MO‘OLELO: ʻŌiwi used many stars and constellations to organize the night skies and often these constellations were used in unison with early ocean navigation. Four of the main star lines used are known as Ke Ka O Makalii-the bailer of Makalii, which included the Pleiades, Ka Iwikuamoʻo-“the backbone,” which ran from Polaris to the Southern Cross, Manaiakalani-“fish hook of Maui” incorporating the constellation of Scorpio, and Ka Lupe a Kawelo- “kite of Kawelo,” Running through the great square of Pegasus and associated with the legend of Kawelo and Kauahoa.


Ka Lupe O Kawelo is the Hawaiian star family for the cluster of constellations made up of the Great Square of Pegasus, ‘Iwakeli‘i (Cassiopeia), Aries, Cetus, and Fomalhaut and Archernar. Kawelo was a chief of Kaua‘i and O‘ahu. When he was younger, Kawelo saw his cousin Kauahoa flying his kite high in the sky. Kawelo asked his grandparents for a kite. When Kawelo took to his new kite, it got tangled with Kauahoa’s which broke off and flew away. The patient larger cousin did not get angry this is younger relative and instead blamed the wind. The moral of the story is that love is patient and always kind. Lupe is also the nickname of the hihimanu, or sting ray, which soars through the ocean like a kite.

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