LONO was a chief living on the western side of the island Hawaii. He had a very red skin and strange-looking eyes. His choice of occupation was farming. This man had never been sick. One time he was digging with the oo, a long sharp-pointed stick or spade. A man passed and admired him. The people said, "Lono has never been sick." The man said, "He will be sick."
Lono was talking about that man and at the same time struck his oo down with force and cut his foot. He shed much blood, and fainted, falling to the ground. A man took a pig, went after the stranger, and let the pig go, which ran to this man. The stranger was Kamaka, a god of healing. He turned and went back at the call of the messenger, taking some popolo fruit and leaves in his cloak. When he came to the injured man he asked for salt, which he pounded into the fruit and leaves and placed in coco cloth and bound it on the wound, leaving it a long time. Then he went away.
As he journeyed on he heard heavy breathing, and turning saw Lono, who said, "You have helped me, and so I have left my lands in the care of my friends, directing them what to do, and have hastened after you to learn how to heal other people."
The god said, "Lono, open your mouth!" This Lono did, and the god spat in his mouth, so that the saliva could be taken into every part of Lono's body. Thus a part of the god became a part of Lono, and he became very skilful in the use of all healing remedies. He learned about the various diseases and the medicines needed for each. The god and Lono walked together, Lono receiving new lessons along the way, passing through the districts of Kau, Puna, Hilo, and then to Hamakua.
The god said, "It is not right for us to stay together. You can never accomplish anything by staying with me. You must go to a separate place and give yourself up to healing people."
Lono turned aside to dwell in Waimanu and Waipio Valleys and there began to practise healing, becoming very noted, while the god Kamaka made his home at Ku-kui-haele.
This god did not tell the other gods of the Medicines that he had taught Lono. One of the other gods, Kalae, was trying to find some way to kill Milu, and was always making him
sick. Milu, chief of Waipio, heard of the skill of Lono. Some had been sick even to death, and Lono had healed them. Therefore Milu sent a messenger to Lono who responded at once, came and slapped Milu all over the body, and said: "You are not ill. Obey me and you shall be well."
Then he healed him from all the sickness inside the body caused by Kalae. But there was danger from outside, so he said: "You must build a ti-leaf house and dwell there quietly for some time, letting your disease rest. If a company should come by the house making sport, with a great noise, do not go out, because when you go they wilt come up and get you for your death. Do not open the ti leaves and look out. The day you do this you shall die."
Some time passed and the chief remained in the house, but one day there was the confused noise of many people talking and shouting around his house. He did not forget the command of Lono. Two birds were sporting in a wonderful way in the sky above the forest. This continued all day until it was dark.
Then another long time passed and again Waipio was full of resounding noises. A great bird appeared in the sky resplendent in all kinds of feathers, swaying from side to side over the valley, from the top of one precipice across to
the top of another, in grand flights passing over the heads of the people, who shouted until the valley re-echoed with the sound.
Milu became tired of that great noise and could not patiently obey his physician, so he pushed aside some of the ti leaves of his house and looked out upon the bird. That was the time when the bird swept down upon the house, thrusting a claw under Milu's arm, tearing out his liver. Lono saw this and ran after the bird, but it flew swiftly to a deep pit in the lava on one side of the valley and dashed inside, leaving blood spread on the stones. Lono came, saw the blood, took it and wrapped it in a piece of tapa cloth and returned to the place where the chief lay almost dead. He poured some medicine into the wound and pushed the tapa and blood inside. Milu was soon healed.
The place where the bird hid with the liver of Milu is called to this day Ke-ake-o-Milu ("The liver of Milu"). When this death had passed away he felt very well, even as before his trouble.
Then Lono told him that another death threatened him and would soon appear. He must dwell in quietness.
For some time Milu was living in peace and quiet after this trouble. Then one day the surf of Waipio became very high, rushing from far out even to the sand, and the people entered
into the sport of surf-riding with great joy and loud shouts. This noise continued day by day, and Milu was impatient of the restraint and forgot the words of Lono. He went out to bathe in the surf.
When he came to the place of the wonderful surf he let the first and second waves go by, and as the third came near he launched himself upon it while the people along the beach shouted uproariously. He went out again into deeper water, and again came in, letting the first and second waves go first. As he came to the shore the first and second waves were hurled back from the shore in a great mass against the wave upon which he was riding. The two great masses of water struck and pounded Milu, whirling and crowding him down, while the surfboard was caught in the raging, struggling waters and thrown out toward the shore. Milu was completely lost in the deep water.
The people cried: "Milu is dead! The chief is dead!" The god Kalae thought he had killed Milu, so he with the other poison-gods went on a journey to Mauna Loa. Kapo and Pua, the poison-gods, or gods of death, of the island Maui, found them as they passed, and joined the company. They discovered a forest on Molokai, and there as kupua spirits, or ghost bodies, entered into the trees of that forest, so the trees
became the kupua bodies. They were the medicinal or poison qualities in the trees.
Lono remained in Waipio Valley, becoming the ancestor and teacher of all the good healing priests of Hawaii, but Milu became the ruler of the Under-world, the place where the spirits of the dead had their home after they were driven away from the land of the living. Many people came to him from time to time.
He established ghostly sports like those which his subjects had enjoyed before death. They played the game kilu with polished coconut shells, spinning them over a smooth surface to strike a post set up in the centre. He taught konane, a game commonly called "Hawaiian checkers," but more like the Japanese game of "Go." He permitted them to gamble, betting all the kinds of property found in ghost-land. They boxed and wrestled; they leaped from precipices into ghostly swimming-pools; they feasted and fought, sometimes attempting to slay each other. Thus they lived the ghost life as they had lived on earth. Sometimes the ruler was forgotten and the ancient Hawaiians called the Under-world by his name--Milu. The New Zealanders frequently gave their Under-world the name "Miru." They also supposed that the ghosts feasted and sported as they had done while living.