hillock, the mound

According to ancient legend, Keāhua was a chief of Wailua, his wife was Kauhao, and together they had a son named Kauʻilani. One day, the chief of Kona sent a dragon to destroy Puna. This moʻo was Akuapehulani. Keāhua took his family and retreated far up into the valley near the Wailua river to raise Kauʻilani and keep him safe. When Kauʻilani grew up, he hatched a plan to defeat the moʻo. He ordered a thick row of bamboo to be planted across the lower area of the valley, and lined up carved images behind them. When the bamboo was grown, he prayed to his gods and they entered into the carved images, coming to life. Kauʻilani ordered the bamboo cut down, leaving only sharp, pointed stumps. He then went down to Akuapehulani and insulted the moʻo until it was so angry that it chased Kauʻilani all the way back up the valley. The moʻo was chasing Kauʻilani so quickly that it didn't see the bamboo and impaled itself. The gods speared and clubbed the moʻo. Kauʻilani threw his spear, piercing Akuapehulani and ending his life and oppression. Keāhua is the name of the valley far up the Wailua river, below Waiʻaleʻale. Named after the father of Kauʻilani and aliʻi of Wailua, Keāhua is also known today as loop road or the arboretum.

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Aliʻi: chief, chiefess
Keāhua: large area below Kawaikini known today as loop road and the arboretum, hillock, the mound  (Hoʻomanawanui, 2012, p. 215)

Kona: district on the island of Kauaʻi
Moʻo: lizard, reptile of any kind, dragon

Puna: spring (of water); district on the island of Kauaʻi

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Elbert, Samuel H., and Mary Kawena Pūkui. Hawaiian Dictionary: Hawaiian-English ; English-Hawaiian. Univ. of Hawaii Press, 1999.

Keāhua. Digital Image.

Keāhua From Above. Digital Image.

Map of Wailua. Digital Image.

Soehren, Lloyd J. “Hawaiian Place Names.” ULUKAU: The Hawaiian Electronic Library, 2002,

Waiʻaleʻale From Above. Digital Image.

“Wailua.” Kauaʻi: Ancient Place-Names and Their Stories, by Frederick B. Wichman, University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2006, pp. 80–81.