Natural Things
and the
Supernatural World
Kaua'i and Ni'ihau


The Hawaiians believed that nature was alive and that the gods were manifested in nature. One cannot separate nature from the gods, they were inseparable.

The Hawaiians believed in the concept of Kino-lau. This concept says that the four major gods and one goddess divided the world into segments which were really the gods and goddess themselves. Therefore, a native cannot be far away from any god or goddess and were` always under their influences. From the heavens to the depths of the earth, from the land into the sea, the gods and goddesses were there.

The land, water, sky were sacred and alive.

There was a large rock on the road to the Kikiaola (Menehune) ditch in the inland of Waimea. Some say that this rock is taboo. A man once struck the stone and the stone began to bleed. Others came to see this but when they arrived the man was found crushed to death under the stone. Recorded by Carol Snyder Fall.75 class.

A young woman was walking on the shore at Maha'ulepu and found two unusual rocks. She took them home and placed them on her front porch. Soon after the contents of her house was found to have been moved about leaving the interior quite disheveled.
Several weeks later, she could hear a moaning sound coming from her front porch. One night she heard footsteps in her living room, felt someone sitting on her bed but when she looked there was no one there. The moaning continued. and it seemed they came from her stones. She then returned the stones back to their original location. After that the moaning stopped. Recorded by Helene Brodleit, Fall 80 class.

Several masons were working on a stone wall. They went to Weliweli Tract to collect their rocks. One rock was taken home by the mason . His wife soon became ill and was bedridden. Later. he got into a car accident and his son got into a head-on collision with a motorbike. The mason figured it was the stone that was the cause of his problems. He then took the stone back to its original place. Recorded by Helene Brodleit, Fall 80 class.

There was a fish god, a Ku'ula, which once stood next to Queen Emma's old house at Lawa'i-kai . Fish was always plentiful at Lawa'i-kai because of the fish-attracting god stone. For unknown reason the fish-god was taken or removed from its place. The result of this action was that the fish do not come back to the bay. Informant was Mrs. William Wai'ale'ale. Sept. 1964.

There were 2 kuula  (stones) in the waters fronting Sand Island. One was named Mokueo and the other was Ka-haka-au-lana.

Both are also names of small islets in Keehi Lagoon. Another islet there was named Mokauea. When their home on Sand island was to be destroyed, the Ku'ula was taken away and stored. Mokueo went to Mrs. Lupenui's house but Kahakaaulana was given to the Bishop Museum and now sits in their garden.

Ku'ula Mokueo was very heavy outside of water. When it was placed in the water, it became very light. When the Ku'ula stones were in their home, that is their structure that housed them, the fish became very abundant.

These stones loved their houses and when they were taken outside the house fittings would not fit. When the stones were back into their house, the fittings were perfect.

When fishing at Waimanalo, they would kalua a pig and eat as much as they could. All the scraps would be picked up and taken on the fishing boat. Liquor, the left over meal and the Ku'ula (facing the sea) were put in the front of the boat. When they reached the fishing grounds the offerings were deposited into the sea and the Ku'ula immersed. All the fish would draw near and into their nets. Pila Kikuchi Informant  Mrs. Muriel Lupenui. Oahu. Jan 28, 1964.


Hanahanapuni area of the Lihue-Koloa forest Reserve. While hunting in this area the hunters came across a big cave. The dogs would go in but come out very frightened. The hunter almost went in but was pulled back by his uncle. He was told the cave was guarded by spirits. Twenty-one years passed since the first incident and the person was again hunting in the same area. He heard loud thunder but the sky was clear. the cause was that the thunder was a warning him not to trespass into the area of the cave. Recorded by Jim Palmeira , Fall 78 class.


Eruption at Nomilu Fishpond
Nomilu fishpond is located along the coast in the ahupua'a of Kalaheo. There have been reports of "eruptions" there. informant Dr. Gordon MacDonald.
Around 1956 during the volcanic eruptions at Kilauea on Big Island, the sea off the fishpond and between the submerged rock bubbled with sulpher which left a yellow residue floating on the surface. Sulpherous fumes were evident and many small fishes died and floated to the surface of the sea. Informant was Mr. John Nishi.


Prince Kuhio Hotel located on the shore of Ho'ai in Koloa. Around 1:00 am, the night was calm, no wind, only a slight breeze blowing and suddenly a tremendous wind knocked tables and chairs in the lobby area. Immediately after it was very still, again with no wind. The sudden wind was believed to be a ghost wind. Recorded by Pila; March 1964. Informant was Emma Miller a worker at the hotel.

Prince Kuhio Hotel. Koloa. One night while I was standing in front of the desk at the Prince Kuhio Hotel , a strange thing happened. Around 1:00 a.m. the night was calm and there was no appreciable wind. I felt a breeze go past me as if a person walked past me. I looked at my hand and my hairs were standing straight up as if by static electricity. I made a remark to Emma Miller , an employee there, and she mentioned it also happened to Mr. Al Ezell ,the manager. In this case someone touched him from behind but there was no one there.
This also happened at the very same spot I felt the breeze.

Kumuwela, Koke'e. Several hunters, hunting at night, were using dogs to chase after pigs. The dogs began to chase several pigs. The hunters waited for the dogs to call them. They waited at a spot named Kumuwela. While they were waiting, a cool breeze was felt going past them. They then heard a baby crying and soft moaning sounds. The breeze and sounds occurred again. They immediately left the area. They believed the area was a burial ground. Recorded by V. Parangao , Fall 78 class.


Pine Tree at Koloa
On the side of the road leading to Koloa Town there existed a very large pine tree (Norfolk Pine). People tried to cut it down several times.
The Plantation tried to uproot the tree and the State and County Road Crews tried to saw it but to no avail. Each time the saw would break or be stuck because too much sap would ooze from the tree clogging the blade. This is also the site where cars are known to stall. For this reason the tree or the site of the tree was assumed to be sacred. Recorded by
K. Webster. Her informant was M. Bukoski . Fall 75 class.

Forest area of Wai-ka-lipo
The area is located between the swamps at Waialeale. This is an old camp site. The area is surrounded by short stunted 'ohia-lehua trees. When the dogs began barking and acting up, the hunters choose to leave the area. This is because dogs can sense the spirits before humans can.
Recorded by C. Snyder, Fall 75 class.

Hanging Tree at Polihale
There was a hanging tree at Polihale. Truck engines would stall and die. It is said that the spirit of a big Hawaiian man was holding the truck back. The truck will eventually start . 

Recorded by Carol Snyder , Fall 75 class.

Old Mango Tree at Moloaa
In 1946, land at Molo'a'a was needed to grow pineapple. A bulldozer was used to clear the existing trees. The bulldozer tried several times at this one tree and the tree finally fell. After a break the operator came back and the tree was standing. They called a kahuna [priest] who scattered Hawaiian salt around the tree, chanted, gave a food offering and asked the spirit to depart. The bulldozer rammed the tree again and the tree fell. The kahuna said that this area was once holy ground and the tree was protected by the spirits. Recorded by Muriel Fernandez , Fall 80 class.

Obake [Ghost ] Tree
A tall Eucalyptus tree was called the obake tree. One must run around it three times at midnight. If you do this you will be able to see spirits and ghosts. Recorded by Oyamot o, Fall 80 class.