Honouliuli at Ewa, Oahu

May 21, 2012 by Kepa & Onaona Maly

Like so many places throughout the Hawaiian Islands, Honouliuli is a place which bears with it traditions and cultural attachments that span generations, from Hawaiian antiquity to the modern day.

Hono-uliuli — may be literally translated as meaning, “Dark-bay,” and is descriptive of the lochs (Awalau o Puuloa) that make up what is now called Pearl Harbor. Honouliuli includes lands extending from the verdant mountains, to the watered plains where loi kalo (taro pond fields) and loko ia (fishponds) were developed, to the arid plains and rich fisheries on the ocean. Along the ocean-fronted coast of Honouliuli are noted places in lore and ancient life, such as Keahi, Kupaka, Keoneula (Oneula), Kualakai, Kalaeloa and Koolina. It was at places like these along shore that early residents lived, and that are described in native traditions.

Hilo one and the spring of Hoakalei — Near the shore of Honouliuli were once found places of fame in the traditions of Hiiaka-i-ka-poli-o-Pele, youngest sister of the Pele clan, who traveled across Honouliuli while on her return trip to Hawai‘i Island, from Kauai. While traveling along the shore between Kalaeloa and Kualakai, Hiiaka was adorned with blossoms of the lehua trees which grew in the vicinity. At the place called Hilo one, she found the spring Hoakalei, where she stopped and looked at the water. Upon looking in the water, she saw her own reflection, adorned with the lei of lehua blossoms, thus the name Hoakalei (reflections of the garland). These places of Honouliuli are commemorated in the lines of the following mele—

O Hiiaka ka wahine,
Ke ako la i ka pua o Hoakalei,
Ke kui la, ke uo la i ka manai
Eha ka lei, ka apana lei lehua
A ka wahine la, kuu pokii.
Kuu pokii mai ke ehu makani o lalo.
Lulumi aku la i ke kai o Hilo one.
No Hilo ke aloha,
Aloha wale ka lei—e.

Hiiaka is the woman
Who picked the flowers of Hoakalei,
And with a needle strung and made them into
four garlands, the sectioned lei of the woman,
O my younger sibling.
My younger sibling who came from the place
where the dusty wind rises from below.
Overturned in the sea of Hilo-one.

Blog Topics: Land, Heritage