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Legends of He'eia Fishpond

    There were many legends (mo'olelo) about He'eia fishpond. One mo'olelo spoke about the history of He'eia fishpond. "The ahupua'a itself was named for He'eia, who was said to have been the foster son of the goddess Haumea and the grandson of the demi-god Olopana, and uncle of Kamapua'a. The handsome He'eia fell in love with Kaohelo, a younger sister of Pele (volcano goddess) and Hi'iaka. They met in Ko'olau on O'ahu. When Kaohelo died, parts of her body were distributed among the volcano areas of the islands and became the 'ohelo plant, the fruit of which is sacred to Pele" (Kelly, 1975).

     Another mo'olelo spoke about Meheanu, the traditional mo'o (reptile) of He'eia. "She was the kia'i or guardian of He'eia Fishpond. Meheanu had supernatural powers and could change herself into many forms, such as a frog or lizard, but she was particularly fond of being an eel. She lived at Luamo'o, a small land adjacent to the pond. Growing around Luamo'o were many sheltering hau trees. When the hau leaves turned yellow, people knew that Meheanu was there, but when the leaves were green, they knew she was more likely to be somewhere else in the form of an eel. The leaves of the hau were supposed to turn yellow because of the urine of the mo'o in the water" (Henry, 1993).

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Our third guest speaker, Anuenue Punua, will share with us the mo'olelo of Meheanu.
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