reigned in comparatively recent times, viz., about 1700 a.d., fourteen generations later than Kahai, the last voyager to Kahiki. After his accession he had more than one war with the independent chiefs of Waialua, Ewa, and Waianae. It was during one of these wars that this famous mele or chant was composed by the two brothers, Kapa-ahu-lani and Kama-aulani, in glorification of Kualii, and for the express purpose of gaining his favour. It is said that the former served in Kualii's army, while the latter played the treacherous part of Hushai in the counsels of his enemy, the chief of Waialua. Acting in concert, they contrived to bring about an engagement at Keahumoa in Honouliuli. Just before the battle, Kapa-ahu-lani obtained permission from Kualii to chant his pule between the two armies. After Kualii's victory, the bard was liberally rewarded with honours and lands, as he had expected.

This long poem, containing about 600 lines, was handed down orally for more than 150 years, so faithfully that several independent versions of it, collected by Judge Fornander on Hawaii and Oahu, all substantially agree. It is so antique in language, construction and imagery, that very few of the natives at the present day can understand much of it. Polynesian scholars are under great obligations to Mr. C. J. Lyons for the translation of it, which he made with the assistance of the learned pundit, S. M. Kamakau.

The poem recites Kualii's genealogy and his exploits in war; asserts that everything belongs to him, the land, the sea, and even the distant island of Kahiki; and after contrasting him with a variety of objects, finally declares him to be a god, the peer of Lono, Kane, and Kanaloa. It is valuable for the light it throws on the conceptions of the outside world entertained by the Hawaiians before the arrival of Captain Cook.

From the indistinct, fragmentary, and mythical character of the passage about Kahiki, it is evident that it does not refer to an actual voyage performed by the author or any of his contemporaries to that terra incognita.

It is simply an echo, or perhaps a quotation from the ancient legends that had come down from the times of Moikeha and Laa-mai-Kahiki. Kahiki is described as a mysterious island, inhabited by supernatural beings (haoles), speaking with unearthly voices (leo pahaohao), who ascend up into the sky. The term haole was afterwards applied to Captain Cook's men, as they were supposed to be supernatural beings, who had come with Lono from “Kahiki.”

So in the legend Laieikawai, the hero is borne by a gigantic moo or crocodile to Kahiki, in order to find the means of ascending to the moon. It is there represented as peopled by kupuas (magicians) and monsters, such as the moo, and the huge man-eating dog kalahumoku.

I regret that the historian, Fornander, should have seriously put forward the theory that the chief Kualii had actually made a voyage in a Spanish galleon to Acapulco and back. On the contrary, the poem speaks of Kahiki as “the land where Olopana once dwelt.” Nor does it assert that Kualii had been there, but that the bard himself had - 162 seen it, “ua ike hoi au ia Kahiki,” which of course is not to be taken literally.

Besides, the profound ignorance and astonishment shown by the people when Captain Cook arrived, only two generations later, cannot be reconciled with any such theory. Kualii's son, Peleioholani, died as late as 1770, according to Fornander.

Such an important event as the visit of a Spanish galleon would have left behind more traces of itself than a few obscure lines in a mele.

The following is the text and translation of the passage in question, some parts of which have never been satisfactorily explained:—

O Kahiki, ia wai Kahiki? Ia Ku. Kahiki, to whom belongs Kahiki? To Ku.
O Kahiki, moku kai a loa, Kahiki, island far out in the ocean,
Aina o Olopana i noho ai. Land where Olopana dwelt. [See Notes.]
Iloko ka moku, iwaho ka la. Inside is the island, outside is the sun.2
O ke aloalo ka—la, ka moku, ke hiki mai. Eludes (or recedes) the sun and the island when one approaches.3
Ane ua ike oe? Ua ike. Perhaps you have seen it,
Ua ike hoi au ia Kahiki. I have indeed seen Kahiki.
He moku leo pahaohao wale Kahiki. An island with weird unearthly voices is Kahiki4
No Kahiki kanaka i pii a luna. Of Kahiki are the men who ascend up.
A i ka iwi kuamoo o ka lani; To the backbone of the sky.
A luna, keehi iho, Up there they tread,
Nana iho ia lalo. And look down below.
Aohe o Kahiki kanaka; No human beings in Kahiki.
Hookahi o Kahiki kanaka, he Haole. One kind of men in Kahiki, the haole.
Me ia la he akua, me au la he kanaka. He is like a god, I like a man;5
He kanaka no. A man indeed.
Pa ia kaua a he kanaka, hookahi ia e hiki e hala. or{Pai kau, a ke kanaka hookahi e hiki. Yet we can touch them, one common nature.6
Hala aku la o Kukahi la o Kulua. Kukahi was the day that passed.
O Kukahi ka po, o Kulua ke ao; Kukahi the night, Kulua the next day7
O hakihana ka ai; Little by little broken the food,
Kanikani ai a manu-a. As the birds eat, little by little.8
Hoolono mai manu-o-lanakila. Listen now, we are safely escaped.9
Malie ia wai lanakila. Through whom are we safe?
Ia Ku no. Through Ku indeed.

[Note—In the 16th line “Pai kau” is Fornander's reading, instead of “Pa ia kaua.” He also omits “ia” and “e hala.”]

W. D. Alexander.
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Composed in honour of Kualii.

Introductory Note by the Translator.—The following translation was undertaken at the instance of the late Hon. Lorrin Andrews in the early part of the year 1868. The manuscript of the Hawaiian was in his possession at the time, written out by the dictation of S. M. Kamakau, a Hawaiian antiquarian of some note. We were in the habit of repairing together daily to the house of Mr. Kamakau, who would explain each line in his vigorous style, the translation being then made out, as I deemed, to most exactly express the force of the original, and written down. Upon reaching what we supposed to be the termination of the mele as above, Mr. Kamakau informed us that about 200 lines still remained unwritten. It was impossible to go on with these at the time. They will be found in the bound volume of the “Kuokoa” for 1868, in the numbers for May. I have some doubt, however, as to the authenticity of them.

Kumahukia and He'ea composed this song in honour of the king Kualii, who was born about the year 1550. He is said to have lived to the age of 175 years—“four forties and fifteen” in Hawaiian enumeration. He was born in Kailua, Koolaupoko, on Oahu, at a place called Kalapawai, where traces of his heiau (temple) and house still remain. The districts of Waialua and Waianae were separate and independent sovereignties at that time, each with their own chiefs.

Kualii was famous for his powers as a runner, the story being that he could go around Oahu five times in one day! He performed great exploits under the especial protection of the gods. The place is pointed out, on the road to Waianae, Keahumoa, where he leaped twenty fathoms across a wide ravine to escape an enemy. He was a chief who loved his people, and never dispossessed them of their lands. He was distinguished for his piety, always wearing the image of his god, Kuhooneenuu, about hts neck. It was said to be a foreign god. He lived to such an age that his men used to carry him in a net (koko) so that he might still direct them in battle. When the time of his death approached various plans were suggested for hiding his bones, none of which he approved. His kahu (confidential attendant) however pointed to his own mouth, so after the chief's death his bones were ground to powder, and secretly mixed with the food of the chiefs, thus being for ever hidden.

At the end of the translation will be found a number of notes explanatory of such parts as seemed to require them.

