One of the famous traditions of Honouliuli centers on the importance of the ahupuaa as the source of the annual migration of the anae holo around the island of Oahu. The tradition was originally published in 1866, under the title of “Ka Amaama o Kaihuopalaai.”1 In 1896, it was published again under the title of “He Moolelo Kaao no ka Puhi o Laumeki,” in a major account that cited numerous locations, resources, and residents of Honouliuli Ahupuaa. Both traditions are cited below, the earlier one provided in the original Hawaiian language as it sets the foundation for the more detailed account of 1896, and will serve as a resource for students of Hawaiian language. The later account is cited as translated by Maly in 2003.
Ma ka auina la o ka Poalua o ka pule i hala iho nei, ua olioli makou i ka ike ana‘ku i ka lehulehu e hou ae ana me na puolo anae, he ewalu, a he umi o ka hapawalu. Ua hauoli nui no ke kulanakauhale nei i keia mea, ka hoea hou ana mai o ka anae holo, a ua iho nui ka lehulehu e kuai, a o ko makou Hale Pai holookoa nei no hoi kahua i iho pu i ka makeke e kuia ia ai. He wa no aia iloko o ka makahiki e holo mau ai keia i-a. O Kapapaapuhi ma Ewa, a me Kaipapau ma Koolauloa, oia na wahi i oleloia e kahiko, na wahi hoolulu ia o ua i-a nei, he anae. O kona home mau nae o Kapapaapuhi.
Eia malalo nei he wahi kaao mai kekahi elemakule mai, e pili ana i ka ano o ke kaapuni ana o ka anae a puni keia mokupuni.
He Kaao no Kaanae.
Aia ma Kapapaapuhi, me Ewa, kahi i noho ai kekahi ohana nui. Na ka makuakane o kei ohana kekahi kaikamahine maikai, a na makua i aloha nui ai. Ua oi ae paha ke aloha o na makua i keia kaikamahine mamua o na keiki e ae. Ua pii ae ua kaikamahine, a aneane paha he umikumamalima ona mau makahiki, hoohaumia ia iho la oia e kekahi mea. I ka ike ia ana o ke ano haumia ia o ua kaikamahine nei e na makua, ninau aku la na makua ia ia me ke ano e hai mai la hoi ke keiki i ka hua o ka lokomaikai; aohe nae wahi mea a hai mai. Huna eleele loa nohoi ke kaikamanine.
Ninau pinepione aku la na makua e hai mai, aohe wahi mea a hai mai; a no keia mea, kipaku haalele aku la na makua me ka hoohuakaeo, a i aku i ke kaikamahine, “O hele e imi i kau loaa, a mai manao mai oe he hale!”
Ku ae la ua kaikamahine nei o ka hupe o na waimaka, haalele iho la oia i ka ohana.
Hele aku la keia a hiki i Kaipapau, makemake ia mai la keia e kekahi kanaka, no ko ia nei ano wahine ui no hoi paha, a hoao ia ae la laua nei he kane a he wahine, a noho iho la ia he wahine no ka pali hauliuli. O ka hana nui a ua kane nei o ka mahiai i kela makahiki keia makahiki. Oi mai ai aku ua kanaka nei a piha ka aina i ka ai, ka uala, ka maia, ke ko, a me kela mea keia mea. I ka piha ana o ka aina i kela mea ai keia mea ai, a oi kekahi la, olelo mai la ke kane i ka wahine, “Kanu aku nei kaua ia ka aina a piha i ka ai, a me kela mea keia mea, a eia la auanei i hea ka inai e pono ai o keia ai!”
Kulou ka wahine ilalo, a pane mai la, “Ua i-a! Ina ke mau la no ke aloha o kee mau makua ia‘u, alaila ka hoi loaa ma inai o ka ai a kaua i luhi ai. Hele no ka hoi oe la, a hala mai ke Ahupuaa mea la, o mea ia, a hele aku no oe. Pela no ka hoi oe e hele ai, a hiki oe i ka aina e kapa ia ana la o Ewa, alaila, ninau iho no oe ia Kapapaapuhi. Aia ka hoi ilaila ko‘u nui kahi i noho ai. Hele no oe la, a ilaila, kolea iho oe i o‘u mau makua; a i ninau mai ia oe i kau huakai ea, alaila, hai aku oe he i-a kau huakai i hiki aku ai ilaila. I haawi ia mai anei oe i ka ia iloko o ka hale, mai lawe anei oe. Olelo aku oe i ka ia iloko o ke kai.” Ae mai la ua kanaka nei.
He anahulu mahope iho, kaapuni iho la ua kanaka nei, e hele ana i ka hale pa leo he makuahonowai. Ninau hele aku la no hoi keia a hiki wale i ua aina hanau nei o ka wahine, a hai ia mai la no hoi keia i ka hale, kahi i noho ai o kona mau makuahonowai. Hele aku la no hoi keia a hiki ilaila, kolea iho la. Uwe mai la ka ohana holookoa, me he mea la o ke kaikamahine okoa no, ua hoi aku. Uwe iho la a pau, hiowai a luana iho la, ninau mai ka makuahonowai kane, “Kau huakai o ka hiki ana mai?” Olelo aku no hoi keia, “I hoouna ia mai nei au i i-a.” “Ae,” wahi a ka makuahonowai; “eia ae no ka i-a la, he umi halau i piha, a hoi lawe ia i elima.” Hai aku la no hoi keia, e like me ka olelo a ka wahine, o ka ia iloko o ke kai. Kulou iho‘la ka makuahonowai ilalo a pau, olelo mai la, “O ka i-a ia, lawe ia, aia hoi oe lawe pu me ka ia!”
He mau la mahope mai, hoi mai la ua kanaka nei, a Kapuukolo i Honolulu nei moe, a i ala ae ka hana o ka hiamoe i kakahiaka ae, e kuu mai ana kanaka ii ka anae. Manao iho la keia, he i-a no la no ia whai, noho ilaila ai i-a. Pela aku ana a hiki i ka luahole i Waikiki. Mai laila aku keia a Maunalua, o ka hana no ka na kanaka o ke kuu i ka i-a. Pela wale a hiki keia i Kaipapau i ke ahiahi o kekahi la, a i ala ae ka hana a ka wahine a nana aku i ke kai e ulu mai ana ke kai i ka i-a, a i aku keia i ke kane, “Ai aka i-a au i hele aku nei.” Akahi no keia a hoomanao ae, o ka ia no ka ia e kuu mau ia ana ma na wahi a pau ana e moe ai.
O keia iho la ka ke kumu i holo ai a puni keia moku, pela la ka olelo kahiko, aka, pela paha, aole paha, he anoninoni loa ko makou mau manao ma ia mea, e like me ka kahiko e olelo nei.2
“He Moolelo Kaao Hawaii no ka Puhi o Laumeki, ka Mea i Like me ka Ilio Puapualenalena” (The Hawaiian tradition of Puhi Laumeki…) was published in the native-language newspaper Nupepa Ka Oiaio between November 8, 1895 and February 14, 1896. The moolelo was submitted to the paper by native historian Moses Manu. The moolelo primarily focuses on wahi pana and features associated with the lands of Ewa, Oahu, recounting events associated with the birth and deification of an eel (puhi) guardian of fisheries, and his siblings, among whom was Mokumeha. The narratives include important descriptions of Honouliuli as the source of the anae holo, and fisheries around the island of Oahu.
It is perhaps not unusual for the Hawaiian people to see this type of long fish, an eel, about all the shores and points, and in the rough seas, and shallow reefs and coral beds of the sea. There is not only one type of eel that is written about, but numerous ones that were named, describing their character and the type of skin which they had. In the ancient times of our ancestors, some of the people of old, worshipped eels as Gods, and restrictions were placed upon certain types of eels. There are many traditions pertaining to eels. It is for this fish that the famous saying “An eel of the sea caverns, whose chin sags.”3
Indeed, this is the fish that was desired by Keinohoomanawanui, the eels of the fishpond of Hanaloa, when he was living with his friend, Kalelealuaka, above Kahalepoai at Waipio uka, when Kakuhihewa was the king of Oahu. It was necessary for us to speak of the stories above, as we now begin our tradition.
It is said in this account of Laumeki, that his true form was that of an eel. His island was Oahu, the district was Ewa, Honouliuli was the land. Within this land division, in its sheltered bay, there is a place called Kaihuopalaai. It is the place of the anae (mullet), which are known about Honolulu, and asked for by the people, with great desire.
Kaihuopalaai was human by birth, but he was also a kupua [dual-formed being], who was born at Honouliuli. His youngest sister was known by the name of Kaihukuuna. In the days that her body matured and filled out, she and some of her elders left Ewa and went to dwell in the uplands of Laiemaloo, at Koolauloa, where she met her husband. The place known by the name Kaihukuuna, at Laiemaloo, is the boundary of the lands to which the anae of Honouliuli travel.
At the time that Kaihukuuna was separated from her elder brother and parents, Kaihuopalaai had matured and was well known for his fine features, and his red-hued cheeks. He was known as the favorite of his parents and all the family. There was a young woman, who like Kaihuopalaai, was also favored by her family. Her name was Kaohai, and she lived at the place where the coconut grove which stands at the estuary of Waikele and Waipio. Thus, these two fine children of the land of the fish that quiet voices (Ka ia hamau leo), that is Ewa, were married in the traditional manner.
