More History about Hawaii Kealakekua Bay areas

by Iwa





Here is some detailed history of Hawaii Kealakekua Bay and other surrounding ares around the Hawaii Kealakekua Bay

One of the site's you will pass is the Kahikolu Congregational Church about ¾ of a mile from the Napoopoo landing. This church is the one of the oldest churches in Hawaii. English missionary William Ellis (1794-1872) toured the islands in 1823 to determine areas to establish a church and mission stations. He suggested the north end of Hawaii Kealakekua Bay in the village of Kaawaloa point. (site of the Captain Cook Monument). In 1824 High Chiefess Kapi'olani built a thatch roofed shack at Kaawaloa for use as a Christian church by Rev. James Ely. Ely left Kaawaloa in 1928. He was then replaced by Samuel Ruggles (1795-1871) Ruggles brought with him from a mission in Hilo a couple of coffee plants that thrived here in the cool Kealakekua weather. The variety of coffee the Ruggles brought to the Kona District are considered the first Kona Coffee and still popular today. Ruggles was replaced due to health issues by Rev Cochran Forbes(1805-1880) in 1833. In 1839 under the direction of Kapi'olani, Forbes moved the mission to the south side of the bay to an area called Kepulu now known as Napoopoo . Another house was built of stone and coral lime. In 1841 the Kahikolu Church was finished and used till 1845 when Forbes resigned due to health issues to his wife. After six years of no pastor. Rev John Davis Paris (1809-1892) arrived in 1852. The large old church now in ruins he set out to build a new one . More solid but much smaller he planned to build it on the sit of the old one. It took three years to build and it was named Kahikolu which means “three in one” in Hawaiian language.
Both for the holy trinity of the Christian faith and the fact that it was the third attempt at building a church. A bell was donated by William E. Dodge of New York. It could hold 120 people. Paris went on to build 8 more churches including the Hale Halawai O Holualoa. He died in 1892 in the Kona Area. Over the years there have been many restoration projects on the church. And it is still used today by the neighboring villagers for sermon every Sunday. This is also the point to aim for while kayaking back from the monument.



Upon launching the Kayaks we go over some safety instruction then paddle towards the Hikiau Heiau and the boulder beach of Napoopoo. The Hikiau Heiau is a massive stone temple used in ancient times for sacrificial and religious ceremonies. This area was lived in and ruled by the high ranking priest's of the time. One particular priest who ruled over these holy grounds was Lono. As a human Lono was a powerful priest who challenged and defied the gods. There are many myths and legends that we go over pertaining to the history of Lono and his importance to the Hawaiian people. These myths and legends are stories I heard growing up in this village from my elders. We explain to the customers how the Napoopoo Beach was a beautiful white sand beach in the 70's, but due to hurricanes Iwa and Iniki the beach has not returned to its appealing form. Now piled high with rocks from the ocean floor that were thrown on shore by large waves and tidal surges. In back of the beach is a brackish water pond which was also used by priest for ceremonies and considered sacred by the villagers of that time.. This area of the bay was considered the Holy land comparable to the Vatican in Europe. And were the high priest lived. This beach was also used by ranchers to swim cattle onto shore from the cattle barges that would park in the bay.

The waters of the Bay were called Kapuakapu by its villagers. Kapuakapu in Hawaiian Language means “forbidden flower” . That name alone says it all. This area is so beautiful that our ancestors saw it as a flower that was forbidden from being picked. A flower so rare that its beauty is unsurpassed. How appropriate.

The name Kealakekua Bay meaning “path way to the gods” refers to the towering Pali that stands over us as we cross the calm waters of the bay. In ancient days the villagers had to walk or take canoes to travel. For those villagers that used to live at the Napoopoo side of the bay. One of the walking trails was up the face of the Pali or Ridge. That trail was a zig-zag trail that when walked on at night with the torches it would appear that they were walking into the heavens.

The Pali or Ridge itself is a marvel to look up at it and wonder how it was really formed is amazing. We use this area to show our customers the burial caves along the cliffs . We explain to them how our ancestors used to bury people using caves a s tombs and that sometimes people were buried with all their prized possessions . If the elder fisherman of the village died he along with his canoe his fish hooks and his fish line and all other worldly effects would go into that tomb with his body. They also believed that if someone got those possessions certain powers came with them . We explain how the Hawaiians used the cliff as a defense mechanism during war by lining the ridge with rocks and dropping them off the cliff onto passing canoes. We explain how the U.S. navy would hide ships up against the side of the cliff during world war 2. We show them the massive chunk of rock missing in the cliff that is said to be from a canon hitting the cliff during an accident in the 1800's when a canon went off while a mission ship was visiting.

Then we make our way to the Kaawaloa landing area. We pull our customers onto the shoreline and we let them get into the water from our designated entry points. We then escort them into the water and explain the different types of wildlife and coral. After that we bring them out of the water and take them on a short hike across the shore to the monument. At the monument we proceed to explain the History of Captain Cook. How he found us accidentally . How the Hawaiians greeted him. How they treated each other. How he left and how he returned and died all in great detail. We explain the lay out of the village. We explain about the old Barrett's hotel and the the missionary check in station., the leopar holding cell, as well as the fish ponds , salt pans used by the village for salt. The ancient canoe landing , and Lono's Rock.

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Aloha Kayak Co. is dedicated to providing useful information to the public about Kealakekua Bay and its surrounding areas, through our facilities, tours, and website.

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