A he sure maoli no e a
Meke onaona, auwē he
Me ka nani, o Kalamaʻula
E kapaia nei ea
He uʻi mai hoi kau, auwē he
Me ka nani, o Kalamaʻula
Surely, it is so, the genuine
Splendor of Kalamaʻula
There in the bower
We arrive and behold the beauty and
Splendor of Kalamaʻula
(Emma Dudoit, 1922)
In a moʻolelo recounted by Fornander, Maniniholokuaua, known for his ‘great strength and fleetness,’ lived in Kaunakakai, while his moʻo grandmother, Kalamaʻula, lived in the neighboring ahupua‘a, with which she shared the name.
When the fastest runner of O‘ahu, Keliimalolo, arrived on the beach of Kaunakakai, he was warned of the thief who would steal his canoe. Sure enough, Maniniholokuaua lifted the canoe onto his back and carried it to a cave, for which Keliimalolo could not find the opening.
After traveling to Kaua‘i in search of fast runners who would help him retrieve his canoe, Keliimalolo found Kamaakamikioi and Kamaakauluohia. Once again, as the canoe landed, Maniniholokuaua was there to steal it. Ignoring their warning to not take the canoe, Maniniholokuaua put it on his back and ran to his cave of treasures.
Ultimately, Kama‘akamikioi caught up with Maniniholokuaua, and as he demanded the cave to open, Kamaakamikioi ordered the cave to close, crushing Maniniholokuaua and the canoe. Inside the cave, Kalama‘ula was dead, and the Molokai residents entered the cave to retrieve all of their precious belongings stolen by Maniniholokuaua. (Keala Pono)
At the time of Kamehameha’s conquest of the Islands, Kalola was the highest tabu chiefess on Maui; she was sister of the King Kahekili and an aunt of Kalanikūpule. Kalola lived with two brothers, Kalaniʻōpuʻu and Keōua, both Hawai’i island niʻaupiʻo (very high rank) chiefs.
From Kalaniʻōpuʻu, the older brother, she had a son, Kalanikauikeaouli Kiwalaʻo (Kiwalaʻo.) From Keōua, the younger brother, she had a daughter, Kekuʻiapoiwa Liliha.
The children, Kiwalaʻo and Kekuʻiapoiwa, had the same mother, different fathers, offspring of a naha union (brother-sister mating of niʻaupiʻo chiefs.) These two lived together, and Keōpūolani was born to them, also the offspring of a naha union. (Mookini)
When Maui Island was conquered by Kamehameha – Kalanikūpule (Kahekili’s eldest son and heir-apparent) and some others (including Kalola and her family) escaped over the mountain at the back of the valley and made their way to Molokai and Oʻahu.
On the island of Molokai at Kalamaʻula, Kalola became ill and they could not carry out their original intention of going to Oʻahu to join Kahekili. Kamehameha followed Kalola to Molokai and asked Kalola for Keōpūolani (Kalola’s granddaughter) to be his queen.
Kalola, who was dying, agreed to give Kamehameha Keōpūolani and her mother Kekuʻiapoiwa Liliha, if he would allow the girls to stay at her death bed until she passed. Kamehameha camped on Molokai until Kalola died, and returned to Kona with his high queen Keōpūolani.
Another story suggests the area was named for a stone … and a song was written (excerpts above) about the beauty of the area …“I was born In Kaka’ako on August 20, 1918, and I was the second youngest of the eight children in our family. My brother John was the youngest. My parents, Emma Kala and Marcellus Dudoit, moved to Kalamaʻula in 1922.”
“The Kalamaʻula stone was right in our driveway, but we didn‘t know it was a famous stone. My dad wanted to get rid of it. So John and I tried with a sledge hammer, but we couldn’t break it. Then we found out that it was the stone that Kalamaʻula was named for, so we left it where it was.”
“It has five natural veins in it, and the legend is that it’s the handprint of a young woman. My mother wrote the song Kalamaʻula about the beauty of the area and our home there. She died when I was five, so my sister, Hannah, later copyrighted the song on her behalf.” (Valentine Dudoit, September 22, 2000; Clark)
Kalama‘ula by Johnny Noble and his Hawaiians – Emma Bush vocals 1929
“In Kalama‘ula is a coconut grove that is said to have been planted by Kamehameha V, having about 1,000 trees covering an area of ten acres.”
“Molokai was the favorite rest resort of this monarch, who had an establishment on the beach which was reserved for sunbathing by the ali‘i at Kalama‘ula near Kaunakakai.”
“There was a fine spring there that ‘bubbled up through all eight-inch vent and ran as a stream to the shore. Along the banks of the stream sugar cane, bananas, and taro flourished. There were many shrimp in the spring.’”
“‘It is said that a woman’s shrimp-net was once washed away by a freshet down the valley above the spring. She found her net in the spring at Kalama‘ula, at least six miles from the place she had left it’.” (Handy)
The US Congress passed the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act to provide lands for Hawaiians; in 1922, Kalamaʻula became the first Hawaiian homestead subdivision in the islands.