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Traditions of Oahu

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  Genealogy & Birth
  Battles with 'Olopana
  Kane and Kanaloa
Shark Stories

pua'a: pig petroglyph

'Olopana Victory
When Malae arrived at Wai'anae, he told 'Olopana: "My lord and king, your opponent Kamapua'a has the character of a god. You will never be able to destroy him; nor will you survive if you fight him in a regular battle. There is but one way for you to overcome your opponent, and it is this: Get all the pigs, 'awa, chickens, fish, men, and bananas you can; take these and lay them before Kamapua'a as offerings. These offerings will enfeeble him, and his strength will be gone."

'Olopana carried out Malae's instructions and prepared all the different things ordered by the priest. Then he and his followers went to Kamapua'a's dwelling place. The offerings were laid at Kamapua'a's feet as directed by the kahuna, and Kamapua'a became weak and feeble. The men then seized Kamapua'a and dragged him to Pahoa in Wai'anae. When they arrived at there, 'Olopana was very tired from the excitement and hard work of capturing and carrying the pig, so he returned home, leaving his men to bring Kamapua'a along later.

Lonoaohi was bound and fastened to a post in the center of a house. 'Olopana intended to sacrifice him with Kamapua'a on the altar of the heiau.

Through his powers as a kahuna, Lonoaohi knew what the men intended to do to Kamapua'a, which was this: When the men arrived with Kamapua'a at Pahoa, they would look for stone knives with which to cut open the pig and take out his intestines and other innards, making him easier to carry back to 'Olopana's place. Lonoaohi knew that if Kamapua'a was killed, he, too, would be killed, so he directed his sons Kapuaaolomea and Kapuaahiwa to go and speak to the men: "You two, go to the men and tell them, 'E! the king said not to cut the pig open. Take him as he is to the sacrificial altar. It will take several days to reach 'Olopana's place; if you kill the pig now, he will surely decay, and the king's sacrifice will be spoiled.The pig must not be dragged on the ground, either, for his skin will get bruised and damaged. The pig must be carried on poles. When you get tired, put the hog on the ground and rest. Thus said the king. This is the only way to save your master from death. If he lives, we will all live; but if he dies, we will all die.'"

When Lonoaohi's two sons reached the men at Pahoa, they found the men sharpening their knives so they could cut open Kamapua'a's belly. The sons told the men what their father told them to say, and the men abandoned their knives. (Till this day, this area is called Pahoa, or "Stone Knives.") The men carefully carried Kamapua'a to 'Olopana's place and put him in the heiau.

That night Lonoaohi slept at the post to which he was tied, his sons with him, while the guards kept watch around the house; and Kamapua'a slept in the heiau, also under guard. Late that night when the Milky Way turned (i.e. past midnight), Lonoaohi was awakened by his god. Lonoaohi then kneeled down and prayed, and at the close of his prayer, the ropes which held him fell from his body and he rose and walked out of the house, where he found the guards all asleep. When he arrived at the place where Kamapua'a was being held, he found the guards asleep. Lonoaohi then placed his hand at the nostrils of Kamapua'a and discovered he was still alive and breathing. Lonoaohi said: "Alive! I thought you might be dead, but I see that you're not. These bones will live!"

After a while he again said to Kamapua'a: "E! The wai lands of O'ahu are mine."

Kamapua'a grunted: "Huh!" The meaning of the request was this: Lonoaohi wanted all the lands containing the word "wai," such as, Wai'anae, Waialua and so on.(a) Lonoaohi knew, through his great powers, that 'Olopana would be killed, and that Kamapua'a would conquer and possess the island of O'ahu. This was the reason he made this request. After this exchange between Lonoaohi and Kamapua'a, the kahuna returned to his place and sat down. For the rest of the night, he prayed to his god because at dawn he was to be placed on the sacrificial altar with Kamapua'a.

When the early morning crowing of the cocks became a din, 'Olopana and the priest Malae came to began the ceremonies performed before a human sacrifice was offered. The two went and climbed onto the terrace ('anu'u) of the sacrificial stand (lele); Kamapua'a was unbound and placed on the terrace as well. 'Olopana and the priest, both naked, turned to face each other and began chanting and praying. Before the prayer ended, Kamapua'a rose above them and opened his fiery eyes. When Malae and 'Olopana saw Kamapua'a standing above them, they froze with fear and awe. Kamapua'a prayed and invoked his many bodies and all his gods. At the close of the prayer the heiau was surrounded by the gods and pigs. Kamapua'a then called out to the priest Lonoaohi:

E Lonoaohi e!
Line the imu with rocks;
Gather them there, gather them here.

