Kealia means "the salt bed" or "the salt-encrusted area." In former times flat, low-lying shoreline sites were periodically flooded by high surf and high tides. Shallow ponds would often form. After several days of exposure to the sun, the water that had inundated the flats would evaporate, leaving behind a thin layer or occasionally a pocket of salt. Salt from the deeper pockets was gathered to satisfy a variety of domestic, medicinal, and ceremonial needs. The name Kealia, or a form of the name, is found on all of the major Hawaiian islands, including Niʻihau and Kahoʻolawe.
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