top of page


The Story of Koholālele

Kamiki, Makaʻiole, and Keahialaka left Hilo and went on towards Hāmākua. While they were traveling, they met with a skilled fighter named Koholālele tending to his crops on the wayside.

“You are a foreigner?” Koholālele asked.

“I am of this place, your lack of familiarity to this place is why you do not recognize us,” Kamiki sarcastically responded.

“You are quite the empty-minded exaggerator! I am a multi-generational descendant of this place from one end to the other from my parents,” Koholālele responded.

“Did you see Koholālele?” Kamiki asked naughtily.

“Why do you ask for Koholālele?” Koholālele responded.

“Some food, garnish, and some ʻawa to drink, and a place to sleep too,” Kamiki responded.

Koholālele was then disconcerted to Kamiki thinking he would be a servant to Kamiki folks. He then responded angrily, “How dare you small-boned conceited person! Leave this place immediately or else I will break your bones into small pieces and throw you off the sea cliff to be eaten by sharks!”

Due to Koholāleleʻs anger, Kamiki responded with laughter, “Says the one who is angry!”

“I am angry because of you mistreating me despite my grace, and thatʻs why I am mad! The old man whose head is white and whose beard is messy eats the core which sulks him and his lips become swollen,” Koholālele responded.

Once he uttered his words, he lunged his club at Kamiki. Kamiki then dodged it and the club–that Koholālele thought would hit Kamiki and break his bones–missed. Koholāleleʻs shortcoming was mistaking Kamikiʻs prowess on the battlefield. It was said that Kamiki was a fierce warrior who overpowers even the best of warriors, in other words, the best in his profession.

When his club missed, it was his downfall, because not thinking of himself and heeding the customs of battle is what allowed Kamiki to see his technique, which is what gave Kamiki the knowledge to overpower him.

Recognizing his club missed, he attacked by trying to bind Kamiki. When he lunged, Kamiki jumped above Koholālele–with their glances locking–and that is when Koholālele attempted to lunge at Kamiki thinking heʻd had enough to crush his bones. He was however sorely mistaken because that is when he was kicked by Kamiki in his chin which sent him flying backwards resulting in death.

Kamiki then stood up and checked out his opponent who had just fallen; and since he died, he carried his body to his home, buried his body, and continued on the journey. While they were traveling, Kewiki, Kaholoholo, Kealakaha, and Kaʻalāikiapōlena–some skilled fighters of Hāmākua for whom those places were named till today–showed up. They were very skilled fighters known for their prowess in their districts of Hāmākua.

“Weʻve come to meet with the strangers who killed Koholālele because we were very suprised upon hearing the news since Koholālele is the most skilled fighter of Koholālele!” Kewiki, Kaholoholo, Kealakaha, and Kaʻalāikiapōlena called out. Overestimating their own skill, they attack Kamiki by lunging at him not heeding the customs of battle; and that is what led to their downfall in the same way as Koholālele before them. They understood that day that Kamiki truly was a force of power inflicting massive amounts of pain.

When Kewiki and Kaholoholo lunged, they were hit by Kamikiʻs solid, rigid hands; as for Kealakaha and Kaʻalāikiapōlena, they were bound by Makaʻiole and Keahialaka; and as for Hilo Hanakahi, he returned home to his chief Piʻihonuaakalani.

They were then bound tightly; and although they tried to break free, they had no luck in doing so. They were tied up circled in rope being left with no room to move, and Kamiki said, “Death to you! Your opponent did not hurt today, it was a very menial death today! I was under the impression that there was great skill to be had today, but I was mistaken. The name is what was famous, but the knowledge and skill is what was lacking. You are bound by “Kuʻiaholo,” “Pelupeluaʻopeʻope,” “ʻŌwiliapōkaʻa,” and “Hauhoaahīkiʻi.”

Kamiki then left Kealakaha and Kaʻalāikiapōlena between the dead bodies of Kewiki and Kaholoholo–one a victim of his own volition and another a victim on Koholāleleʻs behalf–serving as reminders to the remaining warriors of Hāmākua of Kamiki folksʻ skill.

Before leaving, Kamiki says to the two warriors, “As payment for your conceit and single-mindedness, you will stay here; and when someone happens upon you, you tell them that we are the reason and will be the downfall of Puhipuhiapākā, Koholāleleau, Kaʻoheikiamoemoe, Paʻauailo, Maunakuiahoʻāno, Mānienie, Kano, Kōʻapapaʻa, Kahoʻālalāʻau, ʻIliala, and Honokekaʻaalaikapalialelewale.”

They were then left, and Kamiki folks continued on their journey.

bottom of page