Saturday, August 31, 2013

From the “Land of the Immortals” to the “Land of Aloha”


According to Japan’s Health Ministry, the average life expectancy on Okinawa is 81.2 years - 86 for women, 75 for men - the highest in the world. Okinawa's average is significantly higher than that for all of Japan - 79.9 - which tops all countries in life expectancy. Hong Kong, at 79.1 years, is second.

Okinawa (the main island of a tropical chain of 160-coral islets) is the southernmost prefecture of Japan.  It consists of hundreds of the Ryukyu Islands in a chain over 620-miles long. The islands extend southwest from Kyushu (the southwestern-most of Japan’s main four islands) to Taiwan. The Okinawa Prefecture encompasses the southern two thirds of that chain.

For centuries independent, Okinawa shared relationships with Japan, China and other south-east Asian entities and it became a prosperous trading nation (although China and Japan made claims to the islands through various dynasties.)

The islands became Okinawa Prefecture of Japan in 1879; after the end of World War II (1945,) Okinawa was under United States administration for 27 years, when (in 1972) the US government returned the islands to Japanese administration.

OK, so what about Hawaiʻi?

While Okinawa over the centuries benefitted from trade with its neighbors, and was described as a “connecting point” between China and Japan, the loss of independence saw growing hostility between Okinawans and Japanese immediately after its annexation to Japan.

Likewise, the islands of Ryukyu possessed only limited natural resources. Typhoons continuously destroyed crops. With increasing population, people faced the problem of inadequate food.

Out-migration was seen as a solution.

At about this same time, news was spreading about the 1885 agreement between the government of Japan and Hawaiʻi to export Japanese laborers to work on Hawaiʻi’s sugar plantations on the basis of a three-year contract.  A large wave of Japanese laborers started arriving in 1885.  Japanese also emigrated to Brazil and Argentina.

The economic depression in Japan (and into Okinawa Prefecture) made the prospects in Hawaiʻi more attractive; adding to the burden, it was the custom for the eldest son to inherit the farm, leaving the other siblings to fend for themselves; and others sought to avoid the military draft.

The similarity of climate of Okinawa and Hawaiʻi was an added attraction and enhanced the decision to make the move; Okinawa’s subtropical has an average summer temperatures in the mid-80s. Much of the year can also be rainy and humid.

Because of this climate, Okinawa produces sugarcane, pineapple, papaya and features popular botanical gardens; along the shore, Okinawa has abundant coral reefs.  Hawaiʻi looked like home.

While Japanese from the four main islands were emigrating to Hawaiʻi, it took some time for folks on Okinawa to participate.  Finally, under the leadership of Kyuzo Toyama (referred to as the Father of Okinawan Emigration,) on December 5, 1899, 26-Okinawans set out to sail from Naha Port and arrived in Hawaiʻi about a month later on January 8, 1900.

A statue of Kyuzo Toyama was constructed in Okinawa.  He stands at the top of a long set of stairs, a globe is on his left side and he is pointing with his right towards the direction of Hawaiʻi.  His vision was, “Let us set out and let the five continents be our home.”

But, life in Hawaiʻi wasn’t easy.

On most plantations, different nationalities were housed in separate camps. Although they adopted one another’s food, clothing, and speech, the various ethnic groups did not socialize with one another. Even within the same ethnic group, a separation of sorts existed based on regional and prefectural differences.  (Yano)

Among the Japanese, the greatest distinction existed between the Naichi, people from the main islands of Japan, and the Uchinanchu, people of Okinawa.  Uchinanchu were looked down upon by the Naichi and were assigned the hardest jobs.  (Yano; Higashionna)

Adding to their problem was the Okinawan tradition of tattooing.  Although outlawed with annexation with Japan, many Okinawan women had traditional tattooing of their hands and arms.

Tradition suggests this started in the middle of the last millennium; Okinawan women tattooed the top of their hands fingers with purple ink to repel the samurai, who considered the markings distasteful.  Tattooing then grew into a sign of adulthood and was part of rites of passage at key moments in an Okinawan girl’s life, when she gets married, has children, becomes a widow, etc.

In Hawaiʻi, the Japanese from other prefectures considered tattoos to be a sign of low class or of a criminal element (yakuza.) This made many of the women ashamed and so they often hid their hands.

As the last prefectural group of Japanese to come to Hawaiʻi, the Okinawans faced additional difficulties integrating into the established community of Japanese who were predominantly from the southwestern prefectures of Japan. Before Japanese immigration would terminate in 1924, 20,000 more would follow from Okinawa.  (Yano)

Plantation work was hard - 10-hour days, 6 days a week under the brutal sun.  Okinawans also endured double discrimination from both the local population and their fellow Japanese workers who treated them as second-class citizens. At the peak, some 1,700 Okinawan immigrants had settled in Hawai‘i.

Many of the Okinawan Issei (first-generation arrivals) had planned to come to Hawaiʻi, work for a few years, and then go back to Okinawa with their riches. They sent money home, which helped the Okinawan economy.

However, conditions in Okinawa deteriorated, with a post war depression following the Russo-Japanese War and World War I and people were starving. Compared to immigrants from other parts of Japan, more Okinawans brought wives or sent for their wives and children; this made it easier for them to adapt to Hawaiʻi, so many of them ended up staying.

Certain character traits and behaviors helped the Okinawans to settle into their new homes in Hawaiʻi. Tege, meaning easygoing, is an adjective describing the Uchinanchu personality. Translated it means “almost acceptable” or “it will do for now.”  (Higashionna)

The people of the Ryukyu islands operate on “Okinawan Time,” which means doing things on one's own terms rather than someone else's terms and schedules. It is an amazing lack of time-urgency, a sense of “What is the hurry? We have tomorrow.”  (Higashionna)

About half of the Okinawan immigrants either returned to Okinawa or moved to the continental US in search of better opportunities.

Today it is estimated that there are over 50,000 people who can trace their roots to Okinawa.  Legacies that remain (in spirit and presence) from the Okinawan immigration: Times Supermarkets, Tamashiro Market (Kalihi,) Zippy’s, Arakawa Store (formerly in Waipahu,) Hawai‘i Okinawa Center (Waipiʻo Gentry of Waipahu,) Haari Boat Races (Hilo,) Center for Okinawan Studies (UH-Mānoa.)

The 31st Okinawan Festival is being held this weekend - August 31 and September 1, 2013 - in Kapiʻolani Park.

The image shows Kyuzo Toyama; in addition, I have added other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Royal Centers


Generally thought to have originated from the Marquesas Islands, evidence of early existence in the Hawaiian Islands indicates initial contact and settlement as early as 200 AD to 600 AD (some suggest it was later.)

Early on, with the family unit being the socio-political structure, there was no need for a hierarchical or complex society.  However, as the population increased and wants and needs increased in variety and complexity, the need for chiefly rule became apparent.

Eventually, a highly stratified society evolved consisting of the ali‘i (ruling class,) Kahuna (priestly and expert class of craftsmen, fishers and professionals) and Makaʻāinana (commoner class.)

At the time of European contact in 1778, Hawaiian society comprised four levels.  People were born into specific social classes; social mobility was not unknown, but it was extremely rare. The Kapu System separated Hawaiian society into four groups of people:

  • Aliʻi, the ruling class of chiefs and nobles considered to be of divine origin who ruled specific territories and who held their positions on the basis of family ties and leadership abilities;
  • Kahuna, the priests (who conducted religious ceremonies at the heiau and elsewhere) and master craftsmen (experts in medicine, religion, technology, natural resource management and similar areas) who ranked near the top of the social scale 
  • Makaʻāinana, Commoners  (by far, the largest group) those who lived on the land - primarily laborers, farmers, fishermen, and the like; they labored not only for themselves and their families, but to support the chiefs; and
  • Kauwa (or Kauā), outcasts forced to lead lives generally segregated from the rest of Hawaiian society

The aliʻi attained high social rank in several ways: by heredity, by appointment to political office, by marriage or by right of conquest. The first was determined at birth, the others by the outcomes of war and political process.

