The story of Kahalaopuna is a Hawaiian moʻolelo, a word that can mean story, tale, and history, with all of these definitions functioning simultaneously. These many levels of meaning are employed through a device called kaona, a Hawaiian oral and literary feature that allows any moʻolelo to speak to diverse audiences, conveying different meanings and varying depths to each. Although this story, “Kahalaopuna,” was first published in English rather than Hawaiian (1883), we see how the author, Emma Beckley, used Hawaiian literary devices, especially kaona, to convey very different messages to her English-speaking and Hawaiian-speaking readerships.
Hopkins, J. Uluwehi
"Moʻolelo as Resistance: The Kaona of “Kahalaopuna” in a Colonized Environment,"
Narrative Culture: Vol. 6
, Article 8.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/narrative/vol6/iss2/8