Charles Martin Newell.

Kalani of Oahu. An historical romance of Hawaii online

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* i-o i



As ductile marble, poetized in dreams,

Reflects its Alc.izar in Guadalquiver;
And famed Alrumbra in ardent sunlight gleams

Along the yellow sheen of Darro river :

So drifts Oahu's Queen, in lithe canoe,
Where coral fanes like marble cities rise :

Where Rnomes and mermaids sport in ocean's blue,
And crimson madrepores entrance the human eyes.





All Rights Reserved.

C. M. A. TWITCHELL, Printer and Stercotyper,
65 Cornhill, Boston, Mass,







THE myths and religious superstitions of the
indigenes of a barbaric nation present as enticing
subjects for the romancist, and as interesting re-
searches for the anthropologist, as their countless
shells and exquisite madrepores may do to the

Bereft of such knowledge, the prehistoric past
of a people of Polynesia becomes a period of dark-
ness to the physicist, unrayed by sufficient glim-
mer of light by which to judge of the remote
anterior conditions of their religious or social his-
tory, not to mention the ever-disputed point of
their anthropophagy.

While, aided by a well-digested system of their
mythology, we may follow as easily down the cir-
cuitous stair of their dim, uncertain past, as the
burrowing geologist delves into the nether world,
and evolves his system from the dislocated ribs
and broken spinalia of mother earth.

Lest we be accused of an anamorphosis in materi-
alizing some of the invisible gods of the Hawaiian
mythology, permit a word in extenuation. Among
an isolate people mythology always takes its rise



from visible events, or is born of the most impres-
sive local aspects of nature. The earliest awaken-
ing of mythological religion in the savage mind is
shown in the individual worship of some crude. per-
sonal conception, like that of the Easter Islanders
and other isolate amphiscii each man construct-
ing his own god made simple or ingenious ac-
cording to the degree of mental acumen of the

In a more advanced stage idolaters will gather
into communities, having agreed upon a generally
accepted method, or object of worship, to the ex-
clusion of their previous multiform inchoate incep-
tions; while, in a yet more enlightened condi-
tion, priests are suffered to not only select the
deity for general worship, but also to become the
sole intermediate between the chosen god and
man, in all times of national exigency.

A yet still further advance had been made by
the Hawaiians when rediscovered by Cook, for
they had become the most perfect heathen theoc-
racy known. Their religio-secular system of Tabu
was without parallel in the history of nations.
The Kapu Kane (human sacrifice) being the most
fiendish rite of ecclesiastical cunning ever devised,
by which to exalt the rights of the chiefs over the
peasants, and b} 7 which to legalize public murder
of one's enemies, and sanction wholesale thievery.

The quality of viability in Moa-alii, the terrible
sea-god, ravenous to capsize canoes and devour
their human contents, inspired no greater certitude


of his existence than did the invisibility of Pele
the dread goddess of Kilauea conduce to the
universal belief of her material existence, and of
her dual power of supreme dominion over vol-
canic action and the destinies of men.

Pele's frequently reputed interviews with the
priests and kings were unquestioned. And the
supposed something sometimes seen dancing on
the crest of a fiery eruption acquired credence,
somewhat authenticated by the numerous locks of
amber " Pele's hair " thrown broadcast over the
land after every eruption, and even falling upon
vessels hundreds of miles from shore, all of which
were deemed proofs positive of the material exist-
ence of the terrible Ignipotent of Mauna Loa.

The impunit}^ with which Princess Kapiolani
subsequently descended into Kilauea crater, and
defied Pele in her own stronghold, without being
consumed on the instant, was an act of sublime
heroism few women are equal to. That she could
do it and live, was attributed to the visible supe-
riority of her new God over Pele.





Pele, the Dread Goddess of Mauna Loa. Human Sacri-
fice and Warfare to gain her Favor, . . . .13


Ship Elenora in a Storm. John Young on Board. Ship
confronted by Earthquakes and Midnight Eruptions, . 23


Pele seen dancing on the Fiery Lava. Ship saved from
Wreck by the Boy King. Kalani on the War-path,
guided by Pele, 35


Coco Isle, the Royal Retreat of Kamehameha. Kalani
abducts the Queen, and Princess Pelelulu. Attacks and
kills the Giant. Kalani's Interview with Pele, . . 43


Kalani escapes with his Dead Warriors and Pelelulu. The
Hawaiian Godiva. Beauty of the God-born Princess.
Wooings of the King. Betrothing of the Lovers, . 59