Power and prestige, and thus class divisions, were defined in terms of mana. Although the gods were the full embodiment of this sacredness, the royalty possessed it to a high degree because of their close genealogical ties to those deities.

The kahuna ratified this relationship by conducting ceremonies of appeasement and dedication on behalf of the chiefs, which also provided ideological security for the commoners who believed the gods were the power behind natural forces.

Commoners possessed little mana and were therefore prohibited from entering any of the sacred places where nobles and gods communicated, such as the heiau in which the aristocrats honored their gods. Outcasts, with no mana, could interact with commoners but not approach the upper class.

With the stratified social system, it was important to retain the division between aliʻi and makaʻāinana. This was done through a physical separation, such as the Royal Centers that were restricted to only the aliʻi and kahuna.

Royal Centers were where the aliʻi resided; aliʻi often moved between several residences throughout the year. The Royal Centers were selected for their abundance of resources and recreation opportunities, with good surfing and canoe-landing sites being favored.

The Hawaiian court was mobile within the districts or kingdom the aliʻi controlled. A paramount's attendants might consist of as many as 700 to 1000-followers made of kahuna and political advisors (including geologists, architects, seers, messengers, executioner, etc.); servants which included craftsmen, guards, stewards; relatives and numerous hangers-on (friends, lovers, etc.).

There was no regular schedule for movement between Royal Centers.  In part, periodic moves served to ensure that district chiefs did not remain isolated, or unsupervised long enough to gather support for a revolt.

In addition to personal economic support, the king also required tribute and taxes by which to maintain and display his political power.

Structures associated with the Royal Centers include heiau (religious structures) and sacred areas, house sites for the aliʻi and the entourage of family and kahuna (priests), and activity areas for burial, bathing, games, recreation, and crafts.

Religion and politics were closely interwoven in Hawaiian culture. The Royal Centers reflect this interrelationship with residential sites, heiau and sacred sites present within a defined royal compound.

Puʻuhonua (places of refuge) were often associated with these Royal Centers, reflecting the strong association between puʻuhonua and sites occupied by the high-ranking aliʻi.

A ruling chief moved his court as desired, travelling along the coasts by canoe with his attendants and setting up temporary establishments at certain sites for purposes of business or pleasure.

On a voyage the aliʻi rode in the raised and sheltered platform in the middle of the canoe which was called the pola, while the paddle-men sat in the spaces fore and aft, their number showing the strength of the king’s following.  (Lots of information here from several NPS documents.)

The image shows Kamehameha at Kamakahonu, one of his Royal Centers in Kona (HerbKane.)  In addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Surf versus Palms


A couple pioneers in neighbor island hospitality stand out in Hawaiʻi's early fledgling visitor industry.  At the time, emphasis and facilities were focused in Waikīkī.  However, two locally-grown chains saw the opportunities and put their attention on the neighbor Islands.

Attention to the neighbor islands was not their only similarity.  Each started as locally-owned and family-run.  They grew to provide more than just a place to sleep and eat - their operations included tours and travel.  Sadly, they are both gone.

The first, Inter-Island Resorts under the Child family, grew into a number of "Surf Resorts" on the neighbor islands; the other, Island Holidays, under the Guslanders, had several neighbor island "Palms Resorts."

Here's some background on each, as well as the connection that existed between them.

Walter Dudley Child, Sr. came to Hawaiʻi in the early-1920s; he first worked in the agriculture industry with the Hawaiʻi Sugar Planters Association (HSPA.)  After a decade, he left HSPA and entered the hotel industry, purchasing the Blaisdell Hotel in downtown Honolulu; he later bought the Naniloa Hotel in Hilo.

In the early-1950s, Child became a director of Inter-Island Resorts, Ltd and later acquired the controlling interest in the company.  The fortunes of the company rose along with the growth in the visitor industry, and Inter-Island Resorts began to grow into a chain, starting with the Naniloa, the Kona Inn and the Kauaʻi Inn (at Kalapakī Beach.) In those early days of Hawaiʻi tourism, Inter-Island Resorts became a pioneer in selling accommodations on the neighbor islands.  (hawaii-edu)

When Walter Sr. suffered a debilitating stroke in 1955, Dudley Child succeeded his father as president.  Dudley’s first big move came on July 1, 1960 with the opening of the Kauaʻi Surf on beachfront property on Kalapakī Beach. Child at the time called the Surf a "whole new philosophy in Neighbor Island hotels."

This led to the Islands-wide “Surf Resorts” joining the Kona Inn under the Inter-Island banner.  (The company later opened the Kona Surf (Keauhou) in 1960 and the Maui Surf (Kāʻanapali Beach in 1971.)  In 1971, the company formed the “Islander Inns,” in a 3-way partnership of Inter-Island Resorts, Continental Airlines and Finance Factors.)

Dudley Child and Inter-Island Resorts understood and responded to the changing nature of the growing visitor industry. The company acquired/formed Trade-Wind Tours, Gray Line Tours and Island U-Drive, and developed close alliances with other major travel companies, providing a full range of travel services for Hawai‘i visitors. (hawaii-edu)

One of the significant contributions of Dudley Child and Inter-Island Resorts was the development of full service beach properties on the Neighbor Islands in the 1960s and 70s, which stimulated statewide tourism. Inter-Island Resorts eventually sold its properties to other operators, but the vision of its founding family was instrumental in the development of Hawai‘i tourism.  (hawaii-edu)

Lyle Lowell "Gus" Guslander, started in the hotel business as a bellhop and cook. After studying hotel operations at Cornell University, Guslander was in management at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, eventually working his way up to become assistant manager.

In 1947, Guslander came to Hawaiʻi and worked at the Niumalu Hotel for Walter Child, Sr.  Both were characterized with short fuses and it didn't take long for a disagreement to come between the two and Child "canned" him.  Guslander moved to the Moana Hotel as assistant manager.

Then Guslander set out on his own; he initially leased, then purchased the 24-room Coco Palms Lodge on Kauaʻi - and later expanded it to nearly 400-rooms, naming it, simply, Coco Palms.  He hired Grace Buscher to run it; he later married her.

Grace Guslander and Coco Palms are synonymous.  She was an innovator - Hawaiians traditionally used torches as a light source when walking or fishing at night. But it wasn't until the 1950s and Guslander that it became common to stick torches in the ground and pioneered the torch-lighting ceremony, which hotels throughout the islands eventually copied.  (AP, Seattle Times, September 12, 2012)

Grace Guslander was later recognized for her accomplishments (she won a worldwide title of Hotel Manager of the Year in 1965 and in 1979 was the first woman to win the Man of the Year award at the International Hotel, Motel and Restaurant show in New York.)

Movies and television shows were filmed at the Coco Palms - Elvis Presley filmed the finale of his film "Blue Hawaiʻi" there in 1961, immortalizing its lush coconut groves and picturesque lagoons.

They also had closer ties with that industry - “Film stars John Wayne, Fed McMurray and Red Skelton have bought into a hotel company which operates three hotels in the outer Hawaiian Islands … the three own 18 percent of the Lyle Guslander Island Holiday Hotels Co.  Hotels owned by the company are the Kona Palms, Maui Palms and Coco Palms.”  (Independent Press-Telegram, July 24, 1955)

As the Coco Palms became successful, Gus expanded his operations eventually acquiring hotels on Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Maui and the Big Island of Hawaiʻi under the Island Holidays chain, with several of the hotels under the "Palms" brand.  Guslander also recognized, with his growing hotel operations, the need to expand in service and formed Island Holidays Tours.  He had help from Myrtle Chun Lee.

In 1969, Guslander sold his operations to Amfac Inc and stayed on as an Amfac vice president until his retirement in 1978.    In 1992, Hurricane Iniki severely damaged Coco Palms Hotel, several attempts have been made to repair and revive it (recent news suggests it will be coming back.)  Gus died in 1984 at the age of 69, and Grace died in 2000 at 76.

