Makalei Cave, North Kona, Hawaii, 1924.



This is a cave to the south of the hill of Akahipuu, and it was there that a man named Ko’amokumoku-o-hueia [Ko’amokumokuoheeia] lived, who came from Koolau and settled here, living as a newcomer.

And he lived here with his family: his wife, whose name was Kahaluu; and their two daughters; and one young son named Makalei.

And it was for this boy that this cave is called the cave of Makalei until this day.

While this man was living here, he began to farm taro, sweet potato, banana, sugar cane, and awa; and it all appeared to be well watered.

The natives of the area came to him and said, “The problem with this land is the water; it is a land without water, and you have to get water from the cave, but the places to store water here are kapu and cannot be fetched from in secret; if you are caught, you will be killed by the one who the water belongs.

Ko’amokumoku-o-heeia heard this talk of the locals, and this caused him to contemplate about where he and his family could get their water; and therefore, he made a reservoir [pa-o wai ?] for himself, and when the rains returned, water would fill receptacles [haona] then be held in the reservoir.

While living there with the family, one day, the boy went to relieve himself at a ravine behind their house, and while he was throwing the old waste into a plain old hole, right then wind blew out from that hole, and Makalei examined it and saw this deep, dark hole.

This boy was however not frightened at all; he stood up and went to where his father was farming and said:

“I went over there to defecate, but this is the astonishing thing, there was a lot of wind coming from that pit, maybe it is a hole of winds.”

“Where?” the father asked. “Down there,” and the father went to see.

When Ko’amokumoku-o-heeia reached the area and cleared away the stones covering the hole, he saw that it was a deep cave and wind rose from it as if it came from the mountains.

He turned and said to the child, “We have our place to hold water for our life here in this land without water, and I will make a hole for us to defecate in.”

The mouth to the cave was finished off nicely and there they defecated; while one side of the opening was made so that a person could enter.

No kamaaina knew of this cave, and he did not tell his wife, and nor did he talk of it again to his son; he totally refused to speak of the things pertaining to this cave.

One day, he entered the cave and saw the great vastness, and that he could walk upright without his head touching the wall above, and there was a lot of water dripping down; he decided to make containers [waa] of ohia, and containers of wiliwili.

In the night he fetched wiliwili and carried it on his back inside the cave, and it was inside of the cave that he dug until he made the opening of the wiliwili water container; the ohia chosen was dug out by the farmer and he carried it on his back into the cave. The inside of the cave grew criss-crossed with water troughs of wiliwili and ohia; there was just so many of the water containers that continued to be fitted inside.

When the dry season of this land returned as always, he did nothing other than farm, and he had ample water and had no problems with it.

It was at night that he fetched water and filled containers and gourds [olo], until the reservoir was full, and this was their drinking water for the month, and so forth.

The locals were suspicious about where these people go their water from, being that they did not see the source of their water, and they spoke often about the water of these malihini.

This cave still remains, and the entrance is very small but made like the entrance to a house, but within is very spacious and the walls are very tall.

When Maguire lived at Huehue, a great water catchment was built inside of the cave and a pipe was laid from the catchment until his house because he wanted cold water like ice water; also, pipes were laid above the catchment so that more water would go into it.

The story of this boy, Makalei is a beautiful one, along with his father, and it is a very long story; and should the writer have time to write this touching entertainment, then Makalei will be seen, the one whose name this cave is named after, Makalei Cave.

Here we will list the famous storied places [wahi pana kaulana] of these ahupuaa, from the sea until the summit of the mountain of Hualalai. With their names that they were called by the people of old.

1. Kileo hill.

2. Kaaialalaua.

3. Kapuukao.

4. Pahulu.

5. Moanuiahea.

6. Puumamaki.

7. Puuiki.

8. Puukoa.

9. Kaiwopele [Kaiwiopele].

10. Puuuhinuhinu.

11. Kahuaiki.

12. Kamawae.

13. Hikuhia, in the uplands of Napua.

14. Uau pooole [Uaupooole].

15. Na hale o Kaua [Nahaleokaua].

16. Kipuka o Oweowe.

17. Pualala.

18. Kawahapele.

19. Keoneeli.

20. Hinakapoula.

21. Kalulu.

22. Na puu Mahoe [Napuumahoe].

23. Kumu mamane [Kumumamane].

24. Kaluamakani.

25. Pohokinikini.

26. Hopuhopu.

27. Kipahee.

28. Hanakaumalu.

29. Kapuu o Honuaula [Honuaula Hill].

30. Ka puu o Hainoa [Hainoa Hill].

31. The summit of Hualalai and the pit of Milu.

32. Kipahee.

33. Makanikiu, Hill.

The pit of Milu [lua o Milu] spoken of is the pit which Hikuikanahele went to fetch Kawelu under the [Nuu ?] of Milu, the chief of the dark night; this is the round pit atop the summit of Hualalai which still remains to this day; it is a very deep hole and if you drop a rock down the pit, you will not hear the rattling of the rock.

