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Ka Moolelo o Hawaii Nei, Helu 2 / The Story of This Land, Hawaii, Number 2
About Touring the Famous Places, the Supernaturals and the Ancient Chiefs from Hawai‘i to Ni‘ihau.
On the north side of Kaumakapili Church, there is an altar for the aku lure of Kahuoi. This is an aku lure of great renown. When this lure was revealed, the aku would come into the canoe.
At a time before the harbor of Kou had ever been entered by ships, the aku and ʻahi would come in there.
Kahuoi was a great chief, a grandson of Kaha‘i, who planted the breadfruit grove of Kaha‘i at Pu‘uloa.
When Kahuoi sailed to Maui, and reached Holonokiu at Hāna, the aku lure was lost.
This is how it was lost: Kahuoi reached there on his canoe. Puolokalina was fishing for uhu, and the thing he spat to calm and clear the surface of the water was niu, coconut meat, but he couldn’t see clearly beneath the surface. This one’s material that he spat out upon the water was kukui, candlenut. When he swept his paddle to spread the kukui out further, he could see the uhu entering the net. When he pulled up the net, uhu had been snared; that was the regular practice of Kahuoi. The man was delighted by the thing that allowed him to see.
The man asked him, “What are you using to see?” He answered, “It is this, kukui.” Then he asked the other, “And what is yours?” That one replied, “Niu.” “That doesn’t let you see much.” (said Kahuoi). He gave the other a piece of kukui. The man made a sweep with his paddle, spat out the kukui, and the underwater area was completely visible. That really allows you to see! (It became what fishermen use to clear the waters surface until this day.)
Kahuoi said, “Your fish is one of aches because of bending, whereas here is a fish that comes with no pain – mine.” “What kind of fish are you talking about?” This one grabbed the bamboo, opened the cover of the tube, extracted the lure, and knotted it on the fishing line. The aku were suddenly crowding about. The aku leaped over both sides of the canoe until the canoe was filled; then this one hid the lure in the bamboo tube. He gave the aku to the other man.
(To be continued.)