Lulumahu Valley "Hidden from View" a Koˈolaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club cultural education program

My son Nick and I were invited to hike up Lulumahu Valley the day after Christmas with Debbie and her family. Mahealani Cypher, Cultural Interpreter and a member of the Koˈolaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club, would be our guide for this three hour hike. This hike was a special treat since this area near the Nuˈuanu Reservoir is usually closed to the public. The view of the Koˈolau was majestic. The hike was not that easy, lots of streams to cross, narrow paths and climbing. But it was well worth it because at the halfway point we experienced the beautiful Lulumahu Fall. Some drenched themselves in the cleasing water. Others waded and ate their snacks. A truly memorable experience and a wonderful way to end 2009.

Thank you Mahealani and Debbie.

Nu'uanu Reservoir

We each received a brochure explaining Lulumahu Valley written by the Civic Club. I would like to share these eloquent words with you.

Lulumahu Valley, A Wahi Kapu "Hidden from the View"

Lulumahu-the name evokes mystery, curiosity, a desire to see beyond the obvious. It is a place tucked away in Nuˈuanu, among the pali Koˈolau ridge extending behind the majestic Puˈu Konahuanui. To be sure, Lulumahu is a valley "hidden from view," difficult for the eye to discern among the many tendrils of volcanic slopes of the area. Even more so, Lulumahu's headwaters at the summit flow down through the wailele of this hidden valley, the beautiful Lulumahu falls on down through the stream of the same name.

These falls form a curtain, again evoking the name, Lulumahu-a curtain of water flowing over the body kinolau.

There is little mention of Lulumahu in the writings of the 19th century native Hawaiian historians, except to note that-during the battle of Nuˈuanu, the women, children and elders were urged to flee into the side valleys of Nu'uanu away from the pursuing warriors of Kamehameha's army.

Situated so close to the area where Kalanikupule was struck down in battle, Lulumahu would have been a logical place for some of them to run toward, with its seemingly hidden quality.

Alas, many were trapped in the narrow valley and killed. Stone mounds covered with tall, ancient ti trees line the bubbling Lulumahu Stream, mute evidence of the sad ending for these Oˈahu people.

A melancholy drifts over the valley, a sad tale by our kupuna about the keiki, very small children, whose fearful cries caused them to be abandoned on the valley trail, lest the others be discovered and killed. These were among the first to be lost to the clubs of pursuing invaders.

Today, Lulumahu is a burial ground, a place where the spirits of these kupuna kahiko are honored by the quiet and the beauty of the stones, laˈau ki, and the fragrant imported bright yellow ginger blossoms that grace the pathway leading to the trail.

Ua ma keˈea o kaˈaina i ka pono. The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness. pau

Group picture in front of a pohaku o Kane, god of O'ahu, sunlight and health

Introduction by Mahealani

Yellow Ginger

Lulumahu Fall

Honolulu Festival

Ko'olaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club

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