Then Lonoaohi appeared and raised a kapa banner to mark off an area of kapu; those who entered this area would be saved from death. After this, the slaughter began and the only one who survived Kamapua'a's wrath was Makali'i, who sat on the lap of Kamaunuaniho [another kapu place]. This was how Kamapua'a killed 'Olopana and conquered O'ahu.(b)

This version of the O'ahu adventures of Kamapua'a is from the Fornander Collection of Hawaiian Folklore and Antiquities (Vol. V, 314-327).

(a) Kahiolo gives the following list of O'ahu's "wai"-lands given to Lonoaohi by Kamapua'a: "Waialua, Wai'anae, Waimanalo, Waikele, Waipi'o, Waiawa, Waimano, Waiau, Waimalu, Waikiki, Wai'alae, Wailupe, Waimanalo 2, Waihe'e, Waiahole, Waiale'e, and so on."

These were the best agricultural lands on O'ahu: "When Kamapua'a's parents, Hina and Kahiki'ula, realized how many choice sections of land with water was given to the kahuna, they complained. His older brothers and grandmother, however, did not complain; they agreed that the kahuna should have all these lands, and that the rest of the lands of O'ahu were theirs."

(b) The traditions of Kamapua'a contains more incidents from his life. For example, the Kahiolo version continues on with the following episodes:

Hina and Kahiki'ula moved to Moloka'i because Kamapua'a had given away all the "wai"-lands of O'ahu. Kamapua'a swam to Moloka'i in his fish form (the humuhumunukunukuapua'a, or trigger fish; the sea form of the pig). He told them to return to O'ahu.

Kamapua'a went to Kahiki, the home of his great grandmother Humahuma. He married Kekaihaakuloulaniokahiki, the daughter of the chief Koea, then defeated a rival chief named Lonoka'eho from the other side of the island (cf. the battle between Kaulu and Lonoka'eho in "Kaulu").

On the way back to Hawai'i, Kamapua'a fought with and defeated the giant dog Ku'ilioloa (cf. the battle between Kaulu and Ku'ilioloa in "Kaulu").

Arriving on the Big Island of Hawai'i, he traded insults and fought with Pele. As he was about to marry her on a lava field, a bunch of supernatural bananas enticed him away. He chased after the bananas. To save her brother from being eaten by the voracious pig-man, Kapomailele lured Kamapua'a to Wailua, Maui, and slept with him. Her husband beat him with a canoe paddle until he realized that it was Kamapua'a.

Kamapua'a continued on to Moloka'i, where he got news from O'ahu: his brother Kekeleiaiku was dead, his parents had gone to Kaua'i, and O'ahu had been taken over by some usurpers.

Arriving on O'ahu, he devoured all the bananas in the plantation in Kalua'olohe (Palolo Valley) belonging to the O'ahu chiefs. At Pu'uokapolei, he found his grandmother living in poverty. He ate all her sweet potatoes, then visited the hut of some fishermen and ate all their poi and bananas. He revived his dead brother Kekeleiaiku, whose spirit was wandering around the desolate plains of Pu'uokapolei. Then he went and demanded fish from those who ruled O'ahu; only Lonoawohi's two sons Kapua'a-hiwa [The black pig] and Kapua'a-olomea [The brown spotted or striped pig] gave him fish. Kamapua'a then killed and ate the stingy chiefs and reconquered O'ahu. On his way back to 'Ewa, he straightened the humpback of Kuolohele by throwing a stone at it. (Cf. a similar incident in "Maui," in which the demigod Maui straightens the back of his grandfather Kuolokele.)

Kamapua'a reaffirmed the right of Lonoawohi's two sons to the "wai"-lands of O'ahu, and gave the remaining O'ahu lands to his grandmother and the brother he revived. Then he continued on to Kaua'i to seek his parents.

On Kaua'i, he married the two sisters (or daughters) of Kaneiki. After Kaneiki fed him, Kamapua'a defeated the warriors of Makali'i, who had fled O'ahu after the defeat of 'Olopana and settled on Kaua'i. Makali'i acknowledged Kamapua'a's superiority by chanting in honor of Kamapua'a, so Kamapua'a spared his life and allowed him to live on Kaua'i.

Kamapua'a went next to Waiahulu, where he married again. After he became sick with dropsy, his wife deserted him, but his parents-in-law and brother-in-law took care of and fed him. He sent his parents-in-law to ask for some fish from his mother Hina, but Hina refused, believing that the request could not have come from her son Kamapua'a because of a rumor that he had been killed by Pele. Angry, Kamapua'a appeared to his family and sat on, then trampled his mother, his father and his older brother Kaikihonuakele. After his anger subsided, he lived peacefully with them until he felt an urge to return to Kahiki. He revealed all of his bodily forms to his parents, then swam back to Kahiki in his fish form. His father-in-law Koea wanted to prevent his further wanderings so he cut Kamapua'a's scrotum. Thus Kamapua'a remained in Kahiki, and after his death, he "became a mountain with tree and forests growing all over."


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