Wailua stretches from the sea to the top of mount Waiʻaleaʻle. Wailua means Two waters.


 

Wailua: Two waters; 

Lit: Water pit;

Lit: Spirit of a dead or alive person

Ahupuaʻa of Puna district stretching from the sea to the top of mount Waiʻaleaʻle. Two river watersheds flow over countless waterfalls until they join together about a mile from the ocean. 

Along the banks of the Wailua river lived queens and kings, heroes and heroines, dragons and sharks, and many magical beings whose legends reflect a thousand years of history. Captain George Vancouver was the first European captain to visit Wailua in 1793.

#Rice, Dickey, and Damon say that the name means Water-pit because the river drops over three waterfalls into deep holes. Two-waters refers to the two branches of the river.

 

#A wailua is the spirit of a ghost or spirit of one seen before or after death, separate from the body, (and) the spirits of the dead gathered at Pihanakalani, then to the sound of nose flutes and drums, walked to the river’s edge on the night of the full moon and embarked on canoes.  They sailed down the river and along to coast until they came to Polihale where they leaped into the land of the dead.

 

#”The concept of Wailua as Two waters never occurred to the ancient Hawaiians.” (Dickey)

      

Ka wai opua-makani o Wailua I hulihia e ke kai;  
awahia ka lau hau.
The wind-beaten stream of Wailua is tossed into waves from the sea;  
Salt-drenched are the leaves of the hau, the stalks of the taro are all rotted.  (Emer UL)

 

Ka wai hālau o Wailua. 
The expansive waters of Wailua.  
Wailua, Kaua`i, is the land of large streams.  (Pukui 1648)