Maika‘i O‘ahu a Lua

Author: 
J. R. Kaha‘i Topolinski

 

Photo: Kipi Brown

Kūkaniloko, the piko of O‘ahu and the birthing place of her highest chiefs since the time of Kapawa. Samuel Kamakau gives the following description of the ceremonies with which such an occasion was conducted. “A line of stones was set up on the right hand and another on the left hand, facing north. There sat thirty-six chiefs. There was a backrest, a kuapu'u, on the upper side; this was the rock Kūkaniloko, which was the rock to lean against. If a chiefess entered and leaned against Kūkaniloko and rested on the supports to hold up the thighs in observance of the Līloe kapu; the child born in the presence of the chiefs was called an ali'i, an akua, a wela -- a chief, a god, a blaze of heat. . . After the child was born it was taken into the waihau heiau Ho‘olonopahu. There forty-eight chiefs ministered to the child and cut the navel cord . . . Two furlongs to the west of Kūkaniloko was where the sacred drum Hāwea was beaten; it indicated the birth of a chief." (Nā Mo‘olelo a ka Po‘e Kahiko, 38).

 

Maika‘i O‘ahu a Lua, ‘ala lua i ka poli
I ka lua a‘o Kapolei ua pipili noho pū kāua
A he nani wale nā hīnano ho‘oheno i nā ‘umeke ‘ai
‘Ī mai ka wai o ‘A‘ala e noho moena me nā manu
E nā mamo, ‘i‘iwi pōlena apoapo lena i ka poli
Kaulana ka poli laua‘e hana uli i ka ‘ili lā‘au
‘Au‘au mālie i ke kai ma‘ema‘e me ka makani ani
‘Ānihaniha nō a pae, loa‘a i ke kia Kuilehua
He lei makani wili pa‘a lua launa ‘ole ia
No ke ‘ano o ka nohona koni ‘eha loa o Pu‘uloa
‘O Pu‘uloa he lei ‘oe nui pāwelu kaulia e ka milo
‘O ke ‘ano o ka pua milo ‘ōlapalapa a ulu lani
Me he mau kānaka u‘i ala ‘ai lehua o Leilehua
Pehea lā ho‘i ‘oe e ku‘u hua ululele o Waipi‘o
I ka uka o ka hale lau o ke koa hililau o Lehua
Ua makewai i ka hale li‘a loa i hana pa‘a i ‘ane‘i
‘O Helemano hiwahiwa nui, kohu like me ka lehua
Eia ka pahu ‘o Hawea e kani kanū ana i Kūkaniloko
Ua ‘ike ‘ia Kuaokalā kāhelahela a i Pu‘ulena
Ahi ‘ena‘ena ke kahena wai i lei kāhele no ke ala
Ua ‘ala nō ‘oe ‘o Ka‘ena kau lewa i ka piko
Ho‘oki‘i nō olopua kau Niolopua, he palena ‘ole
Kuahu ‘ia O‘ahu me nā lau li‘i a‘o Ko‘iahi
E ō mai i ku‘u ahi maile nohea e Kākuhihewa
Hewahewa wili kui pa‘a lei ‘ilima o ka hoahele
He inoa no Kuhihewa ka lei o O‘ahu a Lua

Splendid is O‘ahu, daughter of Lua, doubled in fragrance
The wayfarers rest at Kapolei in the shade of the twin hills
The translucent beauty of the hīnano beckons from the heights
The sweetness of Mount Ka‘ala bids the birds to tarry
The mamo and young pōlena birds snuggle up tight
Famous is the lure of the laua‘e, causing the forest’s surface to dance
Bathe in soothing sea foam while the winds unfold
Our work almost complete, we were caught in the Kuilehua wind
Limitless is the satisfaction it brings, indeed, a binding force
This is the existence of Pu‘uloa -- to be bound by passion and obsession
Pu‘uloa, you are the tattered, frayed adornment, worn out by the milo blossom
Dalliance is a kind of hobby with milo, toying with royal favor
Like those youthful, lehua-eating beauties of Leilehua
And what of the breadfruit groves of Waipi‘o, a chief’s favorite
Where the thatched dwellings fashioned of koa and lehua branches are seen
A thirst for passion causes one to enter the house that was made fast here
Flawless is Helemano’s beauty, so like that of the golden lehua
Here is the drum Hawea sounding stubbornly at Kūkaniloko
Known is Kuaokalā’s wide expanse, extending all the way to Pu‘ulena
The flowing invites romance, a lei decoration for the journey
Your perfume rivals that of Ka‘ena, mine to inhale
You are the one gathered in thoughts and dreams, above all others
O‘ahu stands clothed with the small-leafed maile of Ko‘iahi
Respond to my warm praise, O chief Kākuhihewa
Thick is the adornment of ‘ilima fashioned for the traveling companion
In honor of Kākuhihewa, the adornment of O‘ahu a Lua

 

© J. R. Kaha‘i Topolinski, 2005