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Through the demigod Maui, who once captured the sun, the highest chief said Maui possess the power, called Kapu, of the sun… Controlling the rising sun, it’s setting and it’s resting beyond the sea.Each evening the people gathered to say there aloha to the sun. They prayed for protection during the night, the gift of another day and the spirits of ancestors who had followed the suns path into the beyond. Such a virgilwas held at Pu’u Keka’a, today is known as Black rock. This promontory came to be designated as one of the three great ‘uhane lele, a secret point where souls of the dead leapt into their ancestral spirit man.
Kahakili’s, whose name means “Thunderer,” was the last chief of Maui. He ruled for 25 years in the later half of the 18th century. Kahakili earned that admiration and loyalty of his men by excelling at the popular sport at the time, lele kava , leaping from 300 to 400 foot cliff into a pool of freshwater or the sea. At Black Rock, he made his most impressive leaps. These were all inspiring to his men, not because of the height…he had bounded from higher cliffs than Black Rock, but because the promontory was revered as a ‘uhane lele’. It was believed that only an individual of great spiritual strength could leap into that world and escape without harm. This legend is still practice nightly at Black Rock. Be sure to see it!