Interesting Stuff: The puhi was highly prized by the ali`i (chiefs) in Hawai`i. The ali`i in Ko`olau, Maui, were especially fond of the puhi. The puhi were so valuable to the ali`i that only special guests of the ali`i were served the puhi as a meal.
There were several methods that Hawaiians used to capture the puhi:
The puhi käpä (Echidna nebulosa) is known as a "fierce eel" because of its bite. It has the ability to squirm its way over wet rocks but has difficulty on dry sand. It is also said to wiggle its way onto shore and will rest in the grasses. If the puhi käpä is disturbed, itll flee back into the water. The puhi käpä is also said to wiggle its way up into the hala trees (Pandanus odoratissimus) and has been known to fall on people as they walk by.
Another eel, named puhi kina`u (scientific name unknown) had medicinal uses and was eaten by Hawaiians.
The puhi lei hala (Echidna polyzona), meaning "hala lei eel", has a yellow and brown color that is similar to the hala lei which is made from the fruit of the hala tree.
Finally, the puhi paka was an eel that was feared by Hawaiians because of its ferocious behavior.