Hilo

The Story of Hilo Hanakahi,
Hilo's Famed Warrior

Hawaiʻi was the island.

Hilo was the district.

Waiākeakumuhonua was the high chief.

Piʻihonuaakalani was the lesser chief.

Hanakahi was the famed warrior.

Before Kamehameha Paiʻea, Kaʻiwakīloumoku another name of his, there lived this famed warrior named Hanakahi. Hanakahi was an open hearted and patient warrior of chiefly ancestry who always strived for equality in all his doings. 

As he was a devoted warrior to Waiākeakumuhonua and Piʻihonuaakalaniʻs rule, he sought out their wishes fervently. As the head of the batallion it was Hanakahiʻs kuleana to groom the men of Hilo into fine warriors, ensuring Hilo was ready for battle, and serving Waiākeakumuhonua the high chief.

One day, two youngsters whose names were Kamiki and Makaʻiole arrived. They were riddling youngsters of Kona Kai ʻŌpua i ka Laʻi. Kamiki was the younger brother of Makaʻiole; and Makaʻiole was the elder brother of Kamiki; they were both extensions of the prowess of their ancestral knowledge.

When Piʻihonuaakalani heard of their arrival, he decided for Hilo to face off with them; so, he approached Hanakahi saying, “Hanakahi, two unfamiliar youngsters have arrived. Battle them in riddle, because, that is your duty as a warrior.” Hanakahi initially rejects Piʻihonuaakalaniʻs command, because, he had previously heard of their skill in battle and of their legendary grandmother Kauluhenuihihikoloiuka.

At the insistence of Kamiki, they battle. Hanakahi dealt on the moves he was taught by his teachers; he gave it everything he had in the fiber of his body. He ran, punched, pushed, threw, and even wrestled too. Through all of his efforts, Kona Kai ʻŌpuaʻs youngsters won leaving Hanakahi fallen.

However, just as Kamiki had promised, he and Makaʻiole became allies with Hanakahi in turn teaching him everything they knew about being a fervent and serving warrior which molded him into the chief he became who was known for analyzing his actions and situations before acting hastily, epitomizing his name “Of Singular Purpose for the Collective.”

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Kamiki Ki'i.jpeg

“This is a piece of Hilo Hanakahiʻs battling with Kamiki and Makaʻiole, Konaʻs two riddling youngsters of Kona. The piece depicts the legendary prowess of Kamiki ana Makaʻioleʻs grandmothers, Kauluhenuihihikoloiuka and Kaʻohukolomaiilunaokalāʻau, whose ʻike laid the path for their success. This moʻolelo serves as a pillar to remind us that patience bears a multitude of blessings, like that of Hanakahiʻs experience.” - Kamalani Johnson