Ka Mo’olelo Kahiko a’o Molokai Pule O’o

Pekekua – Part I
The story of Kahinu and the Octopus of Kupeke Fishpond.


In the days of old Molokai, before the car, wagon, or horse, the alanui (roads) were wide trails lined by stone walls. The walls kept the Pua`a (pigs) out of the alanui and away from the Lo'i Kalo (taro patches).

The Alanui to Mana’e (East Molokai) was wide and traversed more often than today’s roads which have paved over the ancient trail.

In those days, there were no Ahupua`a…. The sections of an island were called Moku.

This mo`olelo (story of old) is in reference to the Alanui O, (sacred place, center of High Respect) ka Moku o Kupeke. Kupeke is located adjacent to Puko`o, on the Komohana (west side) and Honomuni on the Na'e, (east side). Paialoko O Kupeke, (Kupeke Fishpond), is bordering the Moku O Puko`o. Here is the place where this Mo`olelo comes from.

In those days, all the Keiki of Mana`e used to go to school in Puko`o where they could learn a trade to help them into their future. Unfortunately, girls began disappearing during their early morning walks to school.

No one had any clue as to where they went to. So the community went to see the great Kahuna, Lanikaula (see footnote) to ask for guidance.

Kahuna Nui O Lanikaula told the kupuna of Mana`e, “kilo aku *kupua he`e” – watch for supernatural He`e (octopus) – a form that changes as it feeds itself Mana (see footnote). (*Kupua He'e, otherwise known as Pekekua, or Kuapeke).

Undoubtedly in those days, everyone was busy; so none could spare the long amount of time it would take to be watchful of that powerful He`e. Plus, fears of reprisal may have been a factor, veering people away from trying to defy the supernatural.

But the Kupuna of Mana`e were watchful enough to determine that the girls were disappearing by the large corner stone adjacent to the Kupeke Fishpond just Na'e of the Moku of Puko`o. Auwe!, (Alas!), The girls kept disappearing during their early morning walks to Puko`o.

Kahinu was a young proud father of a beautiful girl named Hihi. When she disappeared on the trail, right before the turn to Puko'o, Kahinu became very distressed and immediately went to Kupeke, in search of his daughter Hihi. (There is more to be said about Kahinu, Ali'i Nui (High Chief), O Ka Moku O Kupeke, but that is for another time).

Kahinu climbed up above the Paialoko O Kupeke and waited for thirty days and thirty nights watching the children as they headed to school into Puko`o every morning.

For some reason, the disappearances ceased. Kahinu kept a watchful eye but never noticed anything amidst. After 30 changes of the moon, his body had turned dark like his malo, and blended right into the ‘aina.

Unbeknownst to Kahinu, Lanikaula had fed him mana allowing him to remain in one place without food or water like a stone. For it was the Kupuna who had taken offerings to Lanikaula many days before; asking the Kahuna Nui O Lanikaula for his guidance.

Because Lanikaula was able to foresee the He`e, and Kahinu’s struggle to find his daughter, Lanikaula blessed Kahinu with Mana.
So in the moon of ‘Ole Pau, as the shine still bore light, before the sun warmed Mana’e; Kahinu noticed a sudden change in the limu (seaweed) near the edge of Kupeke Fishpond.

Right before the last kamali`i (child) made it around the turn near the corner stone of the Moku O Kupeke, Kahinu noticed, sure enough, that the limu had taken the form of an enormous He`e.

One of its legs was slowly crawling towards the Alanui in an attempt to snatch the last girl before she could make that last turn into the Moku O Puko'o.


Lanikaula -, was one of the most powerful of all Kahuna in oral and written history. There are recorded events of Lanikaula way into the days of Kalakaua's reign. Kahuna Nui Lanikaula lived over 400 years… There are also recorded accounts by scholars of Hawaiian Antiquities of Lanikaula dating back to the days of Peleiholani, High Chief O`ahu, 1300-1400 AD. Numerous chants of Molokai Kahiko, (ancient Molokai) have helped me to fill in more information about the greatest hero of the most ancient Kahuna Nui o Hawaii. More of Lanikaula will be published in the future.

Mana – is not energy or power, as many people tend to believe; but is something whether by power of words, prayer, chant, touch and many other Huna, (hidden), ways Keaiwa, (unknown) to us, that is given to something else to make it more potent.


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