Scenes of Pele, Hawaiian Fire Goddess
The Legend of Kamapua’a
Alapa’inuiakauaua Son of Kauaua-a-Mahi and Kalanikauleleiaiwinui [Kalanikauleleiaiwi]; paramount chief of Hawai‘i Island; makua kāne hoahānau of Kamehameha I on the side of Kamehameha’s mother, Keku‘iapoiwa (II); father of Keawe‘ōpala; brother of Hā‘ae; led armies of Hawai‘i Island and Moloka‘i (c.1736) against the invading armies of O‘ahu; after five days of fighting at Kawela (“The heat”) in southern Moloka‘i, the O‘ahu chief Kapi‘iohookalani (“The head curls of the royal chief”) was killed and his O‘ahu army was defeated;[iv] defeated Kalani‘ōpu‘u’s warriors in battle; said to have poisoned Keōuakupuapāikalaninui [Keōuanui] (father of Kamehameha I); wives included Keaka, Kamaka‘imokou, and Kamaua; children included Keawe‘opala (son with Keaka), Manona (daughter with Kamaka‘imoku), and Kauwa‘a and Mahiua (daughter and son with Kamaua).
Morning Light at Hilo Bay
Ma hope mâkou o Lili`ulani/ A loa`a ê ka pono o ka `âina/ A kau hou `ia e ke kalaunu/ Ha`ina `ia mai ana ka puana/ Ka po`e i aloha i ka `âina
We back Lili`ulani/ Who has won the rights of the land/ She will be crowned again/Tell the story/ Of the people who love their land
HOW MAUI LIFTED THE SKY
At the time when Maui was growing up in his mother’s house, the sky was held up only by the leaves of trees.
So close did the sky press to the earth’s surface that all the leaves were flattend out and have remained so to this day.
The sky was a blanket upon the earth, imprisoning heat and darkness.
So low was the sky in those days that man had to crawl about on his knees to go from one place to another. One day Maui said, “The sky is too low! I shall lift it above the earth. I shall push it up so high that man may walk straight upon his legs, so high that the trees may grow tall, and the winds may blow free.”
He placed a magic tattoo upon his arms and then he sought out an old woman with a gourd calabash.
He said to her, “Let me drink from your calabash that I may push the heavens high.”
The old woman placed the gourd to his lips and Maui drank deep thereof. At once new strength surged through his veins and he began the prodigious task of lifting the sky. First, he pushed the clouds that lay low to the ground above the tree tops.
Then he braced his hands and knees against the earth and heaved with his back.
The blue dome of the sky gave way and bent into a beautiful arch over the peaks of the mightiest mountains. Then, with his two hands, Maui reached down and lifted the edges of the remaining sky over the wide expanse of the sea.
Now is the sky tall and serene except when dark storm clouds gather and hide the long slopes of Haleakala, and the fragrant Maui rains lash the lehua trees.
But these storms are only of short duration, for they are afraid to stay long lest Maui hurl them back so far they can never return.
How Maui Slowed The Sun…
Maui had often heard his brothers talking about how there was not enough sunlight during the day. Night after night they would sit round the fire and discuss this problem. No matter how early they got up, still there weren’t enough hours of sunlight for all their village duties and for hunting and fishing.
So Maui thought about what he could do to solve their problem. Then he announced to his brothers that he had found a solution: “I think I can tame the Sun.” “Maui, don’t be so ridiculous!” they replied. “No one can tame the Sun. For a start, if you got anywhere near him you would be burnt to a cinder. There is no way of taming the Sun. He’s far too big and powerful.”
But Maui said, with great authority this time, “I can tame the Sun. Get all the women of the tribe to go and cut as much flax as possible - I want a really huge pile - then I will show you how to make a net that will be strong enough to capture the Sun. I will make sure that he won’t go so quickly across the sky in future.”
The brothers obeyed him and when they had collected mounds of flax Maui showed them how to plait it into strong ropes. He made long ropes and short ropes, and tied some of them together to make a net gigantic enough to catch and hold the Sun. After many hours of plaiting they finally had enough rope and nets to please Maui.
Then he set off, equipped with his special axe, with his brothers and some men from the tribe and it took several days to reach the Sun’s resting place in the East. After a short stop they started their preparations. They found the cave from which the Sun would be rising next morning and they quickly set to work covering the entrance with the net of plaited ropes. When they were sure they had done a really good job they camouflaged the ropes with leaves and branches. They also made themselves clay walls as a protection against the Sun’s fierce heat, and smeared the clay all over their bodies. Then they hid.