Curtis J. Lyons.
(For references and notes numbered by line see at end of poem).
He eleele kii na Maui, A messenger sent by Maui,
Kii aku ia Kane ma, Sent to bring Kane and his set,
Laua o Kanaloa ia Kauokahi, Kane and Kanaloa, Kauokahi,
Laua o Maliu. And Maliu.
5 Hano mai a hai a hai i ka pule, 5 Throwing out sacred influences, uttering prayers,
Hai a holona, Hapuu e ka lani. Consulting oracles, Hapuu the god of the king.
Ka makau nui a Maui, The great fish-hook of Maui,
O Manaiakalani, Manaiakalani,
Kona aho, hilo honua ke kaa, The whole earth was the fish-line bound by the knot,
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10 Hau hia amoamo Kauiki. 10 Kauiki bound to the mainland and towering high.
Hanaiakamalama, Hanaiakamalama (lived there).
Ka maunu ka alae a Hina The alae of Hina was the bait
Kuua ilalo i Hawaii, (Of the fish-hook) let down to Hawaii.
Kahihi ka pu make haoa, Tangled with the bait into a bitter death,
15 Ka ina Nonononuiakea, 15 Lifting up the very base of the island;
E malana iluna i ka ilikai. Drawing it up to the surface of the sea.
Huna e Hina i ka eheu o ka alae Hidden by Hina were the wings of the alae.
Wahia ka papa ia Laka, But broken was the table of Laka.
Ahaina ilalo ia Kea. And the hook carried far down to Kea.
20 Ai mai ka ia o ka ulua makele, 20 The fish seized the bait—the fat large ulua.
O Luaehu kama a Pimoe, e ka lani e, Luaehu, child of Pimoe, Oh thou great chief!
O Hulihonua ke kane, Hulihonua the man,
Keakahulilani ka wahine, Keakahulilani the woman,
O Laka ke kane, Kapapaialeka ka wahine. Laka the husband, Kapapaialeka his wife.
25 Kamooalewa ke kane, 25 The succeeding lines to the 66th line, containing genealogical names down to Wakea and Papa, are omitted. [See Hawaiian.]
Nanawahine kana wahine,  
O Maluakapo ke kane,  
Laweakeao ka wahine,  
Kinilauemano ke kane,  
30 O Upalu ka wahine,  
O Halo ke kane, o Kiniewalu ka wahine,  
Kamanonokalani ke kane,  
O Kalanianoho ka wahine,  
Kamakaokalani ke kane,  
35 O Kahuaokalani ka wahine,  
Keohookalani ke kane,  
Kaamookalani ka wahine,  
Kaleiokalani ke kane,  
Kaopuahihi la ka wahine,  
40 Kalalii la ke kane,  
Keaomele la ka wahine,  
O Haule ke kane, Loaa ka wahine,  
Nanea ke kane, o Walea ka wahine,  
Nananuu ke kane, Lalohana ka wahine,  
45 Lalokona ke kane,  
Lalohoaniani ka wahine,  
Hanuapoiluna ke kane,  
Hanuapoilalo ka wahine,  
Pokinikini la ke kane,  
50 Polehulehu la ka wahine,  
Pomanomano la ke kane,  
Pohakoikoi la ka wahine,  
Kupukupuanuu ke kane,  
Kupukupualani ka wahine,  
55 Kamoleokahonua ke kane,  
Keaaokahonua ka wahine,  
Oohemoku ke kane, o Pinainai ka wahine,  
Makulu ke kane, o Hiona ka wahine,  
Milipomea ke kane,  
60 O Hanahanaiau ka wahine,  
Hookumukapo ke kane, o Hoao no ka wahine,  
Lukahakona ke kane,  
O Niau ka wahine,  
O Kahiko ke kane,  
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65 Kupulanakehau ka wahine,  
O Wakea ke kane, O Papa la ka wahine. 66 Wakea the man, Papa his wife,
Hanau ko ia ka lani he ulahiwa nui A chief was conceived and born, a great red fowl,
He alii o Pineaikalani ko kupunakane A chief was Pineaikalani, thy grand-father,
Hanau ka lani he alii A noble chief begot a chief,
70 Hua mai nei a lehulehu 70 Brought forth innumerable offspring.
Kowili ka hua na ka lani Abundant the seed of the noble chief,
Lele wale mai nei maluna There hangs above,
Ka loina a ka lani weliweli The height of the dread nobility.
He alii pii aku, koi aku, wehe aku A chief ascending, forcing his way upwards,
75 A loaa i ka lani, paa ka ke alii 75 To the very highest ranks, established for kings.
E Ku—e, he inoa Such art thou, O Kualii!
I na no ka oe i ona. And at that high place do'st thou stand.
O Ku o ke ko'i makalani O Ku, thou axe with celestial edge.
Kakai ka aha maueleka. Na Ku, For Ku, marches the train of clouds along the horizon,
80 Kohia kailaomi e Ku 80 And the edge of the sea is drawn down by Ku,
Kai Makalii kai Kaelo The sea of Makalii, the sea of Kaelo,
Kai ae Kaulua The sea that comes up in Kaulua.
Ka malama hoolau ai a Makalii The month in which grows the food—Makalii,
O ke poko ai hele, ai iwi na The worm that eats as it crawls, leaving the ribs,
85 Ka pokipoki nana i ai ka iwi o Alaka poki e— 85 The sea-crab that eats to the bone the bodies of the shipwrecked
Ka makua ia o Niele, o Launieniele He is the father—all are asking many things,
O kanaka o ka wai, o Ku ke Alii o Kauai The people of the water, Ku the king of Kauai.
O Kauai mauna hoahoa Kauai with its high mountains.
Hohola ilalo o Keolewa Keolewa spreading its broad base,
90 E inu mai ana o Niihau ma i ke kai e, 90 Niihau and his family drinking the sea,
O Kiki ma ka kai Keolewa Ah, it is Kiki that is on Keolewa,
O Kalaaumakauahi ma kai lalo e Kalaaumakauahi that is below.
O Hawaii O Hawaii nui, mauna kiekie Hawaii—great high—mountained Hawaii:
Hoho i ka Iani o Kauwiki High to the heaven is Kauwiki.
95 Halo ka hono o na moku i ke kai 95 A fleet of islands floating on the sea,
E hopu ana, o Kauwiki e—o Kauwiki. Kauwiki stands rounding in the distance,
Ka mauna i ke opaipai kala 'ina e hina Hill like a bird flapping its wings,
E hina Kauwiki e—o Kauai Leaning till it seems to fall. Kauai—
Kauai nui kua—papa Great Kauai inherited from ancestors,
100 Noho i ka lulu o Waianae. 100 Resting in the shelter of Waianae.
He lae Kaena, he lae hala Kahuku Kaena is a cape, Kahuku a point covered with hala,
He kuamauna holo i ke hau Kaala Kaala a mountain-back covered with dew;
Moe mai ana o Waialua ilalo o Waiaheia Waialua stretching below,
O Mokuleia kahala ka ipu And Mokuleia with its kahala.
105 He loko i-a mano lawalu 105 Fish-ponds for sharks for serving up;
Hiu lalakea o Kaena The tail of the white shark is Kaena,
Mano hele lalo o Kauai, e— The shark stretching toward Kauai,
O lalo o Kauai, kuu aina o Kauai, Down to Kauai thy land;
Ke holo nei Ku i Kauai, e— Ku is sailing to Kauai,
110 E ike i ka oopu makapoko o Hanakapiai 110 To see the round oopu of Hanakapiai.
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Ke hoi nei Ku i Oahu, e— Ku is returning to Oahu,
I ike i ka oopu ku i—a, i—a, To see the slow-moving oopu,
Hilahila o Kawainui The dastardly fish of Kawainui,
E lana nei iloko o ka wai. Floating near the surface of the water.
115 A pala ka hala ula ka ai—e, 115 When the hala is ripe the neck becomes red,
He hoailona ia no Ku, This is a sign of Ku,
Ua pae mai la—o Kauai, He has landed now from Kauai,
O Kauai nui moku lehua, Kauai, great and grown over with lehua,
Moku panee lua iloko o ke kai, Island standing grandly in the sea,
120 Moku panee lua ana Kahiki 120 Island stretching out toward Kahiki—
Halo Kahiki ia Wakea ka la, Kahiki the east, where Kea sends forth the sun—
Kolohia, kau mai ana Kona i ka maka. Invited, Kona stands forth to the sight,
Hookumu ilalo Kumuhonua, Established far below is Kumuhonua,
Nakeke ka papa i Hawaii a Kea, Shaking the broad foundations of Hawaii of Kea,
125 O kuhia i ka muo o ka la 125 Pointing to the uprising rays of the sun;
Ke kau la ka la i Kona, ke maele Kohala. The sun hangs over Kona, Kohala already in darkness.
O Kahiki, ia wai Kahiki? Kahiki—whose is Kahiki?
Ia Ku no For whom? for Ku indeed is Kahiki.
O Kahiki moku kai ia loa, Kahiki far over the broad ocean,
130 Aina a Olopana i noho ai 130 Land where Olopana once dwelt;
Iloko ka moku, iwaho ka la, Below is the land, above is the sun,
O ke aloalo o ka la ka moku ke hiki mai, In that land the sun hangs low in the sky,
Ane ua ike o-e, Perhaps you have seen it?
Ua ike, ua ike hoi au ia Kahiki, Yes I have seen, I have seen Kahiki,
135 He moku leo pahaohao wale Kahiki, 135 A land where the language is strange,
No Kahiki kanaka i pii a luna Of Kahiki are the men who ascend,
O ka iwi kuamoo o ka lani, Up the great back-bone of Heaven.
A luna keehi iho, nana iho ia lalo, Far up there they trample and look at below,
Aole o Kahiki kanaka, None of our race in Kahiki,
140 Hookahi o Kahiki kanaka, he haole. 140 One kind of men in Kahiki, the haoles
Me ia la he akua, me a'u la he kanaka, Like unto Gods, and I was the man.
He kanaka no, pa ia kaua a he kanaka, Yet they were men, we can hold converse with them,
Hookahi ia e hiki e hala, One common nature.
Hala aku la o Kukahi la o Kulua, Kukahi was the day that past,
145 Kukahi ka po, o Kulua ke ao, 145 Kukahi the evening, Kulua the next day,
O Hakihana ka ai Little by little broken the food,
Kanikani ai a Manumanu—a, As the birds eat little by little.
Hoolohe mai manuolanakila, Listen now, we are safely escaped;
Malie ia wai lanakila, Through whom are we safe?
150 Ia wai la? Ia Ku no. 150 Through Ku indeed,
