We Arrived at Keauhou…

We travelled about a mile across a rugged bed of lava, which had evidently been ejected from a volcano more recently than the vast tracts of the same substance by which it was surrounded. It also appeared to have been torn to pieces, and tossed up in the most confused manner, by some violent convulsion of the earth, at the time it was in a semifluid state. There was a kind of path formed across the most level part of it, by large smooth round stones, brought from the sea-shore, and placed about three or four feet apart. By stepping from one to another of these, we passed over the roughest piece of lava we had yet seen; and soon after 5 p.m. we arrived at Keauhou, a pleasant village containing one hundred and thirty-five houses, and about eight miles from Kairua. Messrs. Bishop and Harwood reached the same place about an hour earlier, and here we proposed to spend the night. During our walk from Kairua to this place we counted six hundred and ten houses, and allowed one hundred more for those who live among the plantations on the sides of the hills. Reckoning five persons to each house, which we think not far from a correct calculation, the population of the tract through which we have travelled to-day will be about 3550 souls. We also passed nineteen heiaus, of different dimensions, some of which we carefully examined. Late in the evening we spread our mats on the loose pebbles of which the floor of the house was formed, and, thankful for the mercies we had received, laid ourselves down, and enjoyed a comfortable night’s repose. Thermometer at sunset 71°. (Ellis)

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 (These are excerpts from a book by William Ellis that has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.)

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We Arrive at Kanekaheilani Heiau…

Our road now lay through a pleasant part of the district, thickly inhabited, and ornamented occasionally with clumps of kou trees. Several spots were pointed out to us, where the remains of heiaus, belonging to the late king Tamehameha, were still visible. After travelling some time, we came to Kanekaheilani, a large heiau more than 200 feet square. In the midst of it was a clear pool of brackish water, which the natives told us was the favourite bathing place of Tamehameha, and which he allowed no other person to use. A rude figure, carved in stone, standing on one side of the gateway by which we entered, was the only image we saw here. About fifty yards further on, was another heiau, called Hale o Tairi (house of Tairi.) It was built by Tamehameha soon after he had assumed the government of the island. Only one mutilated image was now standing, though it is evident that, but a few years ago, there had been many. The natives were very desirous to shew us the place where the image of Tairi the war-god stood, and told us, that frequently in the evening he used to be seen flying about in the neighbourhood, in the form of a luminous substance like a flame, or like the tail of a comet. We told them that the luminous appearance which they saw was an occurrence common to other countries, and produced by natural causes: that the natives of the Society Islands formerly, whenever they observed such a phenomenon, supposed it to be Tane, one of their gods, taking his flight from one marae to another, or passing through the district seeking whom he might destroy, and were consequently filled with terror; but now, they wondered how they could ever have given way to such fears, from so inoffensive a circumstance. (Ellis)

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 (These are excerpts from a book by William Ellis that has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.)

We Learn of King Umi…

Before we left Karuaokalani the inhabitants pointed out to us a spot called Maukareoreo, the place of a celebrated giant of that name, who was one of the attendants of Umi, king of Hawaii, about twelve generations since, and who, they told us, was so tall that he could pluck the cocoa-nuts from the trees as he walked along; and when the king was playing in the surf, where it was five or six fathoms deep, would walk out to him without being wet above his loins; and when he was in a canoe, if he saw any fish lying among the coral at the same depth, would just put his hand down and take them. They also told us he was a great warrior, and that, to his prowess principally, Umi was indebted for many of his victories. The Hawaiians are fond of the marvellous, as well as many people who are better informed; and probably this passion, together with the distance of time since Maukareoreo existed, has led them to magnify one of Umi’s followers, of perhaps a little larger stature than his fellows, into a giant sixty feet high.  (Ellis)

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 (These are excerpts from a book by William Ellis that has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.)

We Reached Horuaroa…

Leaving the heiau, we passed by a number of smaller temples, principally on the sea shore, dedicated to Kuura, a male, and Hina, a female idol, worshipped by fishermen, as they were supposed to preside over the sea, and to conduct or impel to the shores of Hawaii, the various shoals of fish that visit them at different seasons of the year. The first of any kind of fish, taken in the season, was always presented to them, especially the operu, a kind of herring. This custom exactly accords with the former practice of the inhabitants of Maui and the adjacent islands, and of the Society islanders.  

At two P. M. we reached Horuaroa, a large and populous district. Here we found Keoua, the governor’s wife, and her attendants, who had come from Kairua for wauti, with which to make cloth. Shortly after, we reached a village called Karuaokalani, (the second heaven,) where was a fine heiau, in good preservation. It is called Pakiha; its dimensions were 270 feet by 210. We could not learn the idol to which it was dedicated, but were informed it was built in the time of Keakealani, who, according to tradition, was queen of Hawaii about eleven generations back. The walls were solid, thick, and nearly entire; and the singular manner in which the stones were piled upon the top, like so many small spires, gave it an unusually interesting appearance. (Ellis)

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 (These are excerpts from a book by William Ellis that has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.)