In the 1950s, 60s and 70s, these two chains pioneered neighbor island hotel development - and for a while, competed head-to-head.  Later, the mega-multi-national chains - Sheraton, Hilton, etc - entered the Hawaiʻi market.  A few other island hotel chains were/are also part of the Hawaiʻi hotel experience, i.e. Outrigger, Aston and others - (many were more Waikīkī focused) but I'll save those for other stories.

The image shows an Inter-Island Resorts Brochure (1964-1965.)  In addition, I have added other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Iosepa


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints traces its beginnings to Joseph Smith, Jr on April 6, 1830 in Western New York.  He and five others incorporated The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fayette, New York.

As early as 1844, missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (popularly called the Mormons) were working among the Polynesians in Tahiti and surrounding islands.

"The Mormons are said to have commenced their mission (in Hawaiʻi) in 1850. Their converts are scattered over all the islands.   They number about nine per cent of all those who in the census returns have reported their religious affiliations."  (The Friend, December 1902)

In the summer of 1850, in California, elder Charles C Rich called together more elders to establish a mission in the Sandwich Islands.  They arrived December 12, 1850, but within six weeks, only half stayed.  Later, more came.

Church membership grew fast in the Hawaiian Islands, where the native Polynesian people were quick to embrace the teachings of the gospel.

Many of these Hawaiian converts felt a strong desire to come to Zion, where they could do temple work for themselves and for their ancestors.

In 1889, a group of three Hawaiian converts and three returned missionaries was assigned to choose a location. After considering possibilities in Cache, Weber and Utah counties, they selected a 1,920-acre site in Skull Valley, known as the Quincy Ranch or the Rich Ranch (about 75-miles southwest of Salt Lake City,) as a gathering place for the South Sea Islanders.

According to some accounts, Skull Valley received its name from buffalo skulls found there, and some Indian tales relate that Tooele County was a favored ground for buffalo before the coming of white men to the area.  (Blanthorn)

On August 28, 1889, lots were drawn for plots of land that had room for a home, garden, barn and corral.  (August 28 was later designated as Hawaiian Pioneer Day.)

A sawmill was purchased and the Polynesians built homes, a chapel/assembly hall, a school and a store in their community.

The colony was organized as a joint stock company, the Iosepa Agriculture and Stock Company, owned by the LDS Church.

At its height, Iosepa was home to 228-people, mostly Hawaiians, but also Samoans, Maoris, Portuguese, Scots and English. In the 10-year period from 1907 through 1916, 48 babies were born, while 29 people died.  (Poulsen)

The Polynesians raised pigs and fished for the carp that grew in the ponds in the vicinity to add to the crops they grew. A few Anglos resided in the town, working as supervisors on the Skull Valley farm.  (UtahHistoryToGo)

Utah historian J Cecil Alter wrote in 1911, "Iosepa is perhaps the most successful individual colonization proposition that has been attempted by the Mormon people in the United States … There are 1,120-acres practically all in use and half as much more is being brought under the magic wand of the Hawaiian irrigator." (Poulsen)

Although they managed to get by most of time, much of their food was imported from Salt Lake City. New hopefuls came from the Islands only to turn away after seeing what life was like in Iosepa.  (GhostTowns-org)

Gold was being mined in the nearby mountains.  Many of the men departed the colony to work in the mines and did not return. As deaths from pure hardship outnumbered births, it was only a question of time until the town itself would die.  (GhostTowns-org)

In addition to economic difficulties, there were other problems for the settlement. In 1896 three cases of leprosy were discovered and the victims were isolated in a special house, although fears of the spread of leprosy were unfounded. The harsh environment - burning heat in the summer and extreme cold in the winter - took its toll on the settlers, as witnessed by the large number of graves in the cemetery.  (UtahHistoryToGo)

Utah’s Iosepa Colony lasted as a community until 1917, at which time the residents returned to Hawaiʻi where the Hawaiian Mormon Temple was under construction - from that point, Iosepa was virtually abandoned.

For decades, the only evidence that the town had ever even existed was a small cemetery with the names of those who had lost their lives in Iosepa.  (Poulsen)

As the years passed, the town that had flourished at the turn of the century, slowly fell into disrepair and was neglected by most of the outside world, with the occasional exception of a few groups such as the Boy Scouts and some BYU organizations who did a little repair work.  (Poulsen)

In 1980, Vermin Hawes, a direct descendant of two Iosepa families, organized Memorial Day activities at the old town site, where she and a few other Polynesians from Utah gathered for the event. That year, the group repaired the fence and beautified the area.    (Poulsen)

Since then, this once small group has held annual Memorial Day activities that have gathered more momentum each year and have made Iosepa the gathering place for Polynesians from all over the West.  (Poulsen)

Click Here for 360-degree view of Iosepa.

The image shows an Iosepa Hale in 1899 (Utah State Historical Society.)  In addition, I have included other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Waikīkī Natatorium War Memorial


In 1921, the Territorial Legislature authorized the construction of a memorial dedicated to the men and women of Hawai‘i who served in World War I, on the former Irwin property – it is known as the Waikīkī Natatorium War Memorial.

The Natatorium was completed in the summer of 1927, the first "living" war memorial in the United States and as a symbol of the way of life those who served fought to defend.

It is a "living" memorial in that it included a 100 X 40 meter saltwater swimming pool, built to honor 102 who died and the nearly 10,000 others who served in WWI from Hawai‘i.

The pool is surrounded on four sides by a twenty-foot wide deck which is enclosed on the three ocean sides by a three-foot high wall.  On the fourth, mauka side, concrete bleachers rise thirteen levels in height and provide seating for approximately 2,500 people.

Olympic Gold Medalist and icon of modern surfing, Duke Kahanamoku swam the first ceremonial swim at its opening on August 24, 1927, his birthday.

An AAU National championship swimming meet, with swimmers from Japan and South America participating, capped the opening activities.

Olympic champion, Johnny Weissmuller, broke the world's record for the 100-meter freestyle swim, and in the following three days of competition, set new world's records for the 440 and 880-meter freestyles, cutting more than ten seconds off the previous world marks for these events.

Clarence "Buster" Crabbe, a local swimmer, who would later replace Weissmuller in the famous "Tarzan" series, won the 1,500-meter contest.

During its heyday, the Natatorium hosted celebrity swimmers including Esther Williams, as well as 34 members of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

It was later also used by the DOE for its mandatory elementary school Learn to Swim Program (lots of kids learned to swim here.

Owned by the State but operated under an executive order to the City, the Natatorium was closed in 1979 due to thirty years of neglect.

The Natatorium is on both the National and State Registers of Historic Places.  In 1995, the National Trust for Historic Preservation placed it on its Most Endangered list.  In 2005, Historic Hawai‘i Foundation listed the site on its inaugural Most Endangered Historic Sites list.

In November 2009, Mayor Mufi Hannemann announced that he will accept the recommendation of the Waikīkī War Memorial Natatorium Task Force to preserve the historic Natatorium’s memorial arches by reconstructing them further inland, and to create additional beach space by demolishing the crumbling swimming pool and bleachers.

Despite the announcement, the natatorium didn't get torn down anytime soon (it’s still standing.)  Demolition requires an environmental impact statement, permits, extensive planning, design and funding - about $15.1 million, according to the city.  The process could take eight years.

In May 2011, Mayor Peter Carlisle stated that the City is in the process of developing an Environmental Impact Statement according to the recommended option of the Natatorium Task Force and advanced the recommendation to tear down the long-closed Natatorium.

The Friends of the Natatorium, which maintains this site, advocates for the preservation and restoration of the Waikīkī Natatorium War Memorial, seeking the return of this facility to active recreational use by the families of O‘ahu and by visitors to Hawai‘i.

However, recent reporting notes that the City and State intend to tear down the Natatorium pool and replace it with a new beach and park area; the war memorial arches will be moved away from the shoreline.

Like a lot of other kids in those days, I swam in the Natatorium pool and walked its decks.

