David Alapai and his mele inoa for Pele, 1919.


When lava gushed forth upon the land of Alika, nearby the “building filled with tons of awa.” Sleeping there in that place was a man intoxicated on awa, and it was with great effort that this man drunken on awa escaped with his life. Just as that man got away did the “lava” engulf that building with its tons of awa. Right makai side of that awa storehouse the man had tied up his donkey and it is was seen that the lava had flowed off course and left behind this donkey belonging to that awa storehouse watchman. Several days later when that man was talking about his near escape from the lava, he told this funny story. “Pele does not have interest in Donkey meat, but she likes drinking awa. She waited a bit for me to get away from that building and then she drank all of our awa up, and to show her appreciation for this awa drinking party, she left behind my Donkey.”

We received a telegraph from a “Kahunapule” friend of ours from Kona, telling us by this telegraph of this story which he told of some people who were visiting the lava midday on this past Sunday. Here is the story.

“A man from Puuanahulu or maybe Puuawaawa arrived in the area where the lava was flowing at Alika from Kona side. When he arrived there, and in view of other people there to watch the lava, with some haole there as well, he stood there at the edge of the lava flow and began to call out to Pele in chant. At that point the lava rose up powerfully and began to flow around that man, and without any fear to his being surrounded by lava, he continued to call out her name chant, until he was not visible to those who were watching him. Soon thereafter the man whose name is Alapai of Puuanahulu was seen standing with sweat running down from  the heat of the lava. When he was done with his name chant to Pele, he came out of that place where he was surrounded by lava.” The truth or untruth of this account lies with that “Fellow Kahunapule” who relayed the story by telegraph. The man named Alapai of Puuanahulu is indeed a real person, and is a subscriber of our Hoku newspaper. Is this story true, O Mr. Alapai of the Hilana of Puuanahulu?

[This past Monday’s “Welo Hou” post has more on this story of Mr. Alapai! Go check it out!! Click here.]

(Hoku o Hawaii, 10/9/1919, p. 3)


Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Buke XIII, Helu 19, Aoao 3. Okatoba 9, 1919.

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