In this volume you will find 21 legends and myths of Hawaii reyold by no other than HM King Kalakaua (1836 – 1891), the last King of Hawaii. Herein you will find the legends of:Hina, the Helen of Hawaii.The Royal Hunchback.The Triple Marriage of Laa-mai-kahiki.The Apotheosis of Pele.Hua, King of Hana.The Iron Knife.The Sacred Spear-Point.Kelea, the Surf-Rider of Maui.Umi, the Peasant Prince of Hawaii.Lono and Kaikilani.The Adventures of Iwikauikaua.The Prophecies of Keaulumoku.The Cannibals of Halemanu.Kaiana, the Last of the Hawaiian Knights.Kaala, the Flower of Lanai.The Destruction of the Temples.The Tomb of Puupehe.The Story of Laieikawai.Lohiau, the Lover of a Goddess.Kahavari, Chief of Puna.Kahalaopuna, the Princess of Manoa.The legends in this volume are from a group of sun kissed islands lying almost midway between Asia and America. These Islands were unknown to the Western world until Captain James Cook discovered them on his third journey to the Pacific in January 1778. Here he discovered a cluster of volcanic craters and coral-reefs, where the mountains are mantled in perpetual green and look down upon valleys of eternal spring.Here, for two-thirds of the year trade-winds, sweeping down from the northwest coast of America are softened in their passage southward. They dally with the stately cocoas and spreading palms, and mingle their cooling breath with the ever-living fragrance of fruit and frangipani blossom. These islands greet the eye of the approaching mariner like a shadowy paradise, suddenly lifted from the blue depths they soar above the Pacific Ocean inviting him to drop anchor by this enchanted shore.============TAGS: Hawaii, folklore, fairytales, myths, legends, children’s stories, island life, surf, sun drenched, mountains, volcanoes, pacific ocean, king kalakaua, Hina, Helen Of Hawaii, Royal Hunchback, Triple Marriage, Laa-Mai-Kahiki, Apotheosis, Pele, Hua, King Of Hana, Iron Knife, Sacred Spear-Point, Kelea, Surf-Rider, Maui, Umi, Peasant Prince, Lono, Kaikilani, Adventures, Iwikauikaua, Prophecies, Keaulumoku, Cannibals, Halemanu, Kaiana, Last, Hawaiian Knights, Kaala, Flower Of Lanai, Destruction, Temples, Tomb, Puupehe, Story, Laieikawai, Lohiau, Lover Of A Goddess, Kahavari, Chief Of Puna, Kahalaopuna, Princess Of Manoa.
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The Fables And Folk-Loreof a Strange People.
ByHis Hawaiian Majesty Kalakaua.
Edited And With An IntroductionByHon. R. M. Daggett,Late United States Minister To The Hawaiian Islands.
Originally Published by
Charles L. Webster & Company, New York
Abela Publishing, London
The Legends and Myths of Hawaii
Typographical arrangement of this edition
© Abela Publishing 2018
This book may not be reproduced in its current format in any manner in any media, or transmitted by any means whatsoever, electronic, electrostatic, magnetic tape, or mechanical ( including photocopy, file or video recording, internet web sites, blogs, wikis, or any other information storage and retrieval system) except as permitted by law without the prior written permission of the publisher.
For material in the compilation of many of the legends embraced in this volume obligation is acknowledged to H. R. H. Liliuokalani; General John Owen Dominis; His Excellency Walter M. Gibson; Professor W. D. Alexander; Mrs. E. Beckley, Government Librarian; Mr. W. James Smith, Secretary of the National Board of Education; and especially to Hon. Abram Fornander, the learned author of “An Account of the Polynesian Race, its Origin and Migrations.”
The legends, in the order of their publication, beginning with the first and ending with “The Destruction of the Temples,” may be regarded, so far as they refer to the prominent political events with which they are associated, as in a measure historic. Those following have been selected as the most striking and characteristic of what remains of the fabulous folk-lore of the Hawaiian group.
MAP of the HAWAIIAN ISLANDS
Hawaiian Legends: Introduction.
Hina, the Helen of Hawaii.
The Royal Hunchback.
The Triple Marriage of Laa-mai-kahiki.
The Apotheosis of Pele.
Hua, King of Hana.
The Iron Knife.
The Sacred Spear-Point.
Kelea, the Surf-Rider of Maui.
Umi, the Peasant Prince of Hawaii.
Lono and Kaikilani.
The Adventures of Iwikauikaua.
The Prophecies of Keaulumoku.
The Cannibals of Halemanu.
Kaiana, the Last of the Hawaiian Knights.
Kaala, the Flower of Lanai.
The Destruction of the Temples.
The Tomb of Puupehe.
The Story of Laieikawai.
Lohiau, the Lover of a Goddess.
Kahavari, Chief of Puna.
Kahalaopuna, the Princess of Manoa.
The legends following are of a group of sunny islands lying almost midway between Asia and America—a cluster of volcanic craters and coral-reefs, where the mountains are mantled in perpetual green and look down upon valleys of eternal spring; where for two-thirds of the year the trade-winds, sweeping down from the northwest coast of America and softened in their passage southward, dally with the stately cocoas and spreading palms, and mingle their cooling breath with the ever-living fragrance of fruit and blossom. Deeply embosomed in the silent wastes of the broad Pacific, with no habitable land nearer than two thousand miles, these islands greet the eye of the approaching mariner like a shadowy paradise, suddenly lifted from the blue depths by the malicious spirits of the world of waters, either to lure him to his destruction or disappear as he drops his anchor by the enchanted shore.
Mahiole, Or Feathered War-Helmet.
The legends are of a little archipelago which was unknown to the civilized world until the closing years of the last century, and of a people who for many centuries exchanged no word or product with the rest of mankind; who had lost all knowledge, save the little retained by the dreamiest of legends, of the great world beyond their island home; whose origin may be traced to the ancient Cushites of Arabia, and whose legends repeat the story of the Jewish genesis; who developed and passed through an age of chivalry somewhat more barbarous, perhaps, but scarcely less affluent in deeds of enterprise and valor than that which characterized the contemporaneous races of the continental world; whose chiefs and priests claimed kinship with the gods, and step by step told back their lineage not only to him who rode the floods, but to the sinning pair whose re-entrance to the forfeited joys of Paradise was prevented by the large, white bird of Kane; who fought without shields and went to their death without fear; whose implements of war and industry were of wood, stone and bone, yet who erected great temples to their gods, and constructed barges and canoes which they navigated by the stars; who peopled the elements with spirits, reverenced the priesthood, bowed to the revelations of their prophets, and submitted without complaint to the oppressions of the tabu; who observed the rite of circumcision, built places of refuge after the manner of the ancient Israelites, and held sacred the religious legends of the priests and chronological meles of the chiefs.
