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


All About Hawaii

By Clarice B. Taylor


There was an unusual stir and bustle among the men of the Kau district on the day they assembled to lift the great oohia log up over the walls of the new heiau at Makanau upon orders from their chief, Ko’ihala.

#     #     #

This great log,  hauled with much labor and misery from the forest area on Mauna Loa, was to be carved into the image of Ko’ihala’s protecting god.

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The men assigned to the work were in a very jovial mood. It was the first day they had not grumbled since the early days of the heiau construction.


The priests in charge of overseeing the work were grim and silent.

When all was ready, the men on top the heiau wall held the lines attached to the big log at the foot of the wall. The priests stood about the log and Ko’ihala stood at one side to watch the work.

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The priests chanted, informing the ohia log of its destiny as a god and they beseeched the god to assist with the task of raising the log.

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The workman on top of the heiau wall said a response and then went through the pantomime of exerting a mighty heave upon the lines.

The log did not move an inch off the ground.


The priest in charge turned to Ko’ihala and instructed the High chief to lay his sacred hands upon the log so that his mana (spiritual power) would assist the men in pulling up the log.

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Ko’ihala placed his hands upon the log. As the priests chanted and the men responded, the log was hauled up a few inches in the air.

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Again and again, the priests chanted and the men hauled. The log would not move unless the chief held his hand upon it.

(NEXT: Retribution.)

(Star-Bulletin, 3/26/1949, p. 36)


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Volume LV, Number 17634, Page 36. March 26, 1949.


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