People of old deeply appreciated and honored life giving Wai, the very element that sustains all life. The purity and vibrancy of the water determined the health of the island and the people. Strict Kapu (taboo) was used to maintain the clarity of the water of life.
When his wife found out about the affairs, Akaka was deeply ashamed and ran into the forest. He was so saddened that he lost his footing, fell of a steep cliff and turned into a huge waterfall.
His lovers, Maile and Lehua, were heartbroken. They cried so hard that they turned into the two smaller falls on each side of Akaka Falls. According to legend, a smaller flow downstream called Kahuna represents Akaka's faithful wife, still by his side.
If you listen closely on still and moonless nights, you can hear his wife, muffled by the roar of the falls, still calling for Akaka.
Tradition says that if you strike the large rock at the top of the waterfall with a Lehua twig or wrap a Maile lei around it, rain will fall, because Lehua and Maile always made Akaka's wife weep.
The indigenous Hawaiian Ohia Tree also is vital of Hawaii's natural ecosystem and water supply.
The Ohia Lehua Tree has been sacred to the Hawaiian people since ancient times and is often mentioned in legends, hula, songs, and chants.