The Legend of Makua Cave: Northwest Coast of Oahu, Hawaii

Real Estate Agent with Liberty Homes RS-#62825

Another Hawaii Relocation tidbit of information that may come in handy if you're relocating to Hawaii and may be sightseeing along the Northwest Shore of Oahu.  

Located right past Keeau Beach Park on the Waianae Coast of Oahu is Makua Cave.  Long before it was "nicknamed" Makua Cave it was known as Kaneana(Ka knee ah na) or better known as the Cave of the Kane(Ka knee or man; male) 

At 150,000 years old and once was underwater...carved by the sea.
Sanding 100 feet high and 450 feet deep
we really didn't feel it necessary to walk into the depths of the darkness that enfolded us immediately after passing the mouth of the cave.


 Okay. It was  just plain spooky. I heard noises and thought it was bats but it was really little birds who made their nest in the little crevices. Then I smelled something dead. Okay. That was it..time to go!

To continue on with the "legend". For one: In ancient times it was forbidden to enter the Kaneana Cave because this was the home of the shark man of Kaneana.

Okay, so now what? I just read the plaque of the picture I took and am I safe now? I didn't go all the way in. Does that mean I should not have stepped foot in it at all? Oh, geez.

Anyway, as the legend tells it it is a story of a period in ancient times about a "shark-man" that made his home in this cave under the ocean. Kaneana. He would disguise


himself as a man to bait humans into coming into the cave. And for what you ask? Duh. Dinner time!

The alternative story is it was a "shark-woman" Goddess who lured the human into the cave with her charm. And then ate them for .....lunch. (okay I made that part up)

There are smaller tunnels inside the cave that you can venture into but when the cold air from the depths and soul of this cave hit me I thought better of it. Right. If you read correctly earlier, I was afraid before I even got to the mouth of the cave. Remember now, these ancient Hawaiian legends and stuff are not to be messed with. I learned this early on in my life. :)

Gary took this picture with his camera and I tell you what  ... I was really

spooked. Maybe it was just my imagination running wild....

Can you guys see anything or is it just me? 

In any event, it's been years since I went near the cave and it was Gary's first time there. It proved to be an interesting spectacle to look at and just to show you the size of this massive cave here's a picture of the mouth of the cave taken from the inside out. Uh....that's little ant thing is me and beyond is the ocean and faintly you can see the end of the line on this side of the island: Kaena Point.

To get to the Northwest Coast of Oahu follow the H-1 freeway that turns into Farrington Highway. Keep following this highway all the way down the coastline from Nanakuli to Maili, Waianae, Makaha and to Makua Cave and Yokohama Beach.

Posted by



Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.


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Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

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Comments (49)

Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

John: You're so funny. Tire tread slippers at the beach?  I've been here since 67 and haven't seen that. hmmm.

Ann: Not many understand that this place is ANCIENT and there are so many "things". Well, it's one thing to think they're all's another with history :) You know, I know and maybe they'll find out. I know how many tourists took back rocks....only to mail them back!