As the mind reverts to the past of the Hawaiian group, and dwells for a moment upon the shadowy history of its people, mighty forms rise and disappear—men of the stature of eight or nine feet, crowned with helmets of feathers and bearing spears thirty feet in length. Such men were Kiha, and Liloa, and Umi, and Lono, all kings of Hawaii during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; and little less in bulk and none the less in valor was the great Kamehameha, who conquered and consolidated the several islands under one government, and died as late as 1819. And beside Umi, whose life was a romance, stands his humble friend Maukaleoleo, who, with his feet upon the ground, could reach the cocoanuts of standing trees; and back of him in the past is seen Kana, the son of Hina, whose height was measured by paces.
GROUP OF ANCIENT WEAPONS.
Pahoa, or Wooden Dagger.
Ihe, or Javelin, 6 to 8 feet long.
Spear, 16 to 20 feet long.
And, glancing still farther backward through the centuries, we behold adventurous chiefs, in barges and double canoes a hundred feet in length, making the journey between the Hawaiian and more southern groups, guided only by the sun and stars. Later we see battles, with dusky thousands in line. The warriors are naked to the loins, and are armed with spears, slings, clubs, battle-axes, javelins and knives of wood or ivory. They have neither bows nor shields. They either catch with their hands or ward with their own the weapons that are thrown. Their chiefs, towering above them in stature, have thrown off their gaudy feather cloaks and helmets, and, with spear and stone halberd, are at the front of battle. The opposing forces are so disposed as to present a right and left wing and centre, the king or principal chief commanding the latter in person. In the rear of each hostile line are a large number of women with calabashes of food and water with which to refresh their battling fathers, husbands and brothers. While the battle rages their wails, cries and prayers are incessant, and when defeat menaces their friends they here and there take part in the combat. The augurs have been consulted, sacrifices and promises to the gods have been made, and, as the warring lines approach, the war-gods of the opposing chiefs, newly decorated and attended by long-haired priests, are borne to the front. War-cries and shouts of defiance follow. The priests retire, and the slingers open the battle. Spears are thrown, and soon the struggle is hand-to-hand all over the field. They fight in groups and squads around their chiefs and leaders, who range the field in search of enemies worthy of their weapons. No quarter is given or expected. The first prisoners taken are reserved as offerings to the gods, and are regarded as the most precious of sacrifices. Finally the leading chief of one of the opposing armies falls. A desperate struggle over his body ensues, and his dispirited followers begin to give ground and are soon in retreat. Some escape to a stronghold in the neighboring mountains, and a few, perhaps, to a temple of refuge; but the most of them are overtaken and slain. The prisoners who are spared become the slaves of their captors, and the victory is celebrated with feasting and bountiful sacrifices to the gods.
This is a representative battle of the past, either for the supremacy of rival chiefs or in repelling invasion from a neighboring island. But here and there we catch glimpses of actual conflicts indicative of the warlike spirit and chivalry of the early Hawaiians. Far back in the past we see the beautiful Hina abducted from her Hawaiian husband by a prince of Molokai, and kept a prisoner in the fortress of Haupu until her sons grow to manhood, when she is rescued at the end of an assault which leaves the last of her defenders dead. Later we see the eight hundred helmeted chiefs of the king of Hawaii, all of noble blood, hurling themselves to destruction against the spears of the armies of Maui on the plains of Wailuku. And then, less than a generation after, Kamehameha is seen in the last battle of the conquest, when, at the head of sixteen thousand warriors, he sweeps the Oahuan army over the precipice of Nuuanu and becomes the master of the archipelago. Finally we behold Kekuaokalani, the last defender in arms of the Hawaiian gods and temples, trampling upon the edict of the king against the worship of his fathers, and dying, with his faithful wife Manono, on the field of Kuamoo.
In the midst of these scenes of blood the eye rests with relief upon numerous episodes of love, friendship and self-sacrifice touching with a softening color the ruddy canvas of the past. We see Kanipahu, the exiled king of Hawaii, delving like a common laborer on a neighboring island, and refusing to accept anew the sceptre in his old age because his back had become crooked with toil and he could no longer look over the heads of his subjects as became a Hawaiian king. We see Umi, a rustic youth of royal mien and mighty proportions, boldly leap the palace-walls of the great Liloa, push aside the spears of the guards, enter the royal mansion, seat himself in the lap of the king, and through the exhibition of a forgotten token of love receive instant recognition as his son. And now Lono, the royal great-grandson of Umi, rises before us, and we see him lured from self-exile by the voice of his queen, reaching him in secret from without the walls of the sovereign court of Oahu, to return to Hawaii and triumph over his enemies. These and many other romantic incidents present themselves in connection with the early Hawaiian kings and princes, and are offered in the succeeding pages with every detail of interest afforded by available tradition.
A few general remarks concerning the physical characteristics of the Hawaiian Islands would seem to be appropriate in presenting a collection of legends dealing alike with the history and folk-lore of their people. The islands occupy a place in a great waste of the Pacific between the nineteenth and twenty-third degrees of north latitude, and the one hundred and fifty-fourth and one hundred and sixty-first degrees of longitude west from Greenwich. They are two thousand one hundred miles southwest from San Francisco, and about the same distance from Tahiti.
The group consists of ten islands, including two that are little more than barren rocks. The farthest are about three hundred miles from each other, measuring from their extreme boundaries, and their aggregate area is a little more than six thousand one hundred square miles. Of the eight principal islands all are habitable, although the small islands of Niihau and Kahoolawe are used almost exclusively as cattle-ranges.
The most of the shores of the several islands are fringed with coral, but their origin seems to be indisputably shown in the numerous craters of extinct volcanoes scattered throughout the group, and in the mighty fires still blazing from the mountain-heights of Hawaii.
By far the larger part of the area of the islands is mountainous; but from the interior elevations, some of them reaching altitudes of from ten to fourteen thousand feet, flow many small streams of sweet water, widening into fertile valleys as they reach the coast, while here and there between them alluvial plateaus have been left by the upland wash.
