The extensive salt marshes of He‘eia inland from the fishponds (loko) were not suitable for cultivation, but fringing them to the southward, flanking both sides of He`eia Stream from which they are irrigated, lie the vast terraced lowland flats of this ahupua`a, which were in 1935 still largely planted in commercial taro. The southern portions of these lo`i were irrigated from Kalimukele Stream which turns southward and flows into Kane`ohe; while the small stream named Pu`olena supplements the He`eia on the north. These terraces extend up the main stream to the junction of Ha`iku Stream and `Ioleka`a, flowing from the west and southwest, respectively. A small stream named Kaiwike`e flows into `Ioleka`a from southwestward in the Ko`olau range. Up all these valleys are old lo`i, now abandoned.

He`eia was named for the "washing away" of the primordial ancestor Wakea, his wife Haumea, and all their followers, in a tidal wave which overwhelmed their encampment in this place, during the epic wars with Kane-kumu-honua... It was near the small islet of Kepapa, in the bay, that the kahuna who had foretold this cataclysm taught Wakea to make a "heiau" of his clasped hands and an offering therein of a "pig" -- a humuhumu fish caught in the waters beside him. In this district also lived at one time Ma-`eli-`eli, known as the Dragon Woman of He`eia (Westervelt, 1915, p. 41).1

This photo, burrowed from Mike Gawley, shows the upper part of He`eia ahupua`a from the Haiku stairway with the northern end of Kane`ohe Bay and the ahupua`a of Kualoa in the distance.

[PREVIOUS PAGE: Kahalu`u] | [NEXT PAGE: Kane`ohe]

INFORMATION SOURCE: 1E. S. C. Handy, E. G. Handy, and Mary Pukui. 1972. Native Planters in Old Hawaii. Their Life, Lore, and Environment, Bernice P. Bishop Museum Bulletin 233: p. 454-455