The image shows the natatorium in 1928.  In addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Mānā, Kauaʻi


Mānā is a coastal plain with an ancient sea cliff at its inner edge, which extends from Waimea in the south to Barking Sands in the north on the western shores of Kauaʻi.

This region has been identified as a leina-a-ka-uhane (paths-for-leaping-by-the-spirit). These were almost always on bluffs looking westward over the ocean, from which the spirits of the dead were believed to plunge in order to enter the spiritual realm.

Throughout prehistory, large areas of the Mānā Plain were covered by the great Mānā swamp, allowing the ancients to canoe as far south as Waimea.

Up until the mid-1880s, the great Mānā swamp, east of the plain, covered large areas of the lowlands.  Approximately 1,700-acres of permanent, semi-permanent and seasonal wetlands were present on the Mānā Plain.

It is believed that these wet conditions encouraged the independent invention of aquaculture on Kauaʻi and the construction of stone and earthen ponds for growing staples such as taro, yam and sweet potatoes.

Historically, native Hawaiians constructed four different types of fishponds - freshwater taro ponds, other freshwater ponds, brackish water ponds and seawater ponds.

Aquaculture was employed to supplement their other fishing activities, and permanent fishponds guaranteed a stable food supply for populations in lean times.  Tended ponds provided fish without requiring fishing expertise, and harvesting the pond, unlike fishing at sea, was not weather dependent.

Evidence suggests that Hawaiian fishponds were constructed as early as AD 1000, if not earlier, and continued to be built until the 1820s.

After the arrival of Europeans to the island, aquaculture transitioned to agriculture through the eventual draining of the swamp and the cultivation of sugar cane and rice.

The first successful sugar plantation to export from the islands was established at Kōloa in 1835, and by the 1930s, nearly all of the Mānā swamp had been filled to produce this crop.

Up until the mid-1880s, the great Mānā swamp covered large areas of the lowlands.  One of the first European settlers, Valdemar Knudsen, drained a portion of the Mānā swamp be excavating a ditch through to the ocean at Waiele.  The first sugarcane was planted in Kekaha in 1878.

Hans Peter (HP) Faye was a Norwegian immigrant (arriving in 1880) who started a small plantation at Mānā and eventually helped form Kekaha Sugar, incorporated 1898, and became its first manager.

It was his vision that created the Kekaha and Kokeʻe Ditch Systems and the intricate drainage canals that drain the large swamps of Mānā.

To keep the groundwater table below the root zone of the sugar cane, thousands of feet of canals were excavated to drain excess water from the soil.  The water is then pumped into canals such as the Nohili Ditch for release into the ocean.

The drainage system, with two pumps at the Kawaiele and Nohili pumping stations, was constantly running to lower the groundwater table, which made possible for sugarcane cultivation.

Rice was planted in the drained swamplands from the mid-1860s to 1922.  By the 1930s, nearly all of the Mānā swamp had been filled in and planted in sugarcane.

The need to keep the area drained continues today.  These pumping stations must continue running to keep the groundwater table from rising too high, which could result in root rots and hence low crop yields. During storm season, with five inches of rain in one day would result in flooding.

Nearby wetlands form the Kawaiele Sand Mine Sanctuary (a State Waterbird Refuge for Hawaii's four endangered waterbird species – Hawaiian duck, coot, stilt and moorhen;) this was created during a sand removal program.

When I was at DLNR, we authorized the sale of sand licenses to allow contractors to remove sand for construction projects (golf courses, concrete mix and beach replenishment) within the waterbird sanctuary that, in turn, created a beneficial mixed terrain and expanded the waterbird habitat.

The map is a portion of a 1910 USGS quadrant map noting Mānā and the inland wetlands.  In addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

French Invasion of Honolulu


In 1846, a treaty had been concluded with France, eliminating the harsh terms of the treaty of 1839. This produced an exceedingly friendly feeling toward France.

However, in 1848, Consul Dudoit retired from the French consulship and William Patrice Dillon was appointed in his place.  Later, things got worse.

The French Invasion of Honolulu (also known as the Sacking of Honolulu, or the Tromelin Affair) was an attack on Honolulu by Louis Tromelin for the persecution of Catholics and repression on French trade.

On August 12, 1849, French admiral Louis Tromelin arrived in Honolulu Harbor on the corvette Gassendi with the frigate La Poursuivante.  Upon arrival, de Tromelin met with French Consul Dillon.

Dillon immediately initiated a systematic and irritating interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom, arising largely out of personal hostility to RC Wyllie, minister of foreign affairs, picking flaws and making matters of extended diplomatic correspondence over circumstances of trifling importance.

This continued until the French Admiral Tromelin arrived, and after a conference with Dillon the celebrated "ten demands" were formulated and presented to the Hawaiian Government with the commanding request for immediate action.

The ten demands:

1.  The complete and loyal adoption of the treaty of March 26th 1846.
2.  The reduction of the duty on French brandy to fifty per cent ad valorem.
3.  The subjection of Catholic schools to the direction of the chief of the French Mission and to special inspectors not Protestants and a treatment rigorously equal granted to the two worships and to their schools.
4.  The use of the French language in all business intercourse between French citizens and the Hawaiian Government.
5.  The withdrawal of the (alleged) exception by which French whalers which imported wine and spirits were affected and the abrogation of a regulation which obliged vessels laden with liquors to pay the custom house officers placed on board to superintend their loading and unloading.
6.  The return of all duties collected by virtue of the regulation the withdrawal of which was demanded by the fifth article.
7.  The return of a fine of twenty-five dollars paid by the whale ship ‘General Teste’ besides an indemnity of sixty dollars for the time that she was detained in port.
8.  The punishment of certain school boys whose impious conduct (in church) had occasioned complaint.
9.  The removal of the governor of Hawaii for allowing the domicile of a priest to be violated (by police officers who entered it to make an arrest) or the order that the governor make reparation to that missionary.
10.  The payment to a French hotel keeper of the damages committed in his house by sailors from HBM’s (His Britannic Majesty's) ship ‘Amphitrite.’  (Alexander)

The Hawaiian Government was allowed three days in which to make a satisfactory reply to these demands.  If they were not acceded to, the admiral threatened to cancel the existing treaty, and to "employ the means at his disposal to obtain a complete reparation."

Sensing disaster, King Kamehameha III issued orders: "Make no resistance if the French fire on the town, land under arms, or take possession of the Fort; but keep the flag flying 'till the French take it down. … Strict orders to all native inhabitants to offer no insult to any French officer, soldier or sailor, or afford them any pretext whatever for acts of violence."

On August 25, the demands had not been met.

About noon of the 25th, a firm but courteous reply was sent to the admiral, declaring that the Hawaiian government had faithfully observed the treaty of 1846; that the existing duty on brandy was so far from being "an absolute prohibition" that the importation of French brandy had greatly increased under it; that rigorous equality in the treatment of different forms of worship was already provided for, but that public schools supported by government funds should not be placed under the direction of any mission, whether Catholic or Protestant; and that the adoption of the French language in business was not required by the treaty or by international law, and was impracticable in the state of the islands.

The Hawaiian government offered to refer any dispute to the mediation of a neutral power, and informed the admiral that no resistance would be made to the force at his disposal, and that in any event the persons and property of French residents would be scrupulously guarded.

After a second warning of the impending invasion, 140-French Marines, two field pieces and scaling ladders were landed by boat, which were met with no opposition and Tromelin’s troops took possession of an empty fort.

The invaders also took possession of the customhouse and other government buildings, and seized the king's yacht, together with seven merchant vessels in port.

But the Admiral was careful not to lower the Hawaiian flag.

The marines broke the coastal guns, threw kegs of powder into the harbor and destroyed all the other weapons they found (mainly muskets and ammunition).

They raided government buildings and general property in Honolulu, including destruction of furniture, calabashes and ornaments in the governor's house.  After these raids, the invasion force withdrew to the fort.

