Mrs. Margaret Hattie Kuapahi Kupihea (1903-1973) of Kapaa, Kauai, practiced the art of Hawaiian healing throughout her life from the time she was 7 years old — and innumerable people attributed authentic cures to her.
Mrs. Kupihea had no conventional medical training; instead, she said that her ability to heal all sorts of human illnesses was a God-given power that had been in her Hawaiian family for centuries and had been passed on to her through her great- grandfather.
She would heal by touch and with herbs from her garden, while chanting age-old prayers in the Hawaiian language.
And, she would also entertain visitors with legends of old Hawaii and with stories like “Kamealii — the King of the Fish.”
One day she found a stone on the beach near her house — a strange, beautiful, three-cornered stone that glowed with brilliant rainbow colors — and when she asked the stone its name, the stone replied, “Kamealii — the King of the Fish.”
And, from that day forward, she became a renowned fisherwoman.
“I kept the stone under glass in a box beside my bed,” she said.
“Then a nephew of mine died. He was only a child. Some in the family blamed the death on my stone, so my husband asked the stone: ‘Stone, did you do this?’”
“The stone jumped up and down in the box bumping its head on the glass top, and it cried ‘No!’ like a pigeon cooing.”
“Soon a man came to our house who claimed he was a kahuna from Oahu who had instructions to take the stone away with him.”
Reluctantly, she gave the stone to the man — but with a warning: “The stone will kill you if you are lying.”
“I admit the truth; it was a curse,” she said.
“The man sold the stone to Bishop Museum for $75. He took the money, got drunk and died. So help me God, that is what happened.”
Margaret Kupihea left behind 92 descendants when she passed away in 1973.