Mānoa Watershed – Where Mo’o live

Mānoa watershed starts with 6 streams and down to Waikiki (Ala Wai Canal after 1920):
(from Eva side toward Diamond Head side)
1. ‘Aihualama
2. Lua’alaea
3. Waihī
4. Wa’aloa
5. Naniu’apo
6. Waiakeakua

In the past, the entire Mānoa valley was full of lo’i (taro farm) because the valley is wide and flat, which is suitable for irrigation. (Sterling and Summers 1978)

Mo’o (water lizard) is one of aumakua (ancestral gods). Mo’o loves to live in rainy cliffs, mountain peaks, waterfalls, springs, streams, and pools of Mānoa (Sterling and Summers 1978). Mo’o likes wet environment; the upper Mānoa receives plenty rainfall as the previous folk story, Princess of Mānoa told us. Also, if we can check Hawaiian Rainfall Atlas, we will realize that the annual rainfall on the top of Mānoa is about 3900 mm (153.5 inches).

Mānoa was known for mo’o water spirits. They were usually shown in females with the form of large lizards. Mo’o controls water resources of  Mānoa valley, and usually brought the blessing of fish harvest, health to people, and welfare to the family and their friends. (Kamakau et al.1964).


Kōnāhuanui — Home of Mo’o


Sterling, E.P. and Summers, C.C., 1978. Sites of Oahu. Bishop Museum Pr.

Kamakau, S.M., Barrère, D.B. and Pukui, M.K., 1964. Ka Poʻe Kahiko: The People of Old. Bishop Museum Press.


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