HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The koko is a carrying net, this net was used for hanging ʻumeke or calabashes so that you could keep food off the floor and out of the reach of the ʻiole or rat.
Used in a ʻolelo noʻeau “Koko 'iole ka ua i ke kula," which translates as “Like the rat gnawed net is the rain over the plains.”
A mo’olelo that Mary Kawena Pukui shares is Makali’i, an ancient chief, once gathered all the food plants in a huge koko net and hung it up in the sky.
The result was famine. A ʻiole volunteered to go up to see what he could do about it. He found the net, chewed it and all of the food was released.
So when the rain pours over the land and plants sprout everywhere, it is compared to the gnawed net that scattered food from the hills to the sea, bringing life to all.