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MANOA VALLEY for centuries has been to the Hawaiians the royal palace of rainbows. The mountains at the head of the valley were gods whose children were the divine wind and rain from whom was born the beautiful rainbow-maiden who plays in and around the valley day and night whenever misty showers are touched by sunlight or moonlight.

The natives of the valley usually give her the name of Kahalaopuna, or The Hala of Puna. Sometimes, however, they call her Kaikawahine Anuenue, or The Rainbow Maiden. The rainbow, the anuenue, marks the continuation of the legendary life of Kahala.

The legend of Kahala is worthy of record in itself, but connected with the story is a very interesting account of an attempt to discover and capture ghosts according to the methods supposed to be effective by the Hawaiian witch doctors or priests of the long, long ago.

The legends say that the rainbow-maiden had two lovers, one from Waikiki, and one from Kamoiliili, half-way between Manoa and Waikiki. {p. 85} Both wanted the beautiful arch to rest over their homes, and the maiden, the descendant of the gods, to dwell therein.

Kauhi, the Waikiki chief, was of the family of Mohoalii, the shark-god, and partook of the shark's cruel nature. He became angry with the rainbow-maiden and killed her and buried the body, but her guardian god, Pueo, the owl, scratched away the earth and brought her to life. Several times this occurred, and the owl each time restored the buried body to the wandering spirit. At last the chief buried the body deep down under the roots of a large koa-tree. The owl-god scratched and pulled, but the roots of the tree were many and strong. His claws were entangled again and again. At last he concluded that life must be extinct and so deserted the place.

The spirit of the murdered girl was wandering around hoping that it could be restored to the body, and not be compelled to descend to Milu, the Under-world of the Hawaiians. Po was sometimes the Under-world, and Milu was the god ruling over Po. The Hawaiian ghosts did not go to the home of the dead as soon as they were separated from the body. Many times, as when rendered unconscious, it was believed that the spirit had left the body, but for some reason had been able to come back into it and enjoy life among friends once more.

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Kahala, the rainbow-maiden, was thus restored several times by the owl-god, but with this last failure it seemed to be certain that the body would grow cold and stiff before the spirit could return. The spirit hastened to and fro in great distress, trying to attract attention.

If a wandering spirit could interest some one to render speedy aid, the ancient Hawaiians thought that a human being could place the spirit back in the body. Certain prayers and incantations were very effective in calling the spirit back to its earthly home. The Samoans had the same thought concerning the restoration of life to one who had become unconscious, and had a special prayer, which was known as the prayer of life, by which the spirit was persuaded to return into its old home. The Hervey Islanders also had this same conception of any unconscious condition. They thought the spirit left the body but when persuaded to do so returned and brought the body back to life. They have a story of a woman who, like the rainbow-maiden, was restored to life several times.

The spirit of Kahala was almost discouraged. The shadows of real death were encompassing her, and the feeling of separation from the body was becoming more and more permanent. At last she saw a noble young chief approaching. {p. 87} He was Mahana, the chief of Kamoiliili. The spirit hovered over him and around him and tried to impress her anguish upon him.

Mahana felt the call of distress, and attributed it to the presence of a ghost, or aumakua, a ghost-god. He was conscious of an influence leading him toward a large koa-tree. There he found the earth disturbed by the owl-god. He tore aside the roots and discovered the body bruised and disfigured and yet recognized it as the body of the rainbow-maiden whom he had loved.

In the King Kalakaua version of the story Mahana is represented as taking the body, which was still warm, to his home in Kamoiliili.

Mahana's elder brother was a kahuna, or witchdoctor, of great celebrity. He was called at once to pronounce the prayers and invocations necessary for influencing the spirit and the body to reunite. Long and earnestly the kahuna practised all the arts with which he was acquainted and yet completely failed. In his anxiety he called upon the spirits of two sisters who, as aumakuas, watched over the welfare of Mahana's clan. These spirit-sisters brought the spirit of the rainbow-maiden to the bruised body and induced it to enter the feet. Then, by using the forces of spirit-land, while the kahuna chanted and used his charms, they pushed the spirit of Kahala

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slowly up the body until "the soul was once more restored to its beautiful tenement."

The spirit-sisters then aided Mahana in restoring the wounded body to its old vigor and beauty. Thus many days passed in close comradeship between Kahala and the young chief, and they learned to care greatly for one another.

But while Kauhi lived it was unsafe for it to be known that Kahala was alive. Mahana determined to provoke Kauhi to personal combat; therefore he sought the places which Kauhi frequented for sport and gambling. Bitter words were spoken and fierce anger aroused until at last, by the skilful use of Kahala's story, Mahana led Kauhi to admit that he had killed the rainbow-maiden and buried her body.

Mahana said that Kahala was now alive and visiting his sisters.

Kauhi declared that if there was any one visiting Mahana's home it must be an impostor. In his anger against Mahana he determined a more awful death than could possibly come from any personal conflict. He was so sure that Kahala was dead that he offered to be baked alive in one of the native imus, or ovens, if she should be produced before the king and the principal chiefs of the district. Akaaka, the grandfather of Kahala, one of the mountain-gods of Manoa Valley, was to be one of the judges.

