The Legend of Ka'ena Point

On the northwestern coast of Oahu is a point of land called Ka'ena Point. Nearby is a huge boulder known as Pohaku o Kauai, or Rock of Kauai. Legend has it that both of these landmarks came to be because of the actions of one man on a dark, stormy night many years ago.

On this night, when the wind raged, lightning struck, thunder rumbled and the rain beat down from the heavens upon the islands of Hawaii, a baby boy was born. The storm was so vicious that the unrelenting rain that fell from the black clouds washed the red soil down through the valleys and soon the flooded streams and thundering waterfalls churned as red as blood. 

As the storm raged on, a rainbow appeared above the house in which the baby was born. It was still there the next day when the storm died down, the sky cleared and the sun came out. It was thought that the child was special, and that rainbow was a sign of his power.

The boy was named Haupu. He displayed incredible strength at an early age and eventually grew to be a brave and powerful warrior. He was known throughout the islands – respected for his amazing strength, but feared for his quick temper.

One night, Ka'ena, an Oahu chief, organised a night-fishing expedition. He gathered many people from the village and they set out in canoes of all sizes, with torches and their largest fishing nets.

This same night, Haupa was sleeping in his royal home on Kauai, some 30 miles (48 km) from Oahu. He awoke to strange noises out on the water, and when he looked out he saw faraway lights dancing in the black distance. Half asleep, Huapu imagined a group of warriors coming from Oahu to attack his people, and so he rushed to the edge of a nearby cliff, heaved up a huge boulder and flung it out across the channel between the two islands.

The canoes were smashed and shattered into tiny pieces, and chief Ka'ena, who stood proudly in the middle of his people, lost his life along with many of the fishermen. The boulder hit the water with such force that the resulting waves washed huge amounts of sand onto the shore, forming a point of land.

The survivors of the disastrous fishing expedition made their way back to the shore of Oahu, and thereafter named the cape "Ka'ena" after their fallen chief. The boulder, they named the Rock of Kauai.