Battle of Koko O Na Moku - Kaanapali Resort
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Battle of Kolo O Na Moku

Battle of Koko O Na Moku

At the intersection of Ka’anapali Parkway and Nohea Kai Drive, look to where the golf course greens now stretch. The scene is set amid lush plains cultivated with taro and sweet potatoes. Visualize thousands of warriors in the field, garbed in loin cloths and wielding weapons, such as ma’a (the sling, with which Maui warriors were experts at throwing stones) and ihe (a javelin spear, which Hawaii Island warriors excelled at using).

Upon great chief Kekaulike’s death, younger son Kamehamehanui was named heir to rule Maui. In 1738, his older brother Kauhi’s aimokuakama began to wage war to win the title of ruling chief. Kamehamehanui engaged the forces of his uncle from Hawaii to fight with him, whose troops numbered over 8,000 and Kauhi brought troops of warriors from O’ahu. Battles were fought across West Maui, from Ukumehame to Honokawai. The war ended with with the most famous battle, Koko O Na Moku, which translates to “Bloodshed of the Islands.” Over several days, the blood of fallen warriors from both sides flowed from the mouth of the stream into the shorebreak and caused the ocean to turn red. Imagine hundreds of koa war canoes pounding through the surf to deliver reinforcements and supplies on the beach. Kamehamehanui triumphed and ruled Maui in peace for many years.

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Source: Ka’anapali Historical Trail & History and Legends Tour, Pip Holo Ka’ao (A well told tale travels far and wide)