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A Mo'olelo about Mauloa, Our First Born Canoe


In May, 1993, our first canoe Mauloa was launched at Keoneʻeleʻele, Hōnaunau. She was lifted by the hands that brought her into this earthside existence and also by those who reside in the realm of our ancestors. As she emerged from the Hālau Waʻa, her ihu facing mauka, she was then brought to face the kai, severing the ties to the ʻāina and transforming her sprit to become one with the kai. Uncle John Keolanui shares, “She was light, but we were trying hard to hold her back as she was pulling us to the kai. She wanted to go!”



Mauloa

A Mo'olelo by Emalani Case


She was born hundreds of years ago when men still carved canoes. 

As a young seedling, she would watch them move in the Keauhou forest. 

They would chant as they entered, searching and observing. 

They would follow the birds; they would listen to the trees. 

As she grew, the men slowly stopped coming.

Over time, she watched them forget. 

Yet, she continued to grow, strengthening her base, nurturing her roots, preparing herself for the day that they would return to the forest. 

On the slopes of Mauna Loa, she grounded herself for the day that they would remember.

With thousands of chips laying scattered on the floor of the hālau waʻa, the canoe house, the men would then move her towards the waters edge. 

She would enter the ocean at an ancient canoe landing in Kona Hema. 

Sitting in a circle, the men would drink ʻawa and share words.

Then her name would be declared. In honor of the man who helped them remember, she would be named,

Mauloa.

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