Malie ia wai lanakila? Ilaila ka ua, Through whom victorious? For him is the rain,
Ilaila ka ua, ilaila ka la, For him is the rain, for him is the sun,
Ilaila ka hoku hiki maka hano he alii, There for him the star, the kingly star looking down,
O Kaula, O Haikala, Kau, kahi o ka la, Kaula, Haikala, Kau, and where rises the sun.
155 O Puna,ohooilo,o Hana o Lanakila, 155 Puna, the rainy, Hana, Lanakila,
O hooilo ua ino pele, o ka makani. The winter rainy and muddy, and the wind.
Ia wai ka makani? ia Ku no. For whom is the wind? for Ku.
Puhia ka makani a Laamaomao. Blown is the wind by Laamaomao,
O ke ahe Koolauwahine ka makani o lalo. The soft breeze Koolauwahine, the wind from below.
160 Ka ua i ka'u i ike, 160 Kauai I have seen it,
O ke kiu ko Wawaenohu, The north wind of Wawaenohu,
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Ka hoolua ko Niihau, The north wind of Niihau,
Ke kona ka makani ikaika, The kona is the strong wind,
Ka aoa ka makani ino. The aoa the tempestuous wind.
165 He makani halihali wai pua kukui, 165 Scattering kukui blossoms on the flood,
I lawea ia'la e Lonomuku, Carried by Lonomuku,
Pa ka ilalo o Hana, Beaten down (by the wave) to Hana,
Oia koolauwahine o lalo o Kauai, So is the Koolauwahine of Kauai,
Ke apa la ka i Wailula la. Coming in at Wailua.
170 O ka ua, iawai ka ua? 170 The rain, whose is the rain?
Ia Ku no. For Ku.
Iluna ka ua o Puanalua Above is the rain of Puanalua,
Ku i ke kao maiku, hoolewa Reaching the three stars of Orion, which pierce the clouds as they drift along.
Ke ao o ke kaina, iawai ka ua? For whom is this rain?
175 Ia Ku no. 175 For Ku.
I moea ka ua i Kunaloa, Drifts along the rain of Kunaloa,
I pakakahi ka ua i ka ili, Drops of rain beating down on the skin,
Iliki ka ua i Kananaola. Pelting comes the rain of Kananaola,
Pahee Mahiki ke ka la Mahiki is slippery and the traveller falls.
180 Ua lu ia ka ua e hina 180 The rain sprinkled down to make him fall,
Haalulu ai lalo o Maheleana He falls heavily at Maheleana,
Ka punohu o ka ua kai Kahalahala, The mist of the rain is at Kahalahala
O ka pokii o ka ua e ua la ka i ka lehua la, The children of the rain cling to the woods of lehua,
O ka la, iawai ka la? The sun, whose is the sun?
185 Ia ku no. 185 For Ku indeed.
I puka ka la ma Kauwiki, The sun comes forth at Kauwiki,
Hawewe ka la i Kaupilioloula, Burning is the sun at Kaupilioloula,
Ke kohokoho la kamalii The children are making challenge.
Ke na'una'u la ka la Holding their breath at the sunset;
190 Ka la kieke pua o Hilo 190 The sun in the flower-nets of Hilo.
O ke kua o ka la kai hulihia iluna The back of the sun is turned above,
Ke aloalo o ka la kai lawe'a ilalo The face of the sun is turned below,
Ka malu o ka la kai kaa iloko The shade from the sun is within,
Ke aka o ka la kai hele iwaho The light from the sun is without,
195 Ka mahana o ka la ke hele nei 195 The heat of the sun o'er-spreads
Maluna o ka ainaa— Over the land and
Kau aku i Lehua. Stretches forth to Lehua.
O ke kai, ia wai ke kai? The sea, whose is the sea?
Ia Ku no. For Ku.
200 I nui mai kai i Kahiki, 200 The vastness of the sea is from Kahiki,
I miha kai i ka aina Calm is the sea by the land,
I lawea kai i ka lima Taken up is the sea in the hand,
I kiki ke oho i ke kai Dressed is the hair with the sea,
I ehu ke oho i ke kai liu White is the hair with very salt sea,
205 I pala ke oho i ke kai loa 205 Brown becomes the hair in the sea,
I lele ke oho i kai kea Red becomes the hair in the foaming sea.
He kai kuhinia ko ka puaa Rich is the soup of the cooked hog,
He kai lihaliha ko ka ilio Fat is the soup of the dog,
He kai okukuli ko ka moa Dainty the soup of the fowl,
210 He kai ala ko ka anae 210 Savory the soup of the anae,
He kai hauna ko ka palani Strong the soup of the palani,
He kai heenalu ko Kahaloa A sea for surf-riding is at Kahaloa,
He kai huli ko Kalia A sea for casting the net at Kalia,
He kai hele kohana ko Mamala A sea for going naked is at Mamala,
215 He kai au ko ka puu one 215 A sea for swimming to the sand-hills,
He kai kaha nalu ko Makaiwa A sea for surf-riding sideways at Makaiwa,
He kai kà, anae ko Keehi A sea for scooping anae at Keehi,
He kai alamihi ko Leleiwi A sea for crabs at Leleiwi,
He kai awa lau kee Puuloa A labyrinth harbor the sea of Puuloa,
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220 He kai puhi nehu, puhi lala, 220 A calm sea for nehu and lala,
Ke kai o Ewa e noho i ka lai nei Is the sea at Ewa, so calm and bright,
Na Ewa nui a Laakona The great lands of Ewa Laakona,
Ku i ke alaika ua o ka lani Ku holding the heaven and its rain,
Kai apukapuka Heeia The mottled sea of Heeia,
225 He kai o hee ko Kapapa 225 A sea for spearing hee at Kapapa,
He kai ohaika Kualoa A head-lifting sea at Kualoa,
He kai aei ko Kaaawa A sea with curved rollers at Kaaawa,
He kai ahiu ko Kahana A sea for the ahiu at Kahana;
I wehe kai ia Paao Paao let loose the flood,
230 Ikea Paao i ka waihi 230 Flood seen like the dashing water-fall,
Ikea ka hiwa mai lalo Kona, The flood seen rushing down from above;
  The depths are seen far below,
O kahiwa-i, mai lalo Kona, The hidden depths from below of Kona.
He au, he koi, he aha, he pale, A handle, an axe, the cord, the cover,
E kii, e hoa, e lanalana, 235 Take it, bind it, wind it around,
235 E kua i kumu o Kahiki—e— Cut down the foundations of Kahiki,
Aua mai Hilo, While it still rains at Hilo.
Ke kuee nei na opua ua o Maheleana The rain clouds over the sea part at Maheleana.
E ua mai kanaka Let it rain on the people.
Ilaila ka ua a malie There is the rain till it ceases;
240 He lala loa i ka makani 240 A long day with the wind,
Haiki ka make o ka ua Cramped is the traveller by the rain,
Hakookoo ana Mahiki i ka puka lea Mahiki opposes his free progress,
Aia Mahiki, ke ka mai la. There is Mahiki making him fall.
O Puukahonua, Puukahonua,—
245 O Mihiolana ka wahine, 245 Mihiolani his wife,
Noho Wakea noho ia Papa, Wakea lived and took Papa his wife,
Hanau ka naupaka ku i ke kahakai Naupaka was born, the weed by the sea-shore.
Ohikimakaloa ka wahine, Ohikimakaloa the wife,
Hooipo o Hulumanailani, Whom coveted Hulumanailani.
250 Ku i ka ena anaia ilalo, 250 Struck with hot desire, overcome with love.
O Mehepalaoa o Malena, Mehepalaoa, child of Malena,
Me he kai olohia o Manua, Like the broad sea calmed by Manua;
Ka la ka honua; O Ku lanipipili, The days of sacred march, the holy place
O lanipipili, o Lanioaka, Where the breath is held, and the priests talk,—
255 O Lanikahuli, o Omealani, 255 The silence is broken, the scene breaks up.
O Lonohekili kaakaa, The rolling of the thunder, of Lono,
O Nakoloilani ka iloliloli moana Rumbling thro' heaven the sea is disturbed,
O Waia o Hikapaloa o ka po i muliwai, Who is this? Hikapaloa, darkness brooding over the river?
O Kane, o Ahulukaaala, (No;) Kane and Ahulukaaala,
260 O Kaneikamakaukau, o Aahulu, 260 Kaneimakaukau—Ahulu,
Alua anahulu an ia oe e Ku—e o Kualii. Twice ten days I am with you, O Ku—Kualii,
Eia ka paia ai o Kapaau, Here is the attractive hook of Kapaau,
Kanaka o Wawa ka i Kapua, The men of Wawa are at Kapua.
Kea pua hako o Hawi, White are the cane blossoms of Hawi,
265 Eia ke puhi kukui ai o Kukuipahu, 265 Here is the torch of Kukuipahu,
Ka wahine waha ula, The woman red-mouthed,
Ke ai i ka ina o Makakuku, By eating the sea-urchin of Makakuku.
Eia ke kanaka pii pali, Here is the climber of palis.
Haka ulili o Nualolo, Of the ladder of Nualolo,
270 Ke keiki kiakia manu—e 270 The child catching birds,
Kau kiakia manu o Lehua, Raising his bird-catching pole at Lehua.
O Kuku, o Aa, Kuku—Aa.
O Haula nui i akea ke kai, Haulanuiakea, the sea,
Hina i Manua, Of Hinaimanua,
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275 O Paepaemanaku ka a luna, 275 Paepaemanaku was the man,
Aia Makaaalii kana wahine, Makaaalii the woman;
Hanau Kanaenae noho kuamauna, Born was Kanaenae that abides on the mountain,
Ka hinihini pololei kani kuaola The one-songed hinihini that sings on the high mountain,
Haina iho i ka wae mua o ka waa, Fed on the front seat of the canoe,
280 O Molokai la ua naha, 280 Molokai is torn in sunder.
Ke naha a lele apana a Kana la. The tearing in sunder by Kana,
Make, hold uka, holo kai, It is death travelling toward the mountain; death toward the sea.
Hoonalulu ana Luukia, Luukia is suffering headache,
Hoopailua i ke iloli, Sick of the stomach,
285 Ke kaulua o ke kamaiki, 285 Conceiving the child,
Aia hanau ka ieie hihi ka nahele, When the ie brings forth the forest is tangled,
Hanau ka lupua me ka lulana, The lupua and lalana bring forth
Ku i ke opu o Lono, Kapolei ka wahine, The rising thought of Lono, Kapolei his wife.