At Ruapua We Examined an Interesting Heiau…

Leaving Kairua, we passed through the villages thickly scattered along the shore to the southward. The country around looked unusually green and cheerful, owing to the frequent rains, which for some months past have fallen on this side of the island. Even the barren lava, over which we travelled, seemed to veil its sterility beneath frequent tufts of tall waving grass, or spreading shrubs and flowers. The sides of the hills, laid out for a considerable extent in gardens and fields, and generally cultivated with potatoes, and other vegetables, were beautiful. The number of heiaus, and depositories of the dead, which we passed, convinced us that this part of the island must formerly have been populous. The latter were built with fragments of lava, laid up evenly on the outside, generally about eight feet long, from four to six broad, and about four feet high. Some appeared very ancient, others had evidently been standing but a few years. At Ruapua we examined an interesting heiau, called Kauaikahaora, built of immense blocks of lava, and found its dimensions to be 150 feet by 70. At the north end was a smaller enclosure, sixty feet long and ten wide, partitioned off by a high wall, with but one narrow entrance. The places where the idols formerly stood were apparent, though the idols had been removed. The spot where the altar had been erected could be distinctly traced; it was a mound of earth, paved with smooth stones, and surrounded by a firm curb of lava. The adjacent ground was strewed with bones of the ancient offerings. The natives informed us that four principal idols were formerly worshipped there, one of stone, two of wood, and one covered with red feathers. One of them, they said, was brought from a foreign country. Their names were Kanemuiakea, (great and wide spreading Kane,) who was brought from Tauai, Kaneruruhonua, (earth-shaking Kane,) Roramakaeha, and Kekuaaimanu. (Ellis)

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 (These are excerpts from a book by William Ellis that has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.)

Our Departure from Kairua and a Description of our Guide…

About eleven o’clock in the forenoon, on the 18th, we waited on the governor to express our grateful sense of the generous hospitality we had experienced from him, during our protracted stay at Kairua. We also thanked him for the friendly advice he had given, and the acceptable aid he had so kindly furnished for the prosecution of our journey, and informed him that we were ready to proceed. He had before given instructions to our guide. He now directed the man who was going in the canoe, to take care of our things, and told us he would send some men to carry our baggage by land, as far as Kearake’kua. We then took leave of him, and proceeded on our journey. Messrs. Bishop and Harwood went in the canoe, the rest of our number travelled on foot.

Our guide, Makoa, who had been the king’s messenger many years, and was well acquainted with the island, led the way. He was rather a singular looking little man, between forty and fifty years of age. A thick tuft of jet black curling hair shaded his wrinkled forehead, and a long bunch of the same kind hung down behind each of his ears. The rest of his head was cropped as short as shears could make it. His small black eyes were ornamented with tataued Vandyke semicircles. Two goats, impressed in the same indelible manner, stood rampant over each of his brows; one, like the supporter of a coat of arms, was fixed on each side of his nose, and two more guarded the corners of his mouth. The upper part of his beard was shaven close; but that which grew under his chin, was drawn together, braided for an inch or two, and then tied in a knot, while the extremities below the knot spread out in curls like a tassel. A light kihei, (cloth worn like a shawl,) was carelessly thrown over one shoulder, and tied in a knot on the other; and a large fan, made of cocoa-nut leaf, in his hand, served to beat away the flies, or the boys, when either became too numerous or troublesome.  (Ellis)

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 (These are excerpts from a book by William Ellis that has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.)

A Conversation on Religious Subjects with the Governor…

During the forenoon, Mr. Harwood made an auger, to aid the well-diggers in boring the rocks. I walked with Mr. Thurston to see what progress they had made, and to encourage them to persevere. The rocks they said were hard, and their progress slow, yet they were not discouraged, but hoped to find the work easier as they descended. After dinner, the governor entered freely into conversation on religious subjects, particularly respecting the resurrection of the body, the destruction of the heavens and the earth at the last day, and the final judgment. After listening attentively to what was said upon these subjects, he inquired about the locality of heaven and hell. He was told that we did not know where the one or the other was situated, as none had ever returned from either, to tell mankind about them; and we only know, that there is a place called heaven, where God makes glorious manifestations of his perfections, and where all good men are perfectly happy; and that there is a place where wicked men are shut up in darkness, and endure endless misery. He then said, “How do you know these things?” I asked for his bible, and translated the passages which inculcate the doctrine of the resurrection, and told him it was from that book we obtained all our knowledge of these things; and that it was the contents of that book which we had come to teach the people of Hawaii. He then asked if all the people in our native countries were acquainted with the bible. I answered, that from the abundant means of instruction enjoyed there, the greater portion of the people had either read the book, or had in some other way become acquainted with its principal contents. He then said, How is it that such numbers of them swear, get intoxicated, and do so many things prohibited in that book? He was told, that there was a vast difference between knowing the word of God, and obeying it; and that it was most likely, those persons knew their conduct was displeasing to God, yet persisted in it, because agreeable to their corrupt inclinations. He asked if God would not be angry with us for troubling him so frequently with our prayers? If he was like man, he said, he was sure he would. I replied, that God was always “waiting to be gracious,” more ready to hear than we were to pray; that indeed he was not like man, or his patience would have been exhausted long ago by the wickedness of men; but that he continued exercising long-suffering and forbearance towards sinners, that they might turn from their wickedness and live.

We supped with the governor as usual, and, after family worship with his household, prepared our baggage for our journey, some of which we left to be forwarded by the Ainoa to Waiakea, a district on the eastern side of the island. (Ellis)

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 (These are excerpts from a book by William Ellis that has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.)