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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. 


To our avid Moʻolelo Monday followers, we carry on where we left off last month with Kahalaopuna being killed by her bewildered lover, Kauhi, after false rumors were spread about her. Pueo was able to resurrect her and advised her to find Kauhi and make him realize that she had always been faithful to him. So the rainbow maiden of Mānoa began her journey.

Kahalaopuna searched from Mānoa, through Pauoa and finally found Kauhi in the uplands of Kalāwahine. She dropped in front of him and pledged her love to him but her cries fell on deaf ears and a cold heart and he swung his newa down, killing the poor girl again. 

The pueo, again, scratched her out and revived her. This was repeated again and again in Nuʻuanu and then in Kalihi. At Pōhākea in Waiʻanae, he struck her down once more but this time he set a pile of pōhaku over her burial, ensuring that the owl was not able to free her and restore her life. 

An ʻElepaio who was a dear friend to Kahalaopuna witnessed the cruelties and saw that Pueo couldnʻt save her. As soon as this ʻElepaio saw that the Pueo couldnʻt free the body of Kahalaopuna, it flew straight to her parents, Kahaukani and Kauakuahine, and told them all that had happened.

There was disbelief that anyone in their senses, including Kauhi, could be guilty of such cruelty to such a lovely, innocent being. 

In the meantime, the spirit of Kahalaopuna was discovered by a young man named Mahana. Moved with compassion, Mahana followed the spirit which led him to her burial. He proceeded to remove the rocks and discovered Kahalaopunaʻs lifeless body. 

He wrapped her warm body in his kīhei and carried it to his home at Mōʻiliʻili. There, he submitted her body to his ʻaumakua who aided in restoring her life. Fearing Kauhi would kill her again, they knew they must keep her resurrection a secret.

A manhunt was underway to fetch Kauhi as well as the 2 surfers whose lies led to the atrocities. Kauhi was caught first and the crimes committed against the poor, innocent Kahalaopuna had been revealed to all. Kauhi as well as the 2 surfers who started the rumors were sentenced to death.

Kahalaopuna and her true prince charming, Mahana, agreed that it was their true fate for them to be together and decided to live out their days with one another. 

Some say they grew old together and had many children… and another story tells of Kauhi getting his revenge in the form of a man-eating shark. But one thing is for certain, Kahalaopuna shows her presence often, filling Mānoaʻs skies with beautiful vibrant rainbows, up until this very day. 


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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