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Hana Waimea

Kīhei and Māpuana de Silva

Haku mele: Unknown.
Date: Our research indicates that this mele was composed in commemoration of Kamehameha’s forceful eviction of Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula from Kohala, Waimea, and Hāmākua in 1790.
Sources: 1) Henry Moikeha Pā, as taught to Edith McKenzie and taught, in turn, to Māpuana de Silva on March 26, 1999, at a KPCA-sponsored workshop at ‘Iolani School. 2) HI.M.49:87, Bishop Museum Archives. 3) MS SC Roberts 3.1b:209b–212c, and 2.2:158b–159.a; BMA.
Discography: Edith McKinzie (chanter), Nā Kumu Hula, Songs from the Source, v2 (1999), The State Council on Hawaiian Heritage, SCHH CD 7101.
Text Below: From the collection of Mary Kawena Pukui who shared it with Henry Moikeha Pā who shared it, in turn, with Edith McKinzie.

Hana Waimea i ka ‘upena a ka makani
Ka ‘alihi pīkoi a ke Kīpu‘upu‘u
‘O ka ua lei koko ‘ula i ke pili
Me he ‘ahu‘ula [1] i luna o ka lā‘au
Ka pua i ka nahele o Malule‘ia [2]
I ana ‘ia e ka pali loa
Ka ua mālana [3] lele koa uli
He ua aloha ‘ia e ko laila kupa
E walea ai i ka hau-pā Kaiāulu [4] lā

O‘u hoa i ke anu o Kawaiahulu [5]
E lala ai ke ahi kapa o ia kini
He kini he‘e pu‘e wai o Uluomalama [6]
Ke kaha a‘ela i Lanima‘oma‘o [7]
Pā kai i nā ‘ale wai o Mahiki [8]
‘Uwā ka pihe i Pu‘umoe‘awa [9]
Ka ‘ikena a‘ela Poliakamanu [10]
Manu ‘ai kepakepa i ka pua o ka lehua 

Waimea readies a net of wind
Its leading edge is made of the Kīpu‘upu‘u rain
It is like rainbow-hued rain on the pili grass
Like a feather cloak spread over the trees
The flowers in the forest of Malule‘ia
Are encompassed by the tall cliffs
The buoyant, wind-blown rain alights on the dark koa trees
It is a rain much loved by the natives of that place
They who enjoy the chilly touch of the Kaiāulu winds

My companions in the cold of Kawaiahulu
Will be warmed at the kapa-like fires of these people
A people who surf the sand bars at Uluomalama
Who swoop now toward Lanima‘oma‘o
Who are touched by the gusty rains of Mahiki
A shout is raised at Pu‘umoe‘awa
At the sight of Poliakamanu
At the birds who tear the lehua flowers with their beaks.

Waimea fashions a net of wind. Its leading edge, the Kīpu‘upu‘u rain, spreads red rainbows over the pili grass. It spreads like a red feather cape over the trees and flowers of Malule‘ia forest. It encompasses the tall cliffs and alights on the dark koa trees. It is a rain much loved by the natives of Waimea, they who enjoy the chilly touch of the Kaiāulu winds of their land.

Take heart, my companions in the cold of Waiahulu. We will soon be warmed by the fires of our warriors. They who surf the sandbars of Uluomalama, who are soaring over Lanima‘oma‘o, who are touched by the gusty rains of Mahiki. Hear the battle cries at Pu‘umoe‘awa. Take in the scene at Poliakamanu. The birds are tearing the lehua blossoms with their beaks.

"Hana Waimea i ka ‘Upena a ka Makani," like its better-known companion chant "Hole Waimea i ka Ihe a ka Makani," honors the people of Waimea, Hawai‘i, who gave to Kamehameha I the famed "Kīpu‘upu‘u," a company of 1200 runners and spear fighters named for the beloved, icy-cold rain of their homeland. Although the text of "Hana Waimea" has survived the 200-plus years since these warriors first gathered in the forest of Mahiki [11], the mele’s specific historical context has not been transmitted to us over the intervening centuries. We believe, however, that the place-names, place-name sequences, and battle metaphors of "Hana Waimea"—though not entirely accessible to contemporary research—provide considerable evidence of the mele’s connection to specific, well-documented events of 1790.