On the 30th, the admiral issued a proclamation, declaring that by way of "reprisal" the fort had been dismantled, and the king's yacht, "Kamehameha III," confiscated (and then sailed to Tahiti,) but that private property would be restored. He also declared the treaty of 1846 to be annulled, and replaced by the Laplace Convention of 1839. This last act, however, was promptly disavowed by the French Government.

He sailed away with the understanding that the King would send an agent to France to settle the difficulties.

In 1850, the Hawaiian government instructed commissioners JJ Jarves and GP Judd to demand an indemnity of $100,060 on account of the seizure of the Kamehameha and damage wrought by de Tromelin's forces.

But for the consideration of a loss of face, the indemnity would have been paid. Instead, a compromise was decided upon. To Consul Perrin, successor of Dillon, the Minister of Foreign Affairs wrote:
"There is no need to tell you that indemnities are out of question. The word itself should be avoided: however, the Prince-President … wishes that … in his name, you put in the hands of King Kamehameha a very costly present.”

The present turned out to be an elaborate silverware table service. Today, the heavy, ornate silver service sent to Kamehameha III by Louis Napoleon of France is the formal tableware of the Governor of Hawaiʻi in Washington Place.

The image shows Fort Kekuanohu, Fort Honolulu in a drawing by Emmert in 1853 (this is to show a representation of the fort – this was not drawn during the occupancy by the French.)  (The inspiration and information here is primarily from reports in the Hawaiʻi Journal of History through UH-Mānoa.)

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Kūʻīlioloa Heiau



The ancient name for the place was Neneʻu.  It was also known as Māʻalaea.  It’s at Waiʻanae, on the western coast of Oʻahu.

Pōka‘ī Bay ("night of the supreme one,") named for Chief Pōka‘ī who arrived in Hawai‘i 400 to 500 years ago, has been the center of activity for the Waiʻanae Coast since pre-contact days.

Pōka’ī was reputed to have been a voyaging chief of Kahiki (Tahiti) who is credited with bringing the versatile and valuable coconut palm to the Islands.

A great grove of coconuts, Ka Uluniu o Pōkaʻī, lined the back shore of the entire bay and provided shelter and a vast array of materials for the village.

“In very ancient times, when the great Hawaiian chiefs and navigators sailed across the vast Pacific between Hawaiʻi and Kahiki, a legend arose about a voyaging chief named Pōkaʻī. It said that he brought and planted at Waiʻanae the first coconut tree in Hawai`i, from which grew in time a famous grove, Ka Ulu Niu o Pōkaʻī. The grove stretched from the site of the present police station to that of the Sacred Hearts Church...the bay makai of the grove, formerly known as Māʻalaea, eventually took the name of the legendary planter”.  (Shefcheck, Spear)

Prior to contact with the western world the bay was the site of a famous fishing village with double-hulled canoes going in and out of the bay.

The south end of Pōkaʻī Bay is formed by Kaneʻilio Point (Kane’s dog’”,) a pointed peninsula that juts out into the sea. On this finger of land are remains of Kūʻīlioloa Heiau ("The long dog form of Kū".)

Kūʻīlioloa was a kupua, a demigod, who could assume the form of a man or dog. He was a protector of the navigators.  The names and symbolism related to the heiau incorporate the Hawaiian’s four primary gods: Kū, Kāne, Lono and Kanaloa.

The heiau name, Kūʻīlioloa, incorporates the god Kū; the name of the point, Kaneʻilio, incorporates the god Kāne; one of the major functions of this heiau is for navigation which incorporates the realm of Lono through the clouds and the heavens; and Kūʻīlioloa is also the only heiau in Hawaiʻi that is bordered on three sides by the ocean, which is the domain of Kanaloa.

Kūʻīlioloa is said to have been constructed by Lonokaeho who came to Hawai'i from Raiatea in the Society Islands in the 11th or 12th century.

One of the primary functions of the Heiau was as a training center and lighthouse for all navigation between Hawaiʻi and Tahiti. The location of this site allows specialists in astronomy to study the stars and celestial features.

In 1793, Vancouver described the area as desolate and barren, “From the commencement of the high land to the westward of Opooroah [Puʻuloa] was. . .one barren rocky waste, nearly destitute of verdure, cultivation or inhabitants, with little variation all to the west point of the island…. Nearly in the middle of this side of the Island is the only village we had seen westward of Opooroah… The shore here forms a small sandy bay. On its southern side, between the two high rocky precipices, in a grove of cocoanut and other trees, is situated the village. ... The face of the country did not, however, promise an abundant supply.”   (Shefcheck, Spear)

After 1819, when the kapu system was overthrown, Kūʻīlioloa was one of the few heiau which was still used by the community.

Prior to WWII the US government decided to utilize Kaneʻilio point by building a concrete bunker on the site of Kūʻīlioloa.  Later, in the late-1970s, the Waiʻanae community rebuilt the heiau.

The Royal Order of Kamehameha, Moku O Kapuāiwa Chapter has a goal to turn the Heiau back into a training facility for kids and adults to learn about Hawaiian culture while being trained in ocean navigation.

The image shows Kaneʻilio Point with Kūʻīlioloa Heiau (GoogleEarth.)  In addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Kakaʻako Pumping Station


The word “Sewer” is derived from the term "seaward" in Old English, as in ditches and ravines slightly sloped to run waste water from land to sea.

From an 1857 story in the Commercial Pacific Advertiser it appears that the first sewer facility to be constructed on Oʻahu was a storm drain located at Queen Street at the foot of Kaʻahumanu Street opposite Pier 11.  (ASCE)

Despite three outbreaks of smallpox, a typhus epidemic and two cholera epidemics between 1853 and 1895, no other serious actions were taken to improve conditions.

Honolulu was a growing city and needed a better way of disposing its wastewater.

At that time, the city had grown to approximately 30,000-people, and it was estimated that about 1.8-million gallons of sewage was being disposed of in the City septic systems daily.  This was much more than septic tank excavators could keep up with – which caused sanitation and odor concerns.

In 1897, Rudolph Hering, a New York Sanitary Engineer, was hired to prepare specifications for a Honolulu sewerage system, pumping station and ocean outfall (Hering had previously designed the New York and other large city sewage systems.)

Hering recommended a “separate system” whereby separate networks of conduits would carry sewage and storm waters, a system still used today in Honolulu.

Work on the system began in 1899 and sewer lines were laid out in a gravity flow pattern in a rectangular fashion and ran along Alapaʻi, River and South Streets, past Thomas Square, and ended in the Punahou area.

The system was extended to the remaining portion of what was then considered to be “town,” between Liliha on the ʻEwa side, Artesian Street, beyond Punahou to Judd Street, and including the Kewalo District.

The expansion was later delayed, due to a lack of funding. Much of the extension work thereafter was performed by property owners who were furnished piping and sewer components by the government.

The collection lines terminated at a main reservoir (the underground reservoir was dubbed the Hering Reservoir) at the low point at the intersection of Keawe Street and Ala Moana Boulevard in Kakaʻako.  (Darnell)  The sewage would then be pumped out to sea.

In addition, OG Traphagen (designer of the Moana Hotel) was hired to design the steam-powered sewer pumping station at this low spot.

The cost was tremendous for the construction of the lines, and construction was stopped several times due to lack of funding. The sewer outfall to the ocean was built in 1899. The outfall ran some 3,800-feet out to sea at a depth of 40-feet of water, rather than farther out to a 100-foot depth (again, due to funding constraints.)  (Darnell)

In 1900, the Kakaʻako Pumping Station was constructed; with features such as large arched windows, exterior walls of local lava rock, roofs of green tile and a smokestack 76-feet tall.

The architectural style is Industrial Romanesque with the walls constructed of locally-cut bluestone and concrete with plaster finished interior walls.

The first sewer system connections (to the Department of Health building on Punchbowl and Queen Streets, and to the Post Office building on Bethel and Merchant) were completed in 1900. This was followed by the slow conversion of other properties from cesspools to sewers.

Two additions were built to support the Pumping Station facility. In 1925, an additional “Pump” building of brick to house a high-speed, electric powered pump was added and the original plant was turned into a machine shop, storeroom and office. In 1939 a second “New” Pump House was constructed on the southwestern side of the existing structures.

