SOME STORIED LANDS OF KONA
Written for the Hoku o Hawaii by ka Ohu Haaheo i na Kuahiwi Ekolu¹
The old woman replied. “I have come to the alii. I live in the uplands, and grew hungry for fish, so I got up and made the descent thinking that the Konohiki of the alii would be the friend here at the ocean side from whom I could receive something fishy to return upland with.
The Konohiki immediately answered. “Your trip will not be rewarded for the all the fish belongs to the alii.” “If I can’t have fish, then what about some palu?”² “There is no palu for you, it is for the alii. This is a work day for the alii; the people care for him, and I am placed here to oversee the wealth of the alii and the wealth of all of his dependents.”
“Both the Aku and the palu are kapu to the alii, as well as the amaama from the pond,” Kepaalani said, “they are restricted for the alii.” “If those are kapu, what about some small Aholehole or a little shrimp?” “Kahaha! Perhaps you can’t hear; all of those things are for the alii.”
“A! That’s all then; the fish is indeed kapu for the alii, and I am no longer craving fish for which I came all the way down here for; I will go inland for something put on the fire.”
The old woman stood and walked atop the wall of the Paaiea Pond, until she reached Kaelehuluhulu, and when she got there, the canoe of some Aku fishermen was being carried upon their return; she went to visit one of the houses of the kamaaina, and she was welcomed there.
Because this woman looked unfamiliar, she was asked, “You’re a malihini aren’t you?” She acknowledged this, “Yes, I’m a malihini.” “And where does your travels take you that you are here?” The woman replied (at this time, she was a young woman), “I went to the place of the Alii because of my hunger, coming down from the uplands for some salt because of my craving for fish.
“When I just went before the konohiki, he said that the fish, the palu, the young amaama, the ahole, and the shrimp were all for the alii, and I couldn’t have any; so I left and came here headed upland for something cooked on the fire.”
When the all kamaaina of the house heard this, the woman to whom belonged the house said. “Here is fish for you, and stay until the steamed fish is done, and we will all eat, and when we are done then you can return back upland. She agreed, and she feasted with the kamaaina, but the curious thing was that while they ate, her hand remained in the gourd bowl as she took up poi from the calabash, and the poi and fish were gone, and she was done.
The kamaaina passed once more a calabash of poi, but the woman refused, “No, I am done, I am full, my stomach is full; I won’t be short of breath returning to the upland. The woman made ready to make her climb, took hold of her fish, and before she went upland; The woman said, “Tonight, stand flags [lepa] at the corners of your yard; there is no telling what will happen at night, perhaps it will be good, perhaps it will be bad.”
When the woman was done speaking, she turned and left and disappeared. When the woman was gone, the kamaaina of the house were filled with wonder, and it was only then that they figured that this woman who visited their home was Pele Honuamea.
(Until next week.³)
¹Ka Ohu Haaheo i na Kuahiwi Ekolu, it seems, was a pen name for J. W. H. Isaac Kihe.
²Palu here is a relish made of fish heads or stomachs.
³The Hoku o Hawaii was a weekly newspaper.
(Hoku o Hawaii, 2/12/1914, p. 2)