Clarice B. Taylor on Koihala, part V, 1949.


All About Hawaii

By Clarice B. Taylor


From being a respected and beloved ruler, Koihala became the most hated when he forced his men to climb Mauna Loa and fetch a great ohia log for the heiau he was building at Makanau.

During the wretched trip up into the forests, the Kau men had eaten fern roots, starvation food ordinarily fed pigs and dogs.

#     #     #

It was during this trip that the priests in charge took pity upon the Kau men doing this forced labor.

The priests had a foreboding that no good could come of the construction of a heiau under these unhappy circumstances.


They listened to the grumbling of the men and became sympathetic as they too suffered from the cold and lack of good solid food.

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During that trip down the mountain side, the priests took the men into their confidence and hatched a plan to bring Koihala, their high chief with the overweening ambition, down to earth.

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Once the great ohia log for the image had been brought to the lowlands at Makanau, the workmen faced the problem of raising the log up into the heiau.


The log was to be hauled up the walls of the heiau by means of ropes. The task required the manufacture of a great quantity of cordage, another drain upon the resources of the Kau people.

#     #     #

The rope was wrapped round and round the log with a dozen or more ends reaching up the heiau walls to men standing on the walls.

#     #     #

The men on the walls were to pull the log up as the priests stood on the ground and directed the work.

NEXT: Hauling up the ohia log.

(Star-Bulletin, 3/25/1949, p. 24)


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Volume LV, Number 17633, Page 24. March 25, 1949.

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