Lalo, Kānemiloha‘i, Mokupāpapa (French Frigate Shoals)
The word lalo means “down, downward, low, lower, under, below, depth, west or leeward.” Lalo is closely associated with the direction of pō (darkness) or ancestral lands “where dwelt the souls of gods.” The name Lalo depicts low-lying islands partially submerged below the surface, which aptly describes the atoll. Recorded in chants, the name Mokupāpapa refers to an island, or islands, northwest of Ni‘ihau. The nearest shoal-like place is French Frigate Shoals, an atoll of reefs, low sand islets, and the 120-foot-high La Pérouse Pinnacle. Moku (islet) combined with pāpapa (low, flat, expansive reef) means “islets with low-lying reefs.” It is said that on this low, flat sand island, Pele (the volcano goddess) left one of her brothers, Kānemiloha‘i, as a guardian during her first journey to Hawai‘i from Tahiti.