44. WAKA. A sorceress, grandmother of Laie-i-ka-wai.
The chief counsellor of Aiwohikupua.
The humpbacked attendant of Laie-i-ka-wai.
A canoe owner of Molokai.
A chief of Molokai, father of Kaulaailehua.
A countrywoman of Hana.
Paddlers, soldiers, and country people.
ACTION OF THE STORY
Twin sisters, Laieikawai and Laielohelohe, are born in Koolau, Oahu, their birth heralded by a double clap of thunder. Their father, a great chief over that district, has vowed to slay all his daughters until a son is born to him. Accordingly the mother conceals their birth and intrusts them to her parents to bring up in retirement, the priest carrying the younger sister to the temple at Kukaniloko and Waka hiding Laieikawai in the cave beside the pool Waiapuka. A prophet from Kauai who has seen the rainbow which always rests over the girl’s dwelling place, desiring to attach himself to so great a chief, visits the place, but is eluded by Waka, who, warned by her husband, flies with her charge, first to Molokai, where a countryman, catching sight of the girl’s face, is so transported with her beauty that he makes the tour of the island proclaiming her rank, thence to Maui and then to Hawaii, where she is directed to a spot called Paliuli on the borders of Puna, a night’s journey inland through the forest from the beach at Keaau. Here she builds a house for her “grandchild” thatched with the feathers of the oo bird, and appoints birds to serve her, a humpbacked attendant to wait upon her, and mists to conceal her when she goes abroad.
To the island of Kauai returns its high chief, Kauakahialii, after a tour of the islands during which he has persuaded the fair mistress of Paliuli to visit him. So eloquent is his account of her beauty that the young chief Aiwohikupua, who has vowed to wed no woman from his own group, but only one from “the land of good women,” believes that here he has found his wish. He makes the chief’s servant his confidant, and after dreaming of the girl for a year, he sets out with his counsellor and a canoeload of paddlers for Paliuli. On the way he plays a boxing bout with the champion of Kohala, named Cold-nose, whom he dispatches with a single stroke that pierces the man through the chest and comes out on the other side. Arrived at the house in the forest at Paliuli, he is amazed to find it thatched all over with the precious royal feathers, a small cloak of which he is bearing as his suitor’s gift. Realizing the girl’s rank, he returns at once to Kauai to fetch his five sweet-scented sisters to act as ambassadresses and bring him honor as a wooer. Laieikawai, however, obstinately refuses the first four; and the angry lover in a rage refuses to allow the last and youngest to try her charms. Abandoning them, all to their fate in the forest, he sails back to Kauai. The youngest and favorite, indeed, he would have taken with him, but she will not abandon her sisters. By her wit and skill she gains the favor of the royal beauty, and all five are taken into the household of Laieikawai to act as guardians of her virginity and pass upon any suitors for her hand.