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Niuhelewai

The ahupua‘a of Kapālama has two streams, the Kapālama and the Niuhelewai (“coconut going (in) water”). They merge and extend through the central fertile area also called Niuhelewai. This area drained into a pond called Kūwili II. “Through this valley, several streams descending from the mountains in the interior, wind their way, some six or seven miles watering and overflowing by means of numerous artificial canal the bottom of kalo patches, and then, by one mouth, fall into the peaceful harbor.”

Niuhelewai was the location for a famous battle between Kahekili’s forces and the O‘ahu ruling chief Kahahana. In the beginning of 1783, Kahekili sought to add Oʻahu under his control. Kahahana’s army was routed, and he and his wife fled to the mountains. Gathering his forces together, Kahekili overran the districts of Kona and ʻEwa, and a war of extermination ensued. This event was called Kapoluku – “the night of slaughter.” The waters of the Niuhelewai stream were turned back, the stream being dammed by the corpses.

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