In their youth, the two lived as husband and wife in peace. And after a time, Kaohai showed signs of carrying a child. This brought great joy to the parents and elders of these two youth. When the time came for Kaohai to give birth, her child was born, a beautiful daughter, who also had the same red-hued nature as her father. While Kaohai was cleaning the child and caring for the afterbirth, she looked carefully at her daughter and saw a deep red-spotted mark that looked like an eel, encircling the infant. Everyone was looking at the mark, contemplating its meaning, and Kaohai was once again taken with birth pains. It was then understood that perhaps there would be a twin born as well. But when the birth occurred, an eel was seen moving about in the blood, on the side of Kaohai’s thigh. This greatly frightened the family and attendants, they fled, taking the child who had been born in a human-form, with them. Kaihuopalaai also separated himself from his wife. Kaohai remained with the blood stains upon her, and no one was left to help her.
It was the eel which had been born to her, that helped to clean Kaohai. He worked like a human, and Kaohai looked at the fish child which had been born to her, and she could find no reason to criticize or revile him. Kaohai then called to her husband, Kaihuopalaai, telling not to be afraid, and he returned. They both realized the wondrous nature of this child and cared for him at a good place, in the calm bay of Honouliuli. They named this eel child, Laumeki, and his elder sister, born in human-form, was named Kapapapuhi. This eel became a cherished child, and was cared for as a God. Laumeki, the one who had been consecrated, asked that the first-born, his sister, also be cared for in the same manner, and a great affection was shared between the children born from the loins of one mother.4
Thus, it is told in this tradition, that this is the eel Laumeki. It is he who caused the anae to remain at Honouliuli, and why they are known as “Ka anae o Kaihuopalaai” (The mullet of Kaihuopalaai). With the passing of time, the forms of this eel changed. At one time, he was red with spots, like the eel called puhi paka, at other times he was like the laumilo eel.
A while after the birth of Laumeki, another child was born to Kaohai, a son. He was named Mokumeha, and he was given to Wanue, an elder relative of Kaihuopalaai’s, to be raised. There are at Honouliuli, Ewa, places named for all of these people. The natives of that land are familiar with these places. For this Wanue, it is recalled in a song:
The thoughts are set upon the sea at Wanue,
I am cold in the task done here…
The eel-child Laumeki, followed the fish around in the expanse of the sea, and on the waves of this place. This was a work of love and care, done for his parents and family, that they would have no difficulties. In those days, this eel lived in the sea at a place where a stone islet is seen in the bay of Honouliuli, and he would not eat the fish which passed before him. He did these things for his parents and sister Kapapapuhi.
Laumeki was very watchful of his family, protecting them from sharks, barracudas, and the long billed marlin of the sea which entered into the sheltered bay of Honouliuli, the land of his birth. Because of his nature, Laumeki did many wondrous things. It was Laumeki who trapped the Puhi lala that had lived out in the sea, in the pond of Hanaloa. This Puhi lala was the one who bragged about his deeds, and when he was trapped his eyes glowed red like the flames of an earthen oven.
It is perhaps worthy here, my readers that we leave Laumeki and speak of Mokumeha and his journey around Oahu. At the time when the sun rested atop the head [describing Mokumeha’s maturity], and his fine features developed. He was very distinguished looking. At that time, he determined to travel around the island of Oahu. He asked his parents and guardian permission, and it was agreed that he could make the journey.
Mokumeha departed from Honouliuli and traveled to Waianae, and then went on to Laiemaloo, at Koolauloa, the place where the youngest sister of his father dwelt. She [Kaihukuuna] was pounding kapa with her beater and thinking about her elder brother. She rose and went to the door of her house and saw a youth walking along the trail. Seeing the youth, her thoughts returned once again to her brother Kaihuopalaai and his wife Kaohai. The features of this youth in every way, looked like those of his father, and upon seeing him, tears welled up in Kaihukuuna’s eyes. She called to the youth inquiring about his journey, and he responded, answering each of the questions. The moment the youth said the name of his parents, and the land from which he came, Kaihukuuna wept and greeted her nephew in the custom of the people of old.
This greatly startled her husband who was out in the cultivated gardens tending to his crops. He thought that perhaps one of his own family members had arrived at the house. When he reached their house, he saw the strange youth and he quickly went to prepare food for their guest. In no time, everything was prepared, and he then went to his wife asking her to stop her crying, and invite the visitor to eat of the food that had been prepared. He told his wife, “Then, the talking and crying can resume.” She agreed and they sat down together and ate, and had a pleasant time talking.
