Kauai’s Queen Victoria’s profile – or is it that of Hina?

Queen Victoria’s Profile, a large, naturally formed cliff-face located on a crest of Kauai’s Haupu Range bordering Kipu, was given its name many years ago, because of its resemblance to the facial profile of Queen Victoria, the queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1837 to 1901.

But, the original name of the cliff-face is Hinaiuka — meaning Hina’s mountain — and legend has it that the profile was not created naturally, but was instead carved upon the mountain range by Hawaiians in the far distant past in likeness of a beautiful Kauai chiefess of long ago named Hina.

In those bygone days, a lovely Oahu chiefess by the name of Peleula had often heard reports of Hina’s beauty, and at last chose to sail to Kauai to see for herself if she or Hina was most beautiful.

When Peleula arrived on Kauai, Hina honored her with a feast at which all of Kauai’s alii attended, one of whom was a handsome, young chief admired by both chiefesses named Kahili.

Peleula and Hina then agreed to a beauty contest in which each would dress in their finest attire and dance the hula before the assembled alii.

It was also decided that Kahili would be both the judge of the contest and the winner’s prize.

Bedecked in wreaths of yellow ilima, Peleula danced first, and when she had finished, she felt assured Kahili would judge in her favor.

Then Hina danced, wearing kapa redolent with the scent of mokihana beaten into it, over which she had adorned herself with wreaths of entwined mokihana and maile.

Sweet fragrance pervaded the air as she danced enchantingly, until Peleula, not Kahili, suddenly and unexpectedly declared her most beautiful beyond compare.

Hina won her prize and her profile was then carved upon the Haupu Range as a memorial to her triumphant loveliness.


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