A reflection of Kamanawa Ho`omoana i Kīholo

by Kuʻulei Keakealani
Kīholo Kupaianaha

‘O Kīholo ‘āina aloha
Lana a‘e ka mana‘o (o) nā mea kaulana
Pā kahi, kahi hana pa‘akai
Pā lua, kahi (a) nā lua wai kai
Pā kolu, kahi loko i‘a (‘o) Wainanali‘i
Pā hā, kahi a Luahinewai
Wai ola ‘O Kīholo, Kīholo Kupaianaha
He mele nō Kīholo, ‘āina aloha

Beloved Kīholo
Thoughts surface of its many famed aspects
First, a place of salt working
Second, a place of brackish water pits
Third, a place of the fishpond Wainanali‘i
Forth, the place of Luahinewai
The living waters of Kīholo, wonderful Kīholo
A song for Kīholo, beloved lands/ocean

Haku ‘ia e Ku‘ulei Keakealani ma ka lā 29 o Mei, makahiki 2007

As I take a moment to recall many special times during Kamanawa, Ho‘omoana i Kīholo, I begin this reflection with ho‘omalie, in the same way we began our event at Kīholo last Friday. We are re-introduced to place, somewhere most have been countless times. We still ourselves, quiet ourselves and adjust to usher in a time to reconnect our minds, physical bodies and spirit to this ancient fishing village, famed for it’s unique characteristics that many embrace and aloha. It is here at Kīholo, the birth place of my Kupunakānekuakahi, Great Grandfather, Keakealani that I believe Kīholo is too preparing herself. The preparation is made by extending her arms to hold this group in her bosom and to anticipate the miracles waiting to be revealed to her un-suspecting guests.
I open my journal, one that is a frequent companion, and the words to this mele that I composed years ago sit in front of me. I re-read the words and the leo mele, tune, immediately rushes in as it is a recent memorization. I hum along quietly, going with what feels like I’m supposed to be doing at that moment and a sense of healing seems to spread around me, until it blankets the landscape. Kīholo Kupaianaha, the title I give to this piece, is what I ponder on first. Astonishing Kīholo, marvelous Kīholo, amazing Kīholo, yes, indeed you are, I look around and yes, confirmation... my eyes behold the astonishing, marvelous and amazing beauty. Line one, thoughts rise to the surface, in me, of the things Kīholo is famed for. First, a place of salt working, during our camp, Kamanawa, we visited the place of Mula, Muller a German man who created large man-made salt basins intended to mass produce pa‘akai (salt) at Kīholo. I watch as a palm is filled with salt from kāheka or natural basins found along Kīholo’s shoreline. Beautiful!

We see for ourselves a more recent part of Kīholo’s history, nevertheless an important part. Second line of the mele says it’s a place of brackish water holes. Accompanied by an elder, native to the area, our group is taken to Keanalele, one of the biggest brackish water pools of Kīholo. It is there that many lessons are heard directed to the generations following his of the care and practices he maintains until today. Humility and reverence fill the hearts and minds of those present. Line three tells of the famous fishpond Wainanali‘i, so epic it is said to have spanned two ancient land divisions called ahupua‘a. Today our eyes look to the pahoehoe lava that has filled and covered the once fish rich pond. In our mind’s eye, we are able to see what once existed. The forth line calls to Luahinewai, the ceremonial place for Keouakū‘ahu‘ula, cousin to Kamehameha the Great. Here, on the final day of Kamanawa the miracle that was in store is revealed. Following the groups honoring that ancient landscape with this very mele, an invitation is extended for those whose voices awakened much more than the present owner of that property. E komo mai, a warm and sincere call to enter is graciously accepted. For some, an experience beyond the mind’s imagination came to fruition. Cool and refreshing were the waters of Luahinewai, awakening the intimate love a (human) native holds for yet another native (the ‘āina). Wai ola ‘O Kīholo, Kīholo Kupaianaha the living waters of Kīholo, astonishing Kīholo the final line reads. It is this wai ola, living waters, that we sing of, honored in song, seen by those whose eyes choose to see beyond the physical aspects. Ultimately the sweet water that we drink of, sure to give life to our hearts, minds and bodies. This is my rendering of hali‘a aloha, fond and dear memories of Hui Aloha Kīholo’s Kamanawa, Ho‘omoana i Kīholo event. Kīholo Kupaianaha, yes, you are!
Me ke aloha a me ka mahalo i ka ha‘aha‘a~ Ku‘ulei Keakealani

Posted: September 18, 2012