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Ha'ena's Neighbors


Ha‘ena's neighbors fall into three categories: valleys to the East, in the Hanalei direction; valleys to the west, in the Na Pali direction, and the nearest town of any size--Hanalei itself. In the first group are two nearby valleys, Wainiha and Lumahai. These valleys reach back deep into the heart of the island, and are important for their historical relationship with Ha‘ena. The ali‘i Abner Paki, and the konohiki Kekela, were associated with these two ahupua‘a as well as with Ha‘ena. Wainiha also shares many traditions with Ha‘ena, from the Menehune of ancient times to the Hui Ku‘ai ‘Aina management system of recent history.



In the other direction, Ha‘ena's neighbors include the secluded valleys of the Na Pali coast. First is the valley of Hanakapi‘ai. This small valley is accessible by the Na Pali trail and by boat, but not by road. Smallness, yet sturdiness, appears to have been a characteristic of this valley:

"Ka iki koai‘e a Hanakapi‘ai."
The small koai‘e tree of Hanakapi‘ai.
A boast of that locality on Kaua'i. One may be small in stature but he is as tough and sturdy as the koai‘e tree.
‘Olelo No‘eau # 1399

"Ka ‘o‘opu peke o Hanakapi‘ai."
The short ‘o‘opu of Hanakapi‘ai.
The ‘o‘opu at Hanakapi‘ai on Kaua‘i were said to be shorter and plumper than those anywhere else. Mentioned in chants.
(Pukui elsewhere notes that the phrase is "sometimes applied humorously to a short, plump person. ‘O‘opu, a freshwater fish, are discussed in the Land section).
‘Olelo No‘eau #1517.



Kalalau Valley

The broad valley of Kalalau rests at the end of ten miles of winding trail from Ha‘ena


Many miles of trail beyond Hanakapi‘ai is the broad valley of Kalalau. Once a well populated and productive valley, this was the farthest one could go down the coast on foot. Consequently, a strong bond developed between the people of Kalalau and the people of Ha'ena, at either end of the trail.

Kalalau's dramatic landscape and its location on the rugged, weather-beaten Na Pali coast perhaps gives rise to the following saying:

"Napelepele na pali o Kalalau i ka wili a ka makani."
Weakened are the cliffs of Kalalau in being buffeted by the wind.
Said of one who is worn out.
‘Olelo No‘eau #2287

But many of the Hawaiian expressions mentioning Kalalau engage in word-play with "lalau," to wander astray:

"Hala i Kaua‘i i Kalalau."
Gone to Kalalau, on Kaua‘i.
Said of one who is off-course mentally or is off gadding somewhere; a blunderer.
‘Olelo No‘eau #419

"Molale loa no kumupali o Kalalau."
Clearly seen is the base of Kalalau cliff.
It is obvious that one is way off the subject.
‘Olelo No‘eau #2190

The relationship with Kalalau is recalled by Samson Mahuiki in the "Horse &" Cattle section of the Changes chapter.



Hanalei River

Taro farming in the Hanalei River Valley.


Hanalei, the nearest town, lies f approximately nine miles to the East from Ha‘ena. Today a small commercial center serving the sparsely populated North Shore of Kaua‘i, Hanalei sits in a broad coastal valley and is famous for its beautiful mountains, waterfalls, and taro fields. Its lushness is a result of the frequent rains for which Hanalei--and the Halele‘a district generally--was known in traditional chants and songs. Here are three examples from Pukui's collection:

"Ka ua Makako‘i o Halele‘a"
The Adze-edged rain of Halele‘a.
A rain so cold that it feels like the sharp edge of an adze on the skin. Refers to Halele‘a, Kaua‘i.
‘Olelo No‘eau # 1586

"Ka ua loku o Hanalei"
The pouring rain of Hanalei.
‘Olelo No‘eau #1584

"Lu‘ulu‘u Hanalei i ka ua nui; kaumaha i ka noe o Alaka‘i"
Heavily weighted is Hanalei in the pouring rain; laden down by the mist of Alaka‘i.
An expression used in dirges and chants of woe to express the burden of sadness, the heaviness of grief, and the tears pouring freely like rain.
‘Olelo No‘eau # 2034



Nested within the moku‘aina of Halele‘a and positioned midway between Hanalei and Kalalau, Ha‘ena's unique character as a native place unfolds.



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