Monday, January 26, 2015

Puʻu ʻOhau

Fishers generally refer to it as ‘Red Hill;’ its volcanic cinder, partially collapsed and exposed on the seaward side, gives it an easy name.  It’s not just a marker; fishers troll offshore with great success.

Nearshore is a marine fisheries management area; you can catch fish for personal consumption, but there is no aquarium fish collection permitted.

The hill is actually named Puʻu ʻOhau (hill of dew) and is the most conspicuous coastal landmark on the low coastal cliffs between Keauhou Bay (to the north) and Kealakekua (on the south;) it marks the boundary between North and South Kona.

Although the entire landform may be the “puʻu,” according to McCoy … the archaeological evidence tends to indicate that the area was used for general habitation purposes and was not reserved for only burial or other ritual uses that might be considered exclusionary.

This archaeological evidence suggests that there may have been a land use distinction between the flat bench and the steeper slopes of the puʻu although they are part of the same landform.

The matter of a burial on the puʻu helps us remember some others.

With the recent construction and extension of the Ane Keohokālole Highway from Palani road to Hina Lani, many in West Hawaii (although they generally reference the road as “Ane K”) are becoming more familiar with the name Keohokālole.

Analeʻa, Ane or Annie Keohokālole was a Hawaiian chiefess; she was born at Kailua-Kona, Hawaiʻi in 1816.  Through her father, she was descended from Kameʻeiamoku and Keaweaheulu, two of the four Kona Uncles that supported Kamehameha I.

Her first marriage was to John Adams Kuakini; they had no children.  Kuakini was an important adviser to Kamehameha I in the early stages of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i.

When the Kingdom's central government moved to Lāhainā in 1820, Kuakini’s influence expanded on Hawaiʻi Island, with his appointment as the Royal Governor of Hawaiʻi Island, serving from 1820 until his death in 1844.

During his tenure, Kuakini built some of the historical sites that dominate Kailua today.  The Great Wall of Kuakini, probably a major enhancement of an earlier wall, was one of these.

The Great Wall of Kuakini extends in a north-south direction for approximately 6 miles from Kailua to near Keauhou, and is generally 4 to 6-feet high and 4-feet wide;’ the Great Wall of Kuakini separated the coastal lands from the inland pasture lands.

Speculation has ranged from military/defense to the confinement of grazing animals; however, most seem to agree it served as a cattle wall, keeping the troublesome cattle from wandering through the fields and houses of Kailua.

Kuakini also built Huliheʻe Palace; it was completed in 1838, a year after the completion of Mokuʻaikaua Church (Lit., section won (during) war,) the first stone church on the Island of Hawaiʻi.

In 1833, Analeʻa married Caesar Kapaʻakea, a chief of lesser rank and her first cousin. Caesar’s father, Kamanawa II was no ‘ordinary’ ranking chief; he was the grandson of Kameʻeiamoku, one of the ‘royal twins.’

He was named after his famous grand uncle, the other royal twin.  (The twins are on Hawaiʻi’s Royal Coat of Arms; Kameʻeiamoku is on the right holding a kahili and Kamanawa on the left holding a spear.)

Caesar’s father has one other notable distinction; he was found guilty of poisoning his wife (Caesar’s mother) and was the first to be hanged for murder under the newly formed constitution and penal laws (1840.)

OK, back to Caesar and Analeʻa – they had several children.  Most notable were a son, who on February 13, 1874 became King Kalākaua, and a daughter, who on January 29, 1891 became Queen Liliʻuokalani - the Kalākaua Dynasty that ruled Hawaiʻi from 1874 to 1893.

Oh, the burial at Puʻu ʻOhau?  Ane Keohokālole’s mother, Kamaeokalani (Kamae) is buried at its top.

When I was at DLNR, the matter of dealing with the burial came up within the first few days of my term (in 2003.)  Back in 1999, members of the ʻOhana Keohokālole requested that protective measures be put in place on the puʻu.

The matter was on the Hawaiʻi Island Burial Council’s agenda; the family’s suggested means of protection is the construction of a six (6) foot rock wall around Puʻu ʻOhau.  After talking with family members, it was decided to order the wall to be placed on the 120-foot contour.

The image shows Puʻu ʻOhau (Google Earth.)  In addition, I have added other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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