Celebrated places that have significance to the kamaʻāina Concept of wahi pana traditionally refers to a named place that has a story behind it explaining how the place was named Today includes historically important places such as churches, ranches, etc. Place names often reflect a special aspect of a location, a legend perhaps, or a physical texture lying just below a new growth of vegetation or some other kind of history to the land As one might expect, there was often a vast amount of variety in the potential definitions for any particular place name Depending on how the word was spelled (ʻokina or kahakō placement), it could completely change the context of the name
The first wahi pana is Moku Ola. It is located along Banyan Drive in Hilo. It means island of life and healing or living island. Ola meaning life and moku meaning island The fresh spring waters that emerge in the sea surrounding this island are said to be endowed with special healing properties. It is said that those who are able to swim around a special rock there are said to receive special healing. If one was too ill to do the swim himself/herself, then they could appoint a proxy to do it for them. I’ve even heard legends where if a person could swim around the moku 3x underwater, they would have a long life. Here is an `ŌN……
Thought it would be easier if the islands could be joined together so that people could travel between the islands without having to make such a long journey in their wa`a or canoe So, he solicited kōkua or help from his siblings He told them he needed their help to pull the islands together. However, there was one condition. No matter how hard or how long they pulled, they must never look back to see exactly how much was being accomplished until the islands were firmly joined together and he gave them the signal. They all agreed and the island of Maui being that it is the closest to HI island was selected for the very first attempt.
Maui fastened his magic fishhook, Manaiakalani, into the part of Maui that was closest to HI island. At his command, his brothers who were in their wa`a began to paddle And slowly the island began to move behind them. closer to them. No one dared to look behind despite their curiosity. They paddled long and steadily until the islands were almost together But one of his brothers couldn’t control himself any longer and he turned to look In an instant – boom – the spell was broken The islands slid back across the sea into its current position There was only one small piece of land left, the part that the hook was embedded into That bit of land is now known as Moku Ola. Moku Ola is said to be a piece of the island Maui.
The demigod Māui was so disappointed with this first failure, that he never attempted to unite the islands again
Tradition tells us that Moku Ola was a pu`uhonua in Hilo. A pu`uhonua is a safe haven for kapu breakers, defeated warriors and refugees. If someone broke kapu and was able to make his/her way to a pu`uhonua without being captured, the person could be pardoned of his crime after a series of rituals performed by a kahuna. There are several places of refuge or pu`uhonua on each island as it helped to balance the scales of the justice system. There is an islet, a small just off of Mokua Ola called…… Kaula`ināiwi – the drying of the bones. Because the nearby luakini required human sacrifice, the flesh was removed from the bones and the bones were taken to the islet to dry out, hence the name Kaula`ināiwi
Also said to have been a flat stone there called Papa a Hina where the piko of newborn infants were placed. Because of the mana that this place contained, it was believed that the infants whose piko were left there, would be assured a strong and healthy life. And that the goddess Hina would protect the piko from being stolen by `iole or rats. In Hawaiian culture, it was believed that if a rat stole the piko, the baby would turn out to be a thief like the rat. Directly across the channel from the island, where the parking lot is today, was a luakini or a heiau that required human sacrifice. Nothing remains of the heiau structure-wise, but it is said that one of the stones used in ceremonies at the heiau is still there in the parking lot today. . Many of the foundation stones were removed to construct a boat landing not too far away.
Moku Ola today is known as Coconut Island. Before a permanent bridge was constructed, there was a rowboat service to allow It is a county park. Basically used for recreation. The tower there in the picture is used Hosts many events including Kamehameha Day.
Waiānuenue means the rainbow seen in water There is an `ŌN…..literally meaning……
Ke ana o Hina meaning the cave of Hina It is the cave in back of Rainbow Falls and the mythic home of the goddess Hina, mother of the demigod Māui who we just learned about in the story of Moku Ola
It was Hina who introduced the art of kapa making to the people of Hilo In the process of making kapa, it is believed that the maker can impart positive energy into the kapa that is specific to the wear For this reason, there was a kapu `ili (literally meaning a skin law) that prohibited the use of other people’s clothing To wear someone else’s clothing could adversely affect an individual This cave serves a reminder to impart positive energy in all that we do Just mauka of Waiānuenue is a river territory known as Wai o Kuna.
Just mauka of Waiānuenue is a river territory known as Wai o Kuna.
