Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Waianae Moku

After a quick take out bite to eat from Tanioka's, at the Waipio Soccer Complex. I headed out to the west side of Oahu (in a car, sorry not on bike this time) I would like to continue on an earlier post about the district of Waipio. This soccer field was where the inland fishpond called Loko Eo of Puuloa once was...

My first location to search for was listed as a destroyed Heiau by the name of Ilihune in Nanakuli. All that was mentioned of it is that it was of a pookanaka class and was used in 1860 as a cattle pen by Frank Manini. Destroying any evidence of it by the time of McAllister's survey of the island. Sadly, this same story is repeated for many heiau in Hawaii.
While standing on the curb of Mokiawe St. trying to match the site on a 1959 Bishop Museum map of the area. I noticed a man step out onto the street from his yard, decorated with rain catching giant clam shells. I  called out to him and asked an all too common phrase used by myself since starting this blog, "Hello do you know any mo'olelo about the area?" I told him I was looking for  Ilihune Heiau. At that moment he began to spew a wealth of knowledge. He told me there wasn't a heiau where the map places it on the western side of the beginning of the gulch. Instead a heiau he knows about is further in. On the same side of the ridge within the ranch property. Mr. Henry McShane continued to tell me stories about how chiefs were buried in caves on the cliffs overlooking the valley on both sides. He told me that the chief's surviving attendants and kahuna would wrap their remains and soak them in salt. A rope was then attached and it was soaked in pigs blood. The attendant would then discreetly hike up the mountain to a point about the cave they planned to deposit the remains. The chief would then be lowered and swung into the cave opening. The blood soaked rope was left on the cliff side to be eaten by rats before anyone would notice, and the remains of the chief would not be disturbed by rats because it was soaked in salt. Mr. McShane also alluded to a heiau near the water park that is said to have contained a canoe burial. I almost thought about giving him the Aloha breath greeting as he encouraged my research into Hawaiian history and invited me to return to talk story any time.

Deeper into Nanakuli Valley, I attempted to continue my search for the heiau Mr. Mcshane told me about, whether or not it was Ilihune Heiau. Driving into the ranch, I decided to back out and walk into the open gate instead. To show respect to whomever I would find inside. I walked up to two men working on a car and asked them the same phrase as with Mr. Mcshane. One of the men joked around with me about how if this were anywhere else, the scene could have been like that of chainsaw massacre or they might have been the kind of people to make smoked meat out of intruders. I laughed with them, then mentioned how I have Lyman blood from my grandfather. Tim told me the owners of the ranch Robert and Victoria Lyman ( Tim's sister) weren't home but if I came back later. Mr. Robert Lyman might be up to showing me a Heiau that was pointed out to him.

 As my day was full of other locations to visit before sundown. My return to the ranch as Tim had suggested wasn't possible on this day. Hopefully I can return one day and jam with the Lymans. Tim mentioned that the heiau was at the foot of a ridge that slopes into the valley on the west side of the stream. Ilihune?
Nanakuli is mentioned as being named after the inhabitants of the valley and how they would act like they were deaf towards travellers. Not to be rude, but because they had little to no water in the valley and they were ashamed for not being able to host the visitors into their land. As the travellers would most likely ask for water in the dry and hot valley. As a few other ahupuaa in this Moku are. Water needed to be carried in by gourd. From multiple paths leading to water sources in other districts. Unless a spring was found in the valley or the weather was in their favor for more than just a passing shower.
Journeying west into Lualualei on the other side of Pu'u Haleakala. A famed hill that carries it's own Maui and Hina legends.

 Nioiula and Kakioe Heiau, along with some house sites and burial caves are said to be found deeper into the valley.  Waianae is vast and one whole day trip to the area will not reveal all there is to see.


Pu'upahe'ehe'e Heiau is another destroyed Heiau. Located on the western tip of the mountain, overlooking the ocean. This hill was said to have had a holua slide on it's slope. Now covered by a Japanese graveyard. It's plausible to believe some of the stones used around the graves are from the heiau.

Coral and stone fill the hillside and they both must have been used in the construction of the heiau.

