Halalii is the king of the spirits on Oahu. The ghost of Hawaii is Kanikaa; that of Maui, Kaahualii; of Lanai, Pahulu; of Molokai, Kahiole. The great flatterer of the ghosts, Hanaaumoe, persuades the Kauai chief, Kahaookamoku, and his men to land with the promise of lodging, food, and wives. When they are well asleep, the ghost come and eat them up—“they made but one smack and the men disappeared.” But one man, Kaneopa, has suspected mischief and hidden under the doorsill where the king of the spirits sat, so no one found him. He returns and tells the Kauai king, who makes wooden images, brings them with him to Oahu, puts them in place of his men in the house; while they hide without, and while the ghosts are trying to eat these fresh victims, burns down the house and consumes all but the flatterer, who manages to escape.
The artful son of Hina in Kohala goes to the cave of lobsters and by lying speech tricks the shark who guard it under their king, Kaialeale. He pretends to dive, throws in a stone, and dives in another place. Then he accuses one shark after another as his accomplice, and its companions kill it, until only the king is left. The king is tricked into swallowing him whole instead of cutting him into bits. There he remains until he is bald—“serves him right, the rascal!”—but finally he persuades the shark to bring him to land, and the shark is caught and Punia escapes. Next he kills a parcel of ghosts by pretending that this is an old fishing ground of his and enticing them out to sea two by two, when he puts them to death, all but one.
A cunning ghost of Waiapuka, North Kohala, disguises himself as a dancer and approaches a party of people. He shows off his skill, then calls for feather cloak, helmet, bamboo flute, skirt, and various other valuable things with which to display his art. When he has them secure, he flies off with them, and the audience never see him or their property again.
[Footnote 1: Gill tells this same story from the Hervey group. Myths and Songs, p. 88.]
3. STORIES OF MODERN CUNNING
A cunning man and great thinker lives on Oahu in the days of Peleioholani. He travels to Kalaupapa, Molokai, is hungry, and, seeing some people bent over their food, chants a song that deceives them into believing him a soldier and man of the court. They become friendly at once and invite him to eat.
A woman of Kula, Maui, whose husband deserts her for another woman, makes herself taboo, returns to her house, and offers prayers and invents conversations as if she had a new husband. The news quickly spreads, and Hoeu starts at once for home. In this cunning manner she regains her husband.