A long time ago there were no Tourist camps to trade with or Night Marchers, Menehune or even Green Ladies in the jungle. Everything worked everywhere not just up here on the hill. Everyone used money that was paper or on little plastic cards, but a long time before that people used things called Rai stones.
The Rai stones were carved out of limestone and they looked like wheels. Sometimes they were bigger than people but sometimes they were small enough to carry. Big ones or ones that looked good were worth more than others. There were even ones that were so big that they were really hard to move so people just had to remember who they belonged to.
When the Veil fractured lots of things changed. There were smart people like my grandpa who worked hard and knew that they couldn’t count on anyone to help them. They had lots of batteries and good strong fences. When things stopped working people like him kept things running up here so their families could have good lives but it wasn’t easy.
Some people down below weren’t careful so lots of them died. Some people were traveling and they got really sick and ugly but they could still speak if you talked to them. Some of them turned into monsters and started living in the jungle. That’s why it’s important to never go outside the fence unless you’re with an adult.
Everything went fine on the hill for a while but soon they started running out of food and they needed stuff to recycle to fix things or make new guns to kill the monsters. My grandpa and his friends knew where to find things down below but the Kanaka were always fighting with them or asking for guns that they couldn’t be trusted with. Nobody knew what to do.
Some people still used the paper money on the hill but lots of people just used it for starting fires outside the fence. The plastic cards didn’t work because everyone had to agree what they were worth and nobody could agree. Then someone remembered Rai stones. It was easy for people to agree on what the stones were worth and they were hard to lose and wouldn’t get wet in the rain. Even the Kanaka agreed.
Now when we clean the Kanaka’s water or give them things they want but can’t get into trouble with, we subtract it from the big stone next to their camp and when they give us food we add it. Everyone here on the hill uses little Rai stones when we buy things and so does everyone on the island. Rai stones helped people not fight and agree on things. Rai stones are an important part of our history. When I’m older I want a lot of Rai stones.
Pu`u School Lahaina