In ancient times heiau were densely placed all over the island. It is said that from one, another could be seen in the distance and like wise to the next from that one, and so forth. Here at Pu'upahe'ehe' you get that sense. As Kuilioloa Heiau in Pokai Bay is just below on the ocean and Kamaile Heiau on the tip of the next ridge could be pointed out from this view point. Both mentioned in previous posts. Many more heiau could have been seen inside the valley. Although most are totally gone since the plantaions and cattle moved in. Leaving no evidence at all remaining, but the stories still shared about them by those that could point them out.

Near this area at the back of Mauna Kuwale is listed by McAllister's study to have a burial cave that contained skeletal remains.

 Before the plantations and cattle pens. A humble village was recorded as being in the center of Waianae Valley. Of all of the ahupuaa on this side of the island, Waianae is said to have contained the most water. Hence terracing, heiau, and a village being placed here were very wise ideas by inhabitants of Waianae. A plantation was later made for cane. Which in turn covered many sites around the valley. The plantaion manager's home was built on a hill called Pu'u Kahea next to the stream. Where the Heiau Kahoalii stood. Also Haua Heiau to pray for rain. Kamapuaa and later Kahahana are said to have lived here briefly. Kahahana's Kahuna, Kaopulupulu living in Waimea was summoned to return to Kahahana. After disagreeing with his policy toward Maui's ruler Kehekili. Kaopulupulu is said to have stood on this hill and called out to his son to kill himself in the ocean instead of being captured with him and sharing his fate at the hands of the powerful rulers at odds. Thus ending the connection of the highest kahuna line linked with the high ali'i of Oahu. Kaopulupulu went along with Kahanana's warriors only to be killed at his bidding in Puuloa (Pearl Harbor) and then taken to Waikiki. His body was strewn on an exposed surface to deteriorate with time. Kahahana now with no favor of the gods without his prophet. Was left to the will of Kahekili.

Kawiwi in the distance was spoken of as a place of refuge during times of war. After the death of Kahahana and the fall of the Oahu line's high ali'i to the Maui Kingdom. A coup was planned by some chiefs still faithful to the old faction of Oahu rule. They are said to have attempted to kill Kahekili. Taking the fight directly to him. After the battle of Kapululu, surviving heroes of Oahu regrouped at Kawiwi but were all finally killed by Kahekili's forces. This attempt on Kahekili's sovereignty angered him and he began the first large genocide of the entire island. Killing men, women, and children. With the all too common story of damming streams and flooding them with the blood of the dead. Some even mentioned choked with brain matter as well...

Bummer! One of the first heiau I have ever visited with my dad when I was a child. Kaneaki Heiau in Makaha Valley is closed until the summer. Due to vandalism and a loose wall. Kaneaki is one of the best preserved heiau on the island. Kamehameha is said to have stayed here with his warriors while attempting to mobilize his forces to take Kauai by sea. Before his deal with Kaumualii, to inherit the island without bloodshed.
Makua Valley had a prized fine maile leaf that only grew in that region, Maile Laulii. Now extinct after goats in the valley ate them all.
Could this area inside the gated government property of Makua Valley be remains of Kaahihi Heiau?

Could this clearing be the remains of Ukanipo Heiau in Kahanaiki? Where Ali'i were buried until the Kahuna nui could instruct as to where the Ali'i remains were to finally be placed in a cave.

This was the location of a fishing shrine, a Ko'a beneath Puaakanoa ridge. Aku and large schools of cuttle fish were abundant in the Waianae waters off shore in the old days.

Finally at the end of our journey. A walled structure can be seen from the roadside. The lifeguards at Yokohama Bay told me this was used as a cattle pen years ago and mentioned about a freshwater well located under it. I knew better, for this is the site of Poha Cave also called Keawaula Cave. It was said to be the only fresh water source for the miles and even helped save the inhabitants of the area once it was discovered. Travellers from Makua headed around Kaena point would find retreat here from the sun. Poha cave was said to have another opening in the ocean where fishermen could dive down with an upside down gourd. Turning it over, releasing the air pocket and collecting fresh water while still out in the ocean. It was also the furthest west entrance to the famed Pohukaina cave system that interconnected the entire island. Before it was even believed to connect to Kauai.
The cave was rediscovered on October 28th, 1859. After someone building a home nearby moved some flat stones covering the entrance.  After more clearing, the cave was entered and a hokea gourd was found still covered with a fisherman's net and floating in a canoe...

1 comment:

  1. Mailelaulii still exists! I've seen it myself.