The use of the Kakaʻako Pumping Station was abandoned by the City and County of Honolulu when it built a new pumping station on the southwest portion of the block, adjacent to the Historic Ala Moana Pumping Station in 1955.

Now under the jurisdiction of the Hawaiʻi Community Development Authority, it is restored by the nonprofit Hawaiʻi Architectural Foundation.

Today, the interior of the 1900 Pumping Station does not contain any historic equipment or utilities.  (Lots of information here from HCDA, HHF, ASCE and Darnell.)

In addition to this early image of the Kakaʻako Pumping Station (HCDA,) I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Kīpapa Gulch


Place names help tell the stories of the place.

During the reign of Māʻilikūkahi, who ruled in the 1400-1500s (at about the same time Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic,), invaders from Hawai‘i and Maui arrived on O‘ahu.

In the battles, the O‘ahu forces met the opposing forces in the uplands of Waipi‘o, and a great battle occurred.

Māʻilikūkahi was raised partly in Waialua and is said to have maintained a kulanakauhale (village) there.

Fornander writes, "He (Māʻilikūkahi) caused the island to be thoroughly surveyed, and boundaries between differing divisions and lands be definitely and permanently marked out, thus obviating future disputes between neighboring chiefs and landholders."

Kamakau tells a similar story, "When the kingdom passed to Māʻilikūkahi, the land divisions were in a state of confusion; the ahupuaʻa, the ku, the ʻili ʻāina, the moʻo ʻāina, the pauku ʻāina, and the kihāpai were not clearly defined.”

“Therefore, Māʻilikūkahi ordered the chiefs, aliʻi, the lesser chiefs, kaukau aliʻi, the warrior chiefs, puʻali aliʻi, and the overseers (luna) to divide all of Oʻahu into moku, ahupuaʻa, ʻili kupono, ʻili ʻāina, and moʻo ʻāina."

What is commonly referred to as the "ahupuaʻa system" is a result of the firm establishment of palena (boundaries.)  This system of land divisions and boundaries enabled a konohiki (land/resource manager) to know the limits and productivity of the resources that they managed - and increase its productivity.

Māʻilikūkahi is also known for a benevolent reign that was followed by generations of peace.   He prohibited the chiefs from plundering the makaʻāinana, with punishment of death. His reign “ushered in an era of benign rule lasting for several generations.”

Thrum notes that while Māʻilikūkahi was peacefully disposed, he proved to be a brave defender of his realm in thoroughly defeating the invading forces.

Fornander suggests it was not considered a war between the two islands, but, rather, it was a raid by some restless and turbulent chiefs.  The invading force first landed at Waikīkī and proceeded to ʻEwa and marched inland.

At Waikakalaua (an upland ʻili of Waikele) they met Māʻilikūkahi and his forces, and a bloody battle ensued. The fight continued from there to the Kīpapa gulch – stretching across Kīpapa (an ʻili of Waipiʻo,) Waikakalaua and the place known as Punaluʻu.

Tradition has it that the body count from the invaders was so great that it is said the area was paved (kīpapa "placed prone") with their bodies.

Punaluʻu, an upland ʻili, was named for one of the invading warrior-chiefs killed during the battle. Another warrior-chief, Hilo, was also killed in the battle.

Poʻohilo (an ʻili of Honouliuli) is named from events following a battle in the Kīpapa-Waikakalaua region in which the head of Hilo was placed on a stake at this site and displayed.

Kanupo‘o (an ʻili of Waikele) may be translated as meaning, “planted skull” and seems to imply an event of some importance - it may be tied to events of the battle at Kīpapa and the naming of Po‘ohilo at Honouliuli.

Today, people suggest the gulch is ruled by the spirits of fallen warriors; there are reports that this is one of the paths of the Huakaiʻpo (night marchers) and other reports suggest a woman dressed in white hitchhiking.

The area was also a temporary home to the Naval Air Station Kipapa Field / Kipapa Army Airfield.  It was used because it could accommodate two 5,000' runways free from obstructions (however, concerns were raised about increased air congestion due to its proximity between Pearl Harbor and Wheeler Field.)

The airfield site is located south the Mililani Golf Course between Meheula Parkway and Hokuala Streets – the runways extended out to the edge of the gulch.  Mililani District Park is located near the intersection of the 2 main runways.

The use of this site by the Navy would permit the concentration of carrier-group training for Naval aviation on the south side of the island of Oahu including Barber's Point, Kīpapa Gulch, and Ford Island.

But it was not until sometime after the United States entered World War II that Kipapa Airfield was developed; the exact start date is not clear, but 1943 maps note the facility.

During the war it apparently saw little use by the Navy due to the fact that carrier aircraft were constantly deployed during the war.  The Army Air Corps became the principal user of the airfield by default.

Aircraft from this airfield searched & patrolled over the surrounding Pacific area, maintaining a 24-hour vigil to avert any attack with a large number and variety of squadrons are documented to have been stationed at Kipapa Airfield during World War II.

Kipapa Field was evidently closed at some point between 1959 and 1961 (it was no longer depicted on the 1961 and later mapping.)

The image shows Kipapa Gulch.   In addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hawaiʻi State Capitol


Prior to contact (1778,) Royal Centers served as the rulers’ residence and governing location.  Aliʻi moved between several residences throughout the year; each served as his Royal Center and place of governance.

Typically such Royal Centers contained the ruler’s residence, residences of high chiefs, a major heiau (which became increasing larger in size in the AD 1600s-1700s,) other heiau and often a refuge area (puʻuhonua).

The Royal Centers were selected for their abundance of resources and recreation opportunities, with good surfing and canoe-landing sites being favored.

On August 21, 1959 Hawaiʻi became the 50th state.

Today, we reference the location of the governing seat as the ‘capital’ and official statehouse as its ‘capitol.’

The present Hawaiʻi capitol building opened in 1969.  Prior to that time, from about 1893 to 1969, ʻIolani Palace served as the statehouse.

After the overthrow in 1893, the Provisional Government first established its offices in the Aliʻiolani Hale; after a few months, the governmental offices were transferred to ʻIolani Palace (that later building’s name was temporarily changed to the “Executive Building” - the name “ʻIolani Palace” was restored by the  Legislature in 1935.)  (NPS)

The former throne room had been used for sessions of the Territorial House of Representatives. The state dining room was used as the chamber of the Territorial Senate. The private apartment of Kalākaua and later Liliʻuokalani was used as the Governor’s office.  (NPS)

The location of the present Capitol was selected in 1944. In 1959, an advisory committee was formed.  They selected the Honolulu firm of Belt, Lemmon & Lo and the San Francisco firm of John Carl Warnecke & Associates to design the new state capitol.

Their design was approved by the Legislature in 1961; construction commenced in November 1965.  The building opened on March 16, 1969, replacing the former statehouse, ʻIolani Palace.

To quote from an address given by Governor John A. Burns, "The open sea, the open sky, the open doorway, open arms and open hearts - these are the symbols of our Hawaiian heritage. In this great State Capitol there are no doors at the grand entrances which open toward the mountains and toward the sea. There is no roof or dome to separate its vast inner court from the heavens and from the same eternal stars which guided the first voyagers to the primeval beauty of these shores.”

“It is by means of the striking architecture of this new structure that Hawaii cries out to the nations of the Pacific and of the world, this message: We are a free people......we are an open society......we welcome all visitors to our island home. We invite all to watch our legislative deliberations; to study our administrative affairs; to see the examples of racial brotherhood in our rich cultures; to view our schools, churches, homes, businesses, our people, our children; to share in our burdens and our self-sorrows as well as our delights and our pleasures. We welcome you! E Komo Mai! Come In! The house is yours!"

The building is full of symbolism: the perimeter pool represents the ocean surrounding the islands; the 40-concrete columns are shaped like coconut trees; the conical chambers infer the volcanic origins of the Islands; and the open, airy central ground floor suggests the Islands' open society and acceptance of our natural and cultural environment.