With rare exceptions the mountain-sides are covered with vegetation, some of sturdy growth, capable of being wrought into building materials and canoes, while lower down the ohia, the palm, the banana, and the bread-fruit stand clothed in perpetual green, with groves of stately cocoas between them and the sea.
Once the fragrant sandal-wood was abundant in the mountains, but it became an article of commerce with the natives in their early intercourse with the white races, and is now rarely seen. Once the valleys and plateaus were covered with growing taro and potatoes; now the cane and rice of the foreigner have usurped the places of both, and in the few shaded spots that have been left him the forgiving and revengeless Hawaiian sadly chants his wild songs of the past.
Neither within the memory of men nor the reach of their legends, which extend back more than a thousand years, has there been an active volcano in the group beyond the large island of Hawaii, which embraces two-thirds of the solid area of the archipelago. The mighty crater of Haleakala, more than thirty miles in circumference, on the island of Maui, has slept in peace among the clouds for ages, and hundreds of lesser and lower craters, many of them covered with vegetation, are found scattered among the mountains and foot-hills of the group; but their fires have long been extinct, and the scoria and ashes buried at their bases tell the story of their activity far back in the past.
It must have been a sight too grand for human eyes to witness when all these dead volcanic peaks, aglow with sulphurous flames, lit up the moonless midnights of the eight Hawaiian seas with their combined bombardment of the heavens!
On the island of Hawaii alone have the fires of nature remained unextinguished. At intervals during the past thousand years or more have Mauna Kea, Mauna Hualalai and Mauna Loa sent their devastating streams of lava to the sea, and to-day the awful, restless and ever-burning caldron of Kilauea, nearly a mile in circumference, is the grandest conflagration that lights up the earth. Within its lurid depths, in fiery grottoes and chambers of burning crystal, dwell Pele and her companions, and offerings are still thrown to them by superstitious natives. Do they yet believe in these deities after more than sixty years of Christian teaching? after their temples have been leveled and their gods have been destroyed? after their tabus have been broken and their priesthood has been dethroned and dishonored? The only answer is, “The offerings are still made.”
Although the channel and ocean coasts of the islands are generally bold, rocky and precipitous, there are numerous bays and indentations partially sheltered by reefs and headlands, and many stretches of smooth and yellow beach, where the waves, touched by the kona, or the trade-wind’s breath, chase each other high up among the cocoa’s roots and branches of the humble hau-tree clinging to the sands. The harbor of Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, is the only one, however, where passengers and freights of ocean crafts may be received or landed without the aid of lighters.
The most of the useful and ornamental growths of the tropics now flourish on the islands. The indigenous plants, however, are confined to the banana, plantain, cocoanut, breadfruit, ohia, sugar-cane, arrow-root, yam, sweet potato, taro, strawberry, raspberry and ohelo. The lime, orange, mango, tamarind, papaia, guava, and every other edible product, aside from those named as indigenous, are importations of the past century.
The only domestic animals of the ancient Hawaiians were dogs, swine and fowls, and the most formidable four-legged creatures found in their fields and forests were mice and lizards. Wild geese, including a species peculiar to the islands, ducks, snipe and plover were abundant in their seasons, but seem to have been sparely eaten; and owls, bats, and a few varieties of birds of simple song and not over-brilliant plumage made up about the sum total of animal life on the islands a hundred years ago. But the native could well afford to be content with this limited provision, since it did not include snakes, mosquitoes, centipedes, tarantulas, or scorpions.
To what processes of creation or isolation do the Hawaiian Islands owe their existence? Were they raised from the depths of the ocean by volcanic action, as plainly suggested by their formation? or are they a part of a great sunken continent which speculation, sustained by misty tradition, claims once occupied the Polynesian seas? Hawaiian meles mention islands no longer to be found, and the facility with which communication was maintained between the Hawaiian and more southern groups previous to the twelfth century renders plausible the assumption that this intercourse was abruptly terminated six or seven centuries ago by the disappearance of a number of intervening atolls or islands which had served as guides to early Polynesian navigators. The gigantic ruins of temples and other structures found on Easter and one or two other islands of the equatorial Pacific are almost unanswerable arguments in favor of the theory of a sunken Polynesian continent; but the question will probably never be removed beyond the field of surmise.
The source and early history of the Hawaiian people, and, in fact, of the Polynesian race, of which they are a part, are involved in doubt. They have generally been regarded as an offshoot of the great Malayan family; but more recent as well as more thorough investigation, particularly by Judge Fornander, the learned and conscientious historian, with reasonable conclusiveness shows the Polynesian and Malayan races to be of distinct and widely different origin.
Accepting this conclusion, we trace the strictly Polynesian tribes to an Aryan beginning, somewhere in Asia Minor or Arabia. There, in the remote past, it is assumed, they were brought in close contact with early Cushite and Chaldeo-Arabian civilizations. Subsequently drifting into India, they to some extent amalgamated with the Dravidian races, and, following the channels of the great Chaldean commerce of that period, at length found a home in the Asiatic archipelago from Sumatra to Luzon and Timor.
The exact time of their settlement on the large coast islands of southern Asia cannot be definitely determined, but their legends and genealogies leave little room to doubt that it was contemporaneous with the Malay and Hindoo invasions of Sumatra, Java, and other islands of the archipelago, during the first and second centuries of the Christian era, that the Polynesians were pushed out—not at once in a body, but by families and communities covering a period of years—to the smaller and more remote islands of the Pacific.
Their first general rendezvous was in the Fiji group, where they left their impress upon the native Papuans. Expelled from, or voluntarily leaving, the Fijis, after a sojourn there of several generations, the Polynesians scattered over the Pacific, occupying by stages the several groups of islands where they are now found. Moving by the way of the Samoan and Society Islands, the migratory wave did not reach the Hawaiian group until about the middle of the sixth century.
Nanaula, a distinguished chief, was the first to arrive from the southern islands. It is not known whether he discovered the group by being blown northward by adverse winds, or in deliberately adventuring far out upon the ocean in search of new lands. In either event, he brought with him his gods, priests, prophets and astrologers, and a considerable body of followers and retainers. He was also provided with dogs, swine and fowls, and the seeds and germs of useful plants for propagation. It is probable that he found the group without human inhabitants.
During that period—probably during the life of Nanaula—other chiefs of less importance arrived with their families and followers either from Tahiti or Samoa. They came in barges and large double canoes capable of accommodating from fifty to one hundred persons each. They brought with them not only their priests and gods, but the earliest of Polynesian traditions. It is thought that none of the pioneers of the time of Nanaula ever returned to the southern islands, nor did others immediately follow the first migratory wave that peopled the Hawaiian group.