Kaihukuuna then asked Mokumeha about the nature of his trip, and he explained that he was traveling around Oahu on a sight-seeing trip. Kaihukuuna told him, “It is wonderful that we have met you and can host you here.” She then asked him to consider staying with her and her husband at Laiemaloo, where all of his needs would be met. “We have plenty of food and if you desire a wife, we can arrange that as well.” Mokumeha declined the invitation, explaining his desire to continue the journey and then return to Honouliuli.5
Now it is true that at this place, Laiemaloo, there was grown great quantities of plant foods, but the one thing that it was lacking was fish. Mokumeha, his aunt, and her husband, Pueo, spoke about this, and it was determined that Pueo should go to Ewa. Mokumeha instructed him to seek out Kaihuopalaai, Kaohai, Kapapapuhi, and Laumeki, and to ask for fish. He told them that “Laumeki will be able to lead the fish to you here at Laiemaloo.”
Pueo departed for Honouliuli [various sites and features are described along the way] … and he met with Kaihuopalaai. Kaihuopalaai’s love for his sister welled up within him, and it was agreed that fish would be given to her and her family. But rather than sending fish home with Pueo in a calabash—fish which would be quickly consumed, causing Pueo to continually need to make the journey between Laiemaloo and Honouliuli— Kaihuopalaai said that he would “give the fish year round.”6
When Kaihuopalaai finished speaking, Pueo exclaimed, “This is just what your son said you would do!” Kaihuopalaai and Pueo then went to the house of Kapapapuhi, who, when she learned that Pueo was her uncle, leapt up and greeted him. They discussed the request for fish, and ate while speaking further. Kaihuopalaai then asked, “Where do you come from?” Pueo answered, “Laiemaloo,” and he described the land to her.
The next day, Kapapapuhi and Pueo went on a canoe out to the stone islet where Laumeki lived. They took with them food, and as they drew near the stone, the water turned choppy like the water of the stormy winter season. The head of Laumeki rose out of his pit and remained on the surface of the water. Kapapapuhi offered him the awa and food she had brought with her. This eel was cared for just as a chief was cared for. When he had eaten his food and was satisfied, he rested on the surface. Kapapapuhi explained to Pueo that he too would need to care for and feed Laumeki, in order to obtain the fish he needed. Kapapapuhi then called out to Laumeki, “Here is an elder of ours, tomorrow you will go with him and take the fish of our parents with you.”7
The next day, Pueo rose while it was still dark, and the stars, Aea, Kapawa and Kauopae were still in the heavens. He prepared the foods needed for Laumeki, and prepared the canoes. He and his wife’s family and attendants then went towards Laumeki’s house, where he was resting. When Laumeki saw the canoes coming toward him from Lae o Kahuka, he rose up before them. Together, they passed Kapakule, the place where the sharks were placed in ancient times as play things of the natives of Puuloa. When the canoes and people aboard reached the place where the waves of Keaalii break, Laumeki cared for them, to ensure that no harm would befall them. This place is right at the entrance of Puuloa.
As the rays of the sun scattered out upon the water’s surface, the people on the canoes saw the red-hues upon the water and upon those who pad- dled the double-hulled canoes. Pueo then saw something reflecting red, beyond the paddlers, and below the water’s surface. Pueo realized that it was Laumeki with the anae fish. The anae traveled with Laumeki outside of Kumumau, and past Ahua. They continued on past the Harbor of Kalihi at Kahakaaulana, with the fish being urged on, by the people back at Kalaekao, Puuloa, and Laumeki was at the front, leading the fish at Mamala … They continued on around Kawaihoa, Makapuu, and traveled passed Koolaupoko, and on past Laniloa at Laiemaloo, Koolauloa… 8
…This is how the mullet came to regularly travel between the place called Kaihukuuna at Laiemaloo and Honouliuli at Ewa…9
…Mokumeha and Laumeki returned to Honouliuli, and Mokumeha offered a prayer chant to his elder brother:
Who passed before the point, Dwelling in the pit,
Eel of the cavern,
You of the kauila (body) form,
That is the form of the Laumilo,
Your wooden body,
It is Laumeki.
… While Laumeki was resting at Honouliluli, Mokumeha set off once again to visit various locations around the island of Oahu. He bid aloha to his family and walked across the broad plain of Ewa. He arrived at Kapukaki, which is the boundary of the land of the streaked seas, that land in the calm, reddened by the dirt carried upon the wind. This is where Ewa ends and Kona begins…10
1Nupepa Kuokoa, September 17, 1866, p. 3.
2“Ka Amaama o Kaihuopalaai,” Ke Au Okoa, September 17, 1866, p. 3.
3An expression that was used to describe a prosperous person [26:No. 1545].
4Nupepa Ka Oiaio, November 8, 1895.
5Ibid., November 15, 1895.
6Ibid., November 22, 1895.
7Ibid., November 29, 1895.
8Ibid., December 6, 1895.
9Ibid., December 27, 1895.
10Ibid., January 10 and 17, 1896.