There are eight columns in the front and back of the building; groups of eight mini-columns on the balcony that surrounds the fourth floor; and eight panels on the doors leading to the Governor's and Lieutenant Governor's chambers - all symbolic of the eight main islands.

The Hawaiʻi State Capitol is a five-story building with an open central courtyard. According to the architects, “The center of the building, surrounded by a ring of columns, is a great entrance well open on all sides at ground level and reaching upward through four floors of open galleries to the crown canopy and the open sky. Visitors can walk directly into the spectators’ galleries overlooking the House and Senate chambers situated at ground level, and they can reach any of the upper floors by elevators.”

Caucus rooms, clerks’ and attorneys’ offices, a library, a public hearing room, and suite for the President are at the Chamber level. The three legislative office floors (2-4) are of similar design, with peripheral offices for the legislators.

The suites for the Governor and Lieutenant Governor are on the uppermost floors, overlooking the sea on the outside and the courtyard on the inside. Public circulation on the upper floors is through lanais that overlook the court. Parking is provided in the basement.

The Capitol building is a structure of steel reinforced concrete and structural steel. The building is rectangular with dimensions of 360 feet x 270 feet (although it is often referred to as the “Square Building on Beretania.”)  It is 100-feet high.

The image shows Hawaiʻi's Capitol – lots of info here from NPS.  In addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Blacks in Hawaiʻi


The history of the Black presence in Hawaiʻi goes back to the first sailors; Blacks were crewmembers of Captain Cook’s second and third Pacific voyages.

Thirty years later, Cook’s Black cabin boy was given the opportunity to prove his navigational prowess to George Crowninshield, then captain of the famous Salem, MA built yacht ‘Cleopatra’s Barge,’ in Genoa, Italy. (McGhee) (Liholiho, King Kamehameha II, later bought Cleopatra’s Barge for over 1-million pounds of sandalwood and renamed the yacht “Haʻaheo O Hawai‘i” (Pride of Hawaiʻi.))

There is a “high likelihood” of the presence of Blacks on many of the early ships that crossed the Pacific.  Free and unfree Blacks had been serving onboard these ships in a variety of capacities.

Between about 1820 and 1880 hundreds of whaling ships annually pulled into (primarily) Honolulu and Lāhainā, and a significant number of Blacks stayed behind in the islands and became permanent residents, where they worked as cooks, barbers, tailors, sailors on interisland vessels and members of musical groups.

Work on sugar plantations was considered too close to slavery that Blacks were not considered for contract labor by the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Later, however, a significant influx of Blacks to Hawaiʻi involved the migration of the first Portuguese and Puerto Rican contract laborers to work on the sugar plantations (a significant portion of these were of African ancestry.)

Hawaiʻi experienced serious labor problems prior to 1900. Japanese and Chinese plantation laborers had sporadic strikes that began to present real problems for plantation owners.

“Paradise of the Pacific” quoted one sugar plantation owner as saying that his plantation could take 25-families.  He stated that “...interest has also been awakened among housewives as to the desirability of Negroes as cooks, nurses, etc and many think they might supplant the Japanese in household duties.” (September 1897)

Over the following decades more Blacks came to the islands.  The following is a sampling of some census data on African-Americans in Hawaiʻi:
1900 ..........233
1950 ........2,651
1970 ........7,517
1990 ......26,669
2000 ......22,003
2010 …....21,424

A couple of the early, notable Blacks in Hawaiʻi include:

Anthony D Allen
The most notable among African Americans to settle in Hawaiʻi, Anthony Allen, arrived in 1810.  Called Alani by the Hawaiians, Allen was a former slave; arriving in Hawaiʻi he served as a steward to Kamehameha and went on to become a successful entrepreneur, acquiring land from high priest Hewa Hewa in 1811, starting a farm, ‘resort’ (he reportedly had the first ‘hotel’ in Waikīkī,) a bowling alley and a hospital for ill and injured sailors.

Allen died of a stroke on December 31, 1835, leaving behind a considerable fortune to his children.  In tribute to Allen, Reverend John Diell noted, “The last sun of the departed year went down upon the dying bed of another man who has long resided upon the island. He was a colored man, but shared, to a large extent, in the respect of this whole community. … He has been a pattern of industry and perseverance, and of care for the education of his children. … In justice to his memory, and to my own feelings, I must take this opportunity to acknowledge the many expressions of kindness which we received from him from the moment of our arrival.”

Click HERE for a link to a prior story on Anthony Allen.

Betsey Stockton
Another former slave on the continent, Betsey Stockton then belonged to Robert Stockton, a local attorney.  She was given to Stockton’s daughter and son-in-law, the Rev. Ashbel Green, then President of Princeton College (later known as Princeton University,) as a gift.

When Stockton expressed her interest in becoming a Christian missionary, she was granted her freedom and accepted into membership by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missionaries.  On November 20, 1822, Stockton and 20 other American Protestant missionaries in the 2nd Company set sail from New Haven, Connecticut for the Hawaiian Islands.  Upon her arrival Stockton became the first known African American woman in Hawaiʻi.  Stockton was assigned to a mission in Lāhainā, Maui, in 1823.

Up until that time, missionaries instructed Hawaiians in Christianity but had limited their teaching of reading, writing and math to their own children and the children of the Hawaiian chiefs.  Stockton learned the Hawaiian Language and established a school in Maui where she taught English, Latin, History and Algebra.

The site of her school is the location of the current Lahainaluna School.  Stockton left Hawaiʻi in 1825, returning to the mainland where she was assigned to teach Native American children in Canada.  She spent the final years of her life teaching black children in Philadelphia.  Betsy Stockton died in her hometown of Princeton, New Jersey in October 1865.

Click HERE for a link to a prior story on Betsey Stockton

Alice Augusta Ball
On June 1, 1915, Alice Ball was the first African American and the first woman to graduate with a Master of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Hawaiʻi. In the 1915-1916 academic year, she also became the first woman to teach chemistry at the institution.

But the significant contribution Ball made to medicine was a successful injectable treatment for those suffering from Hansen’s disease.  She isolated the ethyl ester of chaulmoogra oil (from the tree native to India) which, when injected, proved extremely effective in relieving some of the symptoms of Hansen’s disease.

Although not a full cure, Ball’s discovery was a significant victory in the fight against a disease that has plagued nations for thousands of years.  The discovery was coined, at least for the time being, the “Ball Method.”  A College of Hawaiʻi chemistry laboratory began producing large quantities of the new injectable chaulmoogra.

During the four years between 1919 and 1923, no patients were sent to Kalaupapa - and for the first time some Kalaupapa patients were released. Ball's injectable compound seemed to provide effective treatment for the disease, and as a result the lab began to receive "requests for their chaulmoogra oil preparations from all over the world.”

Click HERE for a link to a prior story on Alice Ball.

The image shows a cover to a book, African Americans in Hawaiʻi.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Kaʻahumanu Church


The church began on August 19, 1832; the first services were held under a thatched roof.

The present Kaʻahumanu Church is actually the fourth place of worship for the Wailuku congregation. The original congregation, under the leadership of the Reverend Jonathan S Green, was forced to hold their meetings in a shed.

During its first year, Queen Kaʻahumanu, the Kuhina Nui of the Kingdom and convert to Christianity, visited the congregation and asked that when the congregation built an actual church, it be named for her.

Queen Kaʻahumanu was Kamehameha’s favorite wife.  She was, at one time, arguably, the most powerful figure in the Hawaiian Islands, helping usher in a new era for the Hawaiian kingdom.

When Kamehameha died on May 8, 1819, the crown was passed to his son, Liholiho, who would rule as Kamehameha II.

Kaʻahumanu created the office of Kuhina Nui (similar to premier, prime minister or regent) and would rule as an equal with Liholiho.  She ruled first with Kamehameha II until his departure for England in 1823 (where he died in 1824) and then as regent for Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III).

