In honor of Thom and (in absentia) Quilly and Amoeba.
The Legend of the Rainbow Maiden
(* Update [yes, already]: Finding Pam asked, "Is any of it true?" And I answer, “This is a real Hawaiian Legend. As I don't know much about
Hawaii - other than reading James A. Michener's book, Hawaii, ages ago – I decided I would strain my brain because no pain, no gain.”)
Kahala, the Rainbow Maiden, born of wind and rain, took two chiefs as lovers. Kauhi was from Waikiki; Mahana was from Kamoilili. Each man wanted Kahala to live in his house.
Kauhi was a jealous man. Since he could not have Kahala for himself, he killed her and buried her.
The owl, Kahala's guardian spirit, searched the earth until he found her body and joined it back with her spirit.
Kauhi killed Kahala again and buried her.
The owl brought her back to life.
Kauhi killed Kahala again but this time buried her under the roots of a great koa tree.
The owl could not save Kahala because the roots of the tree were too strong and could not be moved.
The owl thought Kahala's spirit went to Po, the Underworld, so he gave up searching.
Kahala’s spirit looked for someone who could join her to her body. She had nearly lost hope when Mahana came near her spirit.
Mahana felt the distressed spirit around him. The ghost guided him to the great koa tree. There Mahana dug up the body of his beloved Kahala.
Mahana took Kahala to his older brother who was a kahuna. The powerful kahuna chanted and prayed, but couldn’t revive Kahala. He called two spirit sisters and they guided Kahana's spirit back into her body through her feet while the kahuna performed the chants to restore her life.
Mahana, with the two spirit sisters, nursed Kahala back to beauty and health. But Kahala would never be safe while Kauhi still lived.
Mahana went to places where Kauhi played sports and gambled. He taunted Kauhi until Kauhi admitted that he had killed Kahala.
Mahana announced that Kahala was alive and in his home. Kauhi insisted she must be an imposter, so he challenged Mahana to present her to all of the chiefs including Kahala's grandfather, Akaaka, the mountain god. If Kauhi was proven wrong, he would be baked alive in an imu. If he was proven right, Mahana would be the one to be baked alive.
Kauhi wanted a test to detect ghosts. His kahunas would invoke spirits from the Underworld to come and take away any ghosts and deliver them to Milu, the god of the Underworld.
Kauhi spread leaves of the ape plant over the ground where Kahala would walk. Any human walking over the leaves would bruise and tear them, while a spirit would leave them unmarked.
The imu was prepared. The king and chiefs were all gathered. Kauhi watched Kahala arrive. Kahala approached the ape leaf path with the spirit sisters, who recognized the test. They whispered to Kahala to bruise the leaves so that the spirits would not be discovered.
Kahala left a wide trail of broken leaves, but Kauhi's chief kahuna said he could still feel ghosts and called for a second test. The kahuna demanded that a bowl of water be brought. It was believed that a reflection of a face in water was the face of a spirit. In his eagerness to catch a spirit face in the water, he leaned over the bowl, showing his own spirit face. Akaaka, the mountain god, grabbed the reflected face in his hands and destroyed the kahuna’s the spirit.
Kauhi was taken. He was baked alive in the imu and his lands and possessions were given to Mahana and Kahala who lived long with a rainbow over their roof.
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