The famed wauke of Kuloli, Okoe, South Kona, 1923.


Solomon Hanohano [Editor of the Kuokoa]; Much aloha shared between us:—Perhaps people do not know, or the new generation of this time that moves on, of the nature of the title placed above. Perhaps they are mistaken thinking that it is just a tale [moolelo kaao], like the story of Kamehameha says “nip off the bud of the wauke while it is still young.”

That is why your writer was urged to write to inform the public of the location of this famous place in the olden days of our kupuna.

This famous place is here in the land where your writer was born. Here in Okoe, S. Kona, Hawaii, is a cave called Kuloli, from the times of old to the present.

At the very bottom  of this cave, there is a tiny hole to a cavern; and in this cavern it is wide and expansive. It is dark within and can only be entered with a candle. This cave is kapu to menstruating women.

In this cave is where you would get your water when the dry season of this land returned; This is how you  would get water:

You cut banana leaves, and make it so that water catches upon it. You make a lot of this, and then call out like this:

Ua kulukulu, makahakahaka,
Kulu e ka po, kulu e ke ao.

[Drip, drip, deep  pit,
Drip, o night; drip, o day.]

That was always where we got our water; if it was left for some days and fetched, it would be full, and the water cups would overflow. That is how the water difficulties was remedied, for there were no water barrels in those days.

This is a cave that is 140 feet deep, and the width of its mouth at top is almost 400 feet. It is here at the bottom of this cave where the wauke grows, and it is also called poaaha in Hawaiian, “The single-standing wauke of Kuloli.”

In the old days of this cave, the poaaha grew profusely, and it was as big as a tree and was cleaned regularly. From this Poaaha was made the pa-upa-u kapa of the olden days, and the grandmother of your writer was one who was proficient in this art; for she was the owner of this land, and it has been inherited by her descendants today.

Our kupuna had much knowledge in the making of this sort of kapa that the knowledge of today cannot find, for they have gone and have taken all their tools with them.

All sorts of plants grow in this cave, until today, but as for the wauke, it is small and does not grow well. This cave is not far from the road that goes around Kau, Kona; it is perhaps a half mile toward the ocean.

If there are people who want to see for themselves this famous place, meet with Mr. and Mrs. Lohiau of Okoe, and the two of them will show you all of it.

This description is sufficient; with you the Editor is my great thanks and with the typesetting boys go my unending salutations.

Yours truly,


[Wow, too bad people of the past are not around anymore to show us these places and to tell us these stories. It is a good thing at least that S. W. K. Milolii thought that it was important enough to record here in the newspaper. There are so many other moolelo in the newspapers that were recorded by kupuna that knew it would be important for people of the future. The moolelo need to be rediscovered! I wonder if that single poaaha still is growing in that cave today.]

(Kuokoa, 2/22/1923, p. 7)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LXII, Helu 8, Aoao 7. Feberuari 22, 1923.

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