Moolelo Monday

Moʻolelo Monday

On the first Monday of the month a traditional or modern moʻolelo depicting the culture, values, language or traditions of Hawaiʻi, will be shared through a virtual platform. These mo‘olelo promote literacy within the classroom and home, and encourage ʻohana to read and learn together. Moʻolelo are shared by staff and guest storytellers.


In the 1820’s, Kauikeaouli, Kamehameha III was the catalyst for the rise of literacy in Hawaiʻi. He stated, “ ʻO Koʻu Aupuni, he Aupuni palapala koʻu.  My kingdom shall be a kingdom of literacy”. Within our moʻokalaleo, we share a literacy component that extends our moʻolelo journey. 

The Waiwai of ʻĪao Maui

Long ago, as part of their famous travels, the akua Kāne and Kanaloa landed on Maui in the moku of Hāmākua-loa. They were thirsty and what they craved most was their favorite drink, ʻawa. They located the ʻawa plant, but they had no wai to prepare the drink. So Kāne thrust his mighty ʻōʻō into the ground creating a pūnāwai, a fresh water spring. This area became known as Puniʻawa (to be fond of ʻawa) and the spring was named Kāne Loa (Long-lasting Kāne). The two akua enjoyed their refreshing drink, then moved on.
The ʻōʻō that belonged to Kāne was made of hard kauila wood. It even had a name, Kō-mole (Pushed Through to the Foundation). As the two gods traveled through every district of Maui, Kāne used his legendary ʻōʻō to create numerous cool, thirst-quenching springs along the way. These pūnāwai were named for the two akua, or their actions, and are famous to this very day.
Kāne formed more than springs though. In the mountain range of Mauna Ka-hālāwai, commonly known as the West Maui Mountains, the entire valley of ʻĪao with its powerful rushing waters is his creation. Kāne is responsible for the abundant wai flowing on the surface, and Kanaloa cares for the wai flowing underground. This valley has been cherished and appreciated from ancient times until today.
The sharp ridge of rock that many know as ʻĪao Needle is one of the forms of Kanaloa. To its north is Mauna Kāne (Kāne’s Mountain). Standing tall in the lush natural setting of ʻĪao, these two friends continue their relationship for all to see. Not by chance, one of the names of ʻĪao Needle related to Kanaloa is Nānāhoa (Looking at the Fellow Traveler).
Kāne and Kanaloa are connected to health, life, and the afterlife. While aliʻi treasured the waiwai of ʻĪao Valley, the highest of the chiefs selected hidden caves in ʻĪao as their final resting places. So, just as Kāne and Kanaloa provided energy, nourishment, and blessings in days gone by, they continue to do so today and will carry on far into the future.
The opening line of a lei chant composed by High Chiefess Kekāuluohi for her son, King Lunalilo:
Ea ʻĪao, he poʻo no nā wai
ʻĪao rises, a source for the waters
Lelekamanu Program
April 2021
Moʻo ʻŌlelo

Weekly, a Mo‘o ‘Ōlelo, a succession of Hawaiian words or phrases will be shared.  The mana‘o behind each word or phrase relates to the mo‘olelo being presented.  This component will enhance cultural awareness and knowledge through Hawaiian language.

Ea ʻĪao, he poʻo no nā wai. ʻĪao rises, a source for the waters

The opening line of a lei chant composed by High Chiefess Kekāuuluohi for her son, King Lunalilo.

Kane not only forms springs in the districts that he and Kanaloa travels to; the entire valley of ʻĪao with its powerful rushing waters is his creation. Kāne is responsible for the abundant wai flowing on the surface and Kanaloa for the wai flowing underground.

He ui, he nīnau? Aia i hea ka wai a Kāne? Aia ka wai a Kāne e noho ana ma luna o ka lau kalo!

A question, a query: Where is the water of Kāne? The water of Kāne sits on the kalo leaf!

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