Keone Ane : his Influence in Hawaiian Affairs. Kalani
arrives at Maui. Sacrifices to Moa-alii. Return to
Hawaii with an Army. Praying to Pele for Divine Aid, 79





Kalani's Interview with the Dread Goddess of Kilauea.
Pele destroys one of the Hawaiian Armies to a Man.
Her Invisible Presence manifested to Kalani, . 93


Kalani returns to Oahu with Kupule and the Army.
Showing the Beautiful Nuuanu and the Palaces to Ku-
pule. The Royal Wedding and the Bridal Trousseau, 115


Eve of Battle with Keao, King of Kauai. Kalani reviles
the Divine Goddess for apparent Neglect. Pele's Sud-
den Appearance in Anger, at the Sacred Fountain, . 135


The Enchanting Vale by Moonlight. Worth of Woman's
Love in Time of Need. Queenly Wisdom of the God-
born Kupule, . . * 155


The Fleet discovered in the Moonglade. Arrival of Keao.
Parting of the Lovers at the Fountain. Combat of the
Two Kings. The Earthquake and Pele's Invisible Pres-
ence. Death of Keao, 171


Departure of Kalani and his Army for Maui. The Pearl
Garden of Waikiki. Moa-alii's Den in the Reef. The
Crimson Coral Tree. The Mysterious Music in the Sea, 202


Kupule convoking the Unseen from the "Kiowai o Pele."
"Nani," the tiny Elf Queen. Beauty and Timidity
of the Fairy Queen, 233




The Elf Queen in Disguise as a Rainbow Fish. The
Frightful Eeries seen at Pearl Garden. " Oluolu," the
Mermaid Queen appears to Kupule. Lured down to the
Sea Queen's Grotto in the Sea. Eluding the Ocean
Monsters. Chased by Moa-alii, ..... 247


Night Tales by the Blind Bard. Waikiki by Moonlight.
The Mermaid's Singing. Kupule's Answering Song.
Alarm of the Sea Monsters for their Queen, . . . 273


Return of the Defeated King and Army. A Human Sac-
rifice. Diabolism of the Kapu Kana. Anthropology,
applied to the Titanic Chiefs of Polynesia. Kameha-
meha on the War-path Approaching Oahu, . . 303


The Sublime Pathos of Last Hours in Life. The Royal
Pair ascend to the Sacred " Kiowai " for Worship.
They climb upon Puawai to watch for the Hawaiians, . 323


Appearance of the Rival Kings and their Armies. Young
kills Kaiana, the Traitor, when half the Army desert.
Oahu is beaten, and Kalani retreats to the Pali, . . 343


The Queen and Thousands of Others seek the Mountain.
Kalani's Address to the Chiefs, while awaiting the Ene-
my. Oahu holds the Pass by desperate Fighting, . 367


Approach of the Guard to end the Day. Kalani snatched
from Death by Pele. Pele's Grief at his Apostasy.
Young kills the King. Kupule leaps from the Crag,
and dies on his Breast. Memory's Shrines, . . . 387

THEY steal like ghosts from the moonlit grove,
Prom the "Tabued Grove," where the goblins rove;
For the awful Pele, in pride and power,
From the " Kiowai " rose at that midnight hour !

From the fountain sprang, being wrought with ire ;
Flamed her azure eyes and her locks of fire !
While she sat 'neath the spray full of wondrous grace,
With her goddess' form and her godlike face.

Then the fountain stilled its falling spray,

And the moonbeams chill o'er Nuuanu lay ;

While the leaves in the grove seemed to hold their breath,

Hanging limp, as with fear, at the hush of death !




OME with us down the dark ages. Back
even into the benighted past, when the
heroic kings of Hawaii and Oahu were
contending for supremacy over the "Eight
Isles." Fiercer warfare, and deeds of greater dar-
ing never cast their lurid halo over the Homeric
age, than were witnessed in the sanguinary battles
between the Giant Kamehameha on the one hand,
and Kalanikupule the Boy King of Oahu on
the other.

It was the land of Pele ! Pele, the most sublime
and terrible goddess in the mythology of nations.
Though this fearful ignipotent comprised in her-
self all that was grand and adorable in her sex in
placid moments, she was at times coquettish, and
cruel, and unrelenting in her demands for human
worship and human sacrifice.

