Why are some religions “real” while others are “superstitions,” “myths,” and “legends”? 1905 / today.


(By Rev. W. D. Westervelt in Paradise of the Pacific.)

The fountain source of the Mississippi has been discovered and re-discovered. The origin of the Polynesian race has been a subject for discovery and re-discovery. The older theory of Malay origin as set forth in the earlier encyclopædias is now recognized as untenable. The Malays followed the Polynesians rather than preceded them. The comparative study of Polynesian legends leads almost irresistibly to the conclusion that Polynesians were Aryans, coming at least from India to Malaysia and possibly coming from Arabia, as Fornander of Hawaii so earnestly argues. It is now accepted that the Polynesians did not originate from Malay parentage, and that they did occupy for an indefinite period the region around the Sunda Straits from Java to the Molucca Islands, and also that the greater portion of the Polynesians was driven out from this region and scattered over the Pacific in the early part of the Christian Era. The legends that cluster around Wakea have greatly aided in making plain some things concerning the disposition of the Polynesians. By sifting the legends of Hawaii-loa, we learn how the great voyager becomes one of the first Vikings of the Pacific. His home at last is found to be Gilolo of the Molucca Islands. From the legends we become acquainted with Wakea (possibly meaning “noonday” or “the white time” and his wife Papa (“earth”), the most widely remembered of all the ancestors of the Polynesian race. Their names are found in the legends of the most prominent island groups, and the highest places are granted them among the chief dieties. Their deeds belong to the most ancient times—the creation or discovery of the various islands of the Pacific world. Those who worshipped Wakea and Papa are found in such widely separated localities that it must be considered impossible for even a demi-god to have had so many homes. Atea or Wakea was one of the highest gods of the Marquesas islands. Here his name means “light.” The Marquesans evidently look back of all their present history and locate Atea in the ancient home land. Va-tea, in the Society Islands, Wakea in Hawaii and New Zealand, Makea-Vakea and Akea are phonetic variations of the one name when written down by the students who made a written form for words repeated from generation to generation by word of mouth alone. Even under the name Wakea this ancient chief is known by most widely separated islands. The only reasonable explanation for this widespread reference to Wakea is that he was an ancestor belonging in common to all the scattered Polynesians. It seems as if there must have been a period when Wakea was king of chief of a united people. He must have been of great ability and probably was the great king of the United Polynesians. If this were the fact it would naturally result that his memory would be carried wherever the dispersed race might go.

In the myths and legends of the Hervey Islands, Vatea is located near the beginning of their national existence.” Then there came upon the ancient world Te Vaerua, “the breath” or “the life.” Then came the god time—Te Manawa roa, “the long ago.” Then their creation legends locate Vari, a woman whose name means “the beginning,” a name curiously similar to the Hebrew word bara, to create, as in Gen. 1:1. Her children were torn out of her breasts and given homes in the ancient mist land, with which without any preparation or introduction, Hawa-iki is confused in a part of the legend. One of the children of Vari dwelt in a “sacred tabu island” and became the god of the fish. Another sought a home “where the red parrots’ feathers were gathered”—the royal feathers for the high chief’s garments. Another became the echo-god and lived in the “hollow grey rocks.” Another as the gods of the winds went far out “on the deep ocean.” Another, a girl, found a home, “the silent land,” with her mother. Wakea, or Vatea, the eldest of this family remained in Avaiki (Hawaii) the ancestral home—”the bright land of Vatea.” Here he married Papa. This Ava-iki was to the Herveyites of later generations the fiery volcanic under-world. When the long sea voyages ceased after some centuries, the islanders realized that Ava-iki was very closely connected with their history. They had but a misty idea of far off lands, and they did know of earthquakes and lava caves and volcanic fires—so they located Ava-iki as the secret world under their islands. This underworld with legendary inconsistency was located on the ocean’s surface, when it became necessary to have their islands discovered by the descendants of Vatea. According to the Hervey legends, Vatea is the father of Lono and Kanaloa, two of the great gods of the Polynesians. They are twins. Lono has three sons, whom he sends away. They sail out through many heavens and from Ava-iki “pull up” out of the deep ocean two of the Hervey islands. The natives of the Hervey group supposed that the horizon around their group inclosed the world. Beyond this world were heaves after heavens. A daring voyager by sailing through the sky line would break out from this world into an unknown world or a heaven bounded by new horizons. Strangers thus “broke through” from heaven to heaven, sometimes making use of the path of the sun. Thus about twenty-five generations ago Raa (possibly Laa, the Hawaiian), broke down the horizon’s bars and established a line of kings in Raiatea. So also when Captain Cook came to the Hervey Islands the natives said: “Whence comes this strange thing? It has climbed up (come up forcibly) from the thin land the home of Wakea.” He had pierced the western heavens from which their ancestors had come. Continue reading


Kamehameha III, Kauikeaouli’s birthday, a little late. 1907.