Ku ka inaina i hope ka lanalana, The anger comes, the action there-from, and glows with rage,
290 Kukona, i hoa o Ku no ke alii o Ku no ke kai malimali, 290 But Ku is the chief, Ku the calm sea,
Me ke kai ea, a na Ku a na Ku, The rising tide of the nights of Ku.
Eia ke kai kuikui hala, This is the sea that breaks on the hala trees
Kuikui hala o Keaau, Breaking on the hala of Keaau,
Ka umeke hoowalina lepo, The calabash of kneaded earth,
295 Me he hokeo la ke ala, 295 The deep-cut road is like a hokeo,
Eia ka huakai hele, This is the company of travellers.
Alanui kanaka, The travelled road,
Wali ai ka lepo o Mahiki, Where the earth of Mahiki is made soft,
Ka paala e ka waewae. Trodden down by the foot.
300 O ka Papaiakea, o ka nalu o ka inaina 300 Papaiakea the wave of wrath,
O Kaihihii kana wahine, Kaihihii his wife.
Hanau Koawaa, ku i ka mulehu, The canoe koa is brought forth in rich soil.
Kalaia ka ipu ike kai aleale A vessel carved out for the sea with its waves,
Kalaia o Hinakapeau, Carved out the paddle,
305 Loaa mai o ukinohunohu la 305 Then was seen the bending of the back,
Ukanaopiopio, o Moakuaahono, The sitting still in the stern, the rushing up of the waves like the game cock of Lono.
O Kaale'i, o Keelekoha, o ke'kua makahalo, The wave that topples, the waves that break, the god that looks around,
O kekau iluna ka hualewa The floating of the breasts (turned up),
A ka lipoa, o ka namuakea, o ke kaiakea, The dark sea, the broad sea,
310 O ka moana akea, o Hulukeeaea, 310 The broad ocean, the cold-stiffened
O Hauii, o Hauee, o Hauii nui na holoholo, Mariners, shivering, quivering with cold
O Hauii kai apo kahi, Then the sea grows still,
Kai humea mai ko malo e Ku, The sea where you put on the malo of Ku,
No Ku ka malo i ke kaua haa oe, Ku puts on his malo for war, and you tremble,
315 Oia e luia—ka umu me he auwai la. 315 Scattered on the ground, like an oven, like the rushing of a watercourse.
Eia ka uhuki hulu manu, This is the plucker of feathers.
Kau pua o Haili, na keiki kiai pua, The bird-catcher of Haili, the child watching the flowers.
Ka lahui pua olalo. The people beneath like flowers.
Eia ka wahine ako pua, This is the woman gathering flowers
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320 Kui pua, lei pua, kahiko pua o Paiahaa. 320 Wreathing flowers, wearing garlands of Paiahaa,
Ke uhai mai nei ke akua, The ghosts came chasing after,
A pau mehameha Apua, It is past—all is deserted like Apua.
Kau ia ka makani hiamoe la—e—moe, The wind of the sleep of death has passed over—they sleep.
Moe ua makani hiamoe la la, The wind of sleep, sleeps on them,
325 I ka papa o Kukalaula. 325 On the dead expanse of Kukalaula,
O Uliuli, o Maihea, a Kahakapolani ka wahine, Uliuli, Maihea, Kahakapolani the wife,
Kaukeano, o Mehameha ka wahine, The sacred place, the lonely place,
O po ka lani i ka ino Dark is the heaven with storm,
He ino ka lani ke wawa nei ka honua Stormy the heaven, and troubled the earth,
330 I ka inaina o ka lani 330 The heavens coming to child-birth,
Hoonaku, hookaahea, hoowiliwili Travailing, fainting, struggling,
Hoonahu, hoomamae Suffering pangs, feeling the pressure (from the hand of friends);
Hookokohi ana iloko o Hanaieleele. Bringing forth in the month of Hanaieleele,
Hanau ka mana ku i ka nahele, The maua is brought forth that stands in the forest.
335 Hanau ka auau kani kuaola, 335 The auau is brought forth singing in the mountain ridge.
Puka ke kamahele, ku i ke alo o ka hakoko, The child is brought forth, it is before the face of the travailing mother,
He pukaua na ke alii, he kaua A warrior chief for the king, a battle,
He wai ka ua, o Ku no ke alii A battle of hosts, Ku is the king,
He kaua na Ku e uhau ana iluna i Kawaluna, A battle of Ku, fought on the heights of Kawaluna,
340 Ihea, ihea la ke kahua, 340 Where, where is the field
Paio ai o ke kaua Where the battle is fought?
I kahua i Kalena, On the field of Kalena,
I manini i hanini, i ninia i ka wai akua, Filled up, flowed over, poured out is the ghostly current.
I Kahana, i Malamanui, At Kahana—at Malamanui,
345 Ka luna o Kakapa i Paupauwela, 345 Above Kakapa, at Paupauwela,
I Kahilinai i ke Kalele, At Hilinai, at Kalele,
Ka hala o Halahalanuimaauea, The hala tree of Halahalanuimaauea,
I ke kula o ohia ke Pule—e, At the ohia grove of Pule—e
Ke kua o Lono o Makalii. Behind the back of Lono of Makalii,
350 Ka lala ala o ukulono o Ku, 350 The fragrant branch of the obedient Ku,
No Kona paha no Lihue, Perhaps Lihue is in Kona.
No ka la i Maunauna, The day of Maunauna,
No ka wai i Paupauwela, The stream of Paupauwela.
I ulu Haalilo i nei pua, That Haalilo may be honoured in this flower of nobility.
355 I ka hau'na iho ia Aui, 355 At the scourging of Aui,
Kikomo kahuna i kakau laau. The priests join in to help the fight
Komo Ku i kona ahuula, Ku is arrayed in his royal feather robe,
Ka wela o ka ua i ka lani, The sun-lighted rain in the heavens,
Ka la i Kauakahi Hale, The day at the royal palace.
360 Ula ka lau o ka mamane, 360 Red is the leaf of the mamane,
Ke koaie o Kauai. The koaie of Kauai,
He pili ka ihe ia Ku, The spear is parried by Ku—
Ke aloalo o ka maile, The supple dart of maile,
Ka nalu kakala o Maihiwa, The towering surf of Maihiwa,
365 Pania ka wai i Halapo, 365 Dammed up are the waters of Halapo.
Ka naha ilalo o Eleu, The breaking forth is at Eleu
Hukia ka ua amoa i ka lani, The rain is drawn away—carried back to the sky,
Me he hee nui no kuahiwi, The avalanche of the mountain,
Ka heena o Hilo ia Puna, The rush (of rain) on Hilo from Puna,
370 Aia ma Hilo peahi. 370 Here at Hilo (we) beckon.
Ula ka wai i Paupauwela, Red is the water of Paupauwela,
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Ke kilau o Malamanui, The kilau of Malamanui,
Ka moo kilau i Kakapa, The kilau ridge at Kakapa,
Kui ka lono ia Haalilo, The tidings come to Haalilo,
375 Haua aku la ko kaina, 375 You are chastising your younger brother,
Hahaki Haalilo i ka manawa, Haalilo is troubled at heart,
I kaiamuku kahuna ia Ku, The priests are disheartened at Ku,
Ila ka manawa ia Kane There is darkness within its (fear of) Kane
I keiki a Haalilo, For fear of the child of Haalilo.
380 Eia malanai haehae, 380 This is the soul-stirring wind of the sea,
Kama a Niheu kolohe, The child of the mischief-making Niheu.
Ke pani wai o Kekuuna, The dam of the stream of Kuuna.
He mee nei no ke kanaka. This man is a wonder amongst men,
Ke pu nei i ka aahu, He knots up his robe,
385 Ke olapa nei i ka laau, 385 He is whirling his weapon in air,
Ka laulau o kapa, It is caught and bound up in the robe.
Eia Haalilo lilo e o Ku no ke alii. Here is Haalilo—power gone—Ku is the king.
Aloha kukui peahi i ka leo Paoa, Dear are the kukui trees beckoning the message of Paoa,
Ua oa ka maka o ka ilima, The numberless multitude of flowers of ilima,
390 Make Nonu i ka la o Makalii, 390 Withering under the sun of Makalii,
Ia Makalii la pua ke koolau, In Makalii blossoms the koolau,
Pa'u i ke hau o Maemae, Wet with the dew of Maemae.
He mae wale ka leo o ke kai olalo, Fading on the ear is the voice of the sea of below,
Hoolono wale o Malamanui. Malamanui only can hear it (not see it).
395 Ia ai Ku i ka uala, 395 Where Ku ate the potato,
Kauwewe kupukupu ala o Lihue, Covered in cooking with the sweet wild fennel of Lihue.
Kupu mai nei ka manawa ino e Ku—e, The fierce thought breeds in the soul of Ku,
Hanau mai a me ka lani wale la, It is born and towers to heaven;
O Ku no ke alii. Ku is the king.
400 He pu hinalo no Ku i ka makoa, 400 The hala blossom Ku in the battle array,
Oi lele Ku i ka pali, There leaps Ku down the pali,
Mai pau Ku i ke ahi, Well-nigh perished in the flame (of the battle).
O ke aha la kau hala e Ku? What indeed is the failing of Ku?
O ke kua aku i ka laau, Cutttng down the great trees?
405 O ka luukia ana o ka pa'u, 405 Is it his binding his robe?
O ka hi'a ana o ke oa, Is the thrusting his spear?—
O ko Ku ia kona hoa haalele The spear, the companion of Ku,
I ka ua i ka la. Through the rain and the sunshine.
Aai Ku i ka unahi pohaku, Ku is eating off the scales of the rock
410 Ola Ku i ka ipu o Lono, 410 Ku drains life from the sacred vessel of Lono,
I ka ipu a Kupaka, The vessel of Kupaka,
O Ku no ke alii. Ku is the King.
O Kailua makani anea, oneanea, Kailua, with its unnerving wind, soul-dulling wind.
Makani aku a Hema, The wind of Hema,
415 He mama wale ka leo ke ualo mai—e,— 415 The calling voice is lost in the wind,
E o ia nei o ka lahuimakani, Call thou and the people (will hear).
E ku mai oe i ka hea i ka ualo, Stand forth at the call and the cry,
Mai hookuli mai oe, Turn not a deaf ear,