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This proposition suited Mahana better than a conflict, in which there was a possibility of losing his own life.

Kauhi now feared that some deception might be practised. His proposition had been so eagerly accepted that he became suspicious; therefore he consulted the sorcerers of his own family. They agreed that it was possible for some powerful kahuna to present the ghost of the murdered maiden and so deceive the judges. They decided that it was necessary to be prepared to test the ghosts.

If it could be shown that ghosts were present, then the aid of "spirit catchers" from the land of Milu could be invoked. Spirits would seize these venturesome ghosts and carry them away to the spirit-land, where special punishments should be meted out to them. It was supposed that "spirit catchers" were continually sent out by Milu, king of the Under-world.

How could these ghosts be detected? They would certainly appear in human form and be carefully safeguarded. The chief sorcerer of Kauhi's family told Kauhi to make secretly a thorough test. This could be done by taking the large and delicate leaves of the ape-plant[1] and spreading them over the place where Kahala Must walk and sit before the judges. A human being could not touch these leaves so carefully

[1. Gunnera petaloides.]

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placed without tearing and bruising them. A ghost walking upon them could not make any impression. Untorn leaves would condemn Mahana to the ovens to be baked alive, and the spirit catchers would be called by the sorcerers to seize the escaped ghost and carry it back to spirit-land. Of course, if some other maid of the islands had pretended to be Kahala, that could be easily determined by her divine ancestor Akaaka. The trial was really a test of ghosts, for the presence of Kahala as a spirit in her former human likeness was all that Kauhi and his chief sorcerer feared. The leaves were selected with great care and secretly placed so that no one should touch them but Kahala. There was great interest in this strange contest for a home in a burning oven. The imus had been prepared: the holes had been dug, and the stones and wood necessary for the sacrifice laid close at hand.

The king and judges were in their places. The multitude of retainers stood around at a respectful distance. Kauhi and his chief sorcerer were placed where they could watch closely every movement of the maiden who should appear before the judgment-seat.

Kahala, the rainbow-maiden, with all the beauty of her past girlhood restored to her, drew near, attended by the two spirit-sisters who had saved and protected her. The spirits

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knew at once the ghost test by which Kahala was to be tried. They knew also that she had nothing to fear, but they must not be discovered. The test applied to Kahala would only make more evident the proof that she was a living human being, but that same test would prove that they were ghosts, and the spirit-catchers would be called at once and they would be caught and carried away for punishment. The spirit-sisters could not try to escape. Any such attempt would arouse suspicion and they would be surely seized. The ghost-testing was a serious ordeal for Kahala and her friends.

The spirit-sisters whispered to Kahala, telling her the purpose attending the use of the ape leaves and asking her to break as many of them on either side of her as she could without attracting undue attention. Thus she could aid her own cause and also protect the sister-spirits. Slowly and with great dignity the beautiful rainbow-maiden and her friends passed through the crowds of eager attendants to their places before the king. Kahala bruised and broke as many of the leaves as she could quietly. She was recognized at once as the child of the divine rain and wind of Manoa Valley. There was no question concerning her bodily presence. The torn leaves afforded ample and indisputable testimony.

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Kauhi, in despair, recognized the girl whom he had several times tried to slay. In bitter disappointment at the failure of his ghost-test the chief sorcerer, as the Kalakaua version of this legend says, "declared that he saw and felt the presence of spirits in some manner connected with her." These spirits, he claimed, must be detected and punished.

A second form of ghost-testing was proposed by Akaaka, the mountain-god. This was a method frequently employed throughout all the islands of the Hawaiian group. It was believed that any face reflected in a pool or calabash of water was a spirit face. Many times had ghosts been discovered in this way. The face in the water had been grasped by the watcher, crushed between his hands, and the spirit destroyed.

The chief sorcerer eagerly ordered a calabash of water to be quickly brought and placed before him. In his anxiety to detect and seize the spirits who might be attending Kahala he forgot about himself and leaned over the calabash. His own spirit face was the only one reflected on the surface of the water. This spirit face was believed to be his own true spirit escaping for the moment from the body and bathing in the liquid before him. Before he could leap back and restore his spirit to his body Akaaka leaped forward, thrust his hands down into the water and

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seized and crushed this spirit face between his mighty hands. Thus it was destroyed before it could return to its home of flesh and blood.

The chief sorcerer fell dead by the side of the calabash by means of which he had hoped to destroy the friends of the rainbow-maiden.

In this trial of the ghosts the two most powerful methods of making a test as far as known among the ancient Hawaiians were put in practice.

Kauhi was punished for his crimes against Kahala. He was baked alive in the imu prepared on his own land at Waikiki. His lands and retainers were given to Kahala and Mahana.

The story of Kahala and her connection with the rainbows and waterfalls of Manoa Valley has been told from time to time in the homes of the nature-loving native residents of the valley.

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Next: XII. How Milu Became The King of Ghosts