Unique and lofty was the dwelling-place of this



Juno of the mountain land of Hawaii Nei, whether
she sported in the Hale-mau-mau the boiling
lava-lake of Kilauea or flung devastation over
the land from high Mokuaweoweo, among the stars
her palace crater on snow-clad Mauna Loa's

While she dwelt in Kilauea in times of peace,
and there received the first-fruits of the land, and
the first catch of the sea from the trembling hands
of her worshippers, in the dread times of war her
throne was Mauna Loa. There she presided over
the heavens and the earth, dictating the music
of the spheres and the motions of the stellar worlds ;
while she goaded her human subjects to war and
rapine, and instigated the terrible Tabus, till there
hung over the land a hideous pall of blackness,
reeking with the gore of human sacrifice in the
cloistered walls of every heiau among the Isles.

While dispensing the amenities of life to her
human subjects from Kilauea, it was the frequent
pastime of herself and her god-people to dance
joyously in the fountain-jets of red lava that leaped
up from the awful abyss, or swim playfully in the
fiery surf of the volcanic sea, that rolled in great
breakers, like an aqueous ocean, against the black
walls of the seething crater, twelve hundred feet

Leaving the wide sea, and all therein, to the
ruling of Moa-alii the fierce god of the sea
Pele ruled in person over the Hawaiian world, and
often condescended to dabble, with womanly in-


stincts, in the destinies of heroic men. Being a
goddess, she assumed the most essential preroga-
tive of her sex, the inherent right to prompt an
ever continued rivalry for her favors among the
kings of the Isles.

To retain the affection of such a female deity,
and to acquire the worldly benefits consequent
thereon, a warrior must not fail either in battle-
deeds with his fellows, or in humble obeisance to
her godship ; nor a priest lessen the enormity of
his sacrifices in the Wahi kapu the sacred places
of the land.

Though the divine Pele was captivated by the
warlike deeds of Kamehameha the hideous Her-
cules of the Polynesian world she was also daz-
zled by the godlike spirit and manly beauty of the
Boy King of Oahu. And as the last object of
adoration ever takes precedence with her sex for
the time, the ardent Pele breathed a fiery valor
into the soul of Kalanikupule, and taught him the
cunning use of arms, with something more than
woman's fondness.

Thus fostered, the courage of the young king
rose to the supremest height, acquiring at length
a sense of invincibility from the frequent prompt-
ings of his imperial patroness, until he sought for
a personal encounter with his gigantic rival of
Hawaii, in one of the most daring and dangerous
midnight adventures recorded in the annals of war-

But, alas! with the boy-like innocence due to


his age, in his own unbounded adoration for the
beautiful goddess, Kalanikupule erred in suppos-
ing that a proud woman's love once won, is won
forever. And as familiarity with even a goddess
begets indifference of her dignity and her power
in a vaulting human soul it came at length to
pass, in after years, that when beset by numerous
and insurmountable difficulties, the Boy King mur-
mured aloud with profane tongue at the seeming
neglect of Pele, and, in losing her favor, lost his
life and his throne together.

This sad event took place on the eve of a great
battle with his traitorous uncle, the warlike king
of Kauai. The forces of Oahu had become dis-
couraged and decimated by the long continued
wars with Kamehameha on the one hand, while
now the well-chosen army of Keao, of Kauai, was
about to attack them on the other. The hour was
indeed dark and boding for Oahu. Where was
Pele with her friendly word of cheer, her usual
assurance that all should yet be well? For the
first time in his life she had failed to show a single
torch-light from her craters, or a single quake of
the earth-crust, or other vestige of remembrance
of her young hero, in this his direst need.

Alas ! alas ! in a jealous mood the young king
believed Pele had deserted him for his rival ; when,
goaded by his anguish, he suffered himself to cry
aloud in fierce disdain of her all-powerful love,
and even in bitter derision of the help she had
bestowed upon him in the past wars.


Worst of all, this scene took place at one of the
most sacred of the waJii kapus on the Isle, where
the king and his young queen had retreated to
invoke the divine blessing of Pele. They had
been worshipping by moonlight, at the Goddess
Fountain, in the sacred orange grove of Nuuanu
Valley; when Kalanikupule's imprecations angered
the Goddess, and in a form of living fire she leaped
up from the fountain, and stood 'neath the crest
of the spray, as she retorted upon the dismayed
king as only an outraged woman can do when
scorned. The summer moon hid its face in dark-
ness, and the stars grew tremulous with fear at her
anger. The orange leaves withered upon the
trees because of her fiery breath, and their yellow
globes jangled like alarnvbells because of the ter-
rible passion of a goddess when defied by incon-
siderate man. The very waters of the sacred
fountain whereon she. sat hissed and boiled, and
jet forth in fiery tongues like envenomed snakes,
so awful is the wrath of deity when justly enraged.