Our research leads us to believe that "Hana Waimea" offers a poetic account of Kamehameha’s response to the 1790 plundering of Waipi‘o, Waimea, and Kohala by the army of Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula, the ruling chief of Ka‘ū. Kamehameha, who was then occupied with the invasion of Maui and subsequent negotiations in Moloka‘i over his marriage to Keōpūolani, returned to Kawaihae, gathered his forces into a "net of wind" (‘upena a ka makani)—of which the Kīpu‘upu‘u was the leading edge (‘alihi pīkoi)—and repulsed the invaders in three bitterly contested battles in Waimea and Hāmākua.

We believe that the mele’s first paukū describes the swift-moving, all-encompassing, inescapable nature of the beloved Kīpu‘upu‘u rain and the corresponding martial ability of the beloved, fleet-footed warriors who bear its name. As the wind-driven rain spreads over the land like a net, a red-rainbow, and a feather cape, so do its warriors spread over the land in defense of its wind and rain-loving kupa.

We believe that the mele’s second paukū describes the suffering of Waimea’s people in the wake of Keōua’s invasion, the dramatic Kawaihae-to-Lanima‘oma‘o-to-Waimea ascent of Kamehameha’s Kīpu‘upu‘u and Mālana armies, their initial gust-buffeted encounter with Keōua in the Waimea forests of Mahiki, and the pitched battles that follow in the Hāmākua killing fields of Pā‘auhau and Koapapa. The cries of war carry home, like the sound of heavy surf, from Pu‘umoe‘awa. At the hill of Poliakamanu above the sea cliffs of Pā‘auhau, the warriors of Waimea are tearing, like birds, into the lehua blossoms of Keōua. The invaders have been run down; the enemy, at great cost, has been vanquished.

The Battles of Kamehameha and Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula

The history of events contiguous to Keōua’s 1790 invasion of Waipi‘o, Waimea, and Kohala is related by Samuel M. Kamakau in Kuokoa [12], Ruling Chiefs [13], and Kumu Aupuni [14], and by Stephen L. Desha in Hōkū o Hawai‘i [15] and Kekūhaupi‘o [16]. Of the two historians, Desha is by far the more detailed, the more ready to lionize Kamehameha’s actions, and the more positive about the outcome of the conflict. Desha’s view of the events of 1790 were influenced by the manuscript of S. L. Peleioholani, a descendant of Keawema‘uhili, the ruling chief of Hilo at the onset of Keōua’s invasion. Desha acknowledges his debt to Peleioholani—a source unavailable to Kamakau and that we, ourselves, have been unable to locate—and points out that "the books written by the haole do not properly explain [the battle of Koapapa], nor do some books written by Kamakau and David Malo" [17]. A summary of the Kamakau and Desha histories is provided below. We have attempted to identify the differences between the two accounts and to work, primarily, from their original Hawaiian versions; still, we advise the serious student of Kamehameha’s history and literature to lu‘u, nou iho, i kēlā kai hohonu [18].

•  In the month of Welo [19] 1790, Kamehameha invades Maui. Working his way north from Hāna, he engages Kalanikūpule’s armies at Hāmākualoa in the battle of Pu‘ukoa‘e and then at ‘Īao Valley in the famous battle of Kepaniwai. Kalanikūpule and his chiefs flee to O‘ahu, but the highest-ranking women of his court—including Kalola, Keku‘iapoiwa Liliha, and Keōpūolani—take refuge at Kalama‘ula, Moloka‘i. Kamehameha follows Kalola there in order to negotiate, with her, his marriage to Keōpūolani. Kalola, who is quite ill, consents to Kamehameha’s suit [20] and dies shortly thereafter. Although Kamehameha and his advisors have discussed both the feasibility of invading O‘ahu and the implications of the prophecy of Kapoukahi [21], he remains on Moloka‘i to observe a period of mourning for Kalola.

