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

The Search for La`a

Chapter 11
The crew first landed at Moa`ulanuiakea-iki in Kahiki where Kupohihi was living (a member of the rat clan), one of Mo`ikeha's uncles, because they were out of food. Kila called out to his granduncle in the same manner as when he called on his aunts, and the crew was supplied. After staying there for a few days, they again set sail for Moa`ulanuiakea-nui and landed on the beach.

Arriving at Opoa, through the sacred entrance of Avamoa, the canoe brought the usual commotion and curiosity of new visitors. The crowd appeared to be living well and happy, excited at the new arrivals. Recognizing the standard flown on Kila's canoe, `Olopana had the voyagers ceremoniously ushered to his royal house. However, among the crowd, was Mua. Mua saw that Kila was handsome enough to beguile Lu`ukia, whom he still wanted after so long, and began devising a plan to rid himself of this new threat.

Kila's escorts guided him to `Olopana's residence where he made the reason for his visit known. "Your brother is on a quest in the mountainside but will be back in due time" `Olopana said "But consider yourself a guest while you wait." They began feasting in celebration of the arrival and `Olopana was greatly interested at Mo`ikeha's successful establishment on Kaua`i but refrained from referring to the circumstances by which Mo`ikeha had left. `Olopana was also informed of the death of his father, Mulielealii, and the succession of his brother Kumuhonua as ali`i nui of O`ahu.

After indulging himself of `Olopana's hospitality for a reasonable time, Kila asked to be led to Lanikeha. Before long, there it was. The hale ali`i of Mo`ikeha just as described. Kila ran to it but upon arriving, he saw it was now empty and overgrown with weeds. Tired, and disappointed at the state of the hale, Kila made himself at home and slept and dreamed of finding La`a, of the stories his father had told of his days here, and of Mua until the next morning.

Kila slept quietly as footsteps moved quietly toward him from the doorway. Realizing he was not alone, Kila leaped to his feet ready to defend and attack as a woman gasped at Kila's sudden movement. Kamahualele immediately stepped forward saying "This is Lu`ukia!" She was indeed beautiful as his father had described while Lu`ukia was struck by Kila's resemblance to Mo`ikeha.

Composing himself, Kila announced "My greetings to you, Lu`ukia, what brings you here?" she asked. "I am searching for a chief." "What chief?" "La`amaikahiki." "Your brother is hidden on the mountain of Kapa`ahu, but we haven't seen him for some time...."

After a long conversation with Lu`ukia, Kila retired back to Lanikeha to make preparations to find his brother. Mua, ever near, especially when Lu`ukia was about, saw his chance. When Lu`ukia left, he presented himself "I know where brother is." Kila had been well prepared for his treachery. "I will make preparations, when we return, we will take you to your brother." When Mua left Kila made plans of his own with Kamahualele.

Their men were well organized and prepared by the time Mua returned. As Kila emerged from Lanikeha, Mua and his men attacked. As they did, Kila's men surrounded them. Though out numbered two-to-one, before long the attackers were defeated and Mua lay unconscious at Kila's feet. Kila took pity on Mua and left him, unconscious but alive, as he and his men began the search for La`a. Mua regained consciousness a few days later, then left, never to be seen again.

Kamahualele and Kila looked for La`a for many days, but couldn't find him. Finally, Kila gave up and rested. On the day before the kapu nights, Kila told Kamahualele, "you had better get our sailing canoe ready for our return voyage. I've decided to give up the search. Let's go back and tell Mo`ikeha we couldn't find La`a. Perhaps Mo`ikeha will send someone else to continue the search."

Kamahualele proceeded to carry out Kila's orders, but was not so willing to give up. He thought it over and went to find Kuhelepolani, an aged kahuna of `Olopana. He brought her to Kila and said "Let's delay our voyage home to see if this old woman can find La`amaikahiki for us. She is a kahuna to `Olopana. Perhaps she can direct us to your brother's secret residence."

Kila was gladdened by the prospects of finding his brother, but he was a stranger to such matters and asked Kamahualele "What can she do?" Kamahualele described the character and rites of the priestess. Then Kila insisted the kahuna perform the rites that would allow him to see La`a. Since Kila was anxious to find his brother, Kuhelepolani explained to him what he should do.

"After tomorrow, you will find La`amaikahiki on the mountain of Kapa`ahu. When you hear the beating of the drum Hawea, which belongs to Mo`ikeha, you must place a sacrifice on the altar at Lanikeha, your father's temple. Then you will see your brother. The drumbeat is a signal for sacrifice during the kapu nights. Tomorrow night is the night of the strictest kapu, as it has always been from your father's time."

Part 20<< -|- Index -|- >> Part 22

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