The width of the mouth of this pit is perhaps about 6 to 7 feet in my estimation as I am familiar with those regions.

The water of Kipahee is a pit which goes down and reaches a spring.

It is not rippling water from which to scoop water out of, but it is moss [limu] which you collect until the container is full and then return to the top.

Climbing back up is troublesome; should you try to go straight up thinking you will exit immediately, you won’t be able to because you will keep sliding back until you are sitting after exhaustion from sliding down. In order to return to the top with ease, you have to climb zigzag, turning to the right and then to the left, and that is how you climb back to the top easily.

(Not complete.)

[This article continues into the next issue (6/5/1924, p. 4) and is signed: “Ka Ohu Haaheo I na Kuahiwi Ekolu. Kona Hawaii, April 30 1924.”]

(Hoku o Hawaii, 5/29/1924, p. 4)


Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Buke XVIII, Helu 1, Aoao 4. Mei 29, 1924.


On the decline of native birds, 1871.

Locals of the Tuahine Rain are no more.

O Ke Au Okoa:—Aloha to you:

I am sending you a small gift atop your outstretched foundation, should your captain and Editor be so kind, and it will be for you to take it to the shores of these islands so that my newspaper-reading companions may see it, it being the letters placed above: “Some Locals of the Tuahine Rain¹ are no more,” and it has been ten or more years which they have not been seen.

And my friends are probably puzzled about these locals that have gone missing, and you, our old-timers, are all likely saying, not them, here they are, and some people have passed away, but we knew of their passing; but the departure of these kamaaina which I speak of was not witnessed. And this is it, the kamaaina birds of our uplands: the Iwi, the O-u, the Akakane, the Amakihi, the Oolomao, the Elepaio; these are the native birds of these uplands who have disappeared.

And some of you may be questioning, what is the reason for this disappearance? I tell you, it is because of the spread of the evil birds from foreign lands, in our plains, mountains, ridges, valleys, cliffs, forests, terraced taro patches, seashores, and rivers; that is why these kamaaina have gone, because of the spreading of these evil birds among us, and they are damaging the crops, and the food from the forests; rice planted by some are being eaten by these evil birds; and the bananas of the forests are all eaten up by these birds.

What do we gain from these evil birds being spread in Hawaii, and protecting them so that they are not killed? I say that we gain nothing from these evil birds which are hurting our native birds and crops and foods from the forests; because in the past, before the spread of these birds, if a kamaaina of this land wanted to go into the mountains to get thatching or some shrimp, or some oopu, they did not pack food with them, because they thought that there was food in the mountains, like banana, hawane fruit, and uhi; banana would ripen on the plant and then fall, without anything damaging them, but now, the bananas don’t ripen on the plant; they are eaten by these banana-eating mu [mu ai maia] of the forest; bananas don’t ripen, and [now] when you go into the mountains, there is just the oka-i [blossom container of bananas] left and the bananas are lost to these birds; and the kamaaina birds are gone. Where to? Perhaps they all went to Hawaii island.

And I say without any hypocrisy, the decrease of this people was because the arrival of the evil haole to Hawaii nei; it was they who spread the evil sicknesses: gonorrhea [pala] and syphilis [kaokao]. Smallpox [hepera] and leprosy [mai pake] are the reasons that our lahui was decimated, because of the arrival of the evil haole; if all the people who came to Hawaii were like the people who brought the light [missionaries],  then this lahui would not have decreased in number; so too with the arrival of the evil birds to Hawaii nei, which hurt our native birds and plants; this is like the decrease of our lahui with the arrival of the evil haole who spread gonorrhea and syphilis and similar diseases.

Therefore, I feel aloha for the kamaaina birds of my beloved land because they are all gone, and the youngsters of these days question, what are those birds like? They are tiny birds with beautiful voices, and their feathers as well, and they were an enjoyment in our childhood; when times of strong winds arrived, all the birds of the mountains would alight and show up at the doors of the houses which was entertaining for us to watch them flitting amongst the leaves of the ilima in our childhood and they were a playmate in our youth.

Before the arrival of these birds, there was a great abundance of Iwi, Amakihi, Akakane, O-u, Oolokela, and Elepaio, right here above us, atop the clumps of aliipoe, bushes of hau, noni trees, and more upland, the number of birds was amazing, atop the flowers of lehua of the mountain apples, and on the Ahihi and the Lehua Kumakua;  those uplands were so enjoyable but these days, they have all vanished, maybe because there were aggravated by these evil birds.