•  Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula—the ruling chief of Ka‘ū and the ally of Keawema‘uhili of Hilo—learns that Kamehameha has invaded Maui and that Keawema‘uhili has supplied their supposedly mutual enemy, Kamehameha, with canoes and warriors. In response to Keawema‘uhili’s treachery, Keōua attacks and defeats his erstwhile ally at ‘Alae in Hilo Palikū and, with an apparently full head of steam, leads his army into the lands of Kamehameha at Waipi‘o, Waimea, and Kohala "me ka hao wale i ka waiwai a nā maka‘āinana" [22].

•  Because the fighting men of these northern districts are with Kamehameha on Maui and Moloka‘i, Keōua meets with little resistance and acts with less restraint. According to Kamakau: "He descended into Waipi‘o and broke down the fishponds, drying up Lālākea, Muliwai, and all the other ponds. He pulled up the taro of Waipi‘o, broke down the banks of the taro patches, and robbed the people from Waipi‘o to Waimea. In Kohala, women and children were beaten, and the people cruelly treated" [23].

•  When news of these atrocities reaches Kamehameha at Kaunakakai, he is staggered by disbelief and sorrow: "In coming here to seek new children, leaving you, my children in peace to live on our lands in well-being, you my blameless ones, have been cruelly treated. Alas for you, you are my first-born ones" [24]. As a result, Kamehameha sets aside all thought of consolidating his rule of Maui and pursuing victory on O‘ahu. Instead, he assembles his warriors and war fleet and sails without delay to Kawaihae.

•  At the forefront of Kamehameha’s army are the famed companies of spear fighters and runners known as the Mālana and Kīpu‘upu‘u. They race with Kamehameha up the slopes of Kawaihae in hopes of engaging Keōua at Lanima‘oma‘o, but Keōua has stationed lookouts "in the high places of Waimea" [25] and receives early word of Kamehameha’s advance. Keōua orders his warriors to depart immediately for more familiar and defensible battle sites in Hāmākua [26], but he assigns a contingent of his army to ambush Kamehameha in the Waimea forest of Mahiki. Desha reports that the fearless warriors of the pursuing Kīpu‘upu‘u endure the gusty rain of spears that falls on them, meet the enemy in "very hot battle," and drive them out of Waimea [27].

•  Two pitched battles then follow at Hāmākua, first at Pā‘auhau and then at Koapapa [28]. In both, Kamehameha’s warriors are better supplied with western weaponry [29]—cannon and musket—but Keōua holds the upper hand in numbers and position. The battle at Pā‘auhau is remembered for the destruction wrought by "ka pū kuniahi Lopaka...ka pu‘uhonua o ko Kamehameha ‘ao‘ao", "the cannon named Lopaka, the sanctuary of Kamehamemeha’s side" [30], for the heroics of two of Keōua’s warriors, Uhai and Ka‘ie‘iea [31], and for the superior strategy of Kamehameha. In the end, cannon and strategy prevail; Keōua retreats to Koapapa, leaving the battlefield "heaped with corpses" that can be seen "from a certain place called Pololikamanu as far as the sea cliffs" [32].

•  More of the same happens at Koapapa. Keōua establishes his lines of defense in an effort to catch Kamehameha by surprise; Kamehameha—warned by his spy Makoa—arrays his forces to spring Keōua’s trap. Fierce fighting ensues, and Kamehameha prevails. Koapapa is remembered for the seizing of Kamehameha’s muskets by Keōua’s men [33], for the heavy casualties incurred by both sides, for the flight to Hilo of Keōua’s army, and for the rock at Kainehe under which the fleeing Keōua was forced to hide [34].

