Ka Lae, The Point

17 03 2015

Ka Lae is accessible via South Point Road, a 12 mile paved narrow road leading from State Route 11 (Hawai’i Belt Road), the turn off being about 7 miles west of the village of ʻālehu and east of Ocean View, Hawaii This is said to be the first place the Ancients arrived in Hawai’i.


If you look carefully along the shore you can see holes in some of the lava rocks that were used for mooring, carved holes from ancient times. Kai Lae, means “the point” and there is a fishing shrine there known Kalalea Heiau or Hale o Kalalea. Because there was so much comings and goings offerings were left in this area as thanks for the safe ocean journeys. Women were not allowed (kapu).

You can still see this small 43x 35 foot heiau according to the terrific book Ancient Sites of Hawaii by Van James: “On the main platforms in a pōhaku called Kūmaiea (female), but also attributed to Kāne and on the smaller platform just mauku is another upright store called Kanemakua (male), associated with the god Kanaloa. Standing twelve feet to the north of the heiau are two more stones, the northerly one called “Ai’ai, the son of Kū’ula. Within the heiau, beside the mauka wall, is a rock called Kū’ula, the god of fishermen. Hina, the wife of Kū’ula is said to live in the sea cave just offshore from the Kalalea Heaiau.”

Please buy this fine book from you local bookseller in its revised edition for additional information about visiting this magical place. Swimming in this area is not recommended because of the intense current it is called the “Halaea Current” named after the chief who was carried off to his death. Beware!

‘Okolehao, Hawaiian Moonshine

5 04 2013


‘Okolehao is sometimes referred to as Hawaiian moonshine and was big business on the Big Island during prohibition. It is made from the root of the Ki plant more commonly called the Ti plant, combined with rice, and pure cane sugar all plentiful in Hawaii.

What’s ‘okolehao? A hard-to-find spirit, made from C. Fruticosa, better known as the ti plant, a flowering lily that has played a significant role in Polynesian and Hawaiian society for generations.

According to the Honolulu Advertiser newspaper article, by Will Hover that appeared in 2003,
“Waipi’o Valley on the Big Island was Hawai’i’s ‘okolehao focal point during the Prohibition Era from 1920 to 1933. One of the most colorful Prohibition Waipi’o moonshiners was Luther Makeau, a Parker Ranch cowboy who, according to his daughter, Virginia “Auntie Lehau” Kapaku of Nanakuli, eventually went to prison for his outlaw activities.

“It was 100 percent alcohol, I know that,” Kapaku said. “They sold it by the gallon jug. What they’d do is chop up the ti roots and steam them in an imu.”

The fermented mash was then put in a homemade still, she said. Because the Prohibition was in full swing, the resulting beverage could sell for as high as $100 a gallon.”

It was said to have been introduced in the 1780s by a Capt. Nathaniel Portlock, on of Captain Cook’s crew, who taught the Hawaiians how to make a mildly intoxicating brew from the roots of ki — the plant more commonly known today as Ti. Around 1790, William Stevenson, an escaped convict from Australia taught them how to further distill a mash of fermented ti roots in the iron try-pots used to to boil whale blubber.

It’s fun to learn these lesser known stories of Hawaiian history and keep them alive.

Quotations in Hawaiian: King Liholiho’s words

25 02 2012



This is what King Liloliho said when someone applauded his wisdom.

It means roughly “Why shouldn’t I know, when it is a road often traveled by my parents?”

The Marquesans First Communities in Hawaii

20 09 2011

The Marquesans, said to be the first people to come to the Hawaiian Islands created three communities on O`ahu.

Waimanalo a small town on Oahu’s windward (east) coast, near the southeastern tip of the island. It is a Hawaiian homelands community and agricultural lots in the valley extend all the way towards the Koolau Mountain Range,

Kailua on the windward coast at Kailua Bay, and Kaenohe . All three places offered year-round fresh water, fertile valleys, offshore reefs that attracted ample sealife, lagoons that were sheltered for fish ponds and basaltic rock that they used to make tools.

Hikiau Heiau

26 08 2011

Hikiau Heiau- Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii

Hikiau Heiau, located on Kealakekua Bay, in South Kona, was a luakini temple where human and animal blood was used as sacrifice by the Ancient Hawaiians.

Sitting on the south end of the bay, at coordinates 19°28′31″N 155°55′9″W, it is associated with funeral rites. The large platform made of volcanic rock was said to be over 16 feet high, 250 feet long, and 100 feet wide. It has been established to be the first place that Hawaiians have sustained contact with Western outsiders. Cook’s journals claimed there were four villages with eighty houses each with several thousand native Hawaiian villagers when he landed living along the three miles of shoreline.

A plaque commemorates Hawaii’s first Christian funeral conducted by
Captain Cook on January 28, 1779 mere weeks before his own death.

Across the Bay is the Captain Cook Monument that was erected in 1874 to mark the place Captain James Cook was killed on February 14, 1779. It is only accessible by boat but makes for a lovely journey through the clear waters often accompanied by dolphins and colorful fish visible to paddlers.

Kealekekua Bay State Parkis a 4 acre site with access to the water, picnic tables, rest rooms,and parking.

stones of this ancient heiau

The Waves of Hawaiian Settlers

30 06 2011

Cook's signature

It has been estimated that the first settlers arrives from the Marquesas Islands,
a group of volcanic islands in what is now French Polynesia, about 500 years after the birth for Christ. A second wave arrived in wa’a kaulua double-hulled canoes across the Pacific some five hundred years after the first. Native Hawaiians trace their ancestry back to the original Polynesian settlers of Hawaii. They lived undisturbed for hundreds of years until Captain James Cook’s ship arrived in 1778 and the lives of the Hawaiian people were never the same.

Death of Captain Cook and unfinished painting by Johann Zoffany

The Monarchs of Hawaii: After the Kamehamehas

20 06 2011

King Lunalilo

William C. Lunalilo lived from 1835-1874 and ruled from 1873-1874
born William Charles Lunalilo, he was the shortest serving monarch

King Kalakaua

David Kalakaua lived from 1836-1891 and ruled from 1874-1891
born David Laʻamea Kamanakapuʻu Mahinulani Nalaiaehuokalani Lumialani Kalākaua

Queen Liliuokalani

Lydia Lili’uokalani lived from 1838-1917 and ruled from 1838-1917
born Lydia Kamakaʻeha Kaola Maliʻi Liliʻuokalani She was also known as Lydia Kamakaʻeha Pākī, with the chosen royal name of Liliʻuokalani

Lili’uokalani was deposed and the Hawaiian Kingdome came to an end on January 17, 1893

The Queen’s Royal Monogram