Jan 10, 2008 12:46 PM
Mark Horan
Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC - Saint Cloud, FL
"The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC &
Sally- I don't like caves or being buried alive. I realize that it might not cave in, but caves are spooky. This would have been a great Halloween post. Stay safe, and away from the sharkman....err Lady.
Jan 10, 2008 01:00 PM
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
Mark: Me either!  Shucks...didn't even think about the caving in at the time...but hey's been around for 150,000 years...and from what my husband tells me (he's from PA) it's not the same as coal mines and those "cave ins" ..... :)
Jan 10, 2008 01:48 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital
Sally, what amazing photos!  Wow!  And I like the goddess version of the myth!  You're never too old to be a goddess.
Jan 10, 2008 02:22 PM
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
Patricia: Thanks.  My husband is into running around and taking pictures for MY blog hahaha! We do this every couple of months...this time it was HIS idea. Turned out to be a wonderful day! 
Jan 10, 2008 02:26 PM
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services
Sally- These out of the way posts are so original and about things visitors and relocating people and even locals want to know about. I just love these posts. They teach so much and expand our horizons! Thank you for a wonderful backround about the cave. Katerina
Jan 10, 2008 02:41 PM
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
Katerina: Interesting stuff huh?  This is seemingly a small island but soooo much history and info.
Jan 10, 2008 03:15 PM
Lance Winslow
The Car Wash Guy - Malibu, CA
This was a very interesting post to read here, I very much enjoyed it, I love Hawaii, it is so cool and so much different than the mainland, everyone should buy a second home in Hawaii from you. Lance
Jan 10, 2008 05:51 PM
Neal Bloom
Brokered by eXp Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate
We don't have those type of historical things in Weston FL..too new...I haven't fond much of that NY we had lots of places to go to see this type of sites but here I haven't experienced too much other than beaches and coastal shots.
Jan 10, 2008 10:29 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher
Sally, This place is truly amazing and I love the "folklore" but still would have honored it and NOT gone in there!  I'm a point :)  If it gave you the creeps I'm sure it's better that  you stayed out.  I don't see what you were referring to in the picture that Gary took, did I miss something?
Jan 11, 2008 01:47 AM
Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist
Kingsbridge Realty, Inc - Hubert, NC
Legends are fun and a great part of an area's history. Something I've been meaning to ask you about is the "stone graffiti".  I am not sure if that is a term my Mom came up with or it's what it is really called but she told me about messages written with stones along the highways in many areas.  
Jan 11, 2008 01:50 AM
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Lance: Well, I don't think the consumer can tell if I am their agent of choice by this post but they sure will know that I know most of the island of Oahu....I've been here since 67 ...age 10,

Neal: And that's why you'll come here and visit me one day :)

Carole: The third picture (cave shot) you see faces and stuff ?  Well, anyway...that's what I was thinking. yuk.

Cynthia:  Like any other ancient "writing" the Hawaiian petroglyphs or ancient rock carvings are found in many places around the Hawaiian islands but many found in Waikoloa on the Big Island. I had written about Ancient Burial Sites and Heiau's (temples) and when they were building they found a burial site and had to set aside that area. The writing on the rocks seems like something I can write about too :)

Jan 11, 2008 02:40 AM
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Sally- Are you still trying to "see" certain things in that Cave LOL......If you were afraid of the cave because of the legend, then I would say your mind was working overtime......:)

I think it's great that you share so much of the Islands with us....and people relocating have a much better idea of what the Islands are all about.....Thanks.....

Jan 11, 2008 12:25 PM
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
Kathy: You better cut it out! :) said that the other night when I emailed you the picture haha! 
Jan 11, 2008 12:47 PM
Lisa Ryan
Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty - Montgomery, NJ
Selling Princeton,West Windsor and Montgomery Town
Sally~ it's funny how stories or legends that we heard as a kid stick with us as adults. I certainly wouldn't go wandering too deep into these caves!
Jan 11, 2008 12:48 PM
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
Lisa; Hey....I'm way adult size and still don't go trapsing around :)
Jan 11, 2008 12:55 PM
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Sally..... I also love this kind of stuff and legends. And I know all about caves and such, because I use to live in Louisville, Ky. One thing that I never did was spelunking which is considered the art of caving. Crawling around in tight areas, using rope, etc, etc.  And the smell part was funny. Thanks for not describing it... lol  In any case, this was very interesting. 

jeff belonger
Jan 12, 2008 10:02 AM
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
Hey Jeff....Well, I don't ever believe I wanted to do the cave stuff....nope...saw enough!
Jan 12, 2008 12:19 PM
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate
Hey Sally. Just wanted to let you know. Yesterday, I posted a blog about the Things to Do/Places to Visit group and I gave you a mention and a link back to this post =)
Jan 15, 2008 12:14 PM
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Sally, since you made it back out of the cave, you don't have to worry any more about the curse of the shark man!  :o)

Jul 06, 2008 02:49 AM