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Mo`olelo `o Pu`u Pe`elua

Kualapu`u School puts on original performance.

A young woman, living in Kalae many, many years ago, fell in love with a mysterious young man. She fell sick over her love, never eating, never sleeping. Her parents became concerned, and sought the advice of a kahuna. He told them to find out where the young man comes from, by tying a string to his malo. They followed him down to Ho`olehua, to a large outcropping of boulders.

There, they discovered a giant caterpillar, or pe`elua! The kahuna said in order to save the daughter, the caterpillar must be killed by building a fire. When the cave exploded, the large caterpillar became thousands of pe`elua – and Ho`olehua became forever known as the place of pe`elua.

Kula Kaipuni o Kualapu`u, the school’s Hawaiian immersion program, put on this original play based on a traditional Ho`olehua mo`olelo – telling Ka Mo`olelo `o Pu`u Pe`elua – the story of caterpillar hill.

exposing our children to cultural and traditional Hawaiian learning.”

“We found both years the children’s’ `ohana are supportive of this cultural part of their education here.”

kahuna – priest or supreme expert of a given trade
kumu – teacher, also source or foundation
malo – loin cloth
mo`olelo – story or history
`ohana – family
pe`elua – caterpillar
`oli – a chant


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