For thirteen or fourteen generations the first occupants of the Hawaiian Islands lived sequestered from the rest of the world, multiplying and spreading throughout the group. They erected temples to their gods, maintained their ancient religion, and yielded obedience to their chiefs. The traditions of the period are so meagre as to leave the impression that it was one of uninterrupted peace, little having been preserved beyond the genealogies of the governing chiefs.
But late in the tenth or early in the beginning of the eleventh century the Hawaiians were aroused from their dream of more than four centuries by the arrival of a party of adventurers from the southern islands, probably from the Society group. It was under the leadership of Nanamaoa. He was a warlike chief, and succeeded in establishing his family in power on Hawaii, Maui and Oahu. But stronger leaders were soon to follow from the south. Among the first was the high-priest Paao, from Samoa. He arrived during the reign of Kapawa, the grandson of Nanamaoa, or immediately after his death. The people were in an unsettled condition politically, and Paao, grasping the situation, either sent or returned in person to Samoa for Pili, a distinguished chief of that island. Arriving with a large following, Pili assumed the sovereignty of the island of Hawaii and founded a new dynasty. Paao became his high-priest, and somewhat disturbed the religious practices of the people by the introduction of new rites and two or three new gods. However, his religion did not seem to differ greatly from that of the native priests, and from him the last of the priesthood, seven hundred years after, claimed lineage and right of place.
The intercourse thus established between the Hawaiian and southern groups by Nanamaoa, Paao and Pili continued for about one hundred and fifty years, or until the middle or close of the twelfth century. During that period several other warlike families from the south established themselves in the partial or complete sovereignty of Oahu, Maui and Kauai, and expeditions were frequent between the group and other distant islands of Polynesia. It was a season of unusual activity, and the legends of the time are filled with stories of love, conquest and perilous voyages to and from the southern islands.
In that age, when distant voyages were frequent, the Polynesians were bold and intelligent navigators. In addition to large double canoes capable of withstanding the severest weather, they possessed capacious barges, with planks corded and calked upon strong frames. They were decked over and carried ample sail. Their navigators had some knowledge of the stars; knew the prominent planets and gave them names; were acquainted with the limits of the ecliptic and situation of the equator. With these helps, and keenly watchful of the winds and currents, of ocean drifts and flights of birds, they seldom failed to reach their destination, however distant.
Near the close of the twelfth century all communication between the Hawaiian and southern groups suddenly ceased. Tradition offers no explanation of the cause, and conjecture can find no better reason for it than the possible disappearance at that time of a number of island landmarks which had theretofore served as guides to the mariner. The beginning of this period of isolation found the entire group, with the exception, perhaps, of Molokai and a portion of Oahu, in the possession of the southern chiefs or their descendants.
It has been observed that the first discovery and occupation of the islands by Polynesians from the Society and Samoan groups occurred in the sixth century, and that more than four hundred years later a second migratory tide from the same and possibly other southern islands reached the coasts of Hawaii, continuing for more than a century and a half, and completely changing the political, and to some extent the social, condition of the people. Although nearly five centuries elapsed between the first and second migratory influxes from the south, during which the inhabitants of the group held no communication with the rest of the world, it is a curious fact that the Pili, Paumakua, and other chiefly families of the second influx traced back their lineage to the ancestors of the chiefs of the first migration, and made good their claim to the relationship by the recital of legends and genealogies common to both.
At the close of the second migratory period, which concluded their intercourse with the world beyond them for more than six hundred years, or from A.D. 1175 to 1778, the people of the group had very generally transferred their allegiance to the newly-arrived chiefs.
The notable exceptions were the Maweke and Kamauaua families of Oahu and Molokai, both of the ancient Nanaula line. Although they were gradually crowded from their possessions by their more energetic invaders, the high descent of the prominent native chiefs was recognized, and by intermarriage their blood was allowed to mingle with the royal currents which have flowed down the centuries since they ceased to rule.
A mere outline of the political history of the islands from the twelfth century to the nineteenth is all that will be given here. The legends following will supply much that will be omitted to avoid repetition.
Until the final conquest of the group by Kamehameha I. at the close of the last century, the five principal islands of the archipelago—Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kauai and Molokai—were each governed, as a rule, by one or more independent chiefs. The smaller islands of Lanai and Kahoolawe were usually subject to Maui, while Niihau always shared the political fate of Kauai.
On each island, however, were descendants of distinguished ancient chiefs and heroes, who were recognized as of superior or royal blood, and with them originated the supreme chiefs, kings, or mois of the several islands, whose lines continued in authority, with interruptions of insurrection and royal feuds, until the consolidation of the group by Kamehameha. No one was recognized as a tabu chief unless his genealogical record showed him to be of noble blood, and intermarriage between the ruling families, as well as between the lesser chiefs of the several islands, in time united the entire aristocracy of the group by ties of blood, and gave to all of royal strain a common and distinguished ancestry. The nobility and hereditary priesthood claimed to be of a stock different from that of the common people, and their superior stature and intelligence seemed to favor the assumption. To keep pure the blood of the chiefly classes, far back in the past a college of heraldry was established, before which all chiefs were required to recite their genealogies and make good their claims to noble descent.
The legends of the group abound in stories of romantic and sanguinary internal conflicts, and political and predatory wars between the islands; but down to the time of Kamehameha but a single attempt had been made to subjugate the entire archipelago. This bold scheme was entertained by a king of the island of Hawaii who reigned during the latter part of the thirteenth century. He succeeded in overrunning Maui, Oahu and Molokai, but was defeated and taken prisoner on Kauai.
Without further reference to the intervening years from the twelfth century to the eighteenth—a long period of wars, festivals, tournaments, and royal and priestly pageantry—we will now glance at the condition of the islands at the time of their discovery by Captain Cook, a little more than a century ago. It was estimated that the islands then contained a population of four hundred thousand souls. This estimate has been considered large. But when it is noted that fifteen years later there were between thirty and forty thousand warriors under arms in the group at the same time, with large reserves ready for service, the conclusion is irresistible that the population could scarcely have been less. Kamehameha invaded Oahu with sixteen thousand warriors, principally drawn from the island of Hawaii. He was opposed by eight or ten thousand spears, while as many more awaited his arrival on Kauai. According to the figures of the Rev. Mr. Ellis, who travelled around the island of Hawaii in 1821 and numbered the dwellings and congregations addressed by him in the several coast districts through which he passed, the number of people on that island alone could not have been less than one hundred and fifteen thousand.
