Ka Waʻa O Maui
There are many vague stories as to why the Wailuku River was so named. Wailuku literally means “destroying water.” Legends connected with the Wailuku tend to confirm the belief that it was named for its violent habits. It is on the Wailuku River that we still see the evidence of Maui in Hilo – Ka Waʻa O Maui – the Canoe of Maui.
The stories of Maui are common old tales and speak of a real voyager who traveled throughout the islands of the Pacific, a sailor of great renown deified for his deeds; hence, the commonality of the tale. A long, narrow rock in the river, called Ka Waʻa O Maui, is still just where he ran it aground at the foot of the rapids.