One day, Queen Kaʻahumanu was craving ʻīlio kālua and poi lehua. Her messenger brings her request before the premier dog breeder and kalo farmer of the island of Oʻahu, Kanakaliʻiliʻi and Kanakaʻole of Maunawili, in the uplands of Kailua.
As they are bringing the food for Kaʻahumanu to Kaʻaukuʻu in Honolulu the next day, they get suddenly stopped upon their path. A moʻo wahine called out to them asking them where they were going. The dog, previously cooked the night before, is suddenly alive again and answers the moʻo wahine. As this startles the farmers, they throw their food aside and flee for Honolulu. The dog joins the moʻo wahine, named Pāʻē.
The farmers tell Kaʻahumanu of these amazing events and Kaʻahumanu forgives the farmers for having no food for her. This story becomes famous among the chiefly circles and eventually leads to the popular, modern myth that we cannot bring pork over the Pali, lest we encounter problems on our journey.
This story reminds us of the great abundance and high-quality food that is able to be grown in Maunawili. Whereas Maunawili was a place to supply not only royalty with food but also travelers coming to or from Honolulu. Maunawili was known as a “breadbasket” of the Koʻolau district, one of the foremost places to grow food, especially kalo. This moʻolelo is also a reminder for us of the values of mercy, forgiveness, and truthfulness.
Ka Nūpepa Kūʻokoʻa
15 Oct 1925, pg. 5
By Mr. Geo. Poʻoloa
He Hoʻoulu Poko
I kekahi lā, e ʻono ana ka mōʻī wahine ʻo Kaʻahumanu i ka ʻīlio kālua a me ka poi lehua. Na kāna ʻelele a lawelawe aku i kāna kauoha a i ka mea hānai ʻīlio a me ka mahiʻai maikaʻi ʻoi loa. ʻO Kanakaliʻiliʻi lāua ʻo Kanakaʻole ia ma Maunawili, ma ka uka o Kailua.
Mākaukau ka ʻai. Aia nō nā mahiʻai i ka nuku o Nuʻuanu e lawelawe aku nei i ka mea ʻai no ka mōʻī wahine. ʻŌʻili wale mai kekahi wahine ʻeʻepa i mua o lāua nei. Kāhea aku ia wahine nei i nā mahiʻai, “E hele ana ʻoukou i hea?”
Pane mai ka ʻīlio mai loko mai o ka ʻumeke, i pau ʻē i ke kālua ʻia i ia pō aku nei, “E hele ana mākou i ka ʻauwē ʻāina o lākou nei!” Kāhāhā wale aʻe nā mahiʻai, a ʻo ke kiola akula nō ia i nā ʻumeke, a ʻo ka ʻauheʻe aʻela nō ia no Kaʻaukuʻu ma Honolulu, kahi o ka mōʻīwahine mā. Hui pū ia ʻīlio moʻo me ka wahine ʻeʻepa e noho pū ai.
Haʻi aku ʻo Kanakaliʻiliʻi lāua ʻo Kanakaʻole i kēia mau hana kupanaha ʻoiaʻiʻo iō Kaʻahumanu, me ka leo mihi i ka nele i ka ʻaina no ka lani. Kala aku ua lani la iā lāua nei.
Hele a kaulana loa kēia moʻolelo i waena o nā aliʻi. A lilo kēia moʻolelo i ka moʻolelo laha o kēia mau lā, mai lawe aku i ka puaʻa ma luna o ka nuku o Nuʻuanu, o pōpilikia auaneʻi. Eia naʻe, he ʻīlio nō ia.
He wahi moʻolelo nō kēia no ka ʻāina momona lua ʻole o Maunawili nei. ʻOiai, he wahi ia e hoʻolako aku ana i nā aliʻi i ka ʻai. A he wahi moʻolelo nō hoʻi kēia no ke koʻikoʻi o ka haʻi ʻoiaʻiʻo, ke kala, a me ka mihi.