At the time of the arrival of Captain Cook, Kalaniopuu, of the ancient line of Pili, was king of the large island of Hawaii, and also maintained possession of a portion of the island of Maui. Kahekili, “the thunderer,” as his name implied, was moi of Maui, and the principal wife of Kalaniopuu was his sister. Kahahana, who was also related to Kahekili, was the king of Oahu and claimed possession of Molokai and Lanai. Kamakahelei was the nominal queen of Kauai and Niihau, and her husband was a younger brother to Kahekili, while she was related to the royal family of Hawaii. Thus, it will be seen, the reigning families of the several islands of the group were all related to each other, as well by marriage as by blood. So had it been for many generations. But their wars with each other were none the less vindictive because of their kinship, or attended with less of barbarity in their hours of triumph.
At that time Kahekili was plotting for the downfall of Kahahana and the seizure of Oahu and Molokai, and the queen of Kauai was disposed to assist him in these enterprises. The occupation of the Hana district of Maui by the kings of Hawaii had been the cause of many stubborn conflicts between the chivalry of the two islands, and when Captain Cook first landed on Hawaii he found the king of that island absent on another warlike expedition to Maui, intent upon avenging his defeat of two years before, when his famous brigade of eight hundred nobles was hewn in pieces.
Connected with the court of Kalaniopuu at that time was a silent and taciturn chief, who had thus far attracted but little attention as a military leader. He was a man of gigantic mould, and his courage and prowess in arms were undoubted; yet he seldom smiled or engaged in the manly sports so attractive to others, and his friends were the few who discerned in him a slumbering greatness which subsequently gave him a name and fame second to no other in Hawaiian history. He was the reputed and accepted son of Keoua, the half-brother of Kalaniopuu, although it was believed by many that his real father was Kahekili, moi of Maui. But, however this may have been, he was of royal blood, and was destined to become not only the king of Hawaii, but the conqueror and sovereign of the group. This chief was Kamehameha.
Such, in brief, was the political condition of the islands when Captain Cook arrived. He was an officer in the English navy, and, with the war-ships Resolution and Discovery, was on a voyage in search of a northwest passage eastward from Behring’s Straits. Leaving the Society group in December, 1777, on the 18th of the following month he sighted Oahu and Kauai. Landing on the latter island and Niihau, he was received as a god by the natives, and his ships were provided with everything they required. Without then visiting the other islands of the group, he left for the northwest coast of America on the 2d of February, 1778, and in November of that year returned to the islands, first sighting the shores of Molokai and Maui. Communicating with the wondering natives of the latter island, he sailed around the coasts of Hawaii, and on the 17th of January dropped his anchors in Kealakeakua Bay. He was hailed as a reincarnation of their god Lono by the people, and the priests conducted him to their temples and accorded him divine honors. Returning from his campaign in Maui, the king visited and treated him as a god, and his ships were bountifully supplied with pigs, fowls, vegetables and fruits. The ships left the bay on the 4th of February, but, meeting with a storm, returned on the 8th for repairs. Petty bickerings soon after occurred between the natives and white sailors, and on the 13th one of the ships’ boats was stolen by a chief and broken up for its nails and other iron fastenings. Cook demanded its restoration, and, while endeavoring to take the king on board the Resolution as a prisoner, was set upon by the natives and slain. Fire was opened by the ships, and many natives, including four or five chiefs, were killed. The body of Cook was borne off by the natives, but the most of the bones were subsequently returned at the request of Captain King, and the vessels soon after left the island.
If Captain Cook was not the first of European navigators to discover the Hawaiian Islands, he was at least the first to chart and make their existence known to the world. It has been pretty satisfactorily established that Juan Gaetano, the captain of a Spanish galleon sailing from the Mexican coast to the Spice Islands, discovered the group as early as 1555. But he did not make his discovery known at the time, and the existence of an old manuscript chart in the archives of the Spanish government is all that remains to attest his claim to it.
Native traditions mention the landing of small parties of white men on two or three occasions during the latter part of the sixteenth century; but if the faces and ships of other races were seen by the Hawaiians in the time of Gaetano, their descendants had certainly lost all knowledge of both two hundred or more years later, for Cook was welcomed as a supernatural being by the awe-stricken islanders, and his ships were described by them as floating islands. A simple iron nail was to them a priceless jewel, and every act and word betrayed an utter ignorance of everything pertaining to the white races.
Kalaniopuu, the king of Hawaii, died in 1782, and Kamehameha, through the assistance of three or four prominent chiefs, succeeded, after a struggle of more than ten years, in securing to himself the supreme authority over that island. This done, encouraged by the prophets, assisted by his chiefs, and sustained by an unwavering faith in his destiny, he conquered Maui, Oahu, Kauai and their dependencies, and in 1795 was recognized as the sole master of the group.
Although of royal stock, the strain of Kamehameha from the old line of kings was less direct than that of his cousin, Kiwalao, from whom he wrested the Hawaiian sceptre; but his military genius rallied around him the warlike chiefs who were dissatisfied with the division of lands by the son and successor of Kalaniopuu, and in the end his triumph was complete. To farther ennoble his succession he married the daughter of his royal cousin, and thus gave to his children an undoubted lineage of supreme dignity.
The existence of the Hawaiian Islands became generally known to the world soon after the final departure of the Resolution and Discovery, but it was not until 1786 that vessels began to visit the group. The first to arrive after the death of Captain Cook were the English ships King George and Queen Charlotte, and the same year a French exploring squadron touched at Maui. In 1787 several trading vessels visited the group, and the natives began to barter provisions and sandal-wood for fire-arms and other weapons of metal.
In 1792, and again in 1793, Captain Vancouver, of an English exploring squadron, touched and remained for some time at the islands. He landed sheep, goats and horned cattle, and distributed a quantity of fruit and garden seeds. His memory is gratefully cherished by the natives, for his mission was one of peace and broad benevolence. Thenceforward trading-vessels in considerable numbers visited the group, and during the concluding wars of Kamehameha the rival chiefs had secured the assistance of small parties of white men, and to some extent had learned the use of muskets and small cannon, readily purchased and paid for in sandal-wood, which was then quite abundant on most of the timbered mountains of the islands. The harbor of Honolulu was first discovered and entered by two American vessels in 1794, and it soon became a favorite resort for the war, trading and whaling vessels of all nations.
