Maui the Home of Legends

Maui of Hawaii’s island chain is rich in history and legends. It is the capitol of the kingdom of King Kamehameha I when he conquered the islands to form one, and the home of the Demi God, Maui. It will bring a spiritual journey in Hawaiian culture and lore.

Iao State Park was a sacred burial ground for the alii (royalty) and the 1790 Battle of Kepaniqai took place here. There is a well marked path from the parking lot to view the lao needle that provides views of the valley. Here King Kamehameha I clashed with the people of Maui to alter Hawaiian history into a kingdom. At the visitor’s center on top of the mountain is where the Demi-god Maui threw a rope to capture the sun so his mother would have more daylight hours.

Areas that are a must see for the ancients are the Olowalu Petroglyphas are primitive etchings in rock depicting life of the ancients and the Halekii-Pihana State monuments are a remnant of a lava rock heiau (temple) and a reconstructed refuge (ca. 1240).

In 1794 King Kamehameha I assembled on the HMS Discover in Kealakekua Bay and had the peoples became subjects of Great Britain. This led to the time of Hawaii becoming a republic and eventually the State of Hawaii in the United States of America.

In 1802 sugar productions began the plantation age. These are the days of westerners migrating for commerce. Puu nene is where the largest working sugar factory is located. The sugar industry was a major influence on Maui’s development of water resources and multi-ethnic makeup. Next to the factory is Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum with plantation home, machinery, murals and artefacts of the era.

Whalers Village is located on Kaanapali Beach. The Whaling Museum is free entry for hundreds of remnants showing life at in the 1800s. There is also free Hawaiian entertainment in this town. Check out the seaman’s cemetery and the Pioneer Inn where thousands of sailors descended upon this port from 1840-1865.

The missionary era brought many denominations trying to save the souls of the heathens of Hawaii. Lahaina has many old missionary homes set up for short walking tours.

Ke-anae is a taro farming town. Taro is one of the staple foods of the culture and the whole plant can be eaten. The root is steamed and pounded into poi or made into chips, the stems are cooked with meat and the leaves can be steamed and taste similar to spinach.

Bailey House was built in 1833 and now is home to a museum of Hawaiian culture, artefacts, paintings and furnishings. It is located in Wailiuku and on the site of what was home to Kahekili, last ruling chief of Maui. Puu Kekaa at Kaanapali is where this chief leaped 300 feet from the rock into the ocean. The resort there has a diver leap into the ocean every evening to honour the great chief.

15th Century Mokuula was the residence of high chiefs. It was surrounded by a natural spring-fed pond where taro and fish flourished. Today it is cover by a baseball field. There are tours offered by the Friends of Mokuula of the area to tell the great stories of Hawaiian chiefs. Check with Kaanapali Historical Trail & History and Legends Tours.

Wai-anapanapa caves is there Popu-alaea sought refuge from a husband’s restrictions. He was King Ka’akea and when he found here there she was murdered. In the spring of each year millions of red shrimp appear in the cave and is said to be a testament to the event.

Noenoe was the daughter of Maui,and she fell in love with Ka’uiki, an adopted son of the menehunes. She pleaded with her father to use his powers to keep them together forever. He turned Ka’uiki into a high hill overlooking Hana Bay and his daughter into her name sake, a misty rain. To this day the misty rain can be seen coming off the ocen to embrace Ka’uiki Hill.

There is so much more to learn and see on this island. The Hawaiian culture is wonderful with its information and retaining the stories for generations and visitors alike.