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Mo`olelo O Na Ali`i

Roy Alameida

April 2007

We continue the mo‘olelo of the chiefly rivals between families. These struggles also included the other island kingdoms.

When all preparations were made ready for the invasion of Maui, Alapa‘inui set sail with his fleet and landed at Mokulau, in the Kaupō district of Maui. He met no resistance from the Maui forces, but soon found out the Kekaulike had died recently and his body was taken to Iao Valley for burial. Kamehamehanui, son of Kekaulike and Keku‘iapoiwa, succeeded his father as ali‘i nui of Maui. On hearing the news that his nephew was now the Ali‘i, Alapa‘inui stopped any further hostile actions on the island. He met his nephew and sister and negotiated for peace which stopped any further warfare between Hawai‘i island and Maui.

While visiting on Maui for awhile, Alapa‘inui received news from Moloka‘i that Kapi‘iohokalani, son of Kuali‘i, the Ali‘i of O‘ahu, invaded that island with a large contingent of warriors. Finding themselves in distress, the forces of Moloka‘i sought help from Alapa‘inui. He agreed to help his relatives on Moloka‘i and landed his forces on the shores between Waialua and Kalua‘aha. The fighting lasted several days in which the O‘ahu forces suffered a great loss of life and Kapi‘iohokalani was killed. His remaining warriors quickly fled back to O‘ahu.

After replenishing his fleet and refreshing his men, Alapa‘inui sailed to O‘ahu with the intent of conquest. He was dumbfounded that the O‘ahu forces were prepared and ready for his arrival. In his attempts to land at Waikīkī and along the southern shore of the island, he was met with resistance. He was finally

Mo`okini heiau, a place of kapu and spiritual power for Alapa`inui faces Maui from the northern tip of Hawai`i island.
Photo by Roy Alameida

able to land his fleet at Oneawa, Kailua in the district of Ko‘olaupoko. But, his warriors continued to meet resistance and engaged in small skirmishes with the O‘ahu forces. Among the chiefs in battle was Na‘ili, ali‘i of Wai‘anae, brother of Kamaka‘imoku, who was the mother of Kalani‘ōpu‘u and Keōua, and a cousin of Alapa‘inui. Having gained knowledge of this relationship, Alapa‘inui agreed to meet with Peleiōhōlani, ali‘i of O‘ahu. Acknowledging each other’s rights as ali‘i, the meeting resulted in peaceful negotiations and at which time Alapa‘inui ordered his forces to return to Hawai‘i island.

While enroute to Hawai‘i island, Alapa‘inui stopped at Lahaina and there was informed that Kauhipumaikahoaka, eldest son of Kekaulike, had challenged the authority of his brother Kamehamehanui as the rightful ruler of Maui . The peacemaker, Alapa‘inui offered to mediate between the brothers to bring peace on the island. Kauhipumaikahoaka refused to participate in any negotiations at the advice of his kāhuna and began small battles against Kamehamehanui’s forces in Lahaina. Facing possible total defeat, Kamehamehanui sailed to Hawai‘i island with Alapa‘inui.

A year later, Alapa‘inui returned to Maui fully prepared to battle Kauhipumaikahoaka and his forces. Predicting possible defeat, Kauhipumaikahoaka enlisted the support of Peleiōhōlani of O‘ahu. As the battles waged between the forces of Alapa‘inui and Peleiōhōlani, they eventually met on the battle field and negotiated for peace. Alapa‘inui ordered Kauhipumaikahoaka to death by drowning. Without any further opposition, Kamehamehanui resumed his position as Ali‘i Nui of Maui.

Alapa‘inui then returned Kokoiki in Kohala to take care of the affairs of his kingdom including Mo‘okini heiau, the place of kapu and spiritual power for him as alaka‘i of the powerful Mahi family of Hawai‘i island.

In the next issue of NWHT, we continue the mo‘olelo of the chiefly family rivalries.

Ua ‘Ike Anei ‘Oe… (Did you know that…)

  • before the islands were united under one ruler, there were four separate kingdoms.
  • Mo‘okini heiau in Koko‘iki has a panoramic view of the north and south shorelines of Kohala and Maui .
  • Mo‘okini heiau is a massive structure and one of the most impressive heiau ruins on Hawai‘i island.

Hale o Keawe and ki`i at the heiau at Pu`uhonua o Hōnaunau
on the Kona side of Hawai`i island.

Photo by Roy Alameida

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