In Waiānuenue, on days when Māui was away on one of his expeditions, Hina would have a cloud servant or ao `ōpua with her so that if she were in trouble, the ao `ōpua could rise high above the falls as a hō`ailona or a sign that his mother was in trouble and needed her help. It was here that Mo`o Kuna forced his affections upon her. When he was rejected, he was upset and tried to drown her by getting a huge boulder and hurling it over the falls. It fit perfectly between the walls of the cave which caused water to fill up in her cave. As the water was rising, she was able to call for help by sending ao `ōpua to rise above the cave
Ka wa`a o Māui So Māui paddled his canoe from the island of Maui It is said that with two great strokes he made it from Maui to Hawai`i Island Because Maui was in such a great rush to get to his mom, his canoe came in with such force that it left a distinctive gouge in the long, narrow rock in the river just below the mauka bridge It is shaped like a long dug out canoe in the Wailuku river It is called Ka wa`a o Maui or Wa`a Kauhi – after Māui’s canoe whose name was Kauhi This can still be seen today and serves as a reminder to us to always keep the purpose of the journey in mind. Maui was very focused and determined to get to his mom’s aide Focus and determination will bring you through whatever journey it is
As Maui made his way to Waianuenue, he saw the boulder blocking the cave. He raised his club and struck it, breaking it in two allowing the water to be released Hearing the great noise, Kuna turned and fled up the river The boulder that was split in two is known as Lonokaeho. Today it is overgrown with greenery and tropical plants Nevertheless, it is still there today and serves as a visual reminder of Māui’s strength. It also serves as a reminder that when called upon, family will always be there for us
Which brings us now to Pe`epe`e Maui saw that Kuna was hiding He cried out to him and threw his spear into his hiding place Kuna was sly and was able to safely slip out of his hiding place in time Kuna tried to conceal himself but Maui always found him continuing in his pursuit, throwing his spear into hole after hole Kuna dove into one of several deep pools in the river hoping that he could be safely hidden Maui, however, was not fooled. He could see Kuna hiding deep in the pool of water He called upon Pele to kōkua by sending hot stones and molten lava The water soon started to boil and steam was coming up As tough as Kuna was, he could not withstand the heat from the lava that was being cast into the pool Exhausted, he dragged himself from the pool and took off downstream With Pele’s kōkua, torrents of boiling water was sent down to pool after pool.
The word Pe`epe`e means to hide continuously, much like Kuna tried to do. Today, it is a state park known as Boiling Pots. Although time has cooled the waters, it still bubbles and surges as vigorously as ever especially after heavy rains It reminds us of the time when Kuna sought refuge within its depths Can serve as a reminder that nothing can be hidden forever and that anything can be exposed given the right circumstances.
Maui rolled Mo`o Kuna’s defeated body down the river to a point below Rainbow Falls within sight of his mother’s home so that she could view his carcass daily knowing that he could not threaten her anymore There he remains today as a long, black rock that sits below the falls as punishment Every heavy rain and fresh torrent beats down upon it as everlasting punishment of his plot to kill Hina Serves as a reminder of the consequences of what happens when you hana`ino someone or try to make trouble to someone
Just like Pe`epe`e is a state park, Waiānuenue is a state park today. 80 foot falls located in Hilo town just below the hospital Short hike to a lookout.
