BACK TO HAWAIIAN
Not everyone was content, as all the creatures on earth resented how hot it was. Each morning the sun god, who lived in Haleakala, would wrestle with the clouds. The earth creatures suffered greatly, for it was so hot that their clothes burned on their bodies. They sent petitions to the sun god beseeching him to slow down and to go higher up in the sky so that the earth might be cooler. The sun god refused, and as a result the earth creatures asked the demigod Maui for his intervention.
Initially, Maui, too, refused to help. He knew that since the sun god could see everything below, he first needed to come up with a trick to defeat him. Maui searched the heavens and the skies for a trick. After asking everyone on earth for help, one family stepped forward. This was the family named Hihiwai.
The Hihiwai family agreed to cover the back of Maui with their black shells. The Hihiwai swam to the island of Maui and, in the morning, landed on the shores off Kihei. Since the sun god could see them, they stopped and rested. After Maui had passed at noon, they began their work, weaving many very, very strong ropes and gathering up rocks. Working all night, they finished the next morning. Then they surrounded the house of the sun with the sun inside, and they covered Maui with black shells.
Since Maui was covered in black, the sun could not see him. Maui made preparations as he patiently waited for the sun to fall asleep. The sun went to sleep, and the next morning when the sun tried to get up, Maui and the Hihiwai played their trick and fought a strenuous battle with the sun. In the end, Maui held a magical club and beat the sun with it, thus winning the battle.
Maui won the war, and the sun promised to go much higher up in the sky and do exactly what he was supposed to do. Maui searched for his companions, the Hihiwai, and he spoke to the chief of them to thank them. Maui gave the Hihiwai the power to have the ability to live in different waters, from the ocean to the rivers and streams, and the power to have shells with different colors, including gray, light purple, olive, yellow, white, brown and orange.
According to M. K. Pukui Hihiwai is the Neritina, a snail found in fresh and salt water. It is known as wi in fresh water. She says Hihiwai is also a shellfish Nerita vespertina called hapa wai.
There is another version of this legend found among Pila's files in outline form. It is fleshed out here: