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Moʻolelo Monday

Moʻolelo Monday

On the first Monday of the month a traditional or modern moʻolelo depicting the jculture, 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 Storm Dog of Koʻolau

Long ago on the Eastern side of Oʻahu, the Koʻolau mountains once stood rounded and dull. That was until one particular and ferocious storm ripped through the Windward coast, leaving behind a strange shapely ridge. During this storm, a prince and a goddess fell in love while on her circuit around the district. This is the moʻolelo of Ka ʻĪlio Pāhili o ke Koʻolau, The Storm Dog of The Koʻolau.

One day, Kauhiʻīmakaokalani, the prince of Kaʻaʻawa saw a beautiful woman approaching his ahupuaʻa along the shoreline. He greeted her as she neared and inquisitively asked her about her travels. 

Unimpressed by this imposing young man, she ignored him and continued on her path.

Kauhi’īmakaokalani introduced himself and stated his status as prince of the region she was entering. 

Still unamused, she mocked him and the meaning of his name, watchtower of heaven.

Kauhiʻs ego was hurt but he assured her that he was the protector of the coast and could read omens in the weather. With that, he told her of a storm that would be approaching soon from the open ocean and advised her that she needed to leave the shoreline.

The woman looked up and saw nothing but sunny blue skies then condescendingly looked back at Kauhi in disbelief of his foresight. 

Kauhi took her by hand and led her up the slope of Kaʻaʻawa to a vantage point overlooking Kahana Bay and pointed out to the horizon where black clouds were growing quickly. 

The woman, now trusting Kauhi, introduced herself. She was Hiʻiakaikapoliopele, Peles younger sister and goddess of the forests. Kauhi revealed that his messenger birds had already told him exactly who she was and about the quest she was on to fetch something from Kauaʻi for Pele.


Kauhi also stated that his birds forewarned him about the incoming clouds which carry a vicious storm dog. Kauhi informed Hiʻiaka that he has battled a storm dog once before and knows that they hate the islands and travel here to bite and claw at the land to tear them down.

Kauhi led Hiʻiaka to his secret cave so that they could wait out the storm. Kauhi sat in awe as Hiʻiaka recounted her exploits across Hawaiʻi. 

As Kauhi began falling in love with this true goddess, the storm approached the shores of Kaʻaʻawa. The winds and rains increased and lightning relentlessly lit up the valley. From the bark and low growl of the thunder, Kauhi knew they were facing the wrath from the menacing storm dog named ʻĪliouakaua who was soon approaching. 

For 2 days and nights, the storm dog ripped at the Koʻolau mountains, running up and down the coast like a ravaged beast. His claws gouged the cliffs into ravines and he chewed the peaks into sharp, jagged points. All the while, Kauhi & Hiʻiaka embraced each other through the storm and fell deeply in love with each other.

The following morning, the sun greeted the lovers. ʻĪliouakauaʻs wrath subsided leaving behind blown down trees and the ocean reddened by mud run off.

Hiʻiaka stayed with Kauhi and his people as they rebuilt their kauhale but she could not put off her journey any longer. Kauhiʻs heart broke as she explained to Kauhi that it was crucial for her to go on her way because if she took too long, Pele would consume her ʻōhiʻa forest in lava. Hiʻiaka told him that her return was not certain but Kauhi promised he would wait for her no matter how long it took. 

Over generations and generations and after multitudes of waves of people from all corners of the Earth visiting these shores, this story has been forgotten, altered and mistranslated. Thus, today people call this feature “Crouching Lion”. But those who know the real story know this is Kauhi’īmakaokalani, waiting for his true love, Hiʻiakaikapoliopele, to return.

As Hiʻiaka journeyed on, she looked back at Kauhi from Laniloa in Lāʻie and could see Kauhi standing from his watchtower. A silhouette of a large dog casted a shadow facing Kauhi and Hiʻiaka knew that he would be safe.

To no avail, Kauhi waited days, months and years from his watchtower for Hiʻiakaʻs return just as he promised her. As time went on Kauhiʻs body grew tired and he began to slouch down until he was crouched over looking at the coastline towards Hiʻiakaʻs home island of Hawaiʻi. 

One day, the body of the prince was found turned to stone in his usual place, hunched over in a mound still watching and waiting for his true loves return. 

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.

ʻO Kauhiʻīmaiakaokalani ka inoa ʻoiaʻiʻo no “Crouching Lion”.

Ma hope o kona haʻalele ʻana, ua kali o Kauhiʻīmakaokalani i kāna Hiʻiaka aloha. Ua hala nā lā a me nā mahina, akā ʻaʻale ʻo ia i ʻike hou iā ia. Ua lilo ʻo Kauhiʻīmakaokalani i pohaku i kona kali ʻana no ia.

The true name of Crouching Lion is Ka-uh-ʻ-īmaka-o-ka-lani.

After her leaving, Kauhiʻīmakaokalani wated for his beloved Hiʻiaka. Days and months passed, however, he never saw her again. He turned into stone while waiting for her.


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