O ke kama hanau o ka leo ka i lele aku la iwaho, The children born of the voice have gone forth,
420 Kai no iwaho ka paio, 420 We thought the battle was removed,
Pale aku la ilaila. Pushed aside elsewhere.
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Hoia mai i ka hale, liliia, Return to the house, and there show forth anger,
Me he leo la ko ka aho, Let the aho of the house hear your words,
Ke kaunui'i ala ka moena, Take the mat in your rough embrace,
425 Ke kapa me ka aahu, 425 The kapa and the robes.
Ke hea wale la i ka uluna—e— He calls vainly to the pillow;
Aole ia he kanaka, That is not a man,
O maua no na kanaka. We (the two kahu) are the men.
Aole i like i ka halawili, Thou art not like the twisted hala,
430 Ka naio, laau kekee, 430 Not like the crooked tree naio,
Ka auka ahihi ku makua ole, Nor the heavy thick garland of the motherless ahihi,
Ke kawa i keekeehia, Nor the deep pool trod by the leap of the bather,
Ka hinahina i ka makani, Nor the hinahina in the wind,
Kele ana e hio e hina la, Bending to lean and to fall,
435 Aohe i like Ku— 435 Not like these, art thou Ku.
Ua like ka paha ka ohia, Perhaps like the ohia,
Ka lehua i ka wao eiwa, The lehua in the very ninth recess of forest.
Ka laau hao wale, Ku i ka nahelehele, A tree standing grandly alone in the jungle.
Aohe i like, Ku, Not like these, art thou Ku.
440 Aohe i like i ka ekaha, 440 Not like the fern ekaha,
I ka ekaha ku i ka moena, Not the ekaha that grows in the ocean,
Me he kiele la ke ala me ka olapa lau kahuli, Like the kiele in fragrance? like the waving leafed olapa?
Me ka pua mauu kuku, Like the flower of fragrant grass?
Hina wale, hina wale la, Falling now hither, now thither so easy?
445 Aohe i like, Ku. 445 Not like these, art thou Ku.
Aohe i like i ka naulu, Not like the heavy rain shower,
Ia ua hoohali kehau, The shower that brings after it kehau,
Me he ipu wai i ninia la, Like a vessel of cool water poured out,
Na hau o Kumomoku, The mountain breeze of Kumomoku,
450 Kekee na hau o Leleiwi, 450 Bending around to Leleiwi,
Oi ole ka oe i iki Do you indeed not know it?
I na hau kuapuu kekee noho kee, The land breeze that curls you all up with the cold,
Ohai mohala o Kanehiliikaupea la, The locust blossom opening at Kanehiliikaupea,
Aohe i like, Ku, Not like these, art thou Ku.
455 Aohe i like i ka lipoa, 455 Not like the sea-weed lipoa,
Ka nanue ai a ka ia, The nanue, food of the fishes,
Ka lipahapaha o Waimea, The lipahapaha of Waimea,
Ka limu kau i ka laau, The moss that hangs to the wood,
Ka elemihi ula i ka luna Kaala la, The red crab on the top of Kaala,
460 Aohe i like, Ku, 460 Not like these, art thou Ku.
Aohe i like i kukui, i kukui ili puupuu, Not like the kukui, the knotty barked kukui tree,
Ili nakaka i ka la, Bark cracked all up with the sun,
Me he kanaka inu i ka awa la, Like to a man who always drinks awa,
Ka mahuna o kukui o Lihue la, So the roughness of that kukui of Lihue,
465 Aohe like, Ku, 465 Not like to Ku.
Aohe i like i ke aalii, Not like to the tree aalii,
Ka poholua laau ala, The sweet smelling tree poholua,
Ka maile hoe hoi i Maoi, The maile on the hard breathing steep of Maoi,
Ke kaluhea o Kawiwi la, Gently drooping maile of Kawiwi,
470 Aohe like, Ku, 470 Not like to Ku.
Aohe i like i ke kokio, Not like the flower of kokio,
I ka hahaka pua ma'o ia, The open branched blossom of ma'o,
Ke kahuli pua i Kupaka la, Waving in the wind at Kupaka,
Aohe i like, Ku, Not like to these, art thou Ku.
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475 Aohe i like i ke ka waa, 475 Not like the one that bails the canoe,
I ke ka liu ku ma ka waha, The bailing-cup with its one-sided mouth,
Ai mai ka mahele he kanaka, As from the woman comes forth the man,
He moku, he au, he aina la,  
Aohe i like, Ku, Not like all these, art thou Ku.
480 Aohe i like i ka naia, 480 Not is he like to the porpoise,
I kona ihu i kihe i ke kai, With his snout that sneezes the sea,
Kona kino i kai o ka mano la, His body in the sea of the shark,
Aohe i like Ku, Not like Ku.
Aohe i like i ke kokii, Not like one with the asthma,
485 Ka hapane ai pua lehua, 485 The wheezy bird that eats the lehua,
Ka oo manu i Kaiona la, The o'o, bird of Kaiona,
Aohe i like, Ku, Not like to these is Ku.
Aohe i ka paaa, Not like the stony flats,
I ka weke la'o a ke akua, With their ghastly glimmering of mirage,
490 Ka ulu kanu a Kahai, 490 The breadfruit planted by Kahai, Do you not know it?
Oi ole ka oe i ike, The woman with ma'o-dyed pa'u on the top of Puuokapolei,
Ka wahine pau mao i ka luna i Puuakapolei, Not like these, art thou Ku.
Aohe i like i ka wiliwili, Not like the tree wiliwili,
495 Kona hua i kupee ia, 495 Whose seeds are made into bracelets,
Ka oiwi ona i hee a, Whose trunk is rode thro' the surf,
Kona kino i kai o ka nalu la, heenalu, Whose body is down, mid the rollers to ride,
Aohe i like, Ku, Not like to these, art thou Ku.
Aohe i like i na pa a ka makani, Not like the striking of the wind,
500 E nu ana i ke kuahiwi, 500 Soughing over the mountains.
Kakoo ana ka hale o Koolau, Tying down the houses of Koolau,
Lawalawa ana o hina i ka makani, Fastened lest they fall by the wind,
Ka mokoi hoolou a ka lawa ia, The fishing-pole and hook of the fisherman,
Ka pa o Manaiakalani la, The pearl fish-hook, Manaiakalani,—
505 Aohe i like, Ku, 505 Not like these, art thou Ku.
Aohe i like i ka makimaki, Not like the mamaki,
I ka hia loa maka o ka nahele, The long barked shrub of the forest,
Ka makohikohi laalaau, The trimming of bark and of branches,
Ke ea makaulii makaehu, For the elegant tortoise shell fish-hook so fine,
510 I ehu i ke alo o Kuehu, 510 Light colored placed before Kuehu,
I ke ala iki, i ke ala loa, Gradually going from the shore,
I ke ala loa e hele ia la la Out to the depths of the ocean,—
Aohe i like, Ku, Not like to these, art thou Ku.
Aohe i like i ka lau ki, Not like the ti-leaf,
515 I ka lau ki pala o Nuuanu, 515 The ripe yellow ti of Muuanu,
I hehe ia e ka ua e ka makani a helelei, Softened by the wind and rain till it falls,
Ka laki pala i ka luna i Waahila la, The yellow ti-leaf high up on Waahila,—
Aohe i like, Ku, Not like to these, art thou Ku.
Aohe i like i ka ua o Waahila, Not like the rain of Waahila,
520 Ia makani anu o Kahaloa, 520 The cold blast of Kahaloa,
E lu ana i ka pua kou, Scattering the blossoms of kou,
E kui ana a paa ia, Strung firmly in garlands,
E leia ana i ke kai o Kapua la, Worn in (bright) wreaths at the sea of Kapua,
Aohe i like, Ku, Not like to these, art thou Ku.
525 Aohe i like i ka manoni ula, 525 Not like the red royal standard,
Ma ke kia ula o ka manu la, The bird bright red on the pole,
Me ka pa lei o ka hala la, Like the bundle of garlands of hala,
Me ka pua o ke kaa lau kani o Ku la, The wreaths on the throne of Ku,—
O Ku no ke alii, Ku is King,
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530 Aohe i like, Ku, 530 Not like to these,
Aohe i like i ka makole, Not like the sore-eyed,
Ia laau kewai nui, That tree dripping with moisture,
E hihia ana i ka lihilihi la, Tangled up on the eye-lashes,
Aohe i like, Ku, Not this like to Ku.
535 Aia ha kou hoa e like ai, 535 Here is thy peer, thine equal,
O Keawe, haku o Hawaii la, Keaweikeakahialii o ka moku,
He awaawa hoi ko ke kai, Keawe, lord of Hawaii,
He mananalo hoi ka wai, There is bitterness to the sea water,
  Fresh and sweet is water,
540 He welawela hoi ko ka la, 540 Heat is of the sun,
He mahana hoi ko kuu ili, Warmth is of my skin,
Ko kuu kane o Nininini ke wai, My companion (kane) Ninininikewai of Pule—e,
O Pulewa la, Ku is not like this,
Aohe i like, Ku, Not this lofty chief.
545 Aole i like nei lani, 545 In comparing as you please,
I ka hoolikelike wale mai, This was a man, but Ku, a god,
He kanaka ia, he akua Ku, He is a messenger sent from heaven,
He ulele Ku, mai ka lani, Ku is a haole from Kahiki,
He haole Ku, mai ka lani,  
550 He mau kanaka ia eha, 550 There are four of them,
Ewalu hoi nei kanaka, Yes, eight of these men,
O Ku, o Lono, o Kane, o Kanaloa, Ku and Lono, Kane and Kanaloa,
O Kanemaihaioa Ahuwahine, Kanemakaioa, child of Ahuwahine,
O Haihaipua, o ke Kuawalu la, Haihaipua and Kuawalu,
555 Ua like. 555 These are the peers of Ku.
O Kona la ua wela ka papa, There is Kona, whose stone floor burns,
Ua ku ke ehu o ka la, The shimmering heat from the sun arises,
Ua wela ka hua o Unulau, The site of Unulau is heated,
O ka lanipili o hooilo, The rainy heavens of the winter,
560 E ae e puka ae ka la, 560 The sun yonder rises,
Ka mana o Ku leo nui, Rises by the power of great voiced Ku,
Haawia mai ai e ka la, By it the sunshine is given,
Mahana ai na Alii aua o Kona. Thus are warmed the selfish chiefs of Kona.


