On sacred stones, 1921.

THE STONE FISH GODDESS “MALEI” TO BE RETURNED TO MAKAPUU

Hawaiians have not forgotten the story about the stone goddess called “Malei,” a stone deity cared for and worshiped by the Hawaiian fishermen in the olden days; the great fish that the stone deity always brought to shore was the uhu, as is seen in the story of Hiiaka:

“Aia la o ka uku kai o Makapuu,
He i’a ia na Malei na ka wahine e noho ana i ka ulu a ka makani,
I Koolau ke ola i ka huaka’i malihini,
Kanaenae a Hiiaka i ka poli o Pele,
E Malei e, i halekipa ke aloha, e uwe mai!’

[There are the uhu of Makapuu which swim in procession,
Fish of Malei that dwells in the rising winds,
In Koolau lies the sustenance for the unfamiliar travellers,
Hiiakaikapoliopele prays,
O Malei, welcome us in love; let us weep!]

After this fish stone was left at Jospeh K. Clarke’s place on South King Street for many years after being brought from Makapuu where this stone was placed in those days before the arrival of the missionary teachers to Hawaii nei, it was returned to Makapuu Point by George A. Beazley, the keeper of the lighthouse of Makapuu, a haole watchman of the lighthouse for the past 11 years, and to Beazley went the care of this fish stone after Mr. Clarke passed the care to him, and also because he was going back to Maui. Mr. Beazley and several Hawaiians returned the fish stone to Makapuu. A very famous stone from ancient times was Kuula, and from the old stories of the kuula, the fish diety of Hawaii, is where this stone came from.

Kuula was looked upon by Hawaiians as a fish god presiding over all the fish of the sea, and it was at Hana, Maui, that he lived with his wahine. He had the body of a man but he possessed supernatural powers to rule over all of the fish of the sea, according to the old stories. Kuula spent all of his life at fishing. He built a fishpond and filled it with all types of fish. He constructed a house of leaves [hale lau] in a single day and completed it in a single day, and dwelt in it for a single day, and within that hale lau, he placed a fish stone which he called after his own name, “Kuula.” It is said that at the time he set up this hale for the god which he believed had power over all things, that was the reason he built the hale lau as a place to make offerings to that stone god and to feed it with awa. After the hale lau was built, according to the story, all types of fish schooled at the shore near where this stone was placed.

A child was begotten by Kuula and he called him Aiai, and like the mana that Kuula had, so too was the mana of this fish child, Aiai, and from Aiai spread the knowledge and the occupation of fishing amongst the Hawaiians though Aiai’s teachings, and after that, a great many hale lau were build on Maui, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Kauai and Molokai, and each place that he built a hale lau was marked with a stone.

Aiai travelled from Molokai on to here on Oahu and he landed at the Cape of “Malei.” This was a stone goddess, and the uhu fish of the sea was the predominant fish of the area, as seen in the Hiiaka story. It is said that from the time of Aiai built this site for the fish stone, it was from that time that the uhu would swim in procession from Makapuu to Hanauma Bay. Is this a fact?

[It would perhaps do them good if some in the government did a little thinking before opening their mouths.]

(Kuokoa, 3/11/1921, p. 4)

Kuokoa_3_11_1921_4.png

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LIX, Helu 10, Aoao 4. Maraki 11, 1921.

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3 thoughts on “On sacred stones, 1921.

  1. Aloha mai kāua,

    Mahalo i kēia moʻolelo maikaʻi loa. I kaʻu heluhelu ʻana hoʻokahi wale nō nīnau i ʻupu mai, a no koʻu hoihoi loa i kāu hana naʻauao au e waiho aku nei i mua ou kekahi nīnau:

    Ma ke mele a Hiʻiaka i unuhi ʻia ai ka “u[h]u kai o Makapuu” he “uhu of Makapuu which swim in procession” a kuhi ana kēia ke noʻonoʻo ʻia nei ka uhu mākaʻikaʻi ma kēia unuhi.

    Eia naʻe, ma ka hopena ua unuhi ia ka “uhu kai” o ia ka “uhu fish of the sea” a laila, ma hope iho kamaʻilio ʻia “ke kaʻi o ka uhu.” He koho wale nō paha ia, a i ʻole he kumu nō kāu i ke koho ʻana i ia ʻano unuhi?

    Mahalo i ka hoʻomanawanui i kuʻu wahi nīnau. He pūnua wale kēia ma ia mea he unuhi a ua hoihoi i ke aʻo. Mahalo!

    • Aloha no.
      Thank you for your interest. These are not translations, but works in progress. If I had been diligent, I would have indeed changed the final “uhu kai” to “the uhu that swim in procession” or something like that, and not the uhu of the sea!

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