Kamakau withholds comment on any larger perspective into which Pā‘auhau and Koapapa might fit. He characterizes the battles as bloody and indecisive, closes his account of Kamehameha’s presence in Hāmākua, and moves on to a description of Keōua’s governance of Hilo and return to Ka‘ū:

"Ua make nā ‘ao‘ao ‘elua; ua he‘e ko Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula a ho‘i akula i Hilo. A ‘o ko Kamehameha ‘ao‘ao, ua ho‘i maila i Waipi‘o a me Kohala. I ko Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula noho ‘ana ma Hilo, a ‘oki‘oki ihola i ka ‘āina no kona mau ali‘i a me kona mau pū‘ali koa." (There was death on both sides—neither gained a victory—Keōua slipped away and returned to Hilo; Kamehameha went back to Waipi‘o and Kohala. When Keōua took up residence in Hilo, he divided the lands among his chiefs and warriors.) [35]

Desha, on the other hand, argues that his review of the S. L. Peleioholani manuscript allows for a more "proper explanation" of Koapapa and its part in Kamehameha’s campaign [36]. Desha explains that Kamehameha’s reasons for pursuing Keōua deep into Hāmākua were carefully considered and just: he meant to promulgate his "Kānāwai Māmalahoa" and "terminate the wicked deeds of his hoahānau Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula against blameless people" [37]. Desha also explains that Kamehameha was the indisputable victor of Koapapa; the battle resulted in the liberation of Hāmākua, the flight of a defeated Keōua into Hilo, and the undermining of Keōua’s ability to rule that district. All that kept Kamehameha from further pursuit of Keōua was Kamehameha’s sense of mercy:

O kekahi mea no hoi nana e hoike mai i ka makemake o keia Alii o Kamehameha i ka maluhia o ke ola o na kanaka, oia no kona alualu hoomano ole ana ma hope o Keoua i ka manawa i auhee ai kona poe kanaka i ke kaua, ua hookuu aku la no oia i kela poe kanaka pio e imi i ko lakou ola ma ka hola ana mai ke kahua kaua aku. [38]

We have little doubt that "Hana Waimea" was composed for the sequence of events that resulted in the scattering of bird-eaten lehua blossoms on the battlefields of Hāmākua in the summer of 1790. None of the other campaigns in which Kamehameha and the Kīpu‘upu‘u were engaged features the same geographical sweep and progression [39]. None involves the Kīpu‘upu‘u’s dramatic response to the plundering of their ‘āina. None ends with bitterly fought victories at Pā‘auhau and Koapapa. We also have little doubt that "Hana Waimea" was composed from the same pro-Waimea and pro-Kamehameha perspective that colors Desha’s account, 130 years later, of the triumph of the Kīpu‘upu‘u. The mele clearly commemorates the righting of an egregious wrong, and it is composed with the intensity of emotion that can only belong to the wronged, righteous, and victorious. This intense emotion is perhaps what has conveyed "Hana Waimea" to us, intact, over the centuries. We may have lost sight of its exact historical context, but we cannot ignore its passion. It stands, today, as a powerful expression of loyalty to Kamehameha and homeland by all who would still fashion nets of wind and icy rain to entangle and cast out the invader.


Emotion isn’t enough. It shouldn’t be the only fuel to propel "Hana Waimea" into yet another century. Understanding is required. The two, emotion and understanding, in equal portions, make for the na‘auao we sorely need.

"Hana Waimea," today, is a frequently performed but poorly understood. By our unofficial count, it has been danced at least seven times in the last decade of Merrie Monarch and King Kamehameha competitions. The typical explanation with which it is introduced includes references to "the company of Kamehameha’s warriors known as the Kīpu‘upu‘u" and to the "piercing, bone-chilling wind" [40] of Waimea for which these warriors were named. From time to time, reference is also made to an unidentified battle from which the Kīpu‘upu‘u return, "shouting in victory" [41], but the basic outlines of this battle—or even its possible contexts—are neither advanced nor speculated over. We become so accustomed to the mele and its standard explanation that paralysis sets in. We assume that there is little more to be discovered or said. In fact, there’s quite a bit more, and this bit of research and interpretation only begins to scratch the surface.