In the midst of these new and trying conditions Kamehameha managed the affairs of his kingdom with distinguished prudence and sagacity. He admonished his people to endure with patience the aggressions of the whites, and to retain, as far as possible, their simple habits. With his little empire united and peaceful, Kamehameha died on the 8th of May, 1819, at the age of about eighty; and his bones were so secretly disposed of that they have not yet been found.
Liholiho, the elder of his sons by Keopuolani, the daughter of his cousin Kiwalao, succeeded his warlike father with the title of Kamehameha II. Some knowledge of the Christian religion had reached the natives through their white visitors, but the old chief died in the faith of his fathers.
The death of Kamehameha was immediately followed by an event for which history affords no parallel. In October, 1819—six months before the first Christian missionaries arrived on the islands—Liholiho, under the inspiration of Kaahumanu, one of the widows of his father, suddenly, and in the presence of a large concourse of horrified natives, broke the most sacred of the tabus of his religion by partaking of food from vessels from which women were feasting, and the same day decreed the destruction of every temple and idol in the kingdom. He was sustained by the high-priest Hewahewa, who was the first to apply the torch; and within a few weeks idols, temples, altars, and a priesthood which had held prince and subject in awe for centuries were swept away, leaving the people absolutely without a religion.
But all did not peacefully submit to this royal edict against their gods. In the twilight of that misty period looms up a grand defender of the faith of Keawe and Umi and the altars of the Hawaiian gods. This champion was Kekuaokalani, a nephew, perhaps a son, of the first Kamehameha, and a cousin, perhaps a half-brother, of Liholiho. In his veins coursed the royal blood of Hawaii, and his bearing was that of a king. He was above six and one-half feet in height, with limbs well proportioned and features strikingly handsome and commanding. He was of the priesthood, and, through the bestowal of some tabu or prerogative, claimed to be second in authority to Hewahewa, who traced his lineage back to Paao, the high-priest of Pili. His wife, Manono, was scarcely less distinguished for her courage, beauty and chiefly strain.
The apostasy of Hewahewa left Kekuaokalani at the head of the priesthood—at least so he seems to have assumed—and the royal order to demolish the temples was answered by him with an appeal to the people to arm and join him in defence of their gods. He raised the standard of revolt on the island of Hawaii, and was soon at the head of a considerable army. A large force was sent against him, and every effort was made to induce him to lay down his arms. But he scorned all terms, refused all concessions.
A battle was fought at Kuamoo, at first favorable to the defenders of the gods; but the fire-arms of the whites in the service of the king turned the tide of war against them, and they were defeated and scattered. Kekuaokalani was killed on the field, and Manono, his brave and faithful wife, fighting by his side, fell dead upon the body of her husband with a musket-ball through her temples. A rude monument of stones still marks the spot where they fell; and it is told in whispers that the kona, passing through the shrouding vines, attunes them to saddest tones of lamentation over the last defenders in arms of the Hawaiian gods.
Four or five months before the death of Kekuaokalani, Kalaimoku, the prime minister of Liholiho, and his brother Boki, were baptized under the formula of the Roman Catholic Church by the chaplain of a French corvette on a passing visit to the islands. They scarcely knew the meaning of the ceremony, and it is safe to say that, at the time of the destruction of their temples and the repudiation of their gods, the Hawaiian people knew little or nothing of any other religion. The abolition of the tabu, which had made them slaves to their chiefs and priests, and held their fathers in bondage for centuries, was hailed with so great a joy by the native masses that they did not hesitate when called upon to consign the priesthood and their gods to the grave of the tabu.
On the 30th of March, 1820—some months after this strange religious revolution—the first party of Christian missionaries arrived at the islands from Massachusetts. They were well received. They found a people without a religion, and their work was easy. Other missionary parties followed from time to time, and found the field alike profitable to the cause in which they labored and to themselves individually. They acquired substantial possessions in their new home, controlled the government for the fifty or more years following, and their children are to-day among the most prosperous residents of the group. This is not said with a view to undervalue the services of the early missionaries to Hawaii, but to show that all missionary fields have not been financially unfruitful to zealous and provident workers.
And now let it be remarked with emphasis that the value of missionary labors in the Hawaiian group should not be measured by the small number of natives who to-day may be called Christians, but rather by the counsel and assistance of these thrifty religious teachers in securing and maintaining the independence of the islands, and by degrees establishing a mild and beneficent constitutional government, under which taxation is as light and life and property are as secure as in any other part of the civilized world. They were politicians as well as religious instructors, and practical examples of the value of Christian discipline when prudently applied to the acquisition of the needful and inviting things of life, and the establishment of a civil system capable of protecting the possessor in his acquired rights.
In 1824 Liholiho and his queen died while on a visit to England, and their remains were sent back to the islands in an English man-of war. Kauikeaouli, a youth of ten years, and brother of the deceased king, was accepted as the rightful heir to the throne under the title of Kamehameha III., and Kaahumanu, one of the wives of Kamehameha I., acted as regent and prime minister.
In 1827, and ten years later, Roman Catholic missionaries arrived, and were sent away by order of the government; but in 1839 the priests of that denomination were finally landed under the guns of a French frigate and allowed to remain. Meantime churches, schools and printing-presses had been established, the Hawaiian had become a written language, and the laws and decrees of the government were promulgated in printed form.
In 1840 the first written constitution was given to the people, guaranteeing to them a representative government.
In February, 1843, Lord Paulet, of the English navy, took formal possession of the islands, but in the July following their sovereignty was restored through the action of Admiral Thomas. In November of the same year France and England mutually agreed to refrain from seizure or occupation of the islands, or any portion of them, and the United States, while declining to become a party to the agreement, promptly acknowledged the independence of the group. Kamehameha III. died in 1854 and was succeeded by Kamehameha IV. The latter reigned until 1863, when he died and was succeeded by Prince Lot, with the title of Kamehameha V. In 1864 Lot abrogated the constitution of 1840 and granted a new one. He reigned until 1872, and died without naming a successor, and the Legislative Assembly elected Lunalilo to the throne. He was of the Kamehameha family, and with his death, in 1873, the Kamehameha dynasty came to an end. He, too, failed to designate a successor, and as but two of the accepted descendants of the first Kamehameha remained—one a sister of Kamehameha V. and the other a female cousin of that sovereign—David Kalakaua was elected to the throne by the Legislative Assembly in 1874, receiving all but five votes of that body, which were cast for the queen-dowager Emma, widow of Kamehameha IV.
