ʻAlekoko: Ka Hana Kupanaha a ka Menehune

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Photo: Kalani Akana

OʻAlekoko ka inoa o kekahi aliʻi o Puna, Kauaʻi. ʻO Kalālālehua (Hāhalua) kona kaikuahine aliʻi wahine. Noho lāua ma Niumaluma haʻi o ke kahawai ʻo Hulāʻia (Hulāʻia).

Ma muli o ko lāua makeʻe i loko wai iʻa, ua kauoha ʻia ka poʻe Menehune e kūkulu a kāpili i kekahi loko wai iʻa ma ka nuku wai o Hulāʻia. Ua ʻae ke aliʻi o lākou e hana i ka loko wai inā hāhai nā aliʻi ʻelua i ke kapu Menehune – ʻo ia hoʻi, ʻaʻole hiki iā lāua ke nānā i kā lākou hana ʻana. Ua hoʻohiki nā aliʻi. No laila, e hana ana nō ua poʻe Menehune nei a ao ka pō a pau pono ka hana.

Photo: ʻAlekoko Fishpond
An archival photo of ʻAlekoko Fishpond from the webpage of “Hoʻokuleana” – Photo: Peter Young

He poʻe kaulana ia mau Menehune ma Kauaʻi a puni i ka ʻoihana kūkulu. ʻO ke aliʻi kaulana o ia lāhui ʻo Ola. Kaulana ā hiki i kēia lā kā lākou mau hana kupanaha: ka ʻauwai ʻo Kīkī-a-Ola ma Waimea; ʻo Hālau-a-Ola, he ulu lāʻau koa a he kūlana kauhale a Ola; ke Kīpapa-a-Ola, he ala hele kīpapa i o Alakaʻi; a me kēia hana kaulana ʻo ʻAlekoko. ʻO kā lākou hanohano ke kumu i kapa ʻia ai ka loko wai iʻa ʻo ʻAlekoko, ʻo ia ka “Menehune Fishpond.

Wahi a Katherine Luomala (1951), he lāhui ʻokoʻa nā Menehune i hiki ʻē mai i Kauaʻi ma mua o nā Hawaiʻi no Tahiti me Nuʻuhiwa. He poʻe poupou, ʻilikou, a noʻeau i ke hana kūkulu. Ma Kahiki, ko lākou kulāiwi, kapa ʻia lākou ʻo lākou nā “Manahune” a he mau kānaka lawelawe nō lākou – ʻilihune ko lākou mana. Ma muli o ka hoʻomāino, hōʻino ʻana e nā aliʻi ke kumu paha o kā lākou haʻalele ʻana mai Kahiki.

ʻAʻole i kapa ʻia ʻo ʻAlekoko no ka inoa o ke aliʻi wale nō. Wahi a ka mea haʻi moʻolelo Kauaʻi kaulana ʻo Fred Wichman, ʻo ka hiki ʻole a ʻAlekoko me Kalālālehua ke mālama i ke kapu Menehune ke kumu o ka inoa ʻo ʻAlekoko.

Penei ka moʻolelo. Ma muli o ka hana kuli o ke kani pohā, kani wahie a ka pōhaku ma kekuapapa, kupaʻipaʻi, a kāpili ʻana, ua nīele akiʻei, hālō nā aliʻi ʻelua i ka hana a nā Menehune. ʻO ka nānā hewa nō ia a ʻAlekoko meKalālālehua, ua kū ka hana a nā Menehune.

Kauoha ke aliʻi Menehune, ʻo Ola paha, iā lākou e hoʻokū i ka hana, holoi i ka lima ma nā ʻale o ka loko wai, a hoʻi i kauhale. Ua koko ko lākou lima no ka mea ʻaʻole pāheʻeheʻe nā pōhaku. He mau pōhaku nihoniho a ʻaʻanapuʻu no Wahiawa mai. Kūmaumau nā Menehune mai Wahiawa ā hiki i Niumalu, ma kahi o ʻiwakalua mile, a hāpai liʻiliʻi aku, hāpai aku i nā pōhaku nui i laila i ka pōʻeleʻele o ka pō. Ma Niumalu, ua kā a kālai ʻia na pōhaku nihoniho e hiki i nā limahana ke kāpili pono a pili likiliki nā pōhaku kekahi i kekahi. He mea kupanaha nō kēlā hana ma Hawaiʻi a puni.

Hoʻokahi wale nō noi a lākou Menehune – e mālama i ke kapu. Inā ʻaʻole hiki i ke aliʻi ke mālama i ke kapu, ke kānāwai, he pono ke waiho wale nā limahana i ka hana.

Mau nō ka hana kupanaha a kēia lāhui kānaka, nā Menehune, ā hiki i kēia lā. ʻO kekahi pono nui o ia moʻolelo ʻo ia nō – e mālama i kāu i hoʻohiki ai! E mālama hoʻi i ke kanaka nui a me ke kanaka liʻiliʻi; ka poʻe mana nui a me ka poʻe mana hune. E mālama iā ʻAlekoko.


Kalani Akana, Ph.D., is the culture specialist at OHA. He is a kumu of hula, oli and ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. He has authored numerous articles on Indigenous ways of knowing and doing.