Hanakoa is a Nāpali ahupuaʻa between Hanakāpiʻai on the east and Kalalau and Pōhakuʻau on the west, with a short border shared with Waimea on the southern mountainous region. Hanakoa means Warrior bay.


 

Hanakoa: Warrior bay

Alt: Hana-koa, Koa tree bay

Alt: Hana-koʻa, Fishing shrine bay

Alt: Hana-keao, Name of a Menehune chiefess

Hanakoa is a Nāpali ahupuaʻa between Hanakāpiʻai on the east and Kalalau and Pōhakuʻau on the west, with a short border shared with Waimea on the southern mountainous region. It is a sizable valley with a good deal of gently sloping land on either side of the stream. There were housesites and wet taro terraces extending more than half a mile inland on either side of the stream, as well as extensive agricultural areas in the Waiahuakua drainage basin.

When the Menehune were leaving Kauaʻi, they met at Kanaloahuluhulu, the open meadow in the mountains, and moved along the top of the cliffs toward Hāʻena where they embarked in canoes. Hanakeao, a Menehune chiefess, stepped on a stone on the edge of the cliff above this valley. The stone rolled and she fell to her death. The valley was named in her memory.

The name has come to be shorted to Hanakoa and is translated to be either the Bay of warriors or of koa trees. In old chants warriors are often compared to a koa, thus the name as written now makes sense even though it is wrong.