OHE June 14, 1997

Received the following about the well-known (to hikers) peak, Keahiakahoe. The person who sent the post to me, Mahealani Cypher (malama@lava.net), works for the Board of Water Supply and a couple months back led me and a group of folks to some heiaus in the deep reaches of Makaha Valley via a BWS road. As you'll find out, she is also well-versed in the stories behind places on Oahu. Enjoy.


Aloha, Dayle!

Mahalo for this EXCELLENT website!

The description of your hike to Keahiakahoe was particularly fascinating. I named my grandson after that mountain. Did you know that in ancient times, Hawaiian runners regularly crossed all along the ridges of the Koolaus, and at times one chief would rule over both Halawa Valley and Haiku, and his messengers would run between Halawa and Kaneohe (probably using the Moanalua access route you yourself took!). Isn't it exciting to think you are walking in the footsteps of the ancients?

Do you know the story of Keahi a Kahoe? In Sites of Oahu, Kahoe was one of two brothers from Kaneohe. He lived atop the mountain there, tending his sweet potato patch. His brother worked the fishpond down by the beach at Kaneohe Bay. Whenever he cooked his sweet potatoes in the imu, the fire (Ke Ahi) of Kahoe could be seen from the shore. Kahoe's brother would send their sister up with fish to trade for sweet potatoes with the brother on the mountain.

After awhile, the fisherman brother got lazy, didn't want to go fishing. Told his sister to go up to Kahoe and ask for sweet potatoes. He said to tell their brother that there were no fish for the day. This went on for some time, and the sister finally felt tired of having to fool their brother.

One day, she asked Kahoe to cover up the imu so that the cooking fires could not be seen from the shore. He took banana leaves and covered up the sweet potatoes as they cooked. The smoke from the imu looked like clouds, easily disguising the appearance of cooking. Therefore, the lazy brother at the shore could not tell that sweet potatoes were being prepared for eating. And he could not send his sister to trick Kahoe out of his food.

That is the story of Ke Ahi a Kahoe - the Fire of Kahoe.

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