1. Kualii was the messenger. Maui was one of the first-created men, born in Waianae.

2. Kane and Kanaloa were from Kahiki (foreign gods). They came travelling on the surface of the sea, and first caused plants for the food of man to grow. With Ku and Lono they were the principal gods of Hawaii. Kane is said to have created the first man out of the earth on the sea-shore. Hulihonua, the man, was thus made. Keakahulilani, the first woman, was made from the spirit (aka) of the man when asleep.
(Molo, same root as moku.)

3. Kauokahi, said to have sprung from the head, Minerva-like, from Haumea (hu ka lolo ke poo o Haumea).

4. Maliu, the originator of the worship of the gods; also, Kaekae.

5. Hano, root of hoano, hanohano, &c.

6. Hapuu, the god who revealed truth to the priest, and the priest, Maliu, to the king.

8. The name of the hook which could hook up all the lands—“power of heaven.”

9. Ka'a, the knot that fastens the hook to the line.

10. Kauiki, the bluff of Hana, on the island of Maui, was the hook.

11. On the summit of Kauiki was the refuge of Hanaiakamalama, a woman.

12. Alae, a mud-hen. Maui, the son of Hina, rubbed the nose of the alae to get fire, and made it red.

14. Pu, the back part of the bait. Haoa, dire, evil.

15. Lononuiakea, the base of the island foundations.

16. Compare the New Zealand story of Ika a Maui. The hook of Maui drew up the land from under the sea, Hawaii in the one case, and New Zealand in the other.
Malana, lift to the surface.

17. Hina lived in the sea and spoilt the bait—the alae—so that the islands were not drawn together by the fish-hook as Maui wished.

18. The table of Laka, the vast unbroken bottom of the sea, thus broken up into islands and drawn up by the hook. Laka was older than Maui.

19. Kea, part of the name Lononuiakea, the god of the lower land under the sea.

20. Hawaii is the ulua, makele referring to the size of the island.

21. Luaehu, name of an ulna. Pimoe the same. Lani, a common title of the chiefs, referring here to Kualii.

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22, 23. The first created man and woman (see 2.)

25 to 66. A genealogy from Laka to Wakea—of chiefs, probably mythical. A parallel genealogy is given the king under whom all earth and heaven was burnt up.

71. Kowili, a word applied to abundant fruit, oranges, &c.

75. Lani paa, undisputed chieftainship.

76. He inoa, a suitable description.

77. I ona—ilaila, i.e., at that point in rank.

78. Makalani, keen edge.

79. Kaka'i—kai hele—aha refers to horizon, maueleka to the clouds in line. Ku—Kualii.

80. Kohia, from ko, to draw. The line refers to the apparent variation in the height of the horizon at different times.

81. The high sea of the months of April and May. Welehu began the spring, according to the Oahu nomenclature, i.e., March.
Kaulua, June?

83. Makalii, April, when the worms are abundant.

84. Na—oia.

85. Pokipoki, a small crab found far out at sea by those foundering in their canoes.
Kualii is all-destroying like these animals.
Ala kapoki, shipwrecked people.

86. Niele, nieniele, launieniele—a climactic form.

87. Kanaka o ka wai. Ka wai—Kauai.

88. Hoahoa—kiekie.

89. Keolewa, a mountain.

90. These islands far out at sea.

94. Kauwiki at Hana, a bluff famous as a stronghold in time of war.

95. Hono seems to refer to the even succession of the lines of land in the distance.

96. Hopu, swelling.

97. Kala'ina, kala-ia-ana.

99. Kuapapa, applied to a fixed residence or inheritance—kuapapanui also refers here to Kualii and his greatness.
Kaala, the high mountain near Waialua, the ridge running down to the sea at Kaena, suggesting the form of a shark.

105. Lawalu, to cook in ti-leaf.
Kaena, the north-west point of Oahu—Kahuku, the north point.

109. Kualii is invited to Kauai.

113. The oopu of Kawainui were famed for not swimming away from the hand of the fisher, but even clinging to the skins of persons in the water.

115. Referring to the lei, or garlands of hala, pandanus fruit.

121. Wakea, Kea the god of below—not Wakea the king. (See 19.) Kahiki used here in a double sense, as referring not only to foreign lands, but also to the east, hikina, i.e., the coming or rising of the sun=hiki ana.

122. Kolohia, konoia, i.e., the sun is invited. Kona, the west, on Hawaii, suggested by the above allusion to the east?

124. Papa, as in line 18.

125. Kuhia, kuhiia, muo, the upper portion, the rays pointing upward at sunrise, same word as the budding of plants.

126. Maele, buried in the shadow of evening. while Kona still enjoys the light of sunset.

130. Olopana, a foreign chief who came to Hawaii and afterwards departed.

133. Aloalo, the receding of the sun far to the south, evidently referring to some voyagers who had been to the north. This is a most remarkable passage of ancient poetry.

134. Kualii imagined to have visited foreign lands.

137. Compare the old story of Phæton. Kuamoo, path.

140. Pa ia kaua, we could touch them—they were not gods.

144-146. Referring to the length of the voyage and the short rations.