Ka Nupepa Kuokoa
15 Oka 1925, aoao 5
Na Mr. Geo. Pooloa
- Mr. Geo. Pooloa, Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, NA AUI O KE AU KAHIKO, 15 Oka 1925, aoao 5. (Original Text from Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, accessed through Papakilo Database)
- Mr. Geo. Pooloa, Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, NA AUI O KE AU KAHIKO, 15 Oka 1925, aoao 5. (Transcribed Text from Papakilo Database)
- No Ka ʻĪlio Moʻo: The Brindled Dog Retold by Kawehi Avelino (English & Hawaiian).
Avelino, K. (2008). No Ka ʻĪlio Moʻo: The Brindled Dog. Hale Kuamoʻo.
- No Ka ʻĪlio Moʻo haʻi hou ʻia na Kawehi Avelino
Avelino, K. (2008). No Ka ʻĪlio Moʻo. Hale Kuamoʻo.
- If Kaʻahumanu sent messengers all the way over to Kailua to get food, what does this moʻolelo teach us about the ʻai (food/kalo) and ʻāina in Kailua?
- Based on the moʻolelo, what do we learn about the ʻāina in Kailua? Was it momona? How can we tell? What would it take to get the ʻāina back to this state?
- What life lessons might we learn from this moʻolelo? How might it connect with our ʻōlelo noʻeau?
- Moʻolelo: History, story
- Aliʻi: Royalty
- Ili kūpono: Land district within the ahupuaʻa that reports directly to the aliʻi and not the konohiki
- ʻĪlio kālua: Dog baked in an underground oven- imu
- Kalo lehua: Taro of the “lehua” variety
- Mōʻī wahine: Queen
- Moʻo wahine: Female water spirit
- Momona: Fertility, oily, sweet, fat
- Poi lehua: Pounded and watered down lehua taro
Inoa ʻĀina (Wind, Rain, & Place Names)
- Konahuanui: Tallest peak of the Koʻolau mountain range
- Maunawili: Land area in the uplands of the ahupuaʻa of Kailua
- Nuku o Nuʻuanu: Mountain pass of Nuʻuanu, referred to today simply as “the Pali”
Haʻawina (Life Lessons)
ʻO ka hoʻolohe ʻana i ke aliʻi (Obedience to superiors)
- ʻO ia hoʻi ke koʻikoʻi o ka hoʻokō ʻana aku i nā kauoha o nā kānaka kūlana kiʻekiʻe e like me ke aliʻi, ka mōʻī wahine, nā kūpuna, mākua a nā kumu paha.
- (It is important to fulfill commands of superiors, like royalty, elders, parents, and teachers.)
ʻO ka haʻi ʻana i ka ʻoiaʻiʻo (Telling the truth)
- I loko o ka pakele ʻana aku a ka ʻīlio moʻo mai ka umeke mai, mau nō ka huakaʻi ʻana aku a Kanakaliʻiliʻi lāua ʻo Kanakaʻole a mua o ka mōʻī wahine, a mua o Kaʻahumanu a me ka haʻi ʻana aku iā ia i ka moʻolelo ʻoiaʻiʻo.
- (Despite the escape of the ʻīlio moʻo from the calabash, Kanakaliʻi and Kanakaʻole still travel to the queen, Kaʻahumanu and tell her the truth.)
ʻO ka mihi a me ke kala (Repentance and forgiveness)
- I kā Kaʻahumanu lohe ʻana mai i ka moʻolelo a Kanakaliʻiliʻi mā, a me kā lāua mihi ʻana aku, kala aku ka mōʻī wahine iā lāua ala. No laila, he hōʻailona nō kēnā i ka loko maikaʻi ona i nā kānaka haʻi ʻoiaʻiʻo.
- (As Kaʻahumanu heard Kanakaliʻiliʻi and Kanakaʻole’s story and their repentance, she forgives them. This is a testament to the mercy that is shown to those who speak truthfully.)
ʻO ka momona o ka ʻāina (The fertility of the land)
- ʻO ka momona o ka ʻāina, aia nō i ka hoʻoulu ʻana mai a ke kānaka. He kuleana kā kākou i ka mahiʻai ʻana i ka ʻāina. No ka mea, he mea ia e mauliola hou aku ai kākou a pau.
- (It is up to us as people to farm the land/ocean and reap her fruits. We have a responsibility to grow our own food. And when we do this, we see everything flourish once again.)
Content on this page was written and compiled by Johanna Kapōmaikaʻi Stone