Maui crouched down on one side of the cave and the rest of the men were on the other side. It wasn’t long before they saw the first glimmer of light from the cave. Then they felt the scorching heat. The men were shaking with fear as the light grew more and more blinding and the heat more and more stifling. They were sure that Maui’s plan would not work. Suddenly they heard a sharp shout from Maui, “Pull! Pull the ropes as hard as you can!”
The net fell like a huge noose over the Sun. Although the men were terrified that the Sun would kill them all, they pulled and strained as hard as they possibly could so that the Sun could not escape.
The Sun, who was raging at being held captive, struggled and roared. Maui knew he had to do something more than just hold the Sun in the net so he yelled to one of his brothers to take his end of the rope. He rushed out from the protection of his wall and, with his special axe raised high above his head, he ran towards the Sun. Even though the heat was singing his body and his hair, he started to attack the Sun with his axe. The Sun roared even louder. “What are you doing? Are you trying to kill me?” he screamed. “No. I am not trying to kill you,” answered Maui, “but you don’t understand. You go too fast across the sky, and we are all unable to do our daily work. We need more hours of light in our days for hunting and fishing, for building and repairing our village houses.” “Well,” said the Sun, “you have given me such a battering that I don’t think I could speed across the sky now, even if I wanted to.” “If we release you,” said Maui, “will you promise to slow your journey down?” “You have so weakened me that now I can only go slowly,” answered the Sun.
Maui made him solemnly promise to do what he had asked and then he released the ropes. Maui’s brothers and the men of the tribe watched as the Sun, slowly and stiffly, began to lift into the sky. They all smiled at Maui - they were proud of him.
To this day, the Sun travels on his long lonely path across the sky at a very slow pace, giving us many more hours of sunlight than he used to do.
Black Sands, Big Island
Kakahai’a, Molokai (Japanese Style Wood Print)- Gary Luedtke
These woodblock prints were efforts done over the last 14 years as I moved into what was a new realm of art for me. After discovering the Japanese artists Hiroshige and Hasui in Hawaii in the late 70’s it later occurred to me to meld my interest in Hawaiian scenes with the art of woodblock prints as these Japanese artists had done with their homeland. Hawaii seemed rich in all the elements that I thought would make a good print. These being early and sporadic efforts, their quality as contributed by the carver and printer I employed to make them outshines my sketchy design efforts. Ironically I had turned to the computer to improve my designs with the idea of them ultimately becoming woodblock prints, but coming to appreciate the qualities digital prints offered me in the way of immediacy, control and their greater economy has derailed me largely from that endeavor over to making digital prints.
High Chiefess Kalanikauleleiaiwi- Brook Kapukuniahi Parker
9” X 12” Canvas Genesis Oil
The very sacred High Chiefess Kalanikauleleiaiwi, a daughter of Queen Keakealaniwahine (mother) and King Kaneikakuaiwilani (father) of the Big Island is the inheritor of all the most sacred Kapu gathered from Hawaii to Kauai. She could claim the lineage of every ruling family on every island. She was the end result of over 300 years of careful genetic engineering. The actual architects of those marriage arrangements could be considered brilliant, their posturing, manipulations, and calculations, resulted in the most complex and sophisticated social structure found in all of Polynesia. She would become the mother of kings. Every ruling chief and major Ali’i on every island at the time of Cook’s arrival in 1778 could lay claim to this very special matriarch. Kalanikauleleiaiwi was brought up in high security in a pa (enclosed compound) to ensure her chastity. She was to marry into the most influential and powerful of island families. Her children would be considered of the highest born Ali’i through out the entire Hawaiian archipelago. Her first born would become her most senior in rank.
1. Her first husband Kaulaheanuiokamoku (Kaulahea) was from Maui. He was of the Pi’ilani family line and was heir to a long line of powerful and great Maui rulers. Prestige and honor is bestowed on their first child, a daughter named Kekuiapoiwanui. Kaulahea’s son, Kekaulike by another wife has arrangements made to marry his half sister, Kekuiapoiwanui. Their marriage is consideed a niaupi’o marriage. The combination of them being so closely related and her being of the highest rank insure their children superior status among all island chiefly families. This sibling marriage produces four children; they are Kamehamehanuiailuau, a son, Kalolapupuka, (Kalola) a daughter, Kuho’oheiheipahu, a daughter (died young) and another son, Kahekilinuiahumanu, (Kahekili, King of Maui). The three remaining siblings would play major roles in the closing chapters of Hawaiian history.
