Before Kamehameha the First had reduced the island of Hawaii to his subjection the various districts were ruled over by petty kings or high chiefs. Anecdotes of three of these aliis who successively ruled over the large district of Kau, are still current among the natives. They are not mythical, but actual events.
Koihala the alii of Kau was about making a voyage from Kona to Kau in his fleet of canoes. He sent word to his people of Kau to meet him with supplies of food on a certain day at Kapua.
The people cooked hogs, dogs and potatoes and prepared poi, water in calabashes and other supplies in sufficient quantities for the chief and his retainers, and started afoot with their burdens to meet him. On arriving at Kapua the fleet came along but did not stop. The alii called to the people ashore to go back to the next landing towards South Point. They resumed their burdens and retraced their steps to this place, the king proceeding by sea. At this place they were told to go on still further to another landing. This was repeated several times and they were finally told to climb the steep pali and meet the king at Kaalualu around and east of South Point. The people were tired, foot sore and hungry from their wearisome travel over the lava and determined upon a different reception to their alii from what he expected. They said “we will teach these chiefs a lesson not to wear us out with their capricious whims. We are hungry and we will eat the food and give him another article of diet instead.” So they sat down and ate up the food and filled the ti-leaf containers with stones and proceeded to near the coast and sat on a slight hill to await the coming of the chief and his party. He landed and proceeded up the ascent to receive his hookupu (tribute of food). When near, the people stood up and, taking the stones from the containers, threw them at the king and his retainers saying, “Here is your pig,” “Here is your dog,” “Here are your potatoes,” etc., and Koihala was killed. The stone, a short way on the road from Kaalualu to Waiohinu is still pointed out as the exact spot where Koihala—the exacting tyrant—met his death. Continue reading →