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This blog is to share with you some of the highlights of my visits to Hawaii and miscellaneous Hawaiiana. Hawai'i has had a great impact on my life. To see more on why I keep this blog, see: The Impact of Hawai'i in My Life.

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Huaka’i: The Lost Legends of Kanaloa

© Ken R. Young, 
All Rights Reserved

2nd Book in the Huaka'i Series:
Huaka'i: The Lost Legends of Kanaloa
by Ken R. Young

Book Introduction: 
Danny Kanaloa was not raised to be Hawaiian, but has recently discovered deep connections with his Hawaiian family and heritage (see the book Huaka’i: My Hawaiian Journey). After having moved his small family to the island of Kaua’i, he develops a desire to better understand the background to his Hawaiian last name of Kanaloa. A journey of discovery into Hawaiian culture and legends takes Danny on a huaka’i to the Big Island of Hawai'i, and then across the ocean to the Tahitian islands of Raivavae and Raiatea, the ancient homelands of the Hawaiian people. Exploring the origins of the legendary god Kanaloa, he discovers lost records containing several forgotten legends. The story of Danny’s journey is interwoven with the legends, traditions, and historical events of Hawai’i and Tahiti.

Book Outline:
Chapter 1 –   
Set in the 1950s. Temaru, young man living on the French Polynesian island of Raivavae, finds some old books that were hidden away. He is warned by his grandfather Herenui to keep them secret, but that the day would come when he would be a part of the “sunrise of the king”. Herenui tells Temaru of a dream he had of the ancient god Ta'aroa, and that he (Herenui) must take the books to a sacred place on Raiatea. Temaru is quoted in an article for a French magazine about the relationships of Hawaiian and Tahitian gods and legends, and mentions old records in the family.

The Legend of ?

Chapter 2 - Ka Huaka'i
Set in modern day. A brief review of Danny's background and his first huaka'i. He explores further his Hawaiian heritage, including the ancient legends. He looks for more on the god Kanaloa, but finds that there isn't much available. He looks into Tahitian legends surrounding Ta'aroa, Kanaloa's Tahitian counterpart, and finds more ties into other Polynesian gods. With funding through a research grant from the University of Hawai'i, Danny goes to the Big Island of Hawai'i to research the sources of legends being originally written. He finds the name of an early Christian missionary Joseph Goodrich whose task was to learn of and record many of the ancient Hawaiian legends. He goes to Hilo to research Goodrich, attends the Merrie Monarch Festival. 
Meeting a family descendant of Joseph Goodrich, Danny is given information on an older legends specialist in Tahiti, named Temaru.  

The Legend of ?

Chapter 3 - 

Danny goes back to the U. of Hawaii and applies for additional funding for more research in Tahiti. When it is granted, Danny flies to Tahiti and meets Temaru at his home on the small austral island of Raivavae. Temaru, and older man, is at first off-putting and suspicious of Danny's motivations. Danny arrives during the celebration of the Polynesian festival on the island, and experiences some of the island's culture and history. 

The Legend of ?

Chapter 4 - 

Danny tells Temaru of a dream he has had of Kanaloa/Ta'aroa. Temaru begins to trust Danny and gives him clues of places to look on Raivavae for information on Kanaloa, to test his commitment to respecting the legends of the ancient akua. Temaru's grandson Tane is rebellious and irresponsible, and when he learns of Danny's objective, he becomes jealous, fearing that he will lose his right to be a family guardian of the legends. Tane causes roadblocks and threatens Danny, who giving up, starts to head back home via Pape'ete. At the Pape'ete airport he gets a message from Temaru, with a final clue about sources for the hidden Ta'aroa legends. He hops on a boat to the island of Raiatea - to the birthplace of Ta'aroa and other ancient gods. 

The Legend of ?

Chapter 5 - 

Danny is led to the sacred site of the Mare Taputapuatea, once considered a place of origin and center of religion in Polynesia. There he finds an old chest containing a bundle of old handwritten books, written by Joseph Goodrich in 1825-26, as told him by Temaru's ancestor Manua, whose family originated from Tahiti. The old books tell of the origination of Kanaloa and several stories of his workings with other akua and people. While there, Danny attends a festival at Taputapuatea that traces the history of Polynesian migrations and the uniting of South Pacific islands to Raiatea.