Provision having been made for the event by a previous Legislative Assembly, King Kalakaua, with his queen, Kapiolani, was formally crowned on the 12th of February, 1883, in the presence of the representatives of many of the nations of the Old World and the New. Since the coronation the last of the Kamehamehas has passed away, including the queen-dowager Emma, and King Kalakaua remains the most direct representative in the kingdom of the ancient sovereigns of Hawaii. He draws his strain from Liloa through the great I family of Hawaii, who joined their fortunes with the first Kamehameha in the conquest of the group. His queen, Kapiolani, is a granddaughter of the last independent sovereign of Kauai, and is thus allied in blood with the early rulers of the group. She is childless, and the Princess Liliuokalani, the elder of the two sisters of the king, has been named as his successor. She is the wife of His Excellency John O. Dominis, an American by birth and present governor of the islands of Oahu and Maui. The only direct heir in the families of the king and his two sisters is the Princess Kaiulani, daughter of the Princess Likelike,1 wife of Mr. Cleghorn, a merchant of Honolulu.
Following is a list of the sovereigns of Hawaii, with the dates and durations of their several governments, from the eleventh to the nineteenth century. It embraces only the rulers of the island of Hawaii, who eventually became the masters of the group. Until the reign of Kalaniopuu, which began in 1754, the dates are merely approximate:
from A.D. 1095 to 1120
...... 1120 to 1145
...... 1145 to 1170
...... 1170 to 1195
Kalapana (including the usurpation of Kamaiole),
...... 1195 to 1220
...... 1220 to 1260
...... 1260 to 1300
...... 1300 to 1340
...... 1340 to 1380
...... 1380 to 1415
...... 1415 to 1455
...... 1455 to 1485
...... 1485 to 1490
...... 1490 to 1525
...... 1525 to 1535
...... 1535 to 1565
Kaikilani and Lonoikamakahiki,
...... 1565 to 1595
...... 1595 to 1625
...... 1625 to 1655
...... 1655 to 1685
Keawe and sister,
...... 1685 to 1720
...... 1720 to 1754
...... 1754 to 1782
...... 1782 to 1819
...... 1819 to 1824
...... 1824 to 1833
...... 1833 to 1854
...... 1854 to 1863
...... 1863 to 1872
...... 1872 to 1873
...... 1874 to ——
Having thus briefly sketched the outlines of the prominent political events of the islands, the ancient religion of the Hawaiians will next be referred to; and as the tabu was no less a religious than a secular prerogative, it may properly be considered in connection with the priesthood. A knowledge of the power, scope and sanctity of the tabu is essential to a proper understanding of the relations existing in the past between the people and their political and religious rulers, and this great governing force will now claim our attention.
Strictly speaking, the ancient tabu, or kapu, was a prerogative adhering exclusively to political and ecclesiastical rank. It was a command either to do or not to do, and the meaning of it was, “Obey or die.” It was common to the Polynesian tribes, and was a protection to the lives, property and dignity of the priesthood and nobility.
The religious tabus were well understood by the people, as were also the personal or perpetual tabus of the ruling families; but the incidental tabus were oppressive, irksome and dangerous to the masses, as they were liable to be thoughtlessly violated, and death was the usual penalty.
Everything pertaining to the priesthood and temples was sacred, or tabu, and pigs designed for sacrifice, and running at large with the temple mark upon them, could not be molested. It was a violation of perpetual tabu to cross the shadow of the king, to stand in his presence without permission, or to approach him except upon the knees. This did not apply to the higher grades of chiefs, who themselves possessed tabu rights.
The Puloulou, or Tabu Mark.
Favorite paths, springs, streams and bathing-places were at intervals tabued to the exclusive use of the kings and temples, and squid, turtle, and two or three species of birds could be eaten only by the priests and tabu nobility.
Yellow was the tabu color of royalty, and red of the priesthood, and mantles of the feathers of the oo and mamo could be worn only by kings and princes. Feather capes of mingled red and yellow distinguished the lesser nobility.
Women were tabued from eating plantains, bananas, and cocoanuts; also the flesh of swine and certain fish, among them the kumu, moano, ulua, honu, ea, hahalua and naia; and men and women were allowed under no circumstances to partake of food together. Hence, when Liholiho, in 1819, openly violated this fundamental tabu by eating with his queen, he defied the gods of his fathers and struck at the very foundation of the religious faith of his people.
The general tabus declared by the supreme chief or king were proclaimed by heralds, while the puloulou—a staff surmounted by a crown of white or black kapa—placed at the entrance of temples, royal residences and the mansions of tabu chiefs, or beside springs, groves, paths, or bathing-places, was a standing notification against trespass. General tabus were declared either to propitiate the gods or in celebration of important events. They were either common or strict, and frequently embraced an entire district and continued from one to ten days.
During the continuance of a common tabu the masses were merely required to abstain from their usual occupations and attend the services at the heiaus, or temples; but during a strict tabu every fire and every light was extinguished, no canoe was shoved from the shore, no bathing was permitted, the pigs and fowls were muzzled or placed under calabashes that they might utter no noise, the people conversed in whispers, and the priests and their assistants were alone allowed to be seen without their places of abode. It was a season of deathly silence, and was thought to be especially grateful to the gods.
Some of the royal tabus, centuries back in the past, were frivolous and despotic, such as regulating the wearing of beards and compelling all sails to be lowered on passing certain coast points; but, however capricious or oppressive, the tabu was seldom violated, and its maintenance was deemed a necessary protection to the governing classes.
ANCIENT HAWAIIAN RELIGION
The ancient religion of the Hawaiians, of which the tabu formed an essential feature, was a theocracy of curious structure. It was a system of idolatrous forms and sacrifices engrafted without consistency upon the Jewish story of the creation, the fall of man, the revolt of Lucifer, the Deluge, and the repopulation of the earth.
The legends of the Hawaiians were preserved with marvellous integrity. Their historians were the priests, who at intervals met in council and recited and compared their genealogical meles, in order that nothing might be either changed or lost. How did the Hawaiian priesthood become possessed of the story of the Hebrew genesis? It was old to them when the Resolution and Discovery dropped their anchors in Kealakeakua Bay; old to them when one or more chance parties of Spanish sailors in the sixteenth century may have looked in upon them for a moment while on their way to the Spice Islands; and it was probably old to them when the Hawaiians found their present home in the sixth century, and when the Polynesians left the coast of Asia four hundred years earlier.
