Sites and Trails of the ‘Ewa District, 1800–1811

John Papa ‘Ī‘ī, one of the preeminent native Hawaiian historians, was born at Kumelewai, Waipi‘o in ‘Ewa in 1800. Raised as an attendant to the Kamehameha heirs, he was privy to many facets of early history, practices, and events during his life.  In the 1860s, ‘Ī‘ī published a history under the title Na Hunahuna o ka Moolelo Hawaii that was translated by Mary Kawena Pukui and published as Fragments of Hawaiian History [15]. Based on the translations, Paul Rockwood produced a map of the trail routes and several locations identified by ‘Ī‘ī in his narratives.

Trails from Honolulu to ‘Ewa

Let us turn to look at the trail going to Ewa from Kikihale, up to Leleo, to Koiuiu and on to Keoneula. There were no houses there, only a plain. It was there that the boy Ii and his attendants, coming from Ewa, met with the god Kaili and its attendants who were going to Hoaeae. When the kapu moe was proclaimed, they all prostrated themselves on the plain until the god and his attendants passed by … the trail went to Kaleinakauhane, then to Kapukaki, from where one could see the irregular sea of Ewa; then down the ridge to Napeha, a resting place for the multitude that went diving there at a deep pool. This pool was named Napeha (Lean Over), so it is said, because Kualii, a chief of ancient Oahu, went there and leaned over the pool to drink water.

The trail began again on the opposite side of the pool and went to the lowland of Halawa, on to Kauwamoa, a diving place and a much-liked gathering place. It was said to be the diving place of Peapea, son of Kamehamehanui of Maui who was swift in running and leaping. The place from which he dove into the water was 5 to 10 fathoms above the pool.

There the trail led to the taro patches in Aiea and up the plain of Kukiiahu. Just below the trail was the spot where Kaeo, chief of Kauai, was killed by Kalanikupule. From there the trail went along the taro patches to the upper part of Kohokoho and on to Kahuewai, a small waterfall. On the high ground above, a little way on, was a spring, also a favorite gathering place for travelers. From there it continued over a small plain, down the small hill of Waimalu, and along the taro patches that lay in the center of the land. Above this trail was the home of one of the two haole men previously mentioned, the men to whom the boy’s attendants spoke.

Paula Marin had a place there also. It could be seen near the edge of a low cliff going down to the upper side of a grove of cactus plants, said to have been first brought to Hawaii by Marin.

The trail went down to the stream and up again, then went above the taro patches of Waiau, up to a maika field, to Waimano, to Manana, and to Waiawa; then to the stream of Kukehi and up to two other maika fields, Pueohulunui and Haupuu. At Pueohulunui was the place where a trail branched off to go to Waialua and down to Honouliuli and on to Waianae. As mentioned before, there were three trails to Waianae, one by way of Puu o Kapolei, another by way of Pohakea, and the third by way of Kolekole.

From Kunia the trail went to the plain of Keahumoa, on to Maunauna, and along Paupauwela, which met with the trails from Wahiawa and Waialua. The trail continued to the west of Mahu, to Malamanui, and up to Kolekole, from where one can look down to Pokai and Waianaeuka. There was a long cliff trail called Elou from Kalena and Haleauau on the east side of Kaala coming down to Waianae. There was also a trail called Kumaipo which went up and then down Makahauka. [15:95–97]

Entering the ‘Ewa District from Wai‘anae uka

There the trail met with the one from Kolekole and continued on to the stream of Waikakalaua, Piliamoo, the plain of Punaluu, to a rise, then down to Kipapa and to Kekualele [Kekuaolelo]. A trail ran from this main trail to Kalakoa, Oahunui, and other places much visited, such as Kukaniloko. From there it extended to the digging place of Kahalo, then went below to Paupalai, thence to Lelepua, and to Kahalepoai, where the legendary characters Kalelealuaka and Keinohoomanawanui lived. Then it reached Kekuaolelo, the stone in which the niho palaoa was hidden, then went on to Puunahawele and Pueohulunui, where it met with the Waialua trail.

All of these places mentioned had large populations. The land was rich, and there were many trees in olden times. Who has “closed” these places today? We do not know enough to say, “It was so-and-so.” But there would be commercial wealth in the trees of these mountains if they were fenced off from animals. So it is with the planting places of every poor person. The person who manages these mountains and valleys could become prosperous. [15:99]



Related Maps

Related Documents

The narratives cited in the Land UseEarly Post-Contact Period category were penned by native Hawaiians, foreign visitors, and residents, and include some of the earliest accounts describing the Honouliuli vicinity following western Contact. The narratives provide an overview of

•  changes in the landscape;
•  the decreasing Hawaiian presence;
•  loss of wahi pana and noted places;
•  development of ranching and plantation business interests in the region;
•  concerns about United States control over Pearl Harbor and “Reciprocity;”
•  the changing make-up of the communities; and
•  travel on the land.