He aina loaʻa i ka moana
I hoea mai loko o ka ale
I ka halehale poi pu a Kanaloa
He Koakea i halelo i ka wai
I lou i ka makau a ka lawaia
A ka lawaia nui o Kapaahu
A ke lawaia nui o Kapuheeuanuu-la
A pae na waa, kau mai
E holo, e ai ia Hawaiʻi he moku
He moku Hawaii
A land that was found in the ocean
That was thrown up from the sea
From the very depths of Kanaloa
The white coral in the watery caves
That was caught on the hook of the fisherman,
The great fisherman of Kapaahu,
The great fisherman, Kapuheeuanuu
The canoes touch the shore, come on board
Go and possess Hawaii, the island
An island is Hawaii
(From the chant of Makuakaumana when Pāʻao’s invites a chief to come and live on Hawaiʻi.)
Papa and Wākea are the ancestors of the Hawaiian people. “Papa” in Hawaiʻi is “a word applied to any flat surface,” especially to those undersea foundation layers from which new lands are said to rise.
This probably relates to the successive generations of mankind born out of the vast waters of the spirit world and identified through their family leaders with the lands which they inhabit.
In the South Seas, Papa is a goddess of earth and the underworld and mother of gods. Wākea is god of light and of the heavens who “opens the door of the sun”. (Beckwith)
“In the genealogy of Wākea it is said that Papa gave birth to these Islands. Another account has it that this group of islands were not begotten, but really made by the hands of Wākea himself.” (Malo)
“Papa gives birth to a gourd, which forms a calabash and its cover. Wākea throws up the cover and it becomes the sky. He throws up the pulp and it becomes the sun; the seeds, and they become the stars …”
“… the white lining of the gourd, and it becomes the moon; the ripe white meat, and it becomes the clouds; the juice he pours over the clouds and it becomes rain. Of the calabash itself Wākea makes the land and the ocean.” (Kamakau)
Hawaiian legends suggest the place to which Hawaiians frequently sailed for centuries was usually Kahiki or Tahiti, the old home of the family of ruling chiefs. (Westerfelt)
Thirteen generations after Papa and Wākea, Kiʻi and his wife Hinakoula appear. Kiʻi was king in the Southern Pacific Islands – at Tahiti, the chief island of the Society group. (Westerfelt) They had two sons, Nanaʻulu and Ulu – they came to the Hawaiian Islands and established a dynasty of high chiefs.
It has been suggested that Ulu remained in the southern islands and that Nanaulu alone found his way to Hawaii; but the frequent use of the name Ulu in the genealogies of the chiefs of the two large islands, Hawaiʻi and Maui, would support the position that the brothers, sailing together, found Hawaiʻi. (Westerfelt)
Eleven generations from Nanaʻulu and Ulu, Nanamaoa, of the southern Ulu line, pioneered the first migratory influx to the Hawaiian Islands. He was a warlike chief who succeeded in establishing his family in power on Hawaiʻi, Maui and Oʻahu. (Sands)
Later on Oʻahu, three major competing districts developed out of earlier small and independent political units. These districts were Kona, Koʻolau (later divided into Koʻolauloa and Koʻolaupoko), and Greater Ewa (the later districts of ʻEwa, Waianae and Waialua.)
About AD 1100, thirteen generations from Nanaʻulu and Ulu came Maweke of the northern Nanaʻulu line. Maweke is one of the main figures in the voyaging era of Hawaiian traditions. With Maweke, the lineage of ancient Polynesia was transformed into a distinctly Hawaiian lineage.
Likewise, about this time on the Island of Hawaiʻi, the island was divided into competing district-sized chiefdoms. In general, there were three centers of power during this period: Waipiʻo Valley in the windward region, Kona in the leeward area and Kohala on the northern end of the Island.
Pilikaeaea, the chief, brought by Pāʻao from Tahiti to rule Hawaiʻi, first established his reign in Waipiʻo Valley. Through inter-marriage with descendants of the Nanaʻulu or Ulu line of indigenous rulers he established the Pili line of rulers in Waipiʻo, from whom Kamehameha ultimately descended. (McGregor)
Kūkaniloko, the sacred place of birth on the central plateau may have been constructed by the late-AD-1300s. A divine center for Nanaʻulu chiefs, to be born at Kūkaniloko signified legitimacy. It is said that chiefs from other islands often sought greater prestige by marrying those with these strong ancestral lineages.
During the wars of interisland unification in the eighteenth century, the indigenous ruling Nanaʻulu chiefs of Oʻahu were practically exterminated, first by invaders from Maui, then by the warriors of Kamehameha I of Hawaiʻi Island. (Klieger)
The image shows a general genealogical Chart from Papa and Wākea, to Kiʻi, to Nanaʻulu and Ulu, with several names noted. (Emory)
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