I recently had the good fortune to run across a post by ʻOhu Gon concerning the nature and form of hōʻailona. While I donʻt make much effort to go out looking for the signs in my everyday life, once in a while, they appear and I cannot help but acknowledge them.
Recently, Iʻve been listening to Mark Kealiʻi Hoʻomaluʻs oli, and I always went back to Ke Kaua A Kūkauakahi. Initially, a friend had sent me the songs because I was looking for something ma ka ʻōlelo to fire me up. The paʻi on the ʻipu is perfect; the tone is powerful.
Still, I didnʻt recognize what the oli described. I picked up things here and there, but the most important part, who Kūkauakahi was, escaped me.
Later on, I came across ʻOhuʻs post, which was excellent reading. Another post he made caught my eye, sitting in the sidebar. It spoke of pueo who allowed themselves to be see and accompanied him in providing mana for his oli to Lono. A great story, definitely something that I would look forward to experiencing if ever possible.
Still later on, I was reading through Beckwithʻs book on Hawaiian mythology, and I happened across the moʻolelo of Kūkauakahi, the ʻaumakua, who was a pueo. Iʻd come full circle! Suddenly, all these pieces seemed to fall into place. I had my answer.
Perhaps Iʻm reading too much into these things, but to me, it seems like I was supposed to have the question and receive the answer that I did.
"Ke Kaua A Kaūakahi"
‘Ahulu O’ahu i ka nui hulu manu
Kulokuloku maila i ke one kaulana
Ke lele maila i ko Kalapueo
Kuka’i i na pae pohaku o Makapu’u
Ke ihola i ko Kanoniakapueo
Kuala i ka Malailua o Nu’uanu
Ke ho’ala a’ela i Pueohulunui
Haele loa akula i Kupaiaha
Eia ‘o Kapo’i la ua pa’a
Ua hopuhia e Kakuhihewa
Kupukupu ka ualo e he’uhe’u e
Na leo pa’epu i lohelohe ‘ia
‘O ka pueo lele kaha i’o i ‘ane’i
Wawalu me ka ‘eheu a me ka miki ‘ao
‘Auhe’e na koa a’o Kakuhihewa
Ua puehu la me ke one kaulana
E ola ka inoa no Kapo’i
Ke o nei no keia inoa
Oʻahu appears feathered by feathers
Falling forth on the famed sands
There flew those of Kalapueo shrine
Rising from the stones of Makapuʻu
Those of Kanoniakapueo shrine descend
Somersaulting in the gusty Nuʻuanu wind
The Pueohulunui flock is aroused
Away they all go to Kupaiaha heiau
Here is the caught Kapoʻi
Captured by Kakuhihewa
The hooting cry builds
The deafening sound is heard
The owl that swoops here and there
Claws with wing and talon
The warriors of Kakuhihewa flee in fear
Scattered like the famous sands
Long lives the name Kapoʻi
That name still survives