Kaua'i and Ni'ihau


A tourist couple enters a burial cave, discovers bones and decides to take some bones home. They return to the mainland. They have recurring dreams of a person asking them to return the bones. They did so and their dreams of the messenger asking for the bones end.

Miloli'i Valley, NaPali Coast: A group of boy scouts and their Leaders were camping in Miloli'i Valley. They came across one of the burial caves. They were told not to take anything. One of the scouts took a human arm bone intending to make a flute out of it. When the camp was over, they left the valley in a small boat. Half a mile out at sea, the engine stopped. They floated for 4-5 hours. He, the scout believed the bone may be the cause of their trouble so he dropped the bone overboard. Within half an hour the engines started again as if nothing had happened. They were drifting for 8 and a half hour at sea. Recorded by Anson Takemoto , Fall 78 class.

Hanapepe valley: A friend of the informant found a burial cave. The old cave entrance was sealed with stones and had a mud covered facing. When the entrance collapsed, the person saw around 15 coffins within. Since that day, the dogs howl at midnight. Recorded by V. Parangao , Fall 78 class.



A Mr. Paul Kauai (Kauai lived with his mother and father at Numila camp of McBryde plantation. His mother was sick and he took care of her. She died and he took care of the body as when she was alive He used herbs and medicines that he stole from his father. His father found out and beat him.

The son operated on the body of his mother and took out all the organs which he disposed of. The body cavities were treated with herbs. He kept the body near the door of his house in a position simulating life such as sitting upright and facing the door. He enjoyed seeing her when he came home from work.

One day he hired a taxi, driven by a Filipino man to drive him to a spot. The boy bundled up the body and took it on the ride. The boy got out at the selected spot and told the driver that he could go home. The son took his mummmified mother and hide it in a cave near the spot called Papapua'a west of Nomilu fishpond.

After some time had past, the community wanted to know where the mother was.  They asked her son . He answered truthfully as to the death, the treatment and the cave burial.   He took the group to the cave after much prodding but told them to stay above the ridge while he went down to retrieve the body.

The group was surprised and horrified with the mummy. He refused to turn the body over to the Board of Health. After much talk, the boy relinquished the body. When he was asked about what herbs he used, he said it was hi'aloa a variant of uhaloa. The body was placed in a coffin and buried. The son eventually died.                  Informant was Mr. Philip Palama Sr. Recorded Jan 6, 1964.


A structure of logs located on the top of Kahili peak was used to hold the corpses of chiefs until the body decayed. Once the decay was complete, the bones were collected and taken away.     Informant was Mrs. Kuulei Ihara from her father Mr. Philip Palama Sr.