- The Legend of How Kane Became Akua Ali’i  - Explains the relationship with Kane, who sought to steal the glory and position as chief god. After helping the peoples of Hawaii, a great battle over the two occurred, which Kane won with Pele's help. Kanaloa was banished from the islands, but influence remains in the sea, because of his love for Hawaii and the chief's daughters and the people. In this way, Kane became known as the Chief god for Hawaii, displacing Kanaloa from that role.  

Chapter 6 - 

Set in 1826. Temaru's ancestor (6th great-grandpa), Manua, lives near Kailu-Kona on the Big Island. He moved there from Tahiti with his family in 1812 when he was 7 years old, on invitation of King Kamehameha, in an exchange of families to create diplomatic ties and commerce trading between Hawaii and Tahiti. Two years earlier Kamehameha had unified the Hawaiian islands into one kingdom. Manua's family brought traditions and legends of Tahiti, and at 18 he assumes his appointment as the family's guardian of oral histories and legends. He is taught to write in Hawaiian by missionaries who came in the 1820s, and becomes interested in writing both Hawaiian and Tahitian stories. Older villagers share with him their legends of Kanaloa for writing. Family feuds in the area caused an emphasis on Kane as chief God, and squashing the status of Kanaloa. Missionary Joseph Goodrich meets with Manua and works with him to transcribe the legends into both Hawaiian and English. Goodrich prepares a set of books on the legends of Kanaloa, and gives them to Manua with the task to review and edit the legends and return the books to the missionary. Manua has a dream of Kanaloa in which he was charged to keep records sacred. He is told by others that the legends not for the ears and eyes of the white man, and he is concerned about rumors that the missionaries want to wipe out the old legends in order to promote Christianity and Bible stories. Manua leaves Hawaii and sails back to Tahiti where his family is from, with the intent to take the books to a sacred place on Raiatea. Before he can do this, his family urges his return to their home on Raivavae. He hides away the books on Raivavae. They are guarded as a family secret, to honor the akua Ta'aroa. Manua leaves a note with the old books explaining the dream he had of Ta'aroa, and the charge to keep records sacred.

The Legend of ?

Chapter 7 - 
Set in modern day. Temaru also has a dream about Ta'aroa, the same as his grandfather's and ancestor's. He is convinced that Ta'aroa's name and honor would best be restored if the legends again came to life and publicly known, beginning the "sunrise of the king Ta'aroa" and chooses it to occur through Danny. Temaru meets Danny in Raiatea and explains his desire to have a book of the legends published. The story ends as the two of them together read through the lost legends of Kanaloa.

The Lost Legends:
            Birth of the akua / Kanaloa, rending apart of heaven and earth

            Spirits of people first lived in the sea, gods brought up the land             
            Great assembly of akua on Huahine
            The tunnel to the underworld
            Sea voyages assisted by Kanaloa
            Kanaloa's wife
            Lives as a dolphin, whale, squid, octopus, etc
            Protecting from invaders
            Healing the sick and injured, near drowned

            A return of the King
            Tiki and the first woman
            Wakea and Papa - first parents
            Ku and Hina - the first Gods?

Future Books in the Huaka'i Series:

Huaka’i: Journey Into Kalalau
Danny Kanaloa takes a journey of discovery into the legends, history and natural beauty of the Kalalau Valley and the NaPali coastline on the north shore of the island of Kaua’i.  His trek takes him on and off the Kalalau Trail, considered to be one of the most beautiful yet dangerous hikes in the world. His discoveries include records of ancient legends and Hawaiian artifacts, as well as a deeper understanding of himself. The story of Danny’s journey is interwoven with the legends, traditions, and historical events on Kaua’i.

Huaka’i: Journey Into Hana
Danny Kanaloa takes a journey of discovery into the legends, history and natural beauty of the road to Hana along the northeast coast of the island of Maui. His trek takes him to several areas above and below the road that is considered to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world. His discoveries include records of ancient legends and Hawaiian artifacts, as well as a deeper understanding of himself. The story of Danny’s journey is interwoven with the legends, traditions, and historical events on Maui.

Huaka’i: Journey to Kaho’olawe

Keikis Treasury of Hawaiian Legends 
Short, illustrated versions of legends for children