Moanalua, then and now, 1922.


(Written by J. K. Mokumaia)


[This is from a serial column on stories about Moanalua. At the close of the previous installment, Mokumaia is speaking about Waiapuka and evidence of a large population…]

So too a well-built rock platform, it is like a heiau; and so too a huge cave large enough for a hundred people to live; and so too perhaps a small cave enough for a single person to live as a lookout, looking out at Moanalua, where the oncoming enemies would be plain in sight.

In my estimation, its height above sea level is 500 and a half feet, and this valley was an important one to the people, and was called Kamanaiki, and there is the famous hill Puukapu.

It is said that this was a place where the alii and people got together to discuss an important problem, and it will be be clear through your writer, those things integrally related to this hill and why it is famous; being that this hill is very close to where passing travellers were waylaid at night.

Therefore, dear readers of my fond Kilohana (a frequently used appellation for the newspaper Kuokoa, coming from its subtitle “Ke Kilohana Pookela no ka Lahui Hawaii” [The Greatest Prize of the Hawaiian Nation]), I am taking this little entertainment back to the time when Kaleiluhiole was ruling as konohiki, where this story gets its basis.

Kaleiluhiole’s total area of management went all the way to Makua, Waianae and back, when he made his tour, he would start at Moanalua and take a respite at Makua, staying there for some anahulu (a period of 10 days), and then turn back; going along on these tours were his workers as well as those who entertained on the trips so that everyone amongst his travelling companions was filled with the constant promise of merriment.

When the konohiki stayed there, items from the seaside were prepared by the natives, and so too the fruits of the land; being that his word had power, it was necessary to prepare all these things; and the important man during those times as heard by your writer was the one called Kihikihi; this gentleman was lame, but his  mind however was filled with all sorts of ideas that benefited him.

He owned a number of schooners, and from amongst his servants, there is one still alive in Waianae, that being Mr. Hui; they went around with the father of your writer, being that my father was a captain of the vessels belonging to Kihikihi, who was also the grandfather of your writer.

The basis for this discussion was that when the Konohiki stayed in Makua it was a regular thing that entertainment was provided for him; and from amongst these entertainments, was a hula troupe headed by Mahoe; this hula leader was from Kauai,  and when he was joined by the beauty of Makua, that hula performance of his—the hips of that hula leader were pressed by that beauty of Makua; quiet your breathing at the whispering seas of that land, as your eyes will  grow dizzy watching [?].

My father was also one who belonged to this hula troupe, and when the konohiki made his return, until reaching his usual lands, that being Moanalua, it was customary for him, were it extremely long, for everyone to be filled with happiness, and this happiness was what was witnessed when that hula troupe was joined by Moanalua’s, which was headed by Keoni Paakaula, and hula students got together, and thus appeared your writer; from what is known, this travelling was the foundation from which a brought forth its garden and came the year spoken previously of by the writer, when thought first came to him.

Looking at how the konohiki and people lived, it was quite fun; this was a land of people and food aplenty.

(To be continued.)

The picture above is the grounds on which was the structure where festivities were held. The picture below is of a great taro patch where the fish from California [i’a Kaleponi?] was set loose.

This is a picture of Keoni Paakaula, the old kumu hula of Moanalua, who is 102 years old.

[This serial by J. K. Mokumaia begins on 2/17/1922 and might end on 8/31/1922 (although there is indication that it is not completed).]

(Kuokoa, 3/10/1922, p. 6)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LXI, Helu 10, Aoao 6. Maraki 10, 1922.

Now this is one huge hapuupuu (sea bass)! 1917.


This Monday, a Japanese went out fishing on his 33 feet boat. When he was outside of Makua, close by Waianae, while he was letting out his line to fish, and as he pulled, it was as if his hook was stuck, and this Japanese didn’t think that he had hooked a huge fish, but he figured it out when the fish began to drag him and his tiny boat. The fish was left to do as it pleased, being that he realized that he would not be able to pull in this huge fish because it was too strong to pull in the water. He followed after the fish for a long period of time, and when the Japanese saw that the fish had grown weak, that was when he pulled it to the side of his boat and returned to Honolulu nei.

When this fish reached the fish market, it was auctioned off and was sold to the Chinese with a $100 cash.

After going to the Chinese, it was immediately cut up into small pieces at 50¢ a pound, and at that price, the money got by the Chinese through retail sale was $265; the gross sale [?] was about $365; and so the Chinese who sold the fish profited about $265.

They say that everything was sold, nothing was left. In the fishing profession, Japanese make a lot of money, when it was work done by Hawaiians in years past; these days, the work has gone to these people. These people are not better prepared at fishing than Hawaiians, but the problem lies in that Hawaiians neglect this money-making profession, and because of this, it moved into the hands of other people.

Look at the great profit this Japanese made in one day, so therefore, O Hawaiians, you must keep up so that you will be prepared in this profession from now on, and that goes for farming as well—that is the only road to living comfortably and independently.

[The current “Hawaii State Record” seems to be recorded as 563 pounds. Take a look at Hawaii Fishing News.]

(Aloha Aina, 1/27/1917, p. 4)


Ke Aloha Aina, Buke XXII, Helu 4, Aoao 4. Ianuari 27, 1917.