From that hour the fame of Kalanikupule was
dimmed forever. The mistake of that one moment
was irrevocable to the end of his being. Yet Pele
so far relented, even in the hour of her wrath, as
to leave her loved young hero a god-given spear,
which served to win him the victory over Keao in
the unequal contest of the coming morning.

But, as the proud and terrified young king made
no reply no show of relenting to either the
wrathful justification or persuasive admonitions of


the Goddess, the bright sword of unending victory,
which Pele had forged with her own hand for her
young hero, was suffered to dangle a moment be-
fore his eyes, glistening with its rare jewels and
tawny gold, during her tirade, then dropped dis-
dainfully back into the fountain, until the igneous
earth far down beneath should reclaim its rare
metals and precious stones again.

Thenceforth the rising destiny of Kalanikupule's
rival was unending and unquestioned. Kameha-
meha's fame rose from that hour with unwavering
splendor, until the name of the " Lonely One" of
Hawaii filled the world with glory. Though the
older and more sagacious king was uncomely in
aspect and rough in demeanor, yet was he gifted
with a subtle cunning and patient obeisance toward
the sex, which stood him well instead of his young
rival's physical beauty and knightly prowess. Thus
the name of Kamehameha Nui (the Great) has
been transmitted to posterity, not wholly for his
warlike deeds, but rather because of his greater
duplicity to a fickle deity, else were some descend-
ant of the noble Kalanikupule now ruling his fair
kingdom of Oahu to-day.

Yet prior to this ultimate event we have de-
scribed, both of these warlike kings were greatly
beloved by Pele ; while such was her innate love
of tumult, and the clash and din of war, that she
not only instigated, but presided over their war-
like contentions. Thus the battle-deeds of those
barbaric monarchs necessarily became heroic types


of daring and endurance ; fit emblems of their
day, to be commemorated, held in ever visible
perpetuity by the grandest mountain pea'ks which
monument their volcanic Isles.

Here the dread Pele still dwells, and still rocks
the hollow earth with her terrific earthquakes as
of old. Here she continues her volcanic warfare
against heaven and earth and sea, smiting the
midnight sky until her lurid flames dart above the
mountain snow-crests, like serpent tongues snap-
ping at the stars.

Here, upon her palace home of Loa, are still
witnessed the most gigantic eruptions of the globe,
where red fountains of molten lava turn the
blackest storm-night into day by their brilliance ;
rolling in roaring rivers of lava down the moun-
tain side, to do battle with its greatest antipathy
the sea.

It is no fictitious legend, however wild and im-
probable it may seem to us now, that the fierce
War-goddess of Mauna Loa did sometimes preside
over the great battles of her favorite heroes in
those long-gone days of which we write. We
might rest the authenticity of this statement upon
a single momentous event, where Pele, with her
destructive might, utterly annihilated every man
of one wing of an army, with her equally miracu-
lous salvation of the opposing army, while fighting
under the command of her favorite warrior, though
they were in equally exposed situations with their


Alas, that we are compelled to record it of one
so mighty and so wise, it did seem at times as if
the divine ignipotent of Hawaii suffered her dual
affections for human heroes to fluctuate from one
rival warrior to another a womanly prerogative,
however, still tenaciously claimed by her sex.

Just previous to the time of which we write a
few brief years before Kalaniopuu, the aged king
of Hawaii, died, leaving the half of his island king-
dom to Kamehameha, the foremost warrior chief of
the whole Polynesian world. The other half of his
kingdom Kalaniopuu left to Kiwalao, his rightful
son and heir. This act was consummated with
the distinct understanding between the dying king
and his powerful war-chief, that the latter should
promise to maintain Kiwalao on his throne against
the probable contentions likely to arise after the
old monarch's death.

Keoua, the warlike brother of the dying king,
was known to be unscrupulous and ambitious, and
it was feared by king and people that the young
Kiwalao would have but small chance to maintain
himself against his intriguing uncle.

Thus Kamehameha, from being only the leading
war-chief of the reigning king of his time, stepped
at one bound into possession of a kingdom. Kona,
Kohala, and Hamakua was transmitted to him;
while Kau, Puna, and Hilo fell to the lot of Ki-
walao. But war soon sprung up in the fruitless
endeavor to dispossess Kamehameha of his right-
ful crown. The first contention was brought on


by Keoua and Kiwalao over the still unburied
manes of Kalaniopuu. It ended in Kiwalao being
killed in battle, and Kamehaineha getting posses-
sion of the whole island of Hawaii.

