In the Hawaiian culture, the giving of a name to anyone or anything is a serious consideration. Our canoes are a life force that are a part of our crews and should be loved, respected and treasured. Names have influence and impact because they have mana; spiritual power, prestige, history, as well as, authority, strength and honor. The names of our canoes have each been carefully chosen in respect for our island ancestors, individuals associated with the spirit of our club and significant winds of Maui.

Both of our koa canoes have been named by members of the Lake family. John M. Lake (our founder) named our first koa canoe Kokololio (Swift winds of Waikapu). The name was given in memory of the birth place of his mother, Mary Kaheiheimalie Enos Lake. Waikapu was an area he knew and loved. The canoe was blessed in August, 1961 at the Lake beach home in Oluwalu by the Rev. Moses Moku of Kaahumanu Church. Kokololio was loaned to Kahului Canoe Club in 1970 to facilitate the formation of Na Kai Ewalu. Kokololio was returned to Hawaiian Canoe Club in 1980. Hawaiian Canoe Club won its first State Championship in 2001 on Kauai exactly forty years after Kokololio was first blessed.

Hawaiian Canoe Club’s second koa is made from a koa tree found by club members Kauhane Luuwai, Sydney Spencer, Marge Kawaiaea, Lee Poston and Dave Carlson in the Kipahulu Rainforest on Kaupo Ranch property in 2001. Various groups of canoe club members had been hiking the forest once a month for eight months looking for a tree large enough to build a canoe from. After the tree was found, club members began the arduous task of preparing for the initial blessing, cutting the tree down and roughly shaping it in the forest. Tahitian canoe builder Fafa was asked to build the canoe. Fafa directed the cutting of the tree and did the initial shaping in the forest. Groups of club members, primarily our keiki, were responsible for carrying necessary equipment, from a staging area graciously donated by Jonathan Starr, miles uphill into the forest. Traditional protocol was followed in the blessing by Kumu Keli’i Tau-a. In July, 2001, over 100 club members undertook the monumental task of bring the roughly shaped canoe down from the forest by hand. Pahili Kiu was completed at the HCC hale by Fafa and his crew.

Pahili Kiu was named by Kumu John Keola Lake (son of John M. Lake) for the wind that wraps around east Maui from Kipahulu to Kahului. Pahili Kiu Makani is the entire name of our koa. It means means literally: blow strong like the Kiu winds. An interpretation provided by Kumu Keola was to hold the course against the Kiu winds. He wrote a chant for the canoe, the words to which are provided below. The canoe was blessed again in a traditional ceremony over a two day period in 2001. Her first race was in Hilo 2001 when Hawaiian Canoe Club won its second State Championship, in a driving rain, to the chanting of Pahili Kiu Makani.

Our fiberglass canoes are led by Keoni and Kealoha, both named after our founders, John and Kealoha Lake. One tradition HCC continues is naming our canoes in honor of Maui ali’i. Knowing our island history through our ancestors provides a sense of place, time, responsibility and respect. We honor Kaahumanu, Namahana, Ha’alou, Kaheiheimalie, Kahekili and Kekaulike. Another tradition is to recognize individuals in the club who represent contribution to our club and continuity of Hawaiian values. Those canoes are Keola, Kamalei, Kekupa’a and Keahiokeola. The canoe Ha’aheo represents the spirit of pride and strength of our club.


Blow strong like the Kiu winds

Oli inoa by Kumu John Keola Lake – July 2002
In memory of his father John M. Lake

Aia ka nahele i uka o Kanehekili
There is a forest uplands above Kanehekili

Kilikiliwainoe ke kappa a Laka
Moistened by Laka’s gentle rain

Ku waena o ka lae o Kanemalohema
Standing between the ridge of Kanemalohemo

Hemohemo iho i ka he’e o Kanaloa
(The log was) Loosened into the embrace of Kanaloa

Lanalana ke kai o Kohala pehu
Floating on the sea of Kohola pehu (from ‘Ahihi-Kina’u to Huelo)

Pehu ‘ea ia i lalo o ka hema
Rising winds from the south shall blow

Kiu aku, kiu mai, Pahili Kiu makani
Blow out, blow in, Pahili Kiu makani

Kipaipai Kiauau
Kipaipai Kiauau