Kūkaʻiau : Moʻolelo
The following excerpt from "Kaʻao no Palila" in the Fornander collection of Hawaiian antiquities and Folk-lore, Vol. 5, (via Ulukau.org) is an account of a great battle that was fought at Kūkaʻiau between the famous warrior, Palila, and the great warriors of Hāmākua. To read the full story of Palila, click on the link above!
He mau paukū mai ke "Kaʻao no Palila" mai. (V. 5, ʻaoʻao 151)
I ka hoouka kaua ana ma Kukaiau i Hamakua, i laila o Palila i hoike kino ai ia ia iho imua o ka lehulehu, a me na 'lii o na aoao elua, a me na koa kaulana ekolu, oia o Moanonuikalehua, o Kumunuiaiake, o Puupuukaamai.
I ka hoouka ana o ke kaua, ua oi ka ikaika o na koa o Hamakua i ko Hilo, a na nui ka make o Hilo i ko Hamakua. Ma keia hoouka ana ua lohe ia ka leo kaena a ua mau koa nei, e olelo ana: "Owai ko Hilo koa ikaika e ku mai e kaua."
A lohe o Palila i keia alelo kaena a ua poe koa nei, alaila, nonoi aku ia i ke 'lii o Hilo, ia Kulukulua, e waiho ke kaua aluka a me ka poe, a e ku pakahi. Ina i make ke koa o kekahi aoao, alaila, make kona alii a lib i pio na kekahi aoao, a pela no hoi kekahi aoao A hooholo ia ia mea e na ’lii, ku kaawale ae la na koa, a kaawale ke kahua kaua.
Ku mai la o Moanonuikalehua me kana laau palau o Koholalele, a hookaa akau, ohe kupono ia Palila, hookaa hema, aohe kupono ia Palila, ia ia e hookaa ana, kaupale ku o Palila i kana laau o Huliamahi, loaa i ka Moanonuikalehua laau, lele i luna a haule i Waipio. Ia wa, hualepo o Palila i ka laau ana, make na koa ekolu, lilo ka auwae ia ianei, noke aku ana keia i ke kaa hema i ka laau ana ia Huliamahi, aohe koe kanaka o Hamakua, halulu ka honua a nei i ka laau a Palila, nolaila aohe kanaka koa i mua ona ia wa e aa mai, aohe alii. Pela i lanakila ai o Kulukulua, ko Hilo alii, maluna o Wanua ko Hamakua alii.
A pau ke kaua, hoi aku la o Palila me ke ’lii a hiki i Kaula maluna aku, i laila he kumu ohia nui, o Kahakaauwae kona inoa, i laila na auwae a pau o na kanaka i make ia Palila ma na kaua mamua aku, o kahi ia e kau ai. Nolaila, lilo o Palila i alii no Hilo, a malalo o Kulukulua ona, pela i noho ai o Palila a hiki i ka make ana.
* Ua palapala ʻia e Ulukau.org. V. 5, ʻAoʻao 151 (ma Ulukau.org)
Excerpt from the Story of Palila. (Vol. 5, pg. 150)
At the battle that was fought at Kūkaiʻau in Hāmākua, Palila at last showed himself before the people and the chiefs of the two contesting armies, and also before the three great warriors Moanonuikalehua, Kumunuiaiake and Puupuukaamai.
In the conflict it was seen that the soldiers in the Hamakua army were stronger than those in the Hilo army and a great many Hilo soldiers fell before the men of Hamakua. In the din and uproar the voices of the three great warriors were often heard boasting and calling out: "What great soldier will fight for the Hilo side?"
When Palila heard this boastful challenge from the three great warriors, he requested of Kulukulua, the Hilo king, to order that the general conflict be stopped and to put up the two best men from the two sides and let them fight the side putting up the best man to win and in this way decide the battle. When this was agreed on by the two kings, the soldiers were lined up on the two sides, leaving a clear field in the middle for the contestants.
As soon as the field was cleared off Moanonuikalehua came forward with his war club, Koholalele, and began twirling it on the right and on the left; on each occasion Palila did not make a move, but as Moanonuikalehua kept on twirling, Palila held out his war club, Huliamahi, which struck the club of Moanonuikalehua, sending it flying to Waipio. At the same time Palila brought his club down and then up, catching the three warriors and killing them all. Palila then proceeded to cut out their lower jaws. After this was done he began the slaughter of the Hamakua men and allowed none to escape him. This victory made Kulukulua, the king of Hilo, master of Wanua, the king of Hamakua.
After the battle Palila and the king returned to Kaula and from there to a rise above where a large lehua15 tree was standing. He then hung up the jaws of all the men killed by him, and the tree was named Kahakaauwae, the hanging place of the jaws. Palila after this became the king of Hilo, while Kulukulua served under him. Palila was king until his death.
* Translation by Fornander. Vol. 5, Page 150 (Ulukau.org)