Ka‘ahumanu assumed control of the business of government, including authority over land matters, the single most important issue for the Hawaiian nation for many generations to come.  She later married Kauaʻi’s chief, Kaumualiʻi, who Kamehameha I had made a treaty with instead of fighting and thereby put all the islands under single control.

On December 4, 1825, Queen Kaʻahumanu was baptized and received her new name, Elizabeth, then labored earnestly to lead her people to Christ.

The congregation’s small shed meeting house soon proved too small as the service held there attracted as many as 3,000 worshippers. In 1834, a larger meeting house with a thatched roof was erected by the congregation.

The Reverend Richard Armstrong who had replaced the Reverend Green as pastor in 1836, supervised the construction of two stone meeting houses one at Haiku, and the other at Wailuku. The new Wailuku Church, completed in 1840, was 100 feet by 52 feet, and was two stories (actually one story and a gallery) in height.  Reverend Green returned to replace Armstrong in 1840.

In 1843, the Reverend Green was replaced by the Reverend EW Clark. Five years later, Clark was transferred to Kawaiahaʻo Church in Honolulu, and the Reverend Daniel Conde took over the pastorate at Wailuku.  Later, Reverend WP Alexander became pastor.

Active fundraising under Pastor William Pulepule Kahale led to the opportunity to finally build a permanent church.  Under the direction of Reverend Edward Bailey, in May, 1876, the new church, finally named the Kaʻahumanu Church, was completed.

Only a rock retaining wall that borders High Street in Wailuku is what remains of the old church.

The Kaʻahumanu Church is a large blue stone structure with wall more than two feet thick. It has a high-pitched gable roof with no overhang, but the eave terminates in a small molding adjacent to the top place along the wall.

The exterior is finished in plaster.  The church tower was not added until 1884 with a "fine tower clock from the U.S. costing $1,000."  In 1892 the chandeliers were added to the interior.

The structure is four bays in depth with each bay having a single tall Gothic arched window with the interior of the window opening splayed.  Windows are multi-paned, double-hung wood frame with simple pattern in the upper part of the arch.

Adjoining the church is Honoliʻi Park.  It is believed that John Honoliʻi, a Native Hawaiian who had studied at Cornwall, Connecticut with Henry ʻŌpūkahaʻia and later sailed aboard the brig Thaddeus with the original Protestant missionaries in 1820, is buried in an unmarked grave in the Kaʻahumanu Church cemetery. (Honoliʻi died in 1838.)

Although not a part of the neighboring historic district the Kaʻahumanu Church adjoins several other historic structures that make up the Wailuku Historic District.  Click HERE for some more information on those properties.

The image shows the present Kaʻahumanu Church in Wailuku.  I have added other images to a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Māla Wharf


"(T)he citizens of Maui in particular, and of the Territory or Hawaiʻi in general, as well as many strangers who, in the past, have visited Maui, up to the present time have been required to submit to the most unsatisfactory, antiquated, and often dangerous methods of landing”.

“After years of patient and persistent effort on the part of the citizens of this Island there has been constructed and brought to completion at Māla , one of the most modern and up to date wharves”.  (Maui Chamber Resolution 1922)

Māla Pier, dedicated in 1922, planned to eliminate the inconvenience of light freighters to load/unload steamers anchored in Lāhainā Roadstead.

The Maui Chamber of Commerce went on record as strongly opposed to the use at Māla Wharf of small boats from and to the steamers Mauna Kea and Kilauea.

Nearby was the Baldwin Packers pineapple cannery, it was hoped that this new pier would facilitate transporting the pineapple.

Likewise, sugar from the upslope Pioneer Mill was expected to be run out the wharf to be loaded directly onto large ocean voyaging cargo vessels.

Building the massive wharf in those days was no minor undertaking and the army corps of engineers developed the design and erected the wharf.

It was noted at the time that Hawaiians familiar with the local tides, coastline and ocean activity recommended against its construction in that location.

The ill-fated structure was built anyway and on the very first attempt to pull a cargo ship alongside the wharf for loading the vessel crashed into Māla Wharf causing serious damage to the structure.

It was soon discovered that the ocean currents at Māla Wharf were too treacherous for the ships to navigate safely.

Strong currents and heavy surf damaged many others when they tried to tie-up there.  (Reportedly, only a handful of steamers ever landed there successfully.)

Produce had to be taken by barge to awaiting ships.  By 1932, the roads have been improved enough to transport the fruit by truck to Kahului Harbor.

The State closed the wharf in the 1950s.  Several subsequent plans have been discussed to the pier and adjoining lands.

In 1971, proposals by the Xanadu Corp to construct a restaurant, museum, shops, offices, park, parking lot and small marina at the site were announced.  (Lahaina Sun)

Initial plans called for a 193-space parking lot situated at the Kaʻānapali side of the foot of the pier.  A park was planned between the parking lot and the shoreline which would block the parking area from sight while on the pier.  (Lahaina Sun)

Four buildings, housing 18 shops and 10 offices would be staggered on alternate sides of the pier. Park and fishing areas would be located between the buildings. Some of the shops would be cantilevered over the water.  (Lahaina Sun)

The bulk of the four buildings would be one story, with two sections of each building rising another story.   Near the end of the pier, a bait and tackle shop is planned.  Plans also call for construction of a one-story Hawaiiana Museum.   (Lahaina Sun)

At the pier's end would be a two-story restaurant which could seat 200. Behind the restaurant would be an art gallery.  Plans also include a 40-ship marina. The marina would be situated close to shore and would require dredging operations.  (Lahaina Sun)

In 2012, principals of Harbor Quest LLC discussed plans for another boat harbor at Māla.

Their testimony before the council described the details: "A channel approximately 650 feet long and 125 (feet) in width would be constructed through what is now Māla Wharf access road. The channel would transect Front Street, opening into a harbor basin with a surface area approximately three times the size of Lahaina Small Board Harbor."  (Lahaina News)

The vision is for a mixed-use, inland harbor village situated on 24-plus acres of land on the south side of Kahoma Stream between the ocean and Honoapiilani Highway.  (Lahaina News)

The proposed plans for the private venture are still on the drawing board but include 143 fifty-foot slips, three anchor restaurants, 160 retail establishments, 16 residential condominiums, haul-out facility and a four-story parking garage.  (Lahaina News)

Also in 2012, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and Stanford Carr released a draft Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Kahoma Village affordable housing project on lands mauka of Front Street, above Māla Wharf.  (This project site, proposed by its landowner, includes areas that Harbor Quest plans for its marina.)

While the discussions seem to continue, what appears constant is that Māla provides popular surfing and diving opportunities for Maui residents and visitors.

The image shows Māla Wharf at its blessing in 1922 (Maui News.)   In addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

ʻIli Lele


Ahupuaʻa were land divisions that served as a means of managing people and taking care of the people who support them, as well as an easy form of collection of tributes by the chiefs.  Ultimately, this helped in preserving resources.

A typical ahupuaʻa (what we generally refer to as watersheds, today) was a long strip of land, narrow at its mountain summit top and becoming wider as it ran down a valley into the sea to the outer edge of the reef.  If there was no reef then the sea boundary would be one-mile from the shore.

Ahupuaʻa contained nearly all the resources Hawaiians required for survival.  Fresh water resources were managed carefully for drinking, bathing and irrigation.   Mauka lands provided food, clothing, household goods, canoes, weapons and countless other useful products.  Within the coastal area and valleys, taro was cultivated in lo‘i; sweet potato, coconut, sugar cane and other food sources thrived in these areas.  The shore and reefs provided fish, shellfish and seaweed.

In ancient Hawaiian times, relatives and friends exchanged products.  The upland dwellers brought poi, taro and other foods to the shore to give to kinsmen there.  The shore dweller gave fish and other seafood.  Visits were never made empty-handed but always with something from one's home to give.

Some ahupuaʻa were further subdivided into units (still part of the ahupuaʻa) called ʻili. Some of the smallest ahupuaʻa were not subdivided at all, while the larger ones sometimes contained as many as thirty