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The Majesty Of Nuuanu Essay Research Paper

The Majesty Of Nuuanu Essay, Research Paper

On the island of Oahu, at the farthest reaches of emerald-garbed Nuuanu

Valley is the Nuuanu Pali there’s a place you can visit to enjoy dense green

forest, spectacular mountain-to-ocean views, and a piece of Hawaiian history.

Nuuanu is an area located on the southeastern part of the island and "pali"

is a Hawaiian word meaning "cliff". Getting there is very simple if

you’re coming from Honolulu. Get on H-1 freeway then take the Pali Highway

off-ramp. Once on Pali Highway, follow the green signs alongside the road to

reach your destination. The ride should take approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Ladies, don’t wear a dress or skirt when visiting the Pali because it’s very

windy and you won’t enjoy yourself if you’re worrying about strangers seeing

your underwear. Likewise, gentlemen, don’t wear hats, loose sunglasses, or

toupees to the site because when a strong gust of wind comes along, you may

never see your belongings again. Because of the wind, a jacket or sweater is

recommended. Depending on the season, sporadic showers of rain are also common.

Do bring a camera, for the view is fabulous and you will not be disappointed.

Nuuanu Pali is surrounded by dense forest heavy with moisture. As you travel

up Pali Highway, the houses begin to thin and the greenery begins to take over.

During the winter and spring there are many waterfalls to be seen in the

mountains. The trees, covered with moss and green twisting vines, block out the

sun and civilization. The plants and vines seem to have taken over everything

except the asphalt road being driven on. All of a sudden, the forest ends and a

small open parking lot appears. The lookout is at the end of a paved walkway. On

the sides of the walkway are a couple of vendors. One vendor sells T-shirts and

hands out pamphlets which educate people about the issue of Hawaiian

Sovereignty. The other vendor sells Polynesian arts and crafts. As you stand at

the lookout, look at the knife-edged ridges to your left and right. These

mountainous arms that embrace the windward side as far north as Kualoa and as

far south as Waimanalo are mere remnants of Koolau mountain, they are landward

wall of what once was a massive volcano. Time and ocean tides have eroded and

collapsed the seaward side of the volcano. From the lookout, many towns and

places of interest can be seen. To the left is Kahaluu and the new H-3 freeway.

Straight ahead is Kaneohe and Kaneohe Bay. Olomana and Kailua are to the right.

You can also see Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station, the Koolau and Pali golf

courses, and Kapaa Quarry. The Koolau Mountains are awesome, majestic, and

breathtaking. The blues of the ocean and sky blend together, making it difficult

to tell where the earth ends and where the sky begins. Sometimes, the clouds and

mist drop low over the mountains and sheets of rain can be seen falling over the

land and sea. Double and triple rainbows are also a familiar sight. The cold

wind constantly blows and brings the scent of rain, ferns, and damp earth mixed


Standing there, at the edge of the cliff, watching land, sea and sky come

together and feeling and hearing the whipping wind all around, it is easy to be

transported back to a time before concrete, automobiles, and pollution. More

than 200 years ago, a great warrior chief from the island of Hawaii named

Kamehameha envisioned uniting all the Hawaiian islands. Many chiefs, including

High Chief Kalanikupule from the island of Oahu did not share in Kamehameha’s

dream and decided to challenge him. In 1795, thousands of Kamehameha’s warriors

drove Kalanikupule and his army up to Nuuanu Pali where many fell or fought to

their deaths. Later, in the early 1800s, the kamaaina would traverse the deadly

Nuuanu Pali with children, food, and supplies tied to their backs. In 1897, a

highway was built and during the construction, workers found approximately 800

skulls and other bones at the bottom of the cliff – remains of the warriors who

were defeated by Kamehameha. Many more improvements were made to the highway and

now the old road is a hiking trail which branches off from the lookout point.