In the second wā of the Kumulipo (a great genealogical chant of creation), amidst a host of other splendid sea creatures, the puhi kauila (kauila eel) emerges, guarded by its land companion, the kauila tree. Could this pairing have to do with the use of these two things in magic? One story tells of the use of the puhi kauila, Enchelycore pardalis, to heal and to bring harm. Colubrina oppositifolia, a species of kauila tee, is one of three "kālai pāhoa" trees, their woods being used for sorcery. Also known as the Dragon Moray, puhi kauila have orange, red-brown, white and black markings. Its patterns of color are nearly as fascinating as its horns and nose appendages. Although they are know to be aggressive, aquarium traders still eagerly ferret out this one-of-a-kind eel (a possible cause for its declining populations). Two distinct endemic tree species are recognized by the name kauila: Alphitonia ponderosa and the earlier mentioned C. oppositifolia. The wood of both is incredibly dense, close grained and strong, used to fashion various spears and weapons, iʻe kuku (kapa beaters), ʻōʻō (digging sticks), kāhili (feather standards), papa olonā (olonā scraping boards) and more. Ke kauila pepeʻe o kai - The twisted kauila of the sea.
Organic cotton tee | Lightweight and loose-fitting | Designed in Hawaiʻi | Made in the USA