Hundreds of years ago, this site which fronts the Halekulani Hotel was known as Kawehewehe and the sick came to bathe here. Wearing seaweed lei of limu kala, they removed the lei in the ocean while asking forgiveness for past wrongdoing (misdeeds were believed to be a cause of illness and "kala" means to forgive).

When the Maui Chief Kahekili launched his invasion of ‘Oahu in 1780, his warriors and their canoes blanketed the beaches at Waikiki from Ka’alawai (near Diamond Head) to Kawehewehe. He completed his conquest of ‘Oahu in 1786 after massacring the peoples of Kona and ‘Ewa and killing all the ‘Oahu chiefs.

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