2. Her second husband is from her home island, she marries her half brother, Keaweekahiali’iokamoku(Keawe), ruling chief of most of the island of Hawaii. They have the same mother, Keakealaniwahine, but Keawe’s father is Kanaloakapulehu. Born to this sibling couple are two children; Kalanike’eaumoku, a son, and Kekelaokalani a daughter.
3. Her third husband is a high chief from Kohala, Kauauanuiamahi. She bears him a son by the name of Alapa’inuiakauaua (Alapa’i).
4. Her fourth husband and purportedly her true love, is a high chief from Kauai named Lonoikahaupu. She bears him a daughter Kanoena and a son Keawepoepoe. These siblings are joined in a Pi’o (full brother/sister) marriage and they have born to them three children, Kailaupule, a girl, and twin sons, Kame’eiamoku and Kamanawa. Keawepoepoe through another wife has a son named Ke’eaumokupapaiahiahi, (father to future Queen Ka’ahumanu).
These three brothers will rise in position and influence yet future in the court of their young nephew Kamehameha Kunuiakea (Kamehameha).
5. Kalanikauleleiaiwi is reported to have finally married a High Chief from Kohala named Kanekoa. To them was born a daughter named Po’omaikalani.
Painting Credit: Brook Kapuakuniahi Parker
A poignant final chapter in Hawaiian history came to a tragic conclusion on the barren rocky lava fields above Kuamo’o Bay, in the Kona district on the island of Hawai’i.
Following the Death of Kamehameha the Great on May 8, 1819 and before the arrival of Christian missionaries on April 4, 1820, reservations and doubts about the ancient religion led to it’s abandonment by the Kuhina Nui, Ka’ahumanu, and the new king Liholiho (Kamehameha II). In defense of the former gods and former religion, traditionalist rallied to High Chief Ka’owa Kekuaokalani, a favorite nephew of Kamehameha I, who was a son of his brother, Keli’imaika’i. Kekuaokalani was given the responsibility upon Kamehameha’s death to care for the war god, Kukailimoku.
At Kuamo’o Bay near Keahou, Kona, Kekuaokalani and his forces were destroyed by the Monarchy troops led by Liholiho’s Prime Minister, Chief Kalanimoku. The old religion died in a blaze of musket fire. Both sides had firearms, but superior numbers on the side of Kalanimoku led to the deaths of over 300 Loyalist including that of Kekuaokalani and his brave wife Manono who fought valiantly by the side of her husband. The dead were interred in rock cairns visible on the lava fields at Lekeleke Burial grounds at Kuamo’o Bay. It is said that Kalanimoku left the body of Kekuaokalani on the lava rocks after this battle instead of having it buried according to his rank of a chief because Kekuaokalani’s ancestor, Alapa’i-Nui-a–Ka’u-au-a had drowned Kalanimoku’s ancestor, Kauhi-ai-moku-a-kama, at Puhele, Kaupo district, Maui by tying him up and throwing him into the sea to the mercy of the sharks. After Kalanimoku’s departure, Kekuaokalani’s loved ones retrieved his body and the iwi of Kekuaokalani rest today at Pohukaina Tomb on the grounds of I’olani Palace in Honolulu.
Artist Comments: Before starting on the illustration, my wife and I had the sacred honor of visiting these hallowed grounds in October 2008. It was late afternoon with overcast skies. One can still feel an overall sadness to this place as I walked the rough a’a lava battlefield alone as my wife parked the car. In my minds eye I could see the army of Kekuaokalani with the wives standing bravely with their husbands. I could see the huge army of Kalanimoku and his forces. This illustration was heartrending to do. Deep sadness was felt as the picture progressed and transferred in the faces in the rendering. While doing research I was able to locate a photograph from the Peabody Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts of the actual ‘aumakua hulu manu (feathered idol) of the war god Kukailimoku that was carried into that final battle by the army of Kekuaokalani. It is being held high by the Kahuna Nui.