Here is another thing; if only the coming session of the Legislature could revise the law pertaining to birds from foreign lands, for there are destructive birds that have been imported as well from foreign lands.

And this is a supplication to you, O Ke Au Okoa. With aloha to the one who steers you, and also to the boys of the Government Printing Press. The boy from the uplands is turning back for the Tuahine rain of the land is spreading about.

T. N. Penukahi.

Manoa, June 24, 1871.

¹Tuahine [Kuahine] is the famous rain of Manoa.

(Au Okoa, 6/29/1871, p. 3)

He mau wahi kamaaina no ka ua Tuahine, ua nalowale.

Ke Au Okoa, Buke VII, Helu 11, Aoao 3. Iune 29, 1871.

More from David Keaweamahi on Japanese contract laborers, 1890.

From Japan!


Mr. J. U. Kawainui,

Honolulu, H. I.

O Friend,

Please allow me to introduce you to the new things I have seen in my newspaper which I believe are new information important to spread; which I invite you to kindly insert into your newspaper, Ko Hawaii Pae Aina, for the benefit of the readers and the nation.

I was pleased to see the thoughts of a famous newspaper of Japan, praising Hawaii as the place where a great number of Japanese laborers obtained a big sum of money, more than they’d receive in their homeland.

This newspaper likened Hawaii to a school of education, where a child receives the wealth of knowledge, equal to the amount of lessons he studies; so too with the Japanese who are going to Hawaii, where they get high salaries that they’d not get here, and for more intense work than in Hawaii, along with more hours.

This paper also stated that within the past five years, the total number of Japanese laborers including men and women has reached 14,000, sent by the Board for Emigration of Japanese Laborers.

And within this period, these laborers, as a result of their effort and their saving of what they earned, made a great amount in Japanese money, not less than 2,000,000 yen; and not included with this, they paid the ship owners half a million yen to take them from Japan to Hawaii and return.

This great sum of money was sent from Hawaii to here in Japan, the home of these laborers. As a result, there rose within me the desire to encourage my own Hawaiian friends to take a look at the path taken by the Japanese, starting like this:

Their departure from the land of their birth—Their travelling across the great ocean at great expense—The landing as strangers in Hawaii—Working all sorts of jobs for a boss who is a stranger—Enduring the work—Eating only a little without wasting—Caring for what they have—The results of their putting up with the work, that being millions of dollars.

I believe that this is ample explanation, O Friends of the same womb, for you to think about; for the work has come to your door O Hawaiians—diamonds, gold, and money, right before your eyes; it is not far away like for the Japanese for whom it is far, far away.

Look at the hardships and the facing of the spray of the Pacific Ocean whose distance from Hawaii to Japan is 3,440 miles; this distance and hardships became nothing to them.

And you, O Hawaiians, you wake up in the morning and take up your work, and put in your time working, and not with things that waste your time, as goes the saying of the educated people: “Time is like money.”

And O Mr. Editor, I am sending a copy of the newspaper, “The Tokyo Mail” of August 7th, 1890, and within it you will see all of what this paper has said, and it is for you to patiently translate it all.

As I am preparing to send to you the news above, I have also received from my true friend, J. W. Girvin, Esq., our Hawaiian Consul in the city of San Diego, California, the newspaper “The San Diego Union”. Within this paper, he explained fully the value of coconuts, starting from the trunk to the leaves; we are familiar with coconuts and its value; and with our consul explaining the value of the coconut, I am thinking that there are also other sources of wealth for you, O Hawaiians, like sugarcane, rice, bananas, and so forth.

He explains that coconuts can be found in Hawaii and the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Therefore, I am sending this paper with hopes that you will translate it for the good of our people, being that it should not be long before Hawaii starts receiving inquiries for coconuts because of this important description of Hawaii’s good friend dealing with the asset not put to use by Hawaiians in the past years.

It is a very admirable thing that the government selects good people with good ideas to search after the well being of the people that conferred upon him that honorable title, Consul, like J. W. Girvin.

When I look at the ideas of this servant of the nation, I know that he is searching while pulling along the minds of entrepreneurs to look to Hawaii to export coconuts, like the other produce exported from Hawaii to other lands.

And should this description of our Consul become something that the wealthy people and trade companies of foreign lands latch on to, then those great fields of coconut from Hopoe until Kahaualea in Puna, Hawaii will become a source of wealth; so too the stands of coconut in the Kona districts, along with those of Maui, Molokai, Oahu and Kauai. And even more so, with the opening these days of new steamship lines which go directly from San Diego to Hawaii. This clarification should be sufficient.