1. "Me he ‘ahu‘ula." Although we have interpreted this paukū as descriptive of the Kīpuʻupuʻu’s defense of Waimea, the similarly of ‘ahu‘ula and Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula allows for a secondary interpretation—that of Keōua’s oppression of Waimea.
2. We are unable to identify the location of Malule‘ia. Malule is a stative verb meaning "limp, weak, flexible, soft and fragile" (Pukui and Elbert, Hawaiian Dictionary, 234). The word may refer to the inability of Waimea to defend itself in the absence of its Kīpuʻupuʻu warriors.
3. Although mālana is given here as a stative verb meaning "buoyant, light; to move together" (HD, 232), it is also the name of one of Kamehameha’s battle companies. Desha identifies the Mālana and Kīpuʻupuʻu as involved in the ascent from Kawaihae to Waimea; the Mālana were led by Kamehameha, the Kīpuʻupuʻu by Puniawa (Desha, 276–277). The reference, here, may be two-fold: to the falling rain and to the Mālana war companions of the Kīpuʻupuʻu.
4. The Kaiāulu wind is regularly associated with Waiʻanae, Oʻahu. We have been unable to identify it in this Waimea, Hawaiʻi, context.
5. We are unable to identify the location of Kawaiahulu. There is a Waiahulu in Waimea, Kauaʻi, where Kamapuaʻa lived for a time. Ahulu means "overdone, overcooked, overcultivated." ‘Ahulu means "discolored, foamy, feathery, choppy." HD, 8. 
6. We are unable to identify the location of Uluomalama; its context in the chant suggests the Kawaihae coastline. A literal interpretation of ulu-o-mālama—increase/stirring-up of care/protection—suggests the motivation of Kamehameha and his warriors as they rush to defend their homeland.
7. Kamakau tells of Alapaʻi moving from Waipiʻo to Waimea to Lanimaʻomaʻo to Kikiakoʻi at Kawaihae (Ke Kumu Aupuni, 13). Kamakau also describes Kānekoa carrying the infant Kamehameha from the plain of Kawaihae up the incline of Lanimaʻomaʻo, into the Kīpuʻupuʻu rain of Waimea, and from there to the steeps of Uli (Ke Kumu Aupuni, 76). We can safely surmise, then, that Lanimaʻomaʻo is above Kawaihae and below Waimea.
8. Mahiki is a wet, forested area along the old trail that led from Waipiʻo to Mānā. This is the trail followed by Hiʻiakaikapoliopele after she defeats the shark Makaukiu along the series of hulaʻana cliffs and valleys that separate Waipiʻo from Pololū. Instead of passing directly into Kohala, Hiʻiaka decides to take the Mahiki trail inland because the kupua kāne Mahiki lives there with his horde of evil-doers. Hiʻiaka’s defeat of Mahiki—who attempts to ambush her along the way—is reminiscent of the circumstances of the Kīpuʻupuʻu’s encounter with Keōua in the same forest: he attacks her in torrents of chilling rain, in entangling lāʻau hihipeʻa, and in breaking waves of ‘eʻepa creatures. She withstands each onslaught and ultimately slays him when he attempts to leap on her in his most terrible, moʻo form. (Nūpepa Ka Naʻi Aupuni, "Ka Moolelo o Hiiakaikapoliopele," December 14–16, 1905; nūpepa Kuokoa Home Rula, "Ka Moolelo Kaao o Hiikaikapoliopele," Mokuna IV, 1909.)

