About Na Kaleikaumaka Outrigger Camps
THE HANA HOU SERIES
The Last Hawaiian Mariner
(condensed version)
by Kawika Sands 1999


Arrival at Kaua`i

Chapter 7
Two days after Puna's servant had gone to the little island of Ka`ula with the palaoa, as the village of Kapa`a slept, the fleet with it's remaining voyagers arrived in darkness. However because it was still night, the voyagers did not land. Instead, they moored their sailing canoes offshore until morning. That morning, as the people of Kapa`a woke to begin their day's work, they were surprised and excited at the sight of the Kaulua in the morning sun with its' 100ft red hulls and ample accommodations for its' passengers and crew of over forty, showing the strength of Mo`ikeha's following. At the masthead, floated the pennon of a Polynesian chief while on deck flew the double standard of Mo`ikeha's rank.

Landing at Wailua, near Kapa`a, the Kaulua was beached and Mo`ikeha went ashore with the remaining travelers who were cordially welcomed by the chiefs and people of the district. Meanwhile, the locals were gathering in a crowd to go surf-riding at Kamakaiwa. Mo`ikeha and his companions saw the crowd and asked if they could follow along to take part in the morning's exercise. A refreshing activity after so long at sea. Among them, was Ho`oipo.

When Ho`oipo saw Mo`ikeha, she was immediately attracted to this tall tanned stranger and stole a glance in his direction at every opportunity. After enjoying the surf for a time, Ho`oipo hurriedly returned home and told her father about the new arrival. Puna immediately issued orders that Mo`ikeha and his company be brought before the court.

After preparing for the royal meeting, Mo`ikeha and his company were escorted to the king's house and presented to Puna with Ho`oipo and her eight royal suitors looking on. Mo`ikeha approached the court wearing a yellow loin cloth made of mamake kapa and fringed with shells with a mantle of finely woven and decorated cloth. From his neck, he wore a strange ornament made from mother-of-pearl set in ivory and suspended by a cord of plaited hair. And on his head, was a lei ali`i of brilliant feathers. His bearing was dignified, courtly and correct.

Without referring to his family connections, Mo`ikeha announced he was a chief from Kahiki traveling through the Hawaiian islands on a tour of observation and pleasure. During his audience with Puna and his court, Mo`ikeha saw Ho`oipo for the first time. He was struck by Ho`oipo's beauty and grace and was immediately attracted to her. He was so struck by her bright eyes that he did not leave the king's house until he found a way to exchange a few words with her. Puna noticed the two were mutually pleased with each other and asked Mo`ikeha to consider himself a guest while he was there. Mo`ikeha accepted and Puna sent fresh provisions to Mo`ikeha's people whose canoes were beached back at Wailua.

Feasting and dancing in honor of the royal stranger began immediately and lasted throughout the night while Mo`ikeha favored the company of the lovely and charming Ho`oipo. It was during this time that Mo`ikeha learned of the contest, now two days away, that would determine which of the chiefs Mo`ikeha had already met would become Ho`oipo's husband.

The next day, there was more feasting and hilarity and on into the night. On the 'morrow, the contesting chiefs would start for Ka`ula under the watchful eye of Puna. The chiefs had been busily preparing their canoes, now poised on the beach, and were ready to set to sea. The crews were drilled and prepared to put paddle and sail to work.

The morning of the race came and with it, a huge concourse of people on the beach to witness the start. The canoes and their attending crews were examined while observers placed their bets on which chief would win. The contesting chiefs made their appearance, followed by Puna's herald and kahili bearers. Then Puna and most of his household.

Then, finally, Ho`oipo. She was conveyed to the beach on a palanquin born on the shoulders of four stout and sturdy attendants. She was attired in an embroidered white pa'u and a short mantle trimmed with feathers. Her head and neck were adorned with several lei of flowers and feathers and her arms were decorated with circlets of shells and tinted seeds. Her long, black hair was braided into a single strand down her back. Ho`oipo herself looked rather board and bothered with the entire affair!

Everything was in readiness and the eight competing chiefs confidently appeared before Puna. Bowing low, they each one after the other, recited their genealogy as they had been called upon to do to formally show their nobility. As each concluded, they bowed again, and stepped back to await the beginning signal. When they finished, they took their places and a herald announced the terms of the contest. Puna prepared to start the race.

As Puna prepared to give the command, Mo`ikeha suddenly stepped forward and presented himself announcing loudly "GREAT CHIEF!..." This caused some of the contestants to falter along with a few of the onlookers. Bowing to Puna, then to the chiefs, Mo`ikeha continued "...as this trial seems to be free to all of noble blood, I accept the terms and ask your permission to present myself as a contestant for the prize!"

Mouths dropped open and a look of surprise and wonder was apparent on the faces of the chiefs, the onlookers and a good number of Puna's household while the rest of the crowed paused in confusion. After a moment, this quietly started a new and frantic round of betting amongst the crowd while Ho`oipo, first amazed, slowly sat up strait and took a great interest in the proceedings.

Part 16<< -|- Index -|- >> Part 18

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Copyright 1999 Kawika Sands
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