True Story of Kaluaikoolau as Told by His Wife, Piilani, The

True Story of Kaluaikoolau as Told by His Wife, Piilani, The

$21.95

Frances N. Frazier

Softcover, 141 pp.

The story of Kaluaikoʻolau (or Koʻolau) is one of Kauai's great legends. In 1892, after learning that he and his young son had contracted leprosy, Koʻolau fled with his family deep into Kalalau Valley. In June 1893 Koʻolau shot and killed a sheriff and two Provisional Government soldiers who had been sent to arrest him. He vowed never to be taken alive and became a powerful symbol of resistance for many Hawaiians in the years following the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani.

The story of Koʻolau's last years, as narrated by his devoted wife, Piʻilani, was published in Hawaiian in 1906. In this volume, the Hawaiian text is preceded by an English translation that successfully retains the poetic imagery and figurative language of the original. Many writers have attempted to tell Koʻolau's story, but none have been able to match the simple grace and poignancy of Piʻilani's narrative. It is one of only a handful of historical accounts by a native Hawaiian.