Punahou Blues: THE LOST CHAPTERS (The Fishpond)
By Kirby Wright
Published: January 15, 2012.
Puko'o Fishpond had been built in the 1500s by the king of Moloka'i. Before its construction, a man named Kilo had told the king that the work could not be done without the help of kahunas. The king said Kilo's punishment for this outburst was to be cooked alive in an imu when the pond was complete. Instead of worrying about his impending doom, Kilo organized the men from Moloka'i into a long line from the ocean up into the mountain. Stones were passed hand-to-hand down to the men building the walls. The tramping of so many feet raised a big red cloud of dust over Puko'o that blotted out the sun. The men's hair and skin turned red. They threw dust into each other's faces and said, "Kanaka o Moloka'i ehu i ka lepo," a protest slogan over having to slave for the king. Kilo told the men that he would soon be part of the swirling red dust when the pond was finished.