koholā: n. humpbacked whale.
lele: nvi. to fly, jump, leap.
Koholālele is perhaps one of the most important and storied places in Hāmākua, and yet its moʻolelo are known by very few today. Dedicated as a puʻuhonua to the akua, Koholālele played very important roles in the political history of Hāmākua during the reigns of Kalaunuiʻohua, Līloa, ʻUmialīloa, and Kamehameha I. As a puʻuhonua, this ʻāina was kapu - a place of refuge during war, and for those who had broken kapu. Koholālele was also known for its ala ʻūlili, its steep trails, and its sheer cliffs, traversed by only the most skilled of fishermen.
In more recent memory, however, Koholālele is known by many for ʻUmikoa village of Kūkaʻiau Ranch, which began in the late 1880s. It is also the site of Koholālele Landing, which is a favored place for kamaʻāina. Where fields of sugarcane once grew now stand acres of towering eucalyptus trees.If you take the time to see beyond the eucalyptus trees and pastures, you will find a much older, deeper history of this ʻāina.
To learn more, check out our Moʻolelo, Mele & ʻŌlelo Noʻeau, Maps, and Wahi Pana pages below!