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See Also...
  Battles with 'Olopana
'Olopana Victory
  Kane and Kanaloa
Shark Stories

Pua'a: pig petroglyph

Genealogy and Birth
Kahiki'ula was the father, and Hina the mother. Kaliuwa'a, in Kaluanui, Ko'olauloa, was the land of Kamapua'a's birth. Kamapua'a was born in the form of a cord. His parents wanted to throw him away, but his grandmother Kamaunuaniho and his brother Kekeleiaku kept him on a kuahu (altar) and worshipped him.(a)

One day, he grew into his pig form. When he saw his mother go up Kaliuwa'a stream to bathe, he followed her and revealed his identity with a chant:

Here is Kamaunuaniho,
Who brought forth into daylight,
Hina, who gave birth to a human,
The child of Kahiki'ula
Who lives in the upland of 'Oilowai
Calls to his mother,
"Dawn is here, dawn is here, there will be light,"
He waits for the morning star,
To rise above Hihimanu,
In the darkness,
A thin streak of light appears,
The wind blows faintly,
The hillside forest is gray,
Here at the pit at Pohakueaea,
Here, here I am, the pig-child,
Discarded by you two,
Abandoned by you two.
Here I am, a rainy wind [kuaua makani]
Blowing over Hanakaumalu,
Soaking the coastal lands, calming broad Kahiki,
The clouds over the uplands stand in pairs,
In the uplands, let us two live,
In the forests of Kaliuwa'a,
Where the water is bailed out,
By the pig who drinks foul water,
My name is a mystery!

His mother heard this chant and was delighted by it, but did not know who was chanting to her. When she went into the water to bathe, Kamapua'a laid down on her pa'u (skirt made of kapa). She found him, wrapped him in the pa'u and took him home. He thrashed about, tearing the pa'u, but she held on tightly. Inside the enclosure, she let the pig go and told her two sons, Kekeleiaiku and Kaikihonuakele, that the one who caught the pig could keep it. Kekeleiaiku caught the pig. Kaikihonuakele suggested they eat it, but his brother refused.

When Kekeleiaiku showed the pig to his grandmother Kamaunuaniho, she told him "That's your younger brother, the one we placed on the kuahu." She taught him how to call his brother to eat: "E Haunuu [Proud ruling-chief], E Haulani [Royal ruling-chief], come and eat." This was how Kekeleiaiku called the pig to eat until the pig was full grown.

One day the people of Kaluanui went to plant their taro. Kamapua'a took his grandmother's taro shoots from his brother Kekeleiaiku and carried them up to her taro patch named La'auhaele above Kaluanui. There he planted them for her.(b)

(To "Kamapua'a Battles with 'Olopana's Warriors")


This version of the O'ahu adventures of Kamapua'a is from the Fornander Collection of Hawaiian Folklore and Antiquities (Vol. V, 314-327; with English and Hawaiian texts on facing pages). A second version, by G.W. Kahiolo, published serially in the newspaper Ka Hae Hawaii from 1856-1861, was translated by Esther T. Mookini and Erin C. Neizman as He Moolelo o Kamapua'a /The Story of Kamapua'a ; a translation of this version by Mary Kawena Pukui in typed manuscript form is available at the Bishop Museum Archives. A third version of the Kamapua'a story, originally published in Hawaiian in 1891 in Ka Leo o Ka Lahui, was translated and annotated by Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa and published as A Legendary Tradition of Kamapua'a, The Hawaiian Pig God. A fourth version can be found in Nakuina's Hawaii: Its People, Their Legends. An excellent discussion of the Hawaiian traditions of Kamapua'a has been published by John Charlot:The Kamapua'a Literature: The Classical Traditons of the Hawaiian Pig God as a Body of Literature. Tava Taupu, a native of Nukuhiva in the Marquesas Islands, says that the Hawaiian pig-god Kamapua'a is the same as Makaiaanui, the pig-god of his homeland (Langridge 32-35).

(a) Kahiolo presents the following details of Kamapua'a's genealogy. The pig-god's family is said to have come from Kahiki (a foreign land) to where, according to one tradition, the pig-man eventually returned.

