In the legend, Pakaʻa was the child of a traveling royal named Kuanuʻuanu and a beautiful common woman named Laʻamaomao. Kuanu'uanu was summoned back to his leige Keawenuiaumi before Pakaʻa's birth. Paka'a was then raised by La'amaomao and her elder brother Maʻilou, who Pakaʻa was told was his father. Paka'a however questioned this, because despite his young age, he was much taller than Maʻilou.
He later served under Keawenuiaumi and taught his son, Kuapakaʻa (or Ku-A-Pakaʻa) to follow in his footsteps.
- Memoirs of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum of Polynesian Ethnology and Natural History, Volume 5