One theory is that the story was acquired through Israelitish contact with the ancestors of the Polynesians while the latter were drifting eastward from the land of their nativity. But the more reasonable assumption seems to be that the Hawaiian theogony, so strangely perpetuated, is an independent and perhaps original version of a series of creation legends common in the remote past to the Cushite, Semite and Aryan tribes, and was handed down quite as accurately as the Jewish version before it became fixed in written characters. In fact, in some respects the Hawaiian seems to be more complete than the Jewish version.
From the beginning, according to Hawaiian story, a trinity of gods existed, who were the sole and all-pervading intelligences of chaos, or night—a condition represented by the Hawaiian word Po. These gods were:
Kane, the originator;
Ku, the architect and builder; and
Lono, the executor and director of the elements.
By the united will of Hikapoloa, or the trinity, light was brought into chaos. They next created the heavens, three in number, as their dwelling-places, and then the earth, sun, moon and stars. From their spittle they next created a host of angels to minister to their wants.
Finally, man was created. His body was formed of red earth mingled with the spittle of Kane, and his head of whitish clay brought by Lono from the four quarters of the earth. The meaning of Adam is red, and it will be remarked that the Hawaiian Adam was made of earth of that color. He was made in the image of Kane, who breathed into his nostrils, and he became alive. Afterwards, from one of his ribs, taken from his side while he slept, a woman was created. The man was called Kumu-honua, and the woman Ke-ola-ku-honua.
The newly-created pair were placed in a beautiful paradise called Paliuli. Three rivers of “the waters of life” ran through it, on the banks of which grew every inviting fruit, including the “tabued bread-fruit tree” and “sacred apple-tree,” with which are connected the fall and expulsion of the man and woman from their earthly paradise. The three rivers had their source in a beautiful lake, fed by “the living waters of Kane.” The waters were filled with fish which fire could not destroy, and on being sprinkled with them the dead were restored to life. Legends relate instances in which these waters were procured, through the favor of the gods, for the restoration to life of distinguished mortals.
As a specimen of the chants perpetuating these traditions and embellishing the plainer prose recitals, the following extract relating to the creation is given:
“Kane of the great Night,
Ku and Lono of the great Night,
Hika-po-loa the king.
The tabued Night that is set apart,
The poisonous Night,
The barren, desolate Night,
The continual darkness of midnight,
The Night, the reviler.
O Kane, O Ku-ka-pao,
And great Lono dwelling in the water,
Brought forth are Heaven and Earth,
Quickened, increased, moving,
Raised up into Continents.
Kane, Lord of Night, Lord the Father,
Ku-ka-pao, in the hot heavens,
Great Lono with the flashing eyes,
Lightning-like has the Lord
Established in truth, O Kane, master-worker;
The Lord creator of mankind:
Start, work, bring forth the chief Kumu-honua,
And Ola-ku-honua, the woman;
Dwelling together are they two.
Dwelling in marriage (is she) with the husband, the brother.”
Among the angels created was Kanaloa, the Hawaiian Lucifer, who incited a rebellion in heaven, with the results, strangely enough, related in immortal song by Milton. When man was created, Kanaloa demanded his adoration. This was refused by Kane, as angels and man were alike the creations of Deity, whereupon Kanaloa ambitiously resolved to create a man of his own who would worship him. Kane allowed him to proceed with his seditious work. He made a man in the exact image of Kumu-honua, but could not give it life. He breathed into its nostrils, but it would not rise; he called to it, but it would not speak. This exasperated him, and he determined to destroy the man made by the gods. He therefore crept into Paliuli in the form of a moo, or lizard, and, through some deception not definitely stated by tradition, Kumu-honua and his mate committed some offence for which they were driven from paradise by the “large, white bird of Kane.”
Kumu-honua had three sons, the second of whom was slain by the first. The name of the Hawaiian Cain is Laka. Ka Pili was the youngest son, and thirteen generations are named between him and the Deluge, whereas the Hebrew version records but ten on the corresponding line of Seth.
The Hawaiian Noah is called Nuu. At the command of the gods he constructed an ark, and entered it with his wife and three sons, and a male and female of every breathing thing. The waters came and covered the earth. When they subsided the gods entered the ark, which was resting on a mountain overlooking a beautiful valley, and commanded Nuu to go forth with all of life that the ark contained. In gratitude for his deliverance Nuu offered a sacrifice to the moon, mistaking it for Kane. Descending on a rainbow, that deity reproved his thoughtlessness, but left the bow as a perpetual token of his forgiveness.
Continuing the genealogical record, ten generations are given between Nuu and Ku Pule, who “removed to a southern country,” taking with him as a wife his slave-woman Ahu. So was it with Abraham. Ku Pule established the practice of circumcision, and was the grandfather of Kini-lau-a-mano, whose twelve children became the founders of twelve tribes, from one of which—the Menehune—the Hawaiians are made to descend.
A story similar to that of Joseph is also given, and mention is made of the subsequent return of the Menehune people to the land set apart for their occupation by Kane. Two brothers led them over deserts and through waters, and after many tribulations they reached their destination.
This would seem to imply that the Menehune people were one of the tribes of Israel; yet it is more probable that they had their origin in some one of the other twelveships into which the early Asiatic tribes were in many instances divided, and that the stories of Joseph and the Exodus became a part of their folk-lore through contact with other races.
The genealogical line from the Hawaiian Adam to the grandson of Ku Pule—that is, until the time of Jacob—has been brought down through three distinct traditional channels. The agreement of the several versions is remarkable, but the one brought to the islands by the high-priest Paao in the eleventh century, and retained by his ecclesiastical successors, is regarded as the most authentic. It was an heirloom of the priesthood, and was never communicated beyond the walls of the temples.
With the settlement of the Menehune people in the land set apart for them by Kane, the Hawaiian legends cease to remind us of the later history of the Hebrews. There the similarity of historic incident abruptly ends, and, with an uncertain stride of twelve or thirteen generations, the chiefly line is brought down to Wakea and his wife Papa, mythical rulers of superhuman attributes, who must have existed before the Polynesians left the Asiatic coast, although in some legends they are connected not only with the first settlement of the Hawaiian archipelago, but with the creation of its islands.
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