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Kaumaea Mā
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Waihona Leo: Kaumaea Mā


          When Kamiki folks reached Kaʻū Kuehulepo, they reached Kamāʻoa of the cliff famous for leaping. When they reached, there was lots of noise by the sea to which Kamiki asked Kamāʻoa, “Hey! What is that loud noise?” Kamāʻoa responds, “Thatʻs Kaumaea––the chief of Kaʻū––and Waiʻōmaʻoalelekoaʻe, his daughter who is famous for cliff leaping all around Kaʻū.” This piqued Kamikiʻs interest to learn more. When Kamiki folks arrived, he was in awe at the sight of a cliff like he had never seen before––it was a waterless cliff. The nature of this cliff was dirt. So, one would leap from the cliff to a pool of dirt below.

            When they reached upland where the royal court of Kaumaea was, people were gathering: men, women, and children. As was customary, the stewards were called to prepare the food: the pig was cooked in an imu and the ʻawa was masticated. When it was ready, the hosts met with the guests. When they enjoyed each other's company, Kamāʻoa desired for Kamiki folks to become husbands for Waiʻōmaʻo for their prowess––it was however Kaumaeaʻs proclamation that she feared: it is only the one who defeats Waiʻōmaʻo at the cliff leaping of Kaumaea that shall take her as a wife.

            Since Kamiki folks yearned for victory, they sought out the necessary steps to compete while also hoping to win over Waiʻōmaʻo of whom proudly holds the utmost cliff jumping honor as the pit-dwelling koaʻe of the cliff of Kaumaea and as the premier ʻilima-pelting beauty of the hot plain of Kaʻū. The festivities began with the leaping of the first class: the children. The second class were the adolescents. The third class were the adults; and this is the class to which Waiʻōmaʻo belongs as well as the other skilled leapers. As was customary in cliff leaping, the person to whom the chifess loses three times shall have the chiefess as a wife; and should it be a woman, the chiffess shall become a confidant and close companion.

            When the cue to begin was seen, all the competitors moved to the soft dirt––the boys were wearing the red-dyed malo––it was fastened tightly from the top of Uēkahuna to the curved back of Kīlauea. The custom was then announced and Waiʻōmaʻo and Kamiki were to leap first. As for the others, they patiently observed on the side. Both Waiʻōmaʻo and Kamiki leapt with all the stealth they had; and in the end, Kona Kai ʻŌpua took the victory, and Kaumaea said, “You esteemed guests have become favorites of mine and within my royal court just as I have proclaimed––no ifs, ands, or buts. My daughter has become a wife for you two; and for whatever you desire, it is yours, and all those below me are at your beckon and call, and you two now have the authority over the ahupuaʻa, ʻokana, and kalana ʻāina of all the land stewards. As for me, I will heed your advice and wisdom.”

            Since Kauluhenuihihikoloiukaʻs trek to regulate the island was not yet complete––the grandmother with whom they were both raised in the highest point of Hualālai, they didnʻt quite commit to Waiʻōmaʻo until the trek was complete to which Kamiki responded thus, “My chifess, you shall have a long reign, however, this notion of your father must wait until Hawaiʻi is regulated and the commission of our grandmother is fulfilled and that is perhaps when this notion of you and your father can be fulfilled.”

            When Kaumaea and Waiʻōmaʻo heard their plea, they agreed only through Kamiki and Makaʻiole agreeing not to wed another on their trek since Waiʻōmaʻo committed to them to which she said, “I am releasing you two to continue your trek on good faith that you will keep my promise that you are only committed to me; and just as you have asked of me, I will also keep my word until we meet again.”


“As for your noses, it is only for your family, however, the sacred fish of the land steward is set apart for the fishpond steward who regulates the mākāhā.”


            With everyone in agreement, Waiʻōmaʻo embraced them by the neck; and since they spent time in Kaʻū, they were looking for more skilled warriors to battle. They reached Kaholokūāiwa and his royal ward Waiʻōhinukapuiwikauikaua when Kāhilipali saw them on his papa kahuna. As he was watching, he saw the white-haired woman whose eyes were blood red like the blazing of fire. The woman he saw was Kauluhenuihihikoloiuka. That is how Kāhilipali knew of the prowess of these young men. When the young men neared, they were called out to thus, “Enter this abode young men, we have food, lots of pig, and lots of ʻawa to enjoy, as well as a place to relax and stretch on the paepae lomilomi.” Kamiki folks immediately agreed and visited Kāhilipaliʻs abode.

            As the custom dictated, the food supplication prayer was offered and the eating immediately commenced, the drinking thereafter resulting in intoxication of the tree-climbing ʻawa of Puna thus:


Mūkīkī wai a lelehuna a ka manu

ʻO ka ʻawa ʻililena i ka uka ʻo Kaliʻu

ʻO ka manu ʻāhaʻihaʻi lau ʻawa o Puna

Māpunapuna mai ana kō aloha i oʻu nei

Hoʻolāʻau mai ana iaʻu moe


Because of intoxication, Kāhilipali and Makaʻiole fell asleep; and as for Kamiki, he was slightly drunk.

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