148. Reached Kahiki.

153. The North Star.

156. Pele, kele or kelekele, muddy.

158. Laamaomao, the Hawaiian Eolus; god that caused the winds.

159. Ahe, breeze. K oolauwahine, a wind from the north, on Kauai.

161. Kiu, a north wind. Wawaenohu on Kaula Island.

163. Hoolua, north-west wind; kona, south-west wind.

164. Aoa, the west wind, when violent.

165. In heavy rain, storm and freshets.

166. Lonomu ku, the woman that leaped up to the moon from Hana, Maui.

169. Wailua -on Kauai.

172. Puana—ua, on Hawaii.

173. The three stars in the belt of Orion were called na kao. Kao is a long sharp stick like a fid or marlin-spike. Hence kao, a goat, from the sharp horns. These three stars were supposed to be sharp points in the heavens, which pierced the clouds and let forth the rain. Ma iku, sharp.

174. Ke ka'ina, marching.

176. Moea—reterring to the long drifts of rain-cloud. Kunaloa, on the road from Waimea to Waipio, on Hawaii.

177. Pakakahi, paka a drop of rain.

178. Kananaola, on this same road which was called Mahiki. Iliki, pelting merciless.

179. Ka, fall, or cause to fall, e.g., ka nahelehele, beat down bushes.

182. Punohu, the rain-clouds gathering round a peak, Kahalahala, on Kauai.

183. Pokii o ka ua, the light rain clinging to the woods.

186. Kauwiki, the bluff at Hana.

187. Hawewe, burning in Kailua, Oahu.

188. A play of children, daring each other at sunset to hold their breath till the sun went down, i.e., disappeared entirely.

190. Sunrise, seen through the bushes, compared to a net (kieke) full of lehua blossoms.

201. Miha, the calm in the lee of the land.

202. Lawea—lawe ia.

203. Kiki, the stiff method of dressing the hair called keoho-pukai—the recent elevated style of “waterfall,” oho=lauoho.

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204. Kai liu, the sea in the hollows on the rocks.

205. Kai loa, salt water of the open sea.

206. Lelo, bleached from the blackness into a reddish-brown.Kai kea, foaming sea, behind the breakers.

207. Kuhinia, rich.

211. Palani, a kind of strong-tasting fish.

212. Kahaloa, at Waikiki; the localities mentioned here follow one another along the coast from Waikiki to Ewa.

207. A play of words; the double use of kai for salt water and for gravy suggesting these five lines—207–211.

213. Kohana, naked; Mamala, the entrance to Honolulu harbour. The natives often travelled along the reef, especially in time of war, to avoid their enemies on the land, and coming to the break in the reef at Malama, were obliged to swim across.

216. Kaha, to move sideways, as when a horse shies off.

217. Ka anae, the ka a scoopnet.

218. A small crab, alamihi.

219. Awalau, many bays. Kee, crooked. All travellers have noticed the harbour of Ewa=Pearl Harbour.

220. Puhi, calm from the blowing of chewed kukui over its surface–spreading the oil over the sea.

222. Laakona, the chief of Ewa. Several lands called Ewa.

223. A title of Kualii.

224. Apukapuka, many-coloured. These localties are on the north-east coast of Oahu.

226. Ohaika, applied to the fisherman lifting his head up after looking down as he fished.

227. Aei, curving.

228. Ahiu, a fish.

229. Kaai o Paao, another name for Kaiakahinalii, the flood; also called kai a ka hulu manu— birds lost all their feathers in the flood.

233. Hiwa, applied to what is sacred and hidden, hiwahiwa. Ihea—Iheia.

232. Kona, a term for the lower regions of the earth.

233. The different parts of an old Hawaiian stone adze.

234. Hoa, to wind around in order to fasten. Lana lana, to bind; compare the same term for a spider.

237. Kuee-ku—kaawale. Opua, lines of cloud over the sea. Maheleana, the place off the east point of Hawaii where the trade-wind divides and becomes an east wind down the coast of Hamakua, and N.N.E. down that of Puna.

239. At Hilo.

240. The long days of summer marked by steady trades.

241. Ka make a ka ua, the suffering occasioned by the rain.

243. Hakookoo, strive, struggle.

244. Puukahonua, an ancient personage.

247. This and the succeeding lines are a succession of names with a double meaning, a sort of personification exceedingly difficult to understand. Naupaka, a thick-leaved shrub growing where the salt spray falls, also a proper name.

249. Hooipo, to make love to.

250. Ena is the glow on the sky over the fire, or preceding sunrise—applied here to the previously mentioned love. Anaia, knocked down, crushed down.

251. Menepalaoa, double allusion, compares the love to the close hanging of the ornament palaoa around the neck. This was a royal ornament made of ivory or whale's tooth=niho palaoa.

252. Olohia, calm and broad. Manua, a priest who had power to do this.

253. The progress of love is compared to the progress of a kapu (sacred day), when the people in perfect silence marched through the heiau, and prostrated themselves, not daring to stir for fear of death. Kai-honua, great march or procession. Kulanipipili, sacred part of heiau.

254. Lanipipili, refers to holding of breath. Lanioaka, the talking of the priests alone.

255. Lanikahuli, the sacredness began to break up, and Omealani, the storm clears up, i.e., the sacred scene closes.

256. Lono-hekili, the god Lone is thundering.

257. Nakolo, means to rumble along. Iloli, a word referring to the loathing of food by pregnant women. Applied here to the disturbed state of the sea in a storm.

258. Owaia, a play on a proper name of a king. Hikapoloa, a wicked king who killed his nephews; his evil deeds compared to the darkness suggested by the word po in his name.

259. Kane, on the contrary, beneficent and good.

260. Kaneimakaukau, a god skilful in all kinds of work, and so a title to anyone who was ready at anything. Ahulu, a god, name introduced here from its resemblance in sound to the succeeding anahulu.

261. Anahulu, used for ten, as we say “a dozen” for twelve. The writer of the song was with Kualii for this length of time.

262. Paia, the pearl fish-hook used for bonito, or aku. Kapaau, a land in Kohala, name used here with allusion to its meaning as denoting a strong ready man, viz., Kualii.

263. The men of Wawa, i.e., awkward men, hawawa. Kapua is at the north point of Kohala. An unskilful fisherman in trying to weather the point and keep along with the fleet of canoes would often be obliged to put in there and give up – hence the old saying “Kau i Kapua ka auwaa panana;” panana=hawawa. A saying frequently quoted now-a-days. There is also a similar Kapua at Waikiki.

265. A double allusion to the proper name Kukuipahu, a place at Kohala; a great torch, also called lamaku.

267. Ina, a sea urchin used for food, found at Puako, Hawaii.

269. Haka ulili, the rude ladder fixed on the precipitous coast for the use of fishermen and bird-catchers. Naololo, a pali at Kauai, on the north-west coast. These comparisons all refer to Kualii.

271. Kiakia, catching birds with a pole, at the end of which was either bird-lime or a noose. At the islet of Lehua, near Niihau, was a great variety of birds, the o'u being especially sought after there.

272. Ridiculing unskilful bird-catchers, who ku hoa'a, stand still and gaze, stare. N.B.—The double meaning of these proper names.

273. A voyager.

275. A luna, upper jaw, wahine is a lalo. Paepaemanaku was also the name of a place for all refuse matter.

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277. Naenae, also the name of a plant calied “pewter sword,” and resembling the “silver sword” of the mountain.

278. Hinihini and pololei, insects that sing in the mountain woods.

279. Wae mua, the front seat of honour on a canoe.

280. The deep gorge on north side of Molokai, near Pelekunu, said to be made by Kana, the god.

284-290. The allusions in these lines to something stormy—pregnancy and rage, in contrast to the succeeding comparison of Ku to the calm sea.

290. Ihoa, iho; malomalo, malino.

291. Kai ea, rising sea. Na ku, the nights of the first quarter of the moon called ku, when the tides are highest.

293. Keaau in Puna, and the road through the woods of that region being very muddy, the poet is led off into reflections thereupon.

295. Hokeo, a deep straight-sided calabash, to which the deep-cut and muddy path is compared.

298. Mahiki, the road through the woods from Waimea to Waipio; very muddy.

302. Another proper name with a meaning, one of those provoking double entendres so common in this string of allusions with which one's patience is about exhausted.

304. Another of the same, name of a woman alluding, however, to a paddle (kapeau), to turn the paddle from one side of the canoe to the other.

305. Ukinohunohu refers to the simultaneous bending of the rowers to their tasks.

306. Ukinuapiopio, the steerers in the stern of the canoe. Moakuualono, the rushing up of the wave is compared to the rushing up of a game-cock to fight.

307. Ka ale'i, a wave running up to a point as in a chop sea. Ale- oha, that breaks on its crest and subsides. Halo, to look in a peculiar manner.

310. Hulakeeaeai &c., all terms applied to shivering with cold. No loholo, the crawling on the skin of shivering.

312. Kai-apokahi. the sea nearer the shore where the waves grow les

313. Coming to shore, a dry malo is put on.

315. Compares the effect of Ku's appearance in war upon his enemies to the crushing down of the stone arch of an umu, or oven.

