The Story of Kapihe.
When Kamehameha I was ruler over only Hawaii Island, and not all of the islands were his, and while the eating kapu was still enforced, and while he was living in Kohala, Kona, Hawaii, it was there that a certain man lived named Kapihe, and his god was called Kaonohiokala.
This man named Kapihe went before Kamehameha I and before the alii of Kona, and he said these words, “Listen, O Chiefs, a malo will stand, forty in length, as a path for the god; the god will come down and live with man, and what is down here will rise up above, and the archipelago from Kahiki* all the way to Hawaii will be joined as one. This is the sign that will come before this: there will be forty days of darkness and then rain will fall and thunder will crash and lightning will flash and seven rainbows will arch; there we will see the dead rise from the graves and all people will see their parents and hoa hanau [siblings, cousins] who died earlier.” And that is what Kapihe said to the King, alii, and makaainana. The chiefs and commoners were astounded at these shocking words spoken by Kapihe, and they called him crazy. This perhaps is the truth, for some of his predictions came true and others were denied.
This is how people are mistaken, they say, the heavens and earth will come together, and Hawaii and Maui will join together, and so too with Kahiki. And if that is the case, according to the mistaken ones, then God is not in heaven, and there is but one God, and that is Kapihe; that is what they said, and because all of the lands did not merge together as the they were saying, Kapihe was called a lying, crazed person.
Perhaps that is so, perhaps he was a liar, and perhaps not; it might be thought that Kapihe’s was a riddle and the land would not literally join together, and that he was a prophet. Perhaps his words were not his alone, but from God. Someone might ask, how did Kapihe’s words come from God, and here is the answer. What of Isaiah, that prophet, in Matthew 3:3? For this is what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, ‘The voice of the one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare ye the way of Jehovah, make his paths straight.'” Here is the question there. Is it a real road, and is it a path that will be tread on by feet? It is believed not, but that it was a riddle from God through the mouth of his prophet. Maybe so too it was of Kapihe, the prophet of Hawaii; God gave the words for his mouth to speak, and Kapihe spoke what God of the heavens gave to us. And the nations of man joined as one, from America, and the other inhabited lands, they are here together with us. And the souls of the righteous are the same up above. The alii of whom Kapihe predicted was Kamehameha I, who was victorious over Maui and Oahu, and Kauai was left, and his grandchildren now rule over his Kingdom. This is the nature of Kapihe’s words. J. D. Kauakoiawe
Honolulu, March 15, 1862.
*Kahiki usually refers to foreign lands.
(Hoku o ka Pakipika, 3/20/1862, p. 1)
Ka Hoku o ka Pakipika, Buke I, Helu 26, Aoao 1. Maraki 20, 1862.