Paaiea Pond, from the pen of J. W. H. Isaac Kihe, 1914.


Written for the Hoku o Hawaii by ka Ohu Haaheo i na Kuahiwi Ekolu¹


Paaiea was a great pond almost like the ponds of Wainanalii and Kiholo. In the olden days, when the great ruling chiefs were living, and when these fish ponds were full of the riches of Awa, Anae, and Ahole, along with all sorts of fish which swam within.

During that time, Konohiki were stationed, and he was the guard of the pond that watched over the pond and all things, as here we are talking about Paaiea Pond which was destroyed by lava and became pahoehoe lava which remains today, which is what the writer is introducing to the readers of the Hoku o Hawaii.

In the correct and trues story of this pond, its boundaries began from Kaelehuluhulu on the north and on the south was at the place called Wawaloli, and the distance from one end to the other was 3 miles or more, and that was the length of this pond; and today within these boundaries, there are a number of pools [lua wai loko] remaining during this time that the writer is speaking before the readers of the Hoku.

The great Overseer [Konohiki] who cared for this pond was Kepaalani, and everything fell under him: the storehouses [hale papaa] where poi and fish were stored, the halau for the fishing canoes, the nets and all thing, and from him the fishermen and the retainers of the court would obtain their sustenance.

And at this time when the pond was destroyed by lava, Kamehameha was residing in Hilo for the purpose of waging war, and this war was called Kaipalaoa; during this war, Namakehaikalani died and was offered atop the Heiau of Piihonua in Hilo; and this was Kamehameha’s final war, and his enemies lived quietly without uprising once again. This was the time between 1798 until 1801, and it is said that this is when lava destroyed this pond that was full of riches, and turned it into a land of pahoehoe lava which remains to this day.

This is the story of its destruction: One day, when the Aku fishing canoes returned with their catch, and stood before Kepaalani, there were forty in total. And as was the custom, there were many men and women who cleaned and salted the fish and placed them in the canoe hull.

At this time when the people cleaning the fish were gathered along with Kepaalani the Konohiki, along came an old woman and her head was adorned with lei of kookoolau. This woman approached the place where the people were cleaning fish, sat down, and said, “Greetings for the alii.”

There was no one who responded at that time; It was the Kepaalani the Konohiki who answered. “Where do your travels take you, old woman; these are not friends for you to visit; this is the place of the alii’s Konohiki, the one who oversees the storehouses of the alii; all men from great to small put in labor on the work day of the alii, and this is what you are witnessing.

(To be continued.)

¹Ka Ohu Haaheo i na Kuahiwi Ekolu, it seems, was a pen name for J. W. H. Isaac Kihe.

[This is just one of a series of stories dealing with wahi pana written for the Hoku o Hawaii by Kihe. From the beginning of the Hawaiian-Language Newspapers, stories like these were written as a serial column, leaving the reader waiting for the next installation. This was one way the newspapers would encourage people to subscribe.]

(Hoku o Hawaii, 2/5/1914, p. 3)


Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Buke 8, Helu 35, Aoao 3. Feberuari 5, 1914.

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