We know from Kawena Pukui’s explanation of the mele "Hole Waimea" that Mahiki is the forest to which the fledgling Kīpuʻupuʻu were taken by their mentor Nānuʻu-a-Kalaniʻōpuʻu (also called Nanueokaleiōpū) to make spears for battle (liner notes to the LP Nā Leo Hawaiʻi Kahiko, Bishop Museum Anthropology Dept., 1981). Their return to Mahiki in "Hana Waimea" is marked by the combat and fought with the weapons for which their earlier visit had prepared and equipped them. The poetic before-and-after of the two mele strikes us as intentional rather than coincidental: "Hana Waimea" speaks to "Hole Waimea."
9. We are unable to identify the specific location of Puʻumoeʻawa. We know from its context in a pair of Hiʻiakaikapoliopele chants that it lies along the Hāmākua coastline below Mahiki and before Waipiʻo ("Kai o Mahiki Puuomoeawa / Haoe oe ka ohiʻa he ua nei," HI.M.64:170, BPBM Archives; "Kaikoʻo Puʻu-moe-awa, wawa ka laau," Nathaniel Emerson, Pele and Hiʻiaka, 54). The reference, in the latter composition, to the roar of the Puʻumoeʻawa’s surf carrying all the way to the forest (of Mahiki?) is reminiscent of "Hana Waimea’s" "Uwā ka pihe i Puʻumoeʻawa." The many similarities between "Hana Waimea" and Hiʻiaka’s adventures in Hāmākua and Waimea suggest that the composers of the Kamehameha chant were making a conscious effort to portray the Kīpuʻupuʻu in Hi’iaka-like terms. We are reminded, too, that the next big event in the history of Keōuakūʻahuʻula’s campaign is the devastation of his warriors in the ash-eruption of Kīlauea—an event interpreted by many as a sign of Pele’s approval of Kamehameha’s rule. "Hana Waimea" seems intent on establishing this positive Pele connection. 
10. We assume that Poliakamanu and Pōlolikamanu are alternate spellings of the same place name. As noted earlier, Desha identifies Pōlolikamanu as located within the battlefield at Pāʻauhau: the blood reddened grass "could be seen from a certain place called Pōlolikamanu as far as the sea cliff" (Kekūhaupi‘o, 282). References to Pōlolikamanu also appear twice in Hawaiian language newspaper accounts of Hiʻiaka’s journey through Hāmākua and Waimea. At one point, she sends Wahineʻōmaʻo from Mahiki to Waipi‘o; on the way back, Wahineʻōmao passes through Pōlolikamanu (Ka Naʻi Aupuni, 12-16-1905). At another, she challenges the evil kupua Mahiki with an oli expressive of her anger and resolve. Her opening reference to Pōloli-ka-manu ("The bird is hungry") is immediately indicative of this mental state.

A Pololikamanu ka wahine
Paheʻe ana i ka welowelo
E kuhi ana oe iaʻu he kamaliʻi
He lehelehe oo wale ia e ke koholua
E eha no kau, ka ke kane,
He eha no kaʻu, ka ka wahine
I ke ehu no oe o kuu pa-u
Pau ka oe hana, pio ka oe ahi.
[Kuokoa Home Rula, Mokuna IV, Kau Helu 51, 1909.]

