8.12.2012

Ali'i of Waiahole

Informant: Male/60/Filipino,Hawaiian,Chinese
Location: Windward Oahu

I grew up on the Windward side of Oahu in Waiahole. Our neighborhood was very small with just maybe 10 families. When I was 14 years old I began delivering the newspaper from the Old Poi Factory all the way to Hakipu'u with my dog Oso and got to know most of our neighbors.

We had this one Tutu name Mrs. Davis. She had a Hawaiian maiden name which I can't remember right now. After my paper route was done for the day I would end up at Mama-san's store in Waikane for a soda and often would see Mrs. Davis and Mr. Kamaka sitting on soda crates in full-on conversation speaking in pure Hawaiian. Of course I would sit and listen since it was such a beautiful language. While collecting for the newspaper one day I ended up talking to Mrs. Davis about our neighborhood. I found out she grew up in Waiahole, and she remembered seeing the Alii's with their followers come down from the mountain (where they lived for the cool weather)to the ocean along a path that was next to where my family lived, and on occassion would rest on our property. My dad, our farmhand and my younger brother have found countless Hawaiian artifacts on our property which showed that indeed our land was once used by ancient Hawaiian.

When I was around 11 years old I remember hearing a lady chanting in Hawaiian late at night around 9:00 p.m. accompanied by the pounding of the Ipu drum and the sounds of people marching. I could hear it but I never saw anything. Worst part of it alI was that I was the only one in my family who could hear it. My parents thought I was pupule (crazy) and sent me to bed early that first time. In all, I heard the chanting and Ipu drums and marching at least four times while growing up in Waiahole. In 2004 I lived in Nu'uanu along Nuuanu Stream area on Judd Street. I thought I heard drums late one night. I looked out my balcony to see if anyone was up late playing their stereo, but it was 1:00 a.m. and our condo had rules about loud noise after 10:00 p.m. I didn't hear chanting or the Ipu...the beat was steady and sounded like war drums.

Lastly, my brother Ana and I stayed out late one school night playing ball with the gang. We were afraid to go into the house since we could hear mom yelling at the girls to finish the dishes and start their homework, so we decided to shower outside and sneak in later when dad got home. While all lathered up with soap and butt-naked, I saw what I thought was one of our next door neighbors, Popei, walking toward us along the fence. I thought he probably got locked out too and planned on sleeping over. I jumped out of the shower and onto the fence to greet him with "Eh, Popei!" but the shadow of a full grown man kept walking up toward the mountains along that same trail Mrs. Davis said the Ali'i used. I saw no face or features, just the outline of a person in the dark walking away. I ran screaming "Ghost!" all the way to the main house with my brother in tow...both butt-naked! Mom saw us and couldn't stop laughing and when she did stop she told us "That'll teach you to come home late, now go do your homework!"