Keoua and his great chiefs retreated to the
mountain fastness, and kept up a desultory warfare
for years. Tiring at length of the desperate strug-
gle against the invincible Kamehameha, Keoua
voluntarily surrendered with several of his great
chiefs, under promise of protection, when eight of
the noble warriors were assassinated while in the
act of landing from their canoe at Kawaihae, in the
very presence of Kamehameha. This act of des-
potism remains an indelible stain upon the charac-
ter of the usually humane conqueror ; and it ac-
quires additional interest from Keoua being one of
the many reputed fathers of Kamehameha, though
Kahekili, king of the Leeward Isles, and father of
Kalanikupule, sustained the best claim in this
knotty question of promiscuous paternity.

Thus the sudden rise of Kamehameha not only
created great jealousy among the ambitious war-
chiefs of his own island, but also drew down upon
him the bitter enmity of the old line of kings of
the Leeward Islands, ending with begetting the
long and bloody wars by which he finally came
into possession of all the " Eight Isles," whose
present appellation is: Hawaii Nei pae aina
" these Hawaiian Islands."

Tis midnight on the stormy sea !

The night is dark as hour of doom ;
The scud flies swiftly down the lee,

Like demons of the murky gloom.

The gale is fierce with shriek and wail !

The billows run to mountains high ;
Before the wind one scudding sail

Tears through the storm it dares defy.

Hark ! to the crash, as thunders roll
With every peal of lightning's glare,

Till awed becomes the human soul
With all the terrors gathered there.

Now rends in twain the inky sky !

With lava-floods from Kilanea ;
Its glare would blind an eagle's eye,

Such fierce and furious lava-fire.

Like some tremendous Pharos-light,
God-sent, to guide the bark aright ;

For on that ship the boatswain came
Who prompts Hawaii to warlike fame.



T was a weird, wild storm upon the open-
ing night of our story. As furious a
tempest as ever howled over the Pacific
was beating upon the Hawaiian shore.
A dark and starless midnight, black as ever con-
fronted a mariner, with pelting rain and shrieking
wind such a night of terror as causes even the
bravest to cower, and turn with trembling suppli-
cation to the Father above. Heaven and earth
and the mad sea were rocking with earthquakes,
and made deafening with loud thunder-peals fol-
lowing fast upon the red lightning's glare.

The low-lying scuds were flying swiftly over
ship and sea, as is their wont in such equinoctial
storms in the tropic. The great seas rose to enor-
mous heights, as if intent to out-bellow the thun-
der, and out-rumble the earthquakes. These stu-
pendous waves are easily accounted for by the
ready facility with which storm-billows build upon,
trade-wind seas when driven into such frenzy by a

Though at times the deluge from the clouds
ceased for a moment, it was followed by a saline
one as drenching from the torn-up ocean below.



So terrific was the force of the wind that the ghast-
ly, seething foam-crests were torn from the moun-
tain billow-tops, and hurled along the writhing
face of the black waters with the force and fury
of hailstones.

None but the smallest and the strongest of the
storm-sails could be set upon the one solitary ves-
sel now scudding before the gale. She was the
only foreign ship at that time in all the Hawaiian
seas. God help her ! and preserve her crew, for
she bears Keone Ana, the noble sailor, yet destined
to become the noblest chief in all the land.*

That it was a night of the sublimest horror was
evidenced by a glance on board the Elenora, for
every soul of her terror-stricken crew had lashed
themselves about the fife-rail of the mizzen-mast,
or beneath the precarious shelter of the wheel-
house, clinging with tired arms, endeavoring to
resist the pitch and roll of the vessel ; displaying
pallid faces and anxious eyes during the yellow
gleam of the lightning, as they clung awaiting the
uncertain doom impending over them all.

Two strong seamen were struggling with the
helm, active and alert to forecast for the ever-
veering ship as she hung poised on the tops of the
careering seas. With bare and brawny arms, and

* John Young, an English boatswain, came to Hawaii in the
Elenora, and was restrained from going back to his ship by
Kamehameha upon the occasion of Kameeimoku's capturing
the " Fair American." Young was made a high chief, and,
more than any other white man, was conducive to the final con-

Online LibraryCharles Martin NewellKalani of Oahu. An historical romance of Hawaii → online text (page 1 of 25)