Imiloa, Hilo Attractions | Maui's Fish Hook
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Manaiakalani (Maui’s Fishhook)

The Legend of Manaiakalani and Mokuola

Maui, the Hawaiian demigod, had a magic makau, or fishhook called Kamakaunuiamaui, "The fishhook of Maui." Maui also had a magic wa‘a or canoe, which would take him to other islands. One day, feeling sorry for his people who did not have his magic and could not travel between islands, Maui decided to join the islands together so his people could travel from island to island. He called a meeting of the chiefs and people, and told them he needed their help to paddle, but they could not look back until the islands were connected.

Maui fastened his magic makau to the island of Maui, and paddled toward the next island. Slowly the islands began to move closer and closer together. Just as he was about to connect to Hawaii Island, a chief looked back and broke the spell.

The islands slid back to their former positions, except for the piece fastened to Maui’s fishhook; this piece landed in Hilo Bay and is known as Mokuola Island or "Island of Life" (today it’s commonly called Coconut Island).