To spend time with a mountain stream, ‘wai’, freshwater, is exhilarating to my being, and my spirit. At one time the stream was filled with the blood of a gruesome battle that took place not so long ago. In 1790 the Battle of Kepaniwai saw King Kamehameha the Great defeating the Kalanikūpule and the Maui army, Kamehameha the Great’s intention, to unify the islands. It is said that the bodies of those slaughtered in battle created a damn across the stream, making the water red with blood, the battle site was named Kepaniwai, meaning ‘the damming of the waters’. The location,ʻĪao Valley, pronounced ‘ee ow’, located on the extinct volcano that makes up west Maui. This is where Kaka’e, ruler of Maui in the late 15th century, designated ʻĪao as a burial ground, finding secret locations to bury their ancestors, Kapawa, king of Hawai’i prior to Pili being one of those buried. At night, deeper into he valley, it is said you can hear the spirit marchers, wondering souls stuck in purgatory, some of which are mischievous by nature. Recent explorations brought me here, led by fearless leader Molly, and Harout, many Mahaloness to you both. It is interesting to note that the water is now crystal clear, even so being in it you could almost feel the history in the river stones lining its bed. Molly and I took the plunge, brrrrr, though rather refreshing at the same time, just another magical spot and place for inspiration. I have this idea brewing to hike in and camp overnight, in hopes to experience the night marchers and create a spirit painting, an adventure of a lifetime no doubt.
Mahalonessfoto ʻĪao Valley and stream shots, beautiful, strange to imagine such carnage took place here. and Molly, me and Harout.




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