The mirage of Limaloa, 1885.


O Ko Hawaii Pae Aina newspaper,

Aloha oe:—Please allow your patience to let me shake hands with your captain and the metal typesetting boys.

At dawn, 2 o’clock, on the Wednesday of the 1st of July, the night of Laau Pau in the reckoning of the Hawaiians. We left Waimea and the motion of our cars were driven straight for Lolomauna, where we would stay and watch for the building of the village [kauhale] of Limaloa, and we settled back for the rest of the night and the morning; it was a 6 o’clock. Our eyes looked quietly down at the beautiful flat plains of Limaloa spread silently before us,  hoping to see the famed magical kauhale (Limaloa), but we did not. 7 o’clock passed by and there was no sign of what we were hoping to see, and 7 minutes thereafter, the plains of Limaloa began to change; they were shrouded in different colors: red, yellow, and green, and glittered like gold, and it moved from the sea upland, and amongst the coconut trees that were standing. And from there it went on until the edge of the salt beds, headed towards Mana like an ocean wave crashing upon the surface of the sea.

It continued to move on until Kawaieli. This wonderful thing disappeared from our sight, and then we saw a great and tall kauhale from the ocean to the uplands, amongst the coconut trees mentioned earlier, from this side until Kawaieli.

We then shouted, full of joy, a jumped up with great awe, feeling admiration for the amazing works of God on this earth.

Second, a tall man came out from the houses, and stood in front, and went straight for the beach, that being the sands of Waiolono, and he went along with the houses behind him and went out to shore.

Third, the man turned back and went into the kauhale and came out upland near the coconut trees of Limaloa. Then he turned back toward the sea, went in the houses and came out the other side. We then saw a second man walking with the first one, but they were not of the same height; this was a small man; it was thought that the first man was Limaloa, and the one following was Uweuwelekehau. While they went about their work, they came out of this and that side of the kauhale. The number of houses grew less and went out to shore; at that point the two men vanished and so too did the houses.

It was for about half and hour that we watched this amazing thing. The distance from where we sat until Limaloa was perhaps about three-fourths of a mile. And from Waimea until Lolomauna is about 2 and a half miles.

The number of us who witnessed this awesome thing was 22: 13 men and 9 women.

Here are each of the names:—Mrs. H. Isenberg Otto, Mrs. D. Timoteo Lihau, Kaolelo Timoteo, P. Ikuwa, Mrs. L. Ikuwa, W. B. Opunui, Suria Maraea, Mrs. Lutera Aka, Mr. Aloha, Mrs. M. Aloha, Olina Crowel, Mr. Waialeale Opunui, Mrs. L. Waialeale, Mrs. Beke, Kamohai, M. Spencel Mehekiu, Giliona, Keoni, Simeona, Kani, Mahoe, Mrs. M. Hinahinau.

This sight is new to us. Therefore, I ask for the kindness of your captain to take this story and place it in an open space of your columns so that my friends who like news from the waters of Hiilawe on Hawaii until the base of Lehua at Niihau will know. I take a break here and await the printing of this great new thing which was witnessed.

The cold wind, the Waipao, calls to me. My affection to your captain and your sailors.

P. Ikuwa.

Waimea, Kauai, July 3, 1885.

[Limaloa is the god of mirages who built villages at Mana, Kauai that soon disappeared.]

(Ko Hawaii Pae Aina, 7/11/1885, p. 4)


Ko Hawaii Pae Aina, Buke VIII, Helu 28, Aoao 4. Iulai 11, 1885.

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