316-318. Ku compared to a bird-catcher watching the flowers where he has prepared his snare for the birds—lahui pua o lalo, the crowd, common herd. Haili at Hilo.

319-320. Another comparison, Paiahaa, in Kau, flowers, as symbols of love, thrown into the sea in Puna were carried by the current to Paiahaa, where the loved one awaited their coming to the shore.

321. The effect of the slaughter by Kualii—the people are killed and ghosts come in their places. Apua, an uninhabited land on the Kau boundary of Puna.

323. The effect of the slaughter.

325. Papa o kukalaula, a vast expanse of sun-scorched lava—pahoehoe in Apua. “Make ka iole i Apua.” even the mice killed by the heat.

326. Uliuli, the name of a kapu of Kualii, otherwise called kaihehee. The victims of this kapu, i.e., those who broke it, were held in the surf till drowned, and then burnt with fire. Maihea, the name of a mysterious visitor of ancient time from the heavens, also his wife, Kahakapolani This name has a double meaning, haka, the frame upon which the kapa, wearing apparel, was thrown; and polani, a sacred shrine or retreat in the inner recesses of royal habitations.

327. Kaukeano, ano the terror or fear inspired by great sanctity or sacredness.

329. Wawa—walaau.

330. Ina'ina, preceding travail, the succeeding terms all apply to the throes of child-birth, to which the storm in Hanaiaeleele (November) is compared.

334. The maua is a very wet, soggy wood, that will not burn.

335. Auau, an insect that sings at night in deep dark woods. Kuaola, applied to inaccessible remote regions of mountains.

337. The above comparisons all refer to this battle, which was fought by Ku, near Lihue, to the left as one rides over the plains to Waialua.

347. The word maauea in the composition of this long name=molowa.

348. The original meaning of Pule—e to talk at random as if uttering a prayer.

349. Carrying out the double meaning of pule—e and referring to the vain prayer, “behind the back of the god,” i.e., unheard, the whole reference to those who were vanquished.

350. Lala ala, refers to all good gifts, rewards (uku) of those who are lono (who hear). Lono, to hear uncertainly, as a report.

351. Kona once included Ewa and Lihue, as facing to the south.

352. Maunauna is the name of a locality where the following incident took place:—Kuiaia, the chief of Waianae, came with his forces to meet Kualii on the battle-ground above mentioned. His kahu, previously forewarned, told him when in coming to battle he should find a knotted ti - leaf in the road he would know he was in danger, and surrounded by an ambush which would cut off his whole force. On finding this knotted ti-leaf, he began and chanted this mele from beginning to end, to the honour of Ku. All on both sides lay down in reverence. Ku gave the signal of reconciliation, and the slaughter was prevented.

354. Haalilo, the father of Kualii; pua, a term used for one of noble birth; Ulu, his name, “grow.”

355. Hau'na—hahau ana. Aui, the epithet applied to Kualii's military scourgings of his enemies.

356. Kikomo=komo pu, kakua=kokua, laau, refers to the weapons.

357. Ahuula, all the feather robes, capes and cloaks come under this title. Halekea, the adjective applied to the yellow ones. Sometimes two or three yards in length. The mamo said to be almost all yellow, not like the o—o, having but three bunches of feathers.

358. Ka wela o ka ua may refer either to the rainbow, or to showers lit up by the evening sunlight, or any special illumination of vapour in the heavens, to which the warriors in their bright cloaks are compared.

359. Kaukahi Hale, the name of the royal residence of Kualii. Ka la, the day set apart for display.

360. The mamane, a mountain acacia, is said to turn like the autumn woods of America. The blossom is abundant, of a rich yellow.

361. Koaie, a hard scrubby species of koa, used for weapons of war.

362. Pili ka ihe, denotes the art of dodging the spear, and at the same time catching it in the hand or under the arm, for which the ancient warriors were renowned.

363. The flexible stem of the maile was used for spears.

364. Kakala, threateuing towering Maihiwa, off Waikiki.

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365. Pania—paniia, the waters stopped, i.e., the forces of the enemy are checked.

366. There they burst forth and were slain.

367. The first of the vanquished.

368. The discomfiture, like a land-slide.

370. The vanquished asked for quarter, like a man in Hilo, overwhelmed with rain from the direction of Puna, begs for a cessation. So the Waianae chief mentioned above begs Kualii for quarter.

372. Kui ha lono, oft-repeated tidings; striking one like waves. Haalilo, Kualii's father.

375. The vanquished chief, a branch of the same race.

377. Of the other side.

378. Ila, originally a mole or dark spot on the skin; these spots among the Hawaiian were as signs, as among fortune tellers of other countries. Manawa, here the pit of the stomach, as a seat of emotion, Kane, i.e., Kualii.

380. Malanar, a wind from the sea at Kailua, Oahu; also applied to other fair north-east winds.

381. Niheu. a chief and ancestor of Kualii, remarkable for his small size and yet great strength. It is said that with his brother, Kana, they fought a battle at Molokai, and treading violently a hill on the sea-coast, the fragments flew off in the shape of small islets, which now stand in the sea near Pelekunu.

383. Me'e has a peculiar use; anything remarkabe is mee, but the phrase is as follows:—“He mee kela no ka i'a nui.” A wonderful example of a great fish. “He mee keia no ke alii akamai,” &c.

384. Pu—hipuu.

385. Olapa, to throw about—the brandishing before fighting Oniu.

386. That is, his enemies' spear is caught in the folds of his (Ku's) kapa. Laulau, to bind up.

387. Lilo is a play on the word Haalilo, the transfer of power to his son Ku.

388. The waving of the leaves in the wind compared to beckoning.

389. Oa, so many as to be confused.

390. Make nonu, partly dead. Makalii, the name of a month.

393. O lalo, the surf of Waialua below, heard from upon the high lands above.

396. Kupukupu, a fragrant fine-leaved plant. Kauwewe, the covering of a Hawaiian oven.

405. Luukia, binding, also sealing.

406. The spear called by the same name as the rafter of a house.

409. That is, destroying piece meal his enemies.

413. Anea, making lazy.

415. Ualo, to call to one in the distance.

416, 420. The kahuna of the opposing side is calling to Ku to be merciful. See story above.

419. Words.

422. Ku is urged to spare his wrath at home.

423. Aho, the small sticks of the house.

424. Ka'unu, to embrace.

428. A change in the style here and subject. A series of comparisons here follows.

430. Naio. “bastard sandal-wood” of Hawaii.

431. A white-fringed flower in Nuuanu.

432. Keekeehia—keehi ia.

433. Hinahina, a plant with fine grey foliage.

437. Wao, a remote place.

438. Hao wale is applied to great trees standing alone in the ferns.

440. Ekaha, a peculiar fern with an entire leaf.

441. A sea fern, it resembles it.

447. Kehau, the mountain breeze coming down at night in clear calm weather.

449, 450. These localities near Puuloa, Ewa, a place where the land breezes are said to be peculiarly cold.

455. Lipoa, a fragrant kind of seaweed and favourite article of food.

459. There is said to be a pond on the summit of Kaala, in which is found a fresh-water crab.

463. The effect of drinking awa is to crack the skin.

468. Hoe, the peculiar whistle uttered by Hawaiians when climbing a pali.

469. Kaluhea, lazily drooping. Maoi in Waianae.

476. The gourd used for baling was cut out on the side.

477. Some philosophy here.


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1  Judge Fornander deduced his dates from the genealogieal tables, allowing 30 years to a generation.—Editors.
2  In Hawaiian, “inside” often means eastward, “outside” westward. Perhaps this line means that Kahiki is east of the sunrise, where the sky meets the sea.
3  Mr. Lyons translates this line—“In that land the sun hangs low in the sky.” Judge Fornander rendered it thus:—“Indistinct is the sun and the land when approaching.” The word Aloalo, as Fornander remarks, means to dodge, to elude. Probably this line means that the mysterious island of Kahiki receded before the mariner like the Fata Morgana, or the mirage of the desert. Such is the tradition about the “hidden land of Kane” (aina huna a Kane), a fairy island, to which the souls of good chiefs went after death.
4  The word Pahaohao often means unreal, unsubstantial, and here may refer to the ghostly voices of akuas or spirits, although the expression has generally been taken to mean “a strange language.” Hoopahaohao is the term used for “transfiguration.”
5  The word Akua meant any supernatural being.
6  Fornander renders this obscure line as follows:—“Wandering about, and the only man that got there.”
7  Kukahi and Kulua are the names of the third and fourth nights of the lunar month
8  These lines refer to the short rations on the voyage to Kahiki.
9  Fornander renders these lines as follows:—
“Listen, bird of victory!
Hush, with whom is the victory?
With Ku indeed.”
This rendering appears to be literal, but the change of the subject is very abrupt. This may be explained by the supposition that a bird of good omen hovered over the host of Kualii while the bard was chanting this stanza.