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MENEHUNE FISHPOND, 1936

Taylor C.

Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Menehune stood in 2 rows, from Makaweli to the pond [ref. to passing stones to build wall].
Sister's pond in the opposite bend in the river below Kalae-a-kapapa Point.

Menehune women built sister's pond, while menehune men built brother's pond. Women didn't finish at dawn and they were all turned to stone-remnants of her pond walls may still be seen at low tide.

According to the old konohiki laws, the tenant fishermen could catch, for his own use, any fish which was not set aside (kapu) for the konohiki. The mullet of Niumalu have been tabu since ancient times.
Size 35 acres. Today 1st 145 yards of wall is of dirt, 2nd part stone facing on river side ,5 ft above water, 4 ft wide on top, 900 yards total length. Stone facing single course, as it gets farther out into river it is double thickness and of larger stones.

Konohiki -Coney. in return for labor of people on the land he provided fish for the families and shared in sale of catch. Each man living on his lands spent 2 days a month working in the pond. Practice was continued up until the death of Governor Kanoa.
John Ha'alilea Coney -leasee of pond. His mother was Kekua-kapu-o-Kalani. Married at 17 yrs to John Harvey Coney, a yankee from Connecticut. John Harvey Coney was high sheriff of Hawai'i under Kamehameha IV.

John Ha'alilea Coney was the Konohiki of Niumalu Pond ['Alekoko] by right of lease. Malcolm Coney , son, inherited lease and konohiki rights from his father.

John Coney came to Kaua'i in 1893. Purchased kuleana on banks of the Niumalu stream near its mouth and built a small cottage, used it as a weekend house. Later acquired pond by a lease.
John Coney Grandson of high chiefess Keiki-lana-wahine. Related to chief of Puna, Hawai'i. Grandfather was John Ena , named after Kaua'i chief Ha'alilea.
John Coney-leased pond, removed silt, weeded the pond, added cement gates, added fish.
Makaha -before Coney's time the gates were made either of sharpened kauwila sticks or of stones piled loosely.

Menehune s used the Makale point trail into Kpu-kai and from there went to the Makaweli plains to gather their rocks.

'Anae-akua a gold mullet lives in 'Alekoko pond. When the tide comes into the gate and the fishermen are waiting with their nets to scoop out fish for the market, this anai [sic]-akua leads the mullet through the first gate into the narrow passage from which they never return.
Gentle as a kitten when picked up. Always put back into the pond. Easily distinquishable by his shining gold scales. Once accompanied by a silver companion but must have died for it has not been seen recently.

Ka'i-loko

Instead of 2 loyal watchers stationed at the gates to guard the fish from theft, today a house was built near pond and a man and dogs placed to guard and warn.

Ku'ula Coney states-no evidence of heiau or shrine at Niumalu. When he came there the people told him the ku'ula was thrown into the mouth of the river and was never found.

Stocking Catch spawn in scoop nets from the river. Each season, approx. 3/4 of a million are placed in the pond. Coney estimates 5 million mullet now in pond.
Great Mahele of 1848 Paul Kanoa-governor of Kaua'i acquired the ahupua'a of Lhu'e. The pond was part of the Kanoa Estate, held for the heirs by Bishop Trust Co.

Once called 'Alakoko-"bloody wave" because the sea food growing in the pond gave the ripples of the water a reddish cast when the sun was shining.

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