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Lehua Island


Lehua is a rocky, crescent shaped islet of about 291 acres with low eastern and western edges, gradually rising to 702 feet at center. The southern sides has gullies, wave cliffs and a cave. This side has restricted access by numerous rocks above sea level that extend halfway across the channel Hali'i to Ni'ihau. At the western point is a natural arch called Keaulepe. The highest point on Lehua is called Ka-unu-o-ka-l. On top is a lighthouse. There are two springs: Wai-huna-a-ka-pao'o; and Hali'i- and two landings.

Once the island was overrun with rabbits, only a few remain today. Birds of Lehua are the noio, ua'u-kane, and akekeke.

Several people lived on Lehua..moved there from Ni'ihau after the sale of the island. carried on their trade with other islands via their boat Kai-a-oni.


Hali'i [spring and landing]

Ka-hauna Ka-loko-a-kaha



Ka-nuku-a-pua'a. This point has the appearance of a pig's snout.

Ka-unu-a-ka-la. The highest point of Lehua. 

Ke-ana-moi. The cave of the noio bird.


Ke-au-lepe. It is said that a man tried to pry the land apart to prove his love but it took him two attempts. 

Kč-kai-a-'iki [ Kč-hai-a-'iki]

Ana-ku-kai-a-'iki. The cave home of the shark aumakua Kukaiaiki. It is said about the channel nbetween kaua'i and Ni'ihau that "if you fall into the Kaulukahi Channel close to Ni'ihau, you will be safe. If you fall into the channel near Kaua'i, God will help you." Kuhaiaiki protected the people of ni'ihau. Long ago, a pact was made with this shark aumakua, and the people should never fear for their lives as long as they were in this realm.


Ka-leina-a-ka-uhane o ko Ni'ihau po'e uhane. he leaping place for souls of the people of Ni'ihau. According to legend, mauloku was the milu or jumping off place for souls. It is not remembered just where this is.




Papa-loa. "Long Reef"

Wai-huna-a-ka-pao'o [spring].. In the old days, fresh water would drip off the rocks very slowly and run out to the ocean. The people did not know that this was fresh water. The fish would climb up into the cracks and hide themselves, and when the men visited the area, the fish scampered off, jumping back into the ocean. The strange behavior of these little fish was notied and when the men went to investigate, they found fresh water. So they cleaned out the crevices in the rock and built a little punawai to catch the water for drinking. With water so precious and sparse, all punawai were kept clean and cared for. The reason for the name is because the little fish kept these waters for themselves and hid it- thus the name, the hidden waters of the Pao'o. Pao'o is believed to be the fish now known as Pano'o, very similar to 'o'opu-kai in the tide pools. This punawai is still in existence. However, since no one depends on this water for survival, people have stopped caring for it and the birds have taken over.

Wai-kulu. "dripping waters." Fresh water seeps from these rocks. 


"cradled in the bosom of Lehua."
[Used when speaking of Pele's Family; Hi'iaka is said to have left a Lehua flower there on her first visit.


Aia i ka mole o Lehua.
"At the foundation of Lehua."
[Said of one who has been gone a long time; the foundation is Ni'ihau.]


Ka hao ae-la ka makani koa pua ia o Lehua.
"The wind beats Lehua, barreness is her flower."

[Tava,Keale 1989 p. 99-100.]