The island of Oʻahu is divided into 6 moku (districts), consisting of: ‘Ewa, Kona, Koʻolauloa, Koʻolaupoko, Waialua and Waiʻanae. These moku were further divided into 86 ahupua‘a (land divisions within the moku.)
Paumalū (‘taken secretly’ (a shark bit off the legs of a woman who caught more squid than was permitted)) is an ahupua‘a in the moku (district) of Koʻolauloa, on the North Shore of O‘ahu. (23-ahupua‘a make up the district of Koʻolauloa.)
“’Pūpūkea-Paumalū survey in progess’ is a note appearing in for February (1904,) which refers to an important discovery of homestead lands on this island. They consist of two tracts of good land aggregating 4,000-acres just northeast of Waimea Bay, and the Oahu Railway runs through the lower portion on the seashore.” (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, April 29, 1904)
In 1907, the territory was advertising sale of agricultural – pastoral land in the Pūpūkea-Paumalū Tract, “Each of these lots contain large proportions of fine pineapple land.” (Evening Bulletin, June 1, 1907) Later, appropriations were made for water service.
A few years later (1913,) portions of the makai land was noted as subdivided into the Pūpūkea-Paumalū Beach Lots. A resubdivision happened later (1919.)
By 1919, land along the beach, named the Pūpūkea-Paumalū Beach Tract, was sold for residential property. These houses were mostly vacation homes for those who lived in Honolulu. (Dagher) Territorial appropriations were made in 1921 for the construction of roads through the tract.
Long ago there lived on Kauai a chief who was very fond of surfing by the name of Kahikilani (‘the arrival (of) chief.’) He had won every surfing contest on his own home island and now came to O‘ahu to try his skill.
As the surf at Waikiki was not to his liking, he went on to the Koʻolau side of the island. He wanted to prove his prowess in Paumalū surf. He found what he wanted in the large thundering waves of Paumalū.
While he was surfing he noticed some birds circling about him. One old bird in particular would fly a short distance away and then return to circle about him as if urging him to follow.
He did so, and the bird led him into a cave where he met a beautiful girl who had fallen in love with him as she watched him surfing and had sent her pets, the sea-birds, to lead him to her.
She asked him to become her husband and he accepted her proposal. Each morning before he left her for his favorite sport she made him two lehua wreaths to wear, one for his head and one for his neck.
For a long time they lived thus happily until one day as he came ashore from surfing, another girl greeted him and threw about his neck several strands of the golden ʻilima.
The old seabird flew home and reported to his mistress what he had seen. When she saw her lover returning with the ʻilima wreaths about his neck in addition to the lehua strands which she had braided for him, she was very angry and called upon her ancestral gods (ʻaumakua) to punish him.
As he ascended the hill he felt his body becoming heavy and, as he turned to look once more at his beloved surfing beach, there he remained transfixed in stone and is so to this day. (Cultural Surveys)
Some refer to the stone as the ‘George Washington Stone (or Rock;)’ it resembles George Washington wearing a hat.
Oh, one other thing …
Paumalū continues its reputation for its big waves; today, most generally refer to it as Sunset Beach.
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