Paaiea Pond, part 4 and final, from the pen of J. W. H. Isaac Kihe, 1914.


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


Meeting with Kolomu’o and Pahinahina.

When the flames subsided, the fire disappeared, and this is why it was assumed it was the fire of the Uau Bird Catchers in the Mountains.

In the middle of that night, the lava emerged and flowed like water below a crater on the side of a peak called Kileo, and it is black, shiny pahoehoe that remains there to this day. And from there the lava dove down and resurfaced makai side and several deep fissures cracked open and remain near the village that Mr. Maguire lives at.

The lava dropped down again and on the makai side of the old road there opened up a small furrow six (6) feet wide, and from here the lava began to flow and overran everything before it.

Villages were destroyed and some people died as victims to the wrath of the Goddess of the crater, because of the denial of Pele by that Konohiki [Kepaalani] which the Alii [Kamehameha I] stationed to oversee all of his wealth. And when the Konohiki saw the lava burning everything and turning into pahoehoe and gorging away, he finally realized that the old lady was Pele that appeared before him asking for fish, palu, and then shrimp, and he regretted this filled with dread and great fear.

A messenger was sent to bring Kamehameha to Hilo to return to offer sacrifice before Pele Honuamea so that the flames would subside. But the flaming lava flowed very quickly and reached the sea, and the pond was covered, and the houses of the Alii and the storehouses where the vegetables and fish were piled up, and everything was swept over and became black pahoehoe which still remains until today.

When Kamehameha arrived and the canoes landed at Kaelehuluhulu, which was the only place left; it was there that a pig was offered and the lava subsided, and that is how that small area survived and there is the remnant of the pond there today.

This pond in the olden days is where the canoe fleets would leave from Kaelehuluhulu and land at Hoona or Uaualohi and then go out to sea and land at Kailua and the other places of Kona. Hoona is where Kepaalani lived, and there stood the storehouses and all other things, and that was the harbors where the canoes landed.

This is where the light station [hale kukui] of America stands which is cared for by the keepers [puhi kukui] stationed for that purpose. Pelekane were the houses of Kamehameha and it is a great stone heap standing in the middle of this pond that became pahoehoe lava.

If this pond wasn’t lost and it wasn’t covered in pahoehoe lava, then today it would be a mine of great wealth for the government, or for a person perhaps who lived there and he would have become a Millionaire of Hawaii nei.

There will be other wahi pana of Kona written about in the coming week.

[There is another telling of this account in the story of Kamehameha I written by Hooulumahiehie, which appears in the daily newspaper Na’i Aupuni from 11/27/1905 to 11/16/1906. It was translated some years ago by Kamaoli Kuwada, Beau Bassett, and Emalani Case. I am excited to see this important translation and hope that it will be published sometime soon!

There is another version from the Henriques-Peabody Collection at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, and can be found typewritten in HEN: Volume 1, pp. 1664-1668.]

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

(Hoku o Hawaii, 2/26/1914, p. 2)


Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Buke 8, Helu 38, Aoao 2. Feberuari 26, 1914.


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