"Hana Waimea’s" use of Poliakamanu reminds us, therefore, of Hiʻiaka’s metaphoric use of Pōlolikamanu. The battle between Kamehameha and Keōua takes place in the context of the earlier, legendary encounter and shares in its sense of anger, resolve, and justice. The closing line of "Hana Waimea," moreover, is invested with additional battle significance when we recognize that its birds are eating lehua blossoms—"manu ‘ai kepakepa i ka poli o ka lehua"—at a place also known as "the bird is hungry." 
11. Kawena Pukui explains that "Hole Waimea," a chant composed by the Kīpu‘upu‘u themselves, describes spear making at Mahiki—the culminating event of their training under Nānu‘uakalani‘ōpu‘u (Liner notes for "Hole Waimea," Nā Leo Mele Kahiko, BPBM Anthropology Dept., 1981). Since "Hana Waimea," in our view, describes the defense by experienced warriors of their Waimea homeland, the mele must have been composed after "Hole Waimea."
12. Samuel M. Kamakau, Nupepa Kuokoa, ‘Aperila 13 and 20, 1867.
13. Samuel M. Kamakau, Ruling Chiefs of Hawai‘i, Honolulu: Kamehameha Schools Press, 1961; pps. 151–2.
14. Samuel M. Kamakau, Ke Kumu Aupuni, Honolulu: ‘Ahahui ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i, 1996, pps. 105–106.
15. Stephen L. Desha, Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Aug. 31; Sept. 7, 14, 28; and Oct.10/ 5, 12, and 19, 1922. 
16. Stephen L. Desha, Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekūhaupi‘o, translated by Frances N. Frazier, Honolulu: Kamehameha Schools Press, 2000.
17. Kekūhaupi‘o, 260.
18. Dive, for yourself, into that deep sea.
19. Probably April.
20. At this time, Keōpūolani is still a girl; Ross Cordy estimates her age at 8 or 9 (Exalted is the Chief, 333). Kamehameha agrees to take the three ali‘i wāhine currently in Kalola’s care—Kalanikauiōkikilo, Keku‘iapo‘iwa Liliha, and Keōpūlani—into his own court and to treat all three "with reverence" (Kekūhaupi‘o, 262).
21. To build Pu‘ukoholā heiau in order to guarantee his successful conquest of the islands. Ke Kumu Aupuni, 104.
22. "With the senseless plundering of the lands and possessions of the common people" (Ke Kumu Aupuni, 105). Kamakau and Desha differ on the circumstances of Keawema‘uhili’s death and the sequence of Keōua’s itinerary. Kamakau reports that Keōua invades Hilo and dispatches Keawe in the battle of ‘Alae (Ke Kumu Aupuni, 105). Desha, however, maintains that Keōua first pillages Kamehameha’s lands in West Hawai‘i before engaging Keawe at Pauka‘a and Wainaku in Hilo. Keawe is killed at Pauka‘a by Mo‘o, one of his own warriors, after which Keōua resumes his plundering of Waipi‘o, Waimea, and Kohala (Kekūhaupi‘o, 270).

23. Ruling Chiefs, 151. Desha provides a more detailed catalog of Keōua’s atrocities, including the abuse of pregnant women (272) and the wanton slaughter of old men, women, and children (274).
24. Kekūhaupi‘o, 275. Ke Kumu Aupuni (105) gives a similar, but less florid speech: "Kāhāhā! Kūpanaha! Hele mai nei ho‘i e ‘imi i mau keiki hou, ha‘alele aku nei iā ‘oukou, i nā keiki makahiapo. Aloha ino!" (Alas! How can it be! I’ve come seeking new children and abandoned you, my first-born. How terrible!)
25. Ka Hoku o Hawaii, 9-14-1922: "ua hoonoho mai la oia ma na kiekiena o Waimea . . . i kona poe kiu mama i ka holo."
26. Ibid: "ua manao iho la no oia [‘o Keōua], oia paha ke kahua kaua maikai loa e hui ai oia me na koa o Kamehameha."
27. Ibid: "I ka manawa no i komo aku ai o ko Kamehameha mau koa makamua i ka hihi pea o ka nahele, oia no ka Manawa i lele makawalu mai ai na ihe o ko Keoua mau koa . . . Ua hooili ia iho la ma kela waonahele kekahi kaua hahana loa ma waena o na aoao." Kamakau does not record the Mahiki ambush.
28. Kamakau is consistent in his spelling of this name: Koapapa. Desha alternates between Koapapa and Koapāpa‘a. Kalani Akana has suggested to us that the second name might refer to the devastating, pāpa‘a effect of Kamehameha’s cannon on the combatants (Personal Communication, 11-10-99). Pā‘auhau and Koapapa/Koapāpa‘a do not appear in "Hana Waimea;" the two place names that are used—Pu‘umoe‘awa and Poliakamanu—belong to the same area and seem to have been chosen for their significance in the Pele literature. When Hi‘iaka expels the rapacious Mahiki (and his evil horde) from the forest of the same name, the battle cries and victory shouts carry to Pu‘umoeawa and Pololiakamanu (Kuokoa Home Rula, "Ka Moolelo Kaao o Hiiaka-i-ka-Poli-o-Pele," 1909, Kau Helu 51; Emerson, Pele and Hi‘iaka, 54). The haku mele of "Hana Waimea" was interested, we think, in linking the Kīpu‘upu‘u’s expulsion of Keōua to Hi‘iaka’s vanquishing of Mahiki.   

