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Mo`olelo O Na Ali`i

Roy Alameida

December 2006


The mo‘olelo of ‘Umi and his descendants for control for Hawai‘i island is fought on the battle fields.As mentioned in the last issue, allies and families are in constant movement for political control.

Having restored peace and order Lonoikamakahiki made a tour around Hawai‘i island dedicating several heiau as an acknowledgement to the gods for his victories in battle. He and his wife Ka‘ikilani also visited Kamalālāwalu on Maui and was graciously entertained during their stay.

Shortly after Lonoikamakahiki and his wife returned to Hawai‘i island, Kamalālāwalu planned an invasion of Hawai‘i island. Although his kahuna warned against such an invasion, he prepared the fleet with well-trained warriors. He and his fleet of warriors left Hana and landed at Puakō in Kohala on Hawai‘i island. Kanaloakua‘ana, older brother of Lonoikamakahiki, met the Maui forces but was overwhelmed and taken prisoner. While Lonoikamakahiki was being informed of the invasion, Kanaloakua‘ana was tortured by having his eyes gouged out and tattooed; then killed. A chant documents his death

Blackened was the face of Kanaloa with fire.
The face of Kanaloa, with burning fire.

This infliction of cruelty on Kanaloakua‘ana was looked upon as extreme barbaric behavior. The place where he was killed was named Kamakahiwa or black eyes and his tragic ending was described in the chant above.

After his success in this battle, Kamalālāwalu and his warriors marched boldly toward Waimea where he met Lonoikamakahiki and his forces. The battle took place at Hōkū‘ula and lasted three days. Kamalālāwalu was defeated and killed along with his nephew and lead warriors. His son, Kauhiakama, escaped to Kawaihae and was later helped by one of Lonoikamakahiki’s warriors in crossing the channel to Maui. Following traditions, the body of Kamalālāwalu was taken to the large luakini (sacrificial) heiau, Ke‘ekū, where his remains were offered to the war god Kū. Petroglyphs near the heiau document this event and the first major battle between Hawai‘i island and Maui ended.

Above is a replica of the summer cottage of King Kalakaua at the Keauhou Beach Resort on Ali`i Drive in Kona.

Photo from the Keauhou Resort website

Shortly after the battle, Lonoikamakahiki traveled to Kaua‘i to find the place Kahihikolo (“the place where the trunkless koa tree was located.”) The wood from this tree was known to make excellent spears. After returning to Hawai‘i island with a companion from Kaua‘i, Kapaihialina, Lonoikamakahiki ruled in peace and prosperity. One of his primary residence was at Kahalu‘u in Kona that included a

small half-moon bay, fringed with sand, and protected by a breakwater of large boulders that extended out into the water. There were also pockets of tide pools and many natural water pools with lush vegetation. Today, the Keauhou Beach Hotel sits on the southern edge of the bay. The beach is a county public park and homes line the shore road known as Ali‘i Drive. Inland, the area is known as the Keauhou Resort.

Upon his death and after the traditional rituals were completed, the bones of Lonoikamakahiki were encased in a kā‘ai (coconut fiber woven basket) and placed in the sacred resting place, Hale o Līloa

(House of Līloa) in Waipi‘o Valley, along side the remains of his grandfather Līloa.

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

  • a replica of King Kalākaua’s summer cottage is located on the grounds of the Keauhou Beach Hotel.
  • three heiau that existed during the time of Lonoikamakahiki are located on the grounds of the hotel.
  • Keauhou means the “new era” or the “new current”.

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