It is said that lifting heavy stones was not only a sign of strength in ancient Hawai`i but also a form of exercise Legend says that the Naha stone was brought by a double outrigger canoe from the island of Kaua`i to the Pinao temple There are two stones today in front of the Hilo Public Library – It is said to be the entrance pillar of the temple Located near where the Hilo Armory is also where the Naha stone was originally located The Naha Stone to weigh 3 ½ tons and served to test claims of those who reported to be of the royal Naha lineage Legend says that the Naha Stone could determine the legitimacy of such claims When a boy of said Naha descent was born, he was brought to the Naha stone and laid upon it. The kahuna would pray and chant and if the infant cried at all, he would be disowned and made to live among the commoners However, if the infant remained silent he was declared to be of true Naha descent and thus would become a brave and fearless ali`i and a great leader of his fellow men It is said that only a member of the Naha family possessed the mana or spiritual power to move this large stone It was also said if one could move the stone, he would become ruler of the island of Hawai`i Furthermore, if one could overturn it, not only would he be king of Hawai`i island, he would conquer all the islands and bring them under one sovereignty
So, enter Kamehameha The high priestess, Kalaniwahine, told a young Pai`ea who would become Kamehameha that he had to fulfill the prophecy of overthrowing a mountain before the Hawaiian islands could all come under his rule. Kalaniwahine advised Pai`ea of what exactly what needed to be done and Kamehameha took off for Hilo. There, under the watch of Kalaniwahine and the others who had assembled, Pai`ea attempted to “overthrow his mountain” even though he was not of Naha descent Some say he simply moved it, some say he overturned it. In any case, Pai`ea went on to become Kamehameha, the ruler of the Hawaiian Islands
Today, the Naha & the Pinao stones sit in front of the Hilo Public library Serves as a reminder that it is possible to break through preconceived notions and stereotypes
Keaukaha is in the ahupua` a of Waiākea in the district of Hilo About 2 miles east of the center of government in Hilo Approximately 2,000 acres of land bordering the coastline which includes the port of Hilo all the way up to the district of Puna Keaukaha includes both privately owned land and homestead lands The Hawaiian Homestead Acts in 1910 provided that hundreds of thousands of acres of land be made available to Native Hawaiians on the islands of Hawai`i, Maui, Moloka`i, O`ahu & Kaua`i. Under this act, a Native Hawaiian is defined as a person with at least one half Hawaiian blood. A piece of land is leased for 99 years. In general, the Hawaiian homelands are referred to as `āina ho`opulapula. Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianā`ole is the one who is credited for the Hawaiian Homelands.
Some noted places in keaukaha. Today, many improper terms are being used. Onekahakaha Beach is Keonekahakaha James Kealoha Park or 4 miles is Lokoaka. Today is known as Leleiwi is Wai`ōlena. What is now known as Richardson’s is actually Waiuli,
Na wahi pana o hilo
NĀ WAHI PANA O HILO Noted Places of Hilo HWST 100
MOKU OLA• Means island of life, healing or living island• Hanuʻ u ke kai i Mokuola The sea recedes at Mokuola Now is the opportune time to venture forth. When the sea receded, one could swim part away around with little effort.
MOKU OLA• Piko of newborn infants brought to Papa a Hina located here• Across the channel was a luakini, or sacrificial heiau• Islet called Kaulaʻināiwi located beyond Moku Ola
MOKU OLA TODAY• County park. Facilities include a pavilion with restrooms, picnic tables, benches, walkway• Used for recreation – Fishing, swimming, picnicking,
WAIĀNUENUE• Ka ua lei māʻ ohu o Waiānuenue The rain of Waiānuenue that is like a wreath of mist Waiānuenue in Hilo, Hawaiʻi, is now known as Rainbow Falls. On sunny days, a rainbow can be seen in the falls, and on rainy days the rising vapor is suggestive of a wreath of mist
KE ANA O HINA• The mythic home of the goddess Hina, mother of the demigod Māui
KE ANA O HINA• It was Hina who introduced kapa making to the people of Hilo• Kapu ʻili (skin law) prohibited the use of other people’s clothing.
WAI O KUNAThe river territory ma uka of Waiānuenue.
WAIĀNUENUE• Moʻo Kuna tried to drown Hina when she rejected his affection• He threw a huge boulder over the falls, causing the water in the cave to rise• Hina called her son, Māui, to help
KA WAʻA O MĀUIToday it is a visual reminder that focusand determination are necessary in one’sjourney
LONOKAEHO• Lonokaeho is a visual reminder of Māui’s strength. It also serves to remind us of the strength and support of family.• Wailuku River above Waiānuenue is shown above.
PEʻEPEʻE• Peʻepeʻe means to hide continuously.• It is a series of falls that pours turbulently into circular lava pools
KA PŌHAKU ʻO NAHA• Naha Stone (horizontal)• Pinao Stone (standing upright)• Served to test claims of royal blood in the Naha lineage• It is said that only a member of the royal family possessed the mana to move the stone
KA PŌHAKU ʻO NAHAKamehameha is said to have movedthe stone even though he is not of theNaha lineage
KEAUKAHA Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianā`ole spearheaded the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act in response to the dwindling population of Native Hawaiians. He convinced Congress to establish a permanent homeland for Native Hawaiian, today called Hawaiian Homes or ʻāina hoʻopulapula.