HILO (how it was named)
The Legend: Once, before King Kamehameha
realized his dream to rule all the Hawaiian
Islands, he camped near the mouth of the
Wailuku River called Kaipalaoa. He told his
servants to stand watch over his canoe so it
would not be carried away by the tide or stolen
while he went alone to visit a special friend
who lived on what is now known as Reed's Island.
As time passed, Kamehameha's men became worried
for his safety. They dared not leave the canoe
unattended. One of the men taught the others to
make a ti-leaf rope by twisting the leaves together.
Such twisting is called "hilo". They took this rope
and and tied the canoe and set out to look for
Kamehameha. A short way up the river, they met
Kamehameha returning unharmed. At first angered
that his men did not keep their promise to watch
the canoe, Kamehameha was surprised that they knew
how to make such a rope that only people from
Waipi'o knew how to do. The man who had taught
the others said he came from Waipi'o. Pleased,
Kamehameha declared that this place shall be
called Hilo - meaning to twist. This is
the story of how Hilo got its name.
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