29. Keōua is not without his own haole weapons and advisors. Desha (Ka Hoku, 10-19-1922) identifies Keōua’s "haole punahele" by their Hawaiian names: Kuliu, Holopinai, and Puela.
30. Kamakau, Ke Kumu Aupuni, 106. Lopaka had been taken from the ship Fair American in March 1790 and used for the first time at ‘Īao. Desha (Kekūhaupi‘o, 277) reports the presence at Pā‘au-hau of a second cannon, Kalola, but he doesn’t discuss its origin. Emmett Cahill, in The Life and Times of John Young, explains that Lopaka was lashed to a sled and pulled by ropes; in more difficult terrain, it was removed from its carriage and slung from long poles (69).
31. Ka‘ie‘iea is credited with overrunning Kamehameha’s artillerymen (led by John Young and Isaac Davis) and taking possession, for a time, of Lopaka. Kamakau, Ke Kumu Aupuni, 106; Desha, Kekūhaupi‘o, 278.
32. Ka Hoku, 10-25-1922. As stated earlier, we assume that Desha’s Pololiakamanu is "Hana Waimea’s" "Poliakamanu."
33. Because they had no powder to fire these weapons, the battle is sometimes known as Ne‘e Kaua Kī Hakahaka, The Battle of Empty Guns. Ka Hoku, 10-19-1922; Ke Kumu Aupuni, 106.
34. Ka Hoku, 10-19-1922.
35. Ke Kumu Aupuni, 106.
36. Kekūhupi‘o, 280.
37. Ka Hoku, 10-19-1922. The Law of the Splintered Paddle guaranteed the safety of the innocent: "Let the old men go and lie by the roadside, let the old women go and lie by the roadside, let the children go and lie by the roadside and no one shall harm them" (Kekūhaupi‘o, 216). Desha maintains that Kamehameha frequently invoked the Kānāwai Māmalahoa after battles, thereby preventing the wanton slaughter of his already defeated enemies (Kekūhaupi‘o, 247, 248, 260, 330–331, 333–334, 339).
38. "One thing that demonstrates the ali‘i Kamehameha’s concern for the welfare of all people was that he did not ruthlessly pursue Keōua after the rout; instead, Kamehameha released these defeated warriors, allowing them to save their lives by fleeing the battle field."
39. Only the battle of Laupahoehoe II (c. 1785), during which the inexperienced Kīpu‘upu‘u march from Waimea to Hāmākua to battle with Keawema‘uhili, comes close (Kekūhaupi‘o, 191, 196–7).
40. The two phrases appear, with little else, in four competition program descriptions of the last decade. The Kīpu‘upu‘u is more rain than wind. "Ka ua Kīpu‘upu‘u o Waimea. The Kīpu‘upu‘u rain of Waimea . . . When Kamehameha organized an army of spear fighters and runners from Waimea, they called themselves Kīpu‘upu‘u after the cold rain of their homeland" (Mary Kawena Pukui, ‘Ōlelo No‘eau, #1571; similar descriptions of the Kīpu‘upu‘u can be found in #s 1748 and 2914).
41. The phrase, or something similar, appears in five program descriptions of the last decade.


© Kīhei and Māpuana de Silva 2006

Kamehameha 1 - wikimedia commons-2

photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

"Hana Waimea" speaks of a series of battles between Kamehameha and Keōuakūʻahuʻula, detailing the defensive strategy and triumph of the Kīpuʻupuʻu warriors of Waimea.


photo credit: Kīhei de Silva

Meali‘i Kapiko, "Hana Waimea," Merrie Monarch 1993. "Waimea readies a net of wind / Its leading edge is made of the Kīpu‘upu‘u rain / It is like rainbow-hued rain on the pili grass / Like a feather cloak spread over the trees."

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