Kanananuunuikumamao, the husband, was from Waihe'e, Maui, and Humahuma, the wife, was from Kuaihelani, Kahiki. To the couple was born a female child, Kamauluaniho [Kamaunuaniho in the Fornander and other versions]. She was brought up in the uplands of Waihe'e by special caretakers and grew up to be a beautiful woman. Humahuma had her husband and their daughter become mates because she wanted to leave them and return to Kahiki. When she saw the two sleeping together, she left. The father and daughter had a daughter named Hina. Kamauluaniho promised to give the child as wife to 'Olopana, the chief of O'ahu.

Hina was carefully nurtured and became a beautiful woman like her mother. The two women, Kamauluaniho and Hina, came to O'ahu to fulfill the mother's promise to give Hina to 'Olopana. The two women, with two servants, arrived at Pahonu, Waimanalo.

At that time, the whole island of O'ahu was kapu because 'Olopana's heiau (named Kawa'ewa'e) was under construction in Kane'ohe. A subject of 'Olopana told the travelers that O'ahu was kapu­no canoe was supposed to land. Another subject ran to 'Olopana in Kane'ohe and reported to the chief, "A canoe from Maui has arrived with two servants and two women­two beautiful women." The chief told him to return and kill the servants, but bring the women to him; he thought the beautiful women could become wives for his younger brother, Kahiki'ula.

The man went back to the canoe, killed the servants, and brought the women to the chief, who asked them, "Why have you two come to O'ahu?"

Kamauluaniho answered, "I promised my daughter here she would be your wife." 'Olopana looked at her and saw she was beautiful.

He replied, "Let her marry my younger brother." Kamauluaniho agreed to the match.

Kahiki'ula and Hina were told they could sleep together. They went to Kaluanui to live. However, this match was not right in Hina's mind; her mother had promised her to 'Olopana, not Kahiki'ula. When Kamauluaniho heard Hina protest, she became angry at her daughter.

But Hina told her mother: "This is not 'Olopana, the person you promised would be my husband."

Kamauluaniho replied, "You're right. But 'Olopana arranged for you to sleep with this man, his younger brother."

Hina and Kahiki'ula slept together and she gave birth to two daughters, Keaokiikii and Keaokauikalaeomakahaloa, who both died. Later, Kaikihonuakele, a son, was born.

'Olopana remained in Kane'ohe for a while. Then he felt a longing to see his younger brother Kahiki'ula and went to visit him in Kaluanui. There he slept with Hina, who gave birth to Kekeleiaiku. Then Kahiki'ula and Hina slept together again, and she gave birth to Kamapua'a.

Kamakau's Tales and Traditions of the People of Old contains a different genealogy of the Kamapua'a family (111):

Kalana-nu'u-nui-ku-amaomao, Humu, and Ka-maunu-a-niho are said to have come from Kahiki and to have landed at Kahahawai in Waihe'e, Maui, and to have lived mauka of Wailua. Kamaunuaniho became the wife of Kalana; Humu returned to Kahiki. Hina was born to Kamaunuaniho and Kalana--the Hina who married the Kahiki chief 'Olopana who came to live on O'ahu. The heiau of Kawa'ewa'e in Kane'ohe, O'ahu, belonged to him. His younger brother was Kahiki'ula. 'Olopana and Hina had Kahiki-o-honuakele, and Hina and Kahiki'ula had Kelekele-aiku and Kama [Kamapua'a]. They all had Kahiki names because they came from Kahiki--not Kahiki Bolabola, however, but from the Kahiki called Keolo'ewa, Ha'enakula'ina, and Kauaniani. Where these lands were is unknown; perhaps they were in Ke'e-nui-a-Kane.

(b) The pig god was associated with Lono, the god of agriculture, and with farming and fertility. This was based on the perception that pigs root in the earth, like a farmer. (Charlot 20-21). Charlot points out that the pig-god has the attributes of pigs: big, strong, gluttonous, bristly, noisy, agile, sharp-eyed; also a loner, a wanderer, a trespasser who could be aggressive and destructive; and sexually potent (13-26). Various episodes in his tradition depict him as struggling to become more "human."


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