Ka ʻAi Uahi ʻOle

By Tiele-Lauren Doudt, Nā Kama a Hāʻupu


E nā hoa heluhelu i kaukolo ʻia e ka makani Alaʻoli iā ʻAlekoko kuapapa ē, welina nō me ke aloha pumehana.
Greetings to our readers to another ʻAi Uahi ʻOle segment, where we share and highlight interesting finds from Mālama Hulēʻia’s growing collection of English and Hawaiian literary resources.
The second feature of this series arrives from James H. Kuhau Kaiwi’s original, “MOOLELO O KA LAHUI KANAKA I KAPAIA MENEHUNE, O KAUAI,” which was later translated and published in Thomas G. Thrum’s, “STORY OF THE RACE OF PEOPLE CALLED THE MENEHUNES, OF KAUAI. (A HAW33AIIAN TRADITION.),” in The Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. 29, 2 114 (The Polynesian Society, 1920), 70–75.

At the turn of the 20th century, James H. Kuhau Kaiwi was one of a handful of authors who had preserved the moʻolelo (history, narrative) of a race of people named Menehune, who had constructed two kuapā-style fishponds meant for the royal children, ʻAlekoko and Kalālālehua. Although more research is needed for a completed biography on Kaiwi, light reference material indicates that he was from Niumalu, and held very distinguished titles throughout the Kauaʻi community. For a time, Kaiwi worked as a lawyer, and later served as a judge for the Līhuʻe district of Kauaʻi during Hawaiʻi’s Territorial Period. Towards retirement, Kaiwi became a Reverend for the Kauaʻi Branch of the Hawaiian Evangelical Association. One account by members of the Kaʻahumanu Society describes a visit to Kauaʻi in 1918, where Reverend Kaiwi blessed their meal at the Hawaiian Church of Līhuʻe; it was written that among the feast was the most decadent āholehole from ʻAlekoki [ʻAlekoko] Fishpond (Pakaalana, 1918).

As a non-profit organization, we are privileged to spend a great deal of time hosting and educating Kauaʻi’s many diverse communities. Throughout these engagements, it is of the utmost importance to be providing the most historically accurate curriculums available. The need for such curricula inspired revisitations to Thrum and Kaiwi’s work.

Inspiration behind the name “Ka ʻAi Uahi ʻOle,”
The Hawaiian language proverb from which this series is titled arrives from the ʻōlelo noʻeau, “Ola i ka ʻai uahi ʻole o ke kini o Mānā (ON #2480).” According to the beloved Mary Kawena Pukui, the families of Mānā, Kauaʻi were famed as a region that rarely engaged in making poi from kalo, a process which typically involves a significant amount of labour and generous amounts of smoke. Although some accounts of the same phrase, such as in the moʻolelo of Pele-keahialoa and Waka-keaka-ikawai, “Aloha Mānā i ka ʻai uahi ʻole,” suggest that this ʻōlelo noʻeau pertains to the bounties of ʻōpae that were found in Mānā prior to the developments of the sugar cane industry.
The delectable and famous shrimp were, according to the phrase, consumed with minimal preparation. ʻAi uahi ʻole – food without the labors of creating smoke. In the same way we hope to provide historical resources and information for our readers to readily enjoy.

Pakaalana, “KA HOOMANAO PIHA MAKAHIKI O KE KU ANA O KA AHAHUI KAAHUMANU, MA KA MOKUPUNI O KAUAI O MANOKALANIPO.,” Ka Nupepa Kuokoa LVI, no. 1 (January 4, 1918).

For a pdf file of the original, click on the following link:

For a pdf file of the transcription click on the following link:

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