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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. 


In Mānoa, on the island of Oʻahu, born to the rain and wind of this area, was the most beautiful woman in all Hawaiʻi. Her name was Kahalaopuna, the rainbow woman of Mānoa.

From the time of Kahalopunaʻs birth, her love was arranged to be given to Kauhi, the son of the Koʻolau aliʻi who grew into a brave fearless warrior. Her hale was guarded with pūloʻuloʻu, signifying her kapu status as she was reserved for Kauhi and Kauhi alone. Because of this, she grew up peacefully alone in the wilderness of Kahoʻiwai and befriended the plants and animals of Mānoa valley. Her aloha was sō great that wherever she went, a radiant rainbow illuminated around her. 

Both Kahalaopuna and Kauhi anxiously awaited the day when they would unite in marriage after reserving themselves for each other for sō long.

One day while Kauhi was out surfing, two men jealous of Kauhi’s promised love to the gorgeous rainbow woman of Mānoa, started feeding Kauhi lies of their relations with Kahalaopuna and how she swooned them with the lei they wore. Kauhi tried to shake off his anger but their lies were so detailed that it pierced Kauhi’s naʻau with hate.  




Overcome with jealousy, Kauhi marched with rage from Waikīkī up to Mānoa and found Kahalaopuna near her swimming pond. He called out to her, and her expression of pure love soon turned to fear as he started accusing her of all the lies he had been fed. She denied the accusations and begged him to listen but instead he struck her down with one blow of a hala fruit to her temple.



Kauhi hastily dug a hole in the ground behind a large rock and buried her; then he started down the valley towards Waikīkī. 

As soon as Kauhi was gone, a large pueo who was an ʻaumakua to Kahalaopuna, swooped down and immediately started digging her out of the hole and restored her life.  


When Kahalaopuna came back to life, she explained to the pueo what had happened, and how she had been falsely accused of wrongful acts and that no matter what, she loves Kauhi as she always had. Pueo advised her to find him and tell him this.

With aloha in Kahalaopuna’s heart, she set out on her journey to find Kauhi and prove to him that she was faithful to him and that they were meant for each other to live happily ever after, forever and ever. Will Kahalaopuna find Kauhi? Will he receive her with open ears and an open heart? Stay tuned next month to find out as we continue this story of Kahalaopuna.

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.


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