Day of Remembrance

of the

King Kauikeaouli

This past 17th, Sunday, was the day of remembrance for all true Hawaiians, of the King Kauikeaouli, the Benevolent one. There are two different historical accounts of this day. Fornander states in his account that Kauikeaouli was born of Keopuolani on 11 August 1813, and that this information was from Emalia Keaweamahi, the wahine of Kaikioewa, the governor of Kauai. This date of A. Fornander is supported by Prof. Alexander in his “Brief History of the Hawaiian People.” However, in the account of Mr. James Jackson Jarves, a scholar of Hawaiian history who arrived here in Hawaii nei in 1837, Kauikeaouli was born on 17 March 1813. This historian arrived here but 24 years after the birth of Kauikeaouli, and it would seem that he obtained clear information about the true birth date of the Benevolent King, while he was living here. This statement by Jarves is supported by the reviving prayer that Kapihe offered for Kauikeaouli. Look below at line 11 [42?] in the “Pule a Kapihe.” Ikiiki is the month of March according to the reckoning of Oahu people, and according to Molokai people it is August.

Kauikeaouli was born at Ooma, Keauhou, in Kailua, in the moku of Kona. However, Prof. Alexander, in his history of Hawaii, says Kauikeaouli was born in Kailua.

The name Kauikeaouli is a name from his ancestors, that being the name of his grandfather, Keoua (Keaoua), the one called Kalanikupuapaikalaninui Kauikeaouli. This name puts on high the sacred kapu of Keoua–his chiefly kapu extends above and touches the great heavens, and rests upon the dark clouds. So therefore, the importance of the names Keaouli and Keaoua, is the dark, black, thick, esteemed cloud. This cloud is a rain cloud. A Orator of the old times said that the name Kauikeaouli is the bank of clouds that Kapihe, the prophet, saw spread high in the heavens when he was called to go to see if the child that Keopualani gave birth to was alive or not alive. He was not breathing and was totally lifeless. However, when this kahuna and prophet arrived to where the child was placed, he offered this prayer while waving a coconut frond in his hand. This is the prayer by which Kapihe made Kauikeaouli live, according to the story:

1 O ke Kukaikapaoa ka lani, ae alii,

2 He ‘lii haoa lani, haoa—a

3 He a ia m u lani ku makomako

4 He lani no Kahuku maka pali pohaku

5 He mau lani pohaku na Lono kaeho

6 No Lono ka la i poniia i ka wai niu

7 I haua i ka puaa hiwa

8 I ka puaa hiwa, puaa hiwa a Lono,

9 E Lono—e. Eia ko maka lani

10 Ko lau, ko mu’o, ko ao, ko liko

11 Ko alii kapu e Kahai-piilani

12 Ko maka Kuanahai ka malama

13 Malama ia ka lau kapu o Keaka

14 Ka lau oheohe o Keakamahana

15 I kupu a kapalulu, a kapalule

16 Ka pua, ka pua Ololo hemahema no Kaikilani

17 Nona ia lau ololo no Kanaloa

18 No ka ilio hulu panio, i poni ka maka

19 I noho ka eleele iloko o ka onohi

20 O ke kakau kioki onio i ka lae

21 O ke kioki o ke kikakapu

22 O ka i’a kapuhili au awahia

23 Awahia, awahia ia lani

24 Na Keaka wahine kea

25 Kupu mala o kea Keakealani

26 Ia laua haki ka haka o ke kapu

27 He haka i ka momona o na ‘lii nui

28 He mau alii ku moku, ai moku nui,

29 He nui hoi ka uhi, ka lawalu iwaho

30 He kai papa neenekona aina

31 He kai papa holo papa no Kahiki

32 I iki Keawe, ke kaupu kiau moku

33 Ka hua hookahi a ka A-o i ka lani

34 Na Kalani Ka’ani Kauleleiaiwi

35 Na Keawe, Keawe keia lani

36 Na kela eke hulu o Piilani

37 Lilo nei Keawe ia Piilani

38 Ahu kooka o na ‘lii

39 He mau alii ka ikena ‘ku

40 He mau lani haele wale iho no

41 Hele, hahi i ka lihilihi o ka La

42 I ka malama hanau i o Ikiiki—la

43 I ka malama hanau i o Ikiiki—la


44 Ikiiki ka lani iluna

45 Ua uiha i ka malama

46 Ka pili o ho-ehu ka ua

47 Ke iloli nei ka honua

48 Naku ka mauna wai kali lia (waikaheia)

49 Ua kai lewa ia na aina

50 Ua lewa ka houpo o ka moku

51 O e au o Malela, o Kuala, o Kanaka ki o a moku

52 O ka u-u-ina i Wawau-e-aha-o

53 Ko Aupuni-la-nana-i-a


54 Nana ia ae Holaniku

55 Kilohiia i kua o Wakea

56 I ke ake a Laukapalili

57 Me ke kalo o Laukapalala

58 He maka ia no Luaipo—e

59 O na ‘lii no ia o ka Nuupele

60 O I ko o maua ka Moo—

61 O ka hina kai o Haloa

62 Oia ia paha—e

63 Ke pahapaha la i ka makemakeia

64 A hiki mai ka ole hoi ana—e

[Amazingly, this is the only issue of this entire year that seems to have survived! If this newspaper could be reshot nicely, we could get a clear/clearer reading of this important mele!

And I put up the mele as is (although the image is not clear in some areas, so there are some questionable lines), so that words and phrases will be searchable on this blog or on google right now, instead of having to wait for some time in the future…]

(Kuokoa Home Rula, 3/22/1907, p. 4)

Ka La Hoomanao O KA Moi Kauikeaouli

Kuokoa Home Rula, Buke V, Helu 12, Aoao 4. Maraki 22, 1907.