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Paiko Lagoon Wildlife Sanctuary and Kuliuli'ou'ou Beach park
by ALOHA DEAN

 

Paiko Lagoon was established in 1981 under the authority of the Wildlife; Game Management Areas, Wildlife Sanctuaries, and Public Hunting Areas. Today Paiko Lagoon is partly under (MPAs) - Marine Protected Area’s of the USA serving many different purposes.

The Paiko Lagoon Wildlife Sanctuary is located in East Oahu next to Kuli’ou’ou which is one of the three large coastal valleys, including Wailupe and Niu, on O’ahu’s eastern shores between Kahala and Hawai’i Kai.

It includes all of the State owned land areas adjacent to Paiko Lagoon, and water areas within Paiko Lagoon. Paiko Lagoon formerly a coastal fishpond, is fed by a freshwater springs and Kuliouou Stream. The lagoon's water level varies with the tides and occasionally exposes the saline mudflats. This wildlife sanctuary provides a habitat to the endangered “Hawaiian Stilt” as well as other migratory water birds. The proximity of residential uses may threaten the sanctuary due to intrusions by humans and domesticated animals. 

Kuli’ou’ou means “sounding knee,” and probably refers to the playing, or sounding, of a knee drum, a small drum that was tied to the knee and played while performing the hula.

Kuli’ou’ou Beach Park is a small community park on the shore of the valley. Fronted by a narrow sand beach and a shallow reef flat, the park is an entry point for surfers to reach Tunas, Manatan’s, and Turtles, the surf sites at the outer edge of the reef.

At Kuliouou where the goddess Hiiaka and her party reached after passing through Waialae, Wailupe, and Niu, they came upon some women who were catching small fish and crabs in the pools and shallow water along the shore, and to satisfy their hunger, or perhaps to test their dispostion, Hiiaka begged the women to grant her a portion of their catch to satisfy their need. The answer was a surly refusal, coupled with the remark that Hiiaka would better do her own fishing. As the sister and representative of the proud god Pele, Hiiaka could not permit the insult to go unpunished. Her reply was the utterance of a fateful incantation. The magic words operated quickly. As Hiiaka turned to depart, the unfortunate fishing women fainted and died.

Pele and Hiiaka