The Kualoa Ranch and neighboring Ka'a'awa Valley are situated in one of Oahu's most historic areas. The Ka'a'awa Valley is also one of Oahu's most beautiful valleys - still largely untouched by modern development.
The English translation of the Hawaiian word kualoa is long-back. Viewing the area from the air, you can easily see why. In ancient times, Kualoa was considered to be one of the most sacred places on Oahu and the training ground for the children of the most powerful of ali'i (chiefs). Here children of chiefs were trained in the arts of war and the ancient tradition of the Hawaiian chiefs. It is said that the bones of more than four hundred chiefs are buried in the caves above Kualoa Ranch. O.A. Bushnell's novel Ka'a'awa is an excellent resource for information about this area.
It is an area steeped in legend. Legend has it that fishponds in the area were built by Menehunes (an ancient race of small, magical people who are said to be the first inhabitants of the islands). The area is also said to be home to night-marchers - the ghosts of dead chiefs and their warriors who proceed from their burial caves to the sea.
Kualoa and Ka'a'awa is also said to be a place of refuge where those condemned to die could find refuge.