The Hawaiian Romance Of Laieikawai eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 569 pages of information about The Hawaiian Romance Of Laieikawai.

And after this command, Moanalihaikawaokele took her, and both together mounted upon the pathway and returned below.

Then, Moanalihaikawaokele said all these things told above, and when he had ended he returned to the heavens and dwelt in the taboo house on the borders of Tahiti.

Then, The Woman of the Twilight placed the government upon the seer; so did Laieikawai, the one called The Woman of the Twilight, and she lived as a god, and to her the seer bowed down and her kindred, according to Moanalihaikawaokele’s word to her.  And so Laieikawai lived until her death.

And from that time to this she is still worshiped as The Woman of the Twilight.




[Footnote 1:  Haleole uses the foreign form for wife, wahine mare, literally “married woman,” a relation which in Hawaiian is represented by the verb hoao.  A temporary affair of the kind is expressed in Waka’s advice to her granddaughter, “O ke kane ia moeia,” literally, “the man this to be slept with".]

[Footnote 2:  The chief’s vow, olelo paa, or “fixed word,” to slay all his daughters, would not be regarded as savage by a Polynesian audience, among whom infanticide was commonly practiced.  In the early years of the mission on Hawaii, Dibble estimated that two-thirds of the children born perished at the hands of their parents.  They were at the slightest provocation strangled or burned alive, often within the house.  The powerful Areois society of Tahiti bound its members to slay every child born to them.  The chief’s preference for a son, however, is not so common, girls being prized as the means to alliances of rank.  It is an interesting fact that in the last census the proportion of male and female full-blooded Hawaiians was about equal.]

[Footnote 3:  The phrase nalo no hoi na wahi huna, which means literally “conceal the secret parts,” has a significance akin to the Hebrew rendering “to cover his nakedness,” and probably refers to the duty of a favorite to see that no enemy after death does insult to his patron’s body.  So the bodies of ancient chiefs are sewed into a kind of bag of fine woven coconut work, preserving the shape of the head and bust, or embalmed and wrapped in many folds of native cloth and hidden away in natural tombs, the secret of whose entrance is intrusted to only one or two followers, whose superstitious dread prevents their revealing the secret, even when offered large bribes.  These bodies, if worshiped, may be repossessed by the spirit and act as supernatural guardians of the house.  See page 494, where the Kauai chief sets out on his wedding embassy with “the embalmed bodies of his ancestors.”  Compare, for the service itself, Waka’s wish that the Kauai chief might be the one to hide her bones, the prayer of Aiwohikupua’s seer that his master might, in return for his lifelong service, “bury his bones”—­“e kalua keai mau iwi,” and his request of Laieikawai, that she would “leave this trust to your descendants unto the last generation.”]

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The Hawaiian Romance Of Laieikawai from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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