With aloha,

D. Keaweamahi.

No. 9 Fujimi Sho [Fujimi-cho], Kojimachi, Tokyo, Japan, Sept. 13, 1890.

[As we celebrate Merrie Monarch week, Japanese contract laborers is one of Kalakaua’s many legacies…]

(Ko Hawaii Pae Aina, 9/27/1890, p. 2)

Mai Iapana mai!

Ko Hawaii Pae Aina, Buke XIII, Helu 39, Aoao 2. Sepatemaba 27, 1890.

Poi description in English. 1909.

[Found under: “Our English Items”]

What is Poi?

Mr. Lorrin Andrews in his Hawaiian Dictionary gives the following definition of the word Poi: “The paste or pudding which was formerly the chief food of Hawaiians, and is so to a great extent yet. It is made of kalo, sweet potatoes or breadfruit, but mostly of kalo, by baking the above articles in ovens under ground, and afterwards peeling and pounding them with more or less water (but not much); it is then left in a mass to ferment; after fermentation, it is again worked over with more water until it has the consistency of thick paste. It is eaten cold with fingers.”

The learned Hawaiian lexiographer [lexicographer] do not give the exact meaning of the word. Poi is a name given to mashed Kalo, potatoe, breadfruit or banana. The Kalo (a species of arum ex-culentum [arum esculentum] when cooked, is mashed or pounded with a stone, especially made for that purpose, until it becomes like a good soft (flour) dough. From that stage it is then reduce to what is called—poi. It is only at this stage the word poi is used. When the taro is merely mashed, or pounded into a hard pulpy mass, it is called a pa’i-ai or pa’i-kalo. When it is reduced to a still softer condition, and could be twisted by fingers, it is then called poi—whether hard or soft (poi paa or poi wali). When the poi is too soft, it is called poi hehee.

Our kanaka savant ventures to give his definition of Poi. He thinks that it primarily means to gather up; to collect, to pull up; to hold or lift up an article, lest it falls down or spills over. It is analogous to the word Hii, “to lift up; to carry upon the hips and support with the arms, as a child.” An expert poi pounder will call the attention of an unskillful person when pounding taro, saying: “E poi mai ka ai i ole e haule mawaho o ka papa.” (Gather up the ai (foot [food]) lest it falls over the board). He found a French definition of the word “poi” in Boniface Mosblech’s “Vocabulaire Oce’anien—Francais, et cetera, (Paris, 1843) to wit: “boullie de taro” (soft taro). That does not give the derivative definition of the word (kalo) any better than Mr. Andrews.

In conclusion we add the old legend pertaining to the origin of Kalo (taro).

Wakea was the husband, and Papa was the wife, and they two were supposed by some ancient Hawaiian tradition, the first progenitors of the Hawaiian race. They lived on the Koolau side of the Island of Oahu, and also at Kalihi. Their first born son was of premature birth. The little fellow died and its body was buried at one end of their house. After a while, from where the child’s body was buried a new kind of plant shot up. Nobody knows what it was. Finally, green leaves appeared. Wakea called the leaves “Lau-kapa-lili” (the quivering leaves) and the long stalk or stem of the plant was called “Ha-Loa” (long stalk or stem). The plant was finally called by Wakea as “Haloa.”

(Kuokoa Home Rula, 1/1/1909, p.1)

What is Poi?

Kuokoa Home Rula, Buke VII, Helu 1, Aoao 1. Ianuari 1, 1909.

Description of Moku o Lo‘e (Coconut Island) and a lesson on sustainable living. 1859.


O Hoku Loa:

Aloha oe:—The 24th of August, which was a Thursday, was a day of party at the shore of Mokuoloe; it is a small island to the Northeast of Kaneohe, and yet plants grow upon it: sweet potato, gourd, banana, coconut, and its shady kukui grove. The focus of the feast was the sweet potato and gourd; it was a fine party, with many people who came from Kahaluu, and Mokapu, and it was very pleasant in the shade of the kukui, with enough food for all that came; the great spread of produce well-cared for by the farmers of this tiny Island was astonishing, and it would be a good thing if all our own lands were taken care of in the same way, then we’d in time be feasting off of the fruits. With mahalo, your friend.

D. Kaialau.

[For more on Moku o Lo’e, see the recent publication: Moku o Lo’e: A History of Coconut Island.

The images for Hoku Loa will hopefully be put up online soon!]

(Hoku Loa, 9/1859, p. 9)


Ka Hoku Loa, Buke I, Helu 3, Aoao 9. Sepatemaba, 1859.