Imiloa, Hilo Attractions | Kalupeakawelo
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Kalupeakawelo (Kite of Kawelo)

The Legend of Kalupeakawelo

Kaweloleimakua was born to Maihuna and Malaiakalani in Hanama‘ulu, Kaua‘i. Out of five siblings Kawelo was recognized at birth to be the brave child who would one day rule the land. Kawelo’s grandparents, with the wisdom and skill to choose the best grandchild, took Kawelo with great affection to their home in Wailua and it is there that he was raised.   

Kawelo was well cared for by his grandparents. When they went to tend to their crops, Kawelo enjoyed paddling his wa‘a. From sunrise to sunset he would go back and forth up Wailua River and then back out to sea.

One day, as Kawelo was paddling, he saw his cousin Kauahoa release a kite into the sky.  Kawelo returned home that day and asked his grandparent’s for a kite of his own. His wish was granted and he flew his kite next to his cousin Kauahoa.

Kawelo taunted Kauahoa, by making his kite leap from side to side. Soon the two kites became entangled. They twisted and turned, but soon the string holding Kauahoa's kite broke, and it flew away, landing in a distant forest. To this day near Koloa is a place called Kaho‘oleināpe‘a in reference to Kauahoa’s fallen kite.
Kawelo, being slightly smaller than his cousin, knew that Kauahoa could have punished him for what he had caused. But Kauahoa sadly blamed the wind and the two remained close throughout childhood. However, everyone who watched the kites in the sky that day interpreted them as a sign: Kawelo's mana, or supernatural power, was greater than Kauahoa’s.