Finding Of The Islands





One of the oldest legends of the Hawaiians relates to the finding

of their islands by Hawaiiloa, a great chief and great-grandson

of Kinilauamano, whose twelve sons became the founders of twelve

tribes. Guided by the Pleiades he sailed westward from America, or

northward from some other group,--doubtless the latter,--and so came

to these pleasant lands, to the largest of which he gave his own name,

while the lesser ones commemorate his children. In another tradition

the islands of Oahu and Molokai were the illegitimate children of two

of his descendants, who were wedded, but jealous of one another and

faithless. Still another folk-tale runs to the effect that an enormous

bird, at least as large as the American thunder-bird or the roc of

Arabia, paused in its flight across the sea and laid an egg which

floated on the water. The warmth of the ocean and the ardor of the sun

hatched the egg, and from it came the islands, which grew, in time,

to their present size, and ever increased in beauty. Some years after

they were found by a man and a woman who had voyaged from Kahiki in

a canoe, and liking the scenery and climate, they went ashore on the

eastern side of Hawaii, and remained there to become the progenitors

of the present race. It suggests the ark legend that this pair had in

their canoe two dogs, two swine, and two fowls, from which animals had

come all that were found running wild there a hundred years ago. The

people can never be thankful enough that these visitors differed from

Nuu in their lack of regard for the snakes, scorpions, centipedes,

tarantulas, and mosquitoes that are so common to tropic lands, for,

having neglected to import these afflictions, the islands got on

without them until recently. Mosquitoes were taken to Hawaii on an

American ship. The hogs and dogs are descendants of animals that

escaped from the wreck of the Spanish galleon Santo Iago in 1527.





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