Wai'alae

The ahupuaa (land division) of Waialae takes its name from the stone-encased spring, which may be seen today just above the highway.  From the spring runs a stream which watered terraces that are now largely covered with grass raised for dairying and by the golf links.


Handy, The Hawaiian Planter

Lit., Mudhen Water

(Pukui, Elbert, Mo'okini)

Wai'alae means "water of the mudhen" and was the name of a freshwater spring.  According to tradition, the springwater was reserved for the ruling chief of O'ahu in this formerly hot, barren area.  Kamehameha III (1813-1854), while on a tour around the island, is said to have asked an old couple living in Wai'alae where he could get some water to drink.  The two were guardians of the spring and told the king the only reason they stayed there was to guard it.  Then they revealed its location to him.  The spring was hidden, sealed by a large stone slab that was covered by pohuehue, or beach morning glory.  Today its location is unknown.


J. Clark, Beaches of Oahu, p 30.