WAIPIO VALLEY

LAU-KA-IEIE
"Waipio Valley, the beautiful:
Precipices around it,
The sea on one side;
The precipices are hard to climb;
Not to be climbed
Are the sea precipices."
--Hawaiian Chant.
KAKEA (the white one) and
Kaholo (the runner) were
the children of the Valley.
Their parents were
the precipices which were
sheer to the sea,
and could only be passed
by boats. They married,
and Kaholo conceived.
The husband said,
"If a boy is born,
I will name it;
if a girl, you give the name."

He went up to see his sister Pokahi, and
asked her to go swiftly to see his wife.
Pokahi's husband was Kaukini, a bird-catcher.
He went out into the forest for some birds.
Soon he came back and prepared them for cooking.
Hot stones were put inside the birds and the
birds were packed in calabashes, carefully
covered over with wet leaves, which made steam
inside so the birds were well cooked.
Then they were brought to Kaholo for a feast.

On their way they went down to Waipio Valley,
coming to the foot of the precipice.
Pokahi wanted some sea-moss and some shell-fish,
so she told the two men to go on while
she secured these things to take to Kaholo.
She gathered the soft lipoa[1] moss and went
up to the waterfall, to Ulu (Kaholo's home).
The baby was born, wrapped in the moss and thrown
into the sea, making a shapeless bundle, but a
kupua (sorcerer) saw that a child was there.
The child was taken and washed clean in the
soft lipoa, and cared for. All around
were the signs of the birth of a chief.

They named him Hiilawe, and from him the Waipio
waterfall has its name, according to the saying,
"Falling into mist is the water of Hiilawe."

Pokahi took up her package in which she had brought
the moss and shell-fish, but the moss was gone.
Hina-ulu-ohia (Hina-the-growing-ohia-tree) was
the sorcerer who took the child in the lipoa moss.
She was the aumakua, or ancestor goddess,
of the boat-builders.

Pokahi dreamed that a beautiful woman appeared,
her body covered with the leaves of ohia-trees.
"I know that you have not had any child.
I will now give you one. Awake, and go to the
Waipio River; watch thirty days, then You
will find a girl wrapped in soft moss. This
shall be your adopted child. I will show you how
to care for it. Your brother and his wife must not know.
Your husband alone may know about this adopted girl."

Pokahi and her husband went down at once to the
mouth of the river, heard an infant cry in the midst
of red-colored mist, and found a child wrapped in
the fragrant moss. She wished to take it up, but
was held back by magic powers. She saw an ohia-tree
rising up from the water,--branches, leaves, and
flowers,--and iiwi (birds) coming to pick the flowers.
The red birds and red flowers were very beautiful.
This tree was Hina. The birds began to sing, and
quietly the tree sank down into the water and
disappeared, the birds flying away to the west.

Pokahi returned to her brother's house, going down
to the sea every day, where she saw the human form
of the child growing in the shelter of that red mist
on the surface of the sea. At the end of the thirty
days Pokahi told her friends and her husband that
they must go back home. On their way they went to the
river. She told her husband to look at the red mist,
but he wanted to hurry on. As they approached their
house, cooking-odors welcomed them, and they found
plenty of food prepared outside. They saw something
moving inside. The trees seemed to be walking as
if with the feet of men. Steps
were heard, and voices were calling
for the people of the house.

Kaukini prepared a lamp, and Pokahi in a vision
saw the same fine tree which she had seen before.
There was also a hala-tree[1] with its beautiful
yellow blossoms. As they looked they saw leaves of
different kinds falling one after another,
making in one place a soft fragrant bed.

Then a woman and a man came with an infant.
They were the god Ku and Hina his wife. They said
to Pokahi and her husband, "We have accepted your
sacrifices and have seen that you are childless,
so now we have brought you this child to adopt."
Then they disappeared among the trees of the
forest, leaving the child, Lau-ka-ieie
(leaf of the ieie vine). She was well cared
for and grew up into a beautiful woman without
fault or blemish. Her companions and servants
were the birds and the flowers.

Lau-ka-pali (leaf of the precipice) was
one of her friends. One day she made whistles
of ti leaves, and blew them. The Leaf-of-the-Morning-Glory saw that the young chiefess liked this, so she went out and found Pupu-kani-oi
(the singing land-shell), whose home was on the
leaves of the forest trees. Then she found
another Pupu-hina-hina-ula
(shell-beautiful with rainbow
colors). In the night the shells sang,
and their voices stole their way into the
love of Lau-ka-ieie, so she gently sang with them.

Nohu-ua-palai (a fern), one of the old residents
of that place, went out into the forest, and,
hearing the voices of the girl and the shells,
came to the house. She chanted her name,
but there was no reply. All was silent. At last,
Pua-ohelo (the blossom of the ohelo[1]), one of
the flowers in the house, heard, and opening the
door, invited her to come in and eat.

Nohu-ua-palai went in and feasted with the girls.
Lau-ka-ieie dreamed about Kawelona
(the setting of the sun), at Lihue, a fine young man,
the first-born of one of the high chiefs of Kauai.
She told her kahu (guardian) all about her dream
and the distant island. The kahu asked who should go
to find the man of the dream. All the girl friends
wanted to go. She told them to raise their hands
and the one who had the longest fingers could go.
This was Pupu-kani-oi (the singing shell).
The leaf family all sobbed as they bade
farewell to the shell.

The shell said: "Oh, my leaf-sisters Laukoa
[leaf of the koa-tree] and Lauanau
[leaf of the paper-mulberry tree], arise,
go with me on my journey! Oh, my shell-sisters
of the blue sea, come to the beach, to the
sand! Come and show me the path I am to go! Oh,
Pupu-moka-lau [the land-shell clinging to the
moki-hana, come and look at me, for I am one of
your family! Call all the shells to aid me
in my journey! Come to me!"

Then she summoned her brother, Makani-kau,
chief of the winds, to waft them away in their
wind bodies. They journeyed all around the island
of Hawaii to find some man who would be like the
man of the dream. They found no one there nor on any
of the other islands up to Oahu, where the Singing
Shell fell in love with a chief and turned
from her journey, but Makani-kau went on to Kauai.

Ma-eli-eli, the dragon woman of Heeia,
tried to persuade him to stop, but on he went.
She ran after him. Limaloa, the dragon of Laiewai,
also tried to catch Makani-kau, but he was too swift.
On the way to Kauai, Makani-kau saw some people in a
boat chased by a big shark. He leaped on the boat and
told them he would play with the shark and they could
stay near but need not fear. Then he jumped into
he sea. The shark turned over and opened its mouth
to seize him; he climbed on it, caught its fins,
and forced it to flee through the water. He drove
it to the shore and made it fast among the rocks.
It became the great shark stone, Koa-mano (warrior shark),
at Haena. He leaped from the shark to land,
the boat following.

He saw the hill of "Fire-Throwing," a place
where burning sticks were thrown over the precipices,
a very beautiful sight at night. He leaped to the top
of the hill in his shadow body. Far up on the hill
was a vast number of iiwi (birds). Makani-kau went
to them as they were flying toward Lehua. They
only felt the force of the winds, for they
could not see him or his real body. He saw
that the birds were carrying a fine
man as he drew near.

This was the one Lau-ka-ieie desired for her husband.
They carried this boy on their wings easily and
gently over the hills and sea toward the
sunset island, Lehua. There they slowly flew
to earth. They were the bird guardians of
Kawelona, and when they travelled from place
to place they were under the direction
of the bird-sorcerer, Kukala-a-ka-manu.

Kawelona had dreamed of a beautiful girl who
had visited him again and again, so he was prepared
to meet Makani-kau. He told his parents and adopted
guardians and bird-priests about his dreams
and the beautiful girl he wanted to marry.

Makani-kau met the winds of Niihau and Lehua,
and at last was welcomed by the birds. He told
Kawelona his mission, who prepared to go to Hawaii,
asking how they should go. Makani-kau
went to the seaside and called for his
many bodies to come and give him the boat
for the husband of their great sister Lau-ka-ieie.
Thus he made known his mana, or spirit power,
to Kawelona. He called on the great cloud-gods
to send the long white cloud-boat, and it
soon appeared. Kawelona entered the boat with
fear, and in a few minutes lost sight of the
island of Lehua and his bird guardians as he
sailed out into the sea. Makani-kau dropped
down by the side of a beautiful shell-boat,
entered it, and stopped at Mana. There he
took several girls and put them in a double
canoe, or au-waa-olalua (spirit-boat).

Meanwhile the sorcerer ruler of the birds
agreed to find out where Kawelona was to
satisfy the longing of his parents, whom
he had left without showing them where he
was going or what dangers he might meet.
The sorcerer poured water into a calabash
and threw in two lehua flowers, which floated
on the water. Then he turned his eyes toward
the sun and prayed: "Oh, great sun, to whom
belongs the heavens, turn your eyes downward
to look on the water in this calabash, and
show us what you see therein! Look upon the
beautiful young woman. She is not one from
Kauai. There is no one more beautiful than she.
Her home is under the glowing East, and a royal
rainbow is around her. There are beautiful
girls attending her." {p. 44} The sorcerer
saw the sun-pictures in the water, and
interpreted to the friends the journey of
Kawelona, telling them it was a long, long way,
and they must wait patiently many days for
any word. In the signs he saw the boy in the
cloud-boat, Makani-kau in his shell-boat,
and the three girls in the spirit-boat.

The girls were carried to Oahu, and there
found the shell-girl, Pupu-kani-oi, left by
Makani-kau on his way to Lehua. They took her
with her husband and his sisters in the spirit-boat.
There were nine in the company of travellers
to Hawaii: Kawelona in his cloud-boat;
two girls from Kauai; Kaiahe, a girl
from Oahu; three from Molokai, one from
Maui; and a girl called Lihau. Makani-kau
himself was the leader; he had taken the
girls away. On this journey he turned their
boats to Kahoolawe to visit Ka-moho-alii,
the ruler of the sharks. There Makani-kau
appeared in his finest human body, and
they all landed. Makani-kau took Kawelona
from his cloud-boat, went inland, and
placed him in the midst of the company,
telling them he was the husband for
Lau-ka-ieie. They were all made welcome
by the ruler of the sharks.

Ka-moho-alii called his sharks to bring
food from all the islands over which they
were placed as guardians; so they quickly
brought prepared food, fish, flowers, leis,
and gifts of all kinds. {p. 45} The company
feasted and rested. Then Ka-moho-alii called
his sharks to guard the travellers on their
journey. Makani-kau went in his shell-boat,
Kawelona in his cloud-boat, and they were all
carried over the sea until they landed under
the mountains of Hawaii.

Makani-kau, in his wind body, carried the
boats swiftly on their journey to Waipio.
Lau-ka-ieie heard her brother's voice calling
her from the sea. Hina answered. Makani-kau and
Kawelona went up to Waimea to cross over to
Lau-ka-ieie's house, but were taken by Hina
to the top of Mauna Kea. Poliahu and Lilinoe
saw the two fine young men and called to them,
but Makani-kau passed by, without a word, to
his own wonderful home in the caves of the
mountains resting in the heart of mists and
fogs, and placed all his travellers there.
Makani-kau went down to the sea and called
the sharks of Ka-moho-alii. They appeared in
their human bodies in the valley of Waipio,
leaving their shark bodies resting quietly in
the sea. They feasted and danced near the
ancient temple of Kahuku-welowelo,
which was the place where the wonderful
shell, Kiha-pu, was kept.

Makani-kau put seven shells on the top of
the precipice and they blew until sweet
sounds floated Over all the land. Thus was
the marriage of Lau-ka-ieie and Kawelona celebrated.
All the shark people rested, soothed by the music.
After the wedding they bade farewell and returned to
Kahoolawe, going around the southern side of the island,
for it was counted bad luck to turn back. They
must go straight ahead all the way home. Makani-kau
went to his sister's house, and met the girls and
Lau-ka-ieie. He told her that his house was
full of strangers, as the people of the different
kupua bodies had assembled to celebrate the wedding.
These were the kupua people of the Hawaiian Islands.
The eepa people were more like fairies and gnomes,
and were usually somewhat deformed.
The kupuas may be classified as follows:
Ka-poe-kino-lau (the people who had leaf bodies).
Ka-poe-kino-pua (the people who had flower bodies).
Ka-poe-kino-manu (the people who had bird bodies).
Ka-poe-kino-laau (trees of all kinds, ferns, vines, etc.).
Ka-poe-kino-pupu (all shells).
Ka-poe-kino-ao (all clouds).
Ka-poe-kino-makani (all winds).
Ka-poe-kina-ia (all fish).
Ka-poe-kina-mano (all sharks).
Ka-poe-kina-limu (all sea-mosses).
Ka-poe-kina-pokaku (all peculiar stones).
Ka-poe-kina-hiwa-hiwa (all dangerous places of the pali).
After the marriage, Pupu-kani-oi (the singing shell)
and her husband entered the shell-boat,
and started back to Molokai.
On their way they heard sweet bird voices.
Makani-kau had a feather house covered with
rainbow colors. Later he went to Kauai,
and brought back the adopted parents of
Kawelona to dwell on Hawaii,
where Lau-ka-ieie lived happily with her husband.

Hiilawe became very ill, and called his brother
Makani-kau and his sister Lau-ka-ieie to come near
and listen. He told them that he was going to die,
and they must bury him where he could always see
the eyes of the people, and then he would change
his body into a wonderful new body.

The beautiful girl took his malo and leis
and placed them along the sides of the valley,
where they became trees and clinging vines,
and Hina made him live again; so Hiilawe
became an aumakua of the waterfalls.
Makani-kau took the body in his hands and
carried it in the thunder and lightning,
burying it on the brow of the highest
precipice of the valley. Then his body
was changed into a stone, which has been
lying there for centuries; but his ghost
was made by Hina into a kupua, so that he
could always appear as the wonderful misty
falls of Waipio, looking into
the eyes of his people.

After many years had passed Hina assumed
permanently the shape of the beautiful ohia-tree,
making her home in the forest around the volcanoes
of Hawaii. She still had magic power,
and was worshipped under the name Hina-ula-ohia.
Makani-kau watched over Lau-ka-ieie, and when
the time came for her to lay aside her human body
she came to him as a slender, graceful woman,
covered with leaves, her eyes blazing like fire.
Makani-kau said: "You are a vine; you cannot
stand alone. I will carry you into the forest
and place you by the side of Hina. You are the
ieie vine. Climb trees! Twine your long leaves
around them! Let your blazing red flowers shine
between the leaves like eyes of fire! Give your
beauty to all the ohia-trees of the forest! "

Carried hither and thither by Makani-kau
(great wind), and dropped by the side of
splendid tall trees, the ieie vine has for centuries
been one of the most graceful tree ornaments
in all the forest life of the Hawaiian Islands.

Makani-kau in his spirit form blew the
golden clouds of the islands into the light
of the sun, so that the Rainbow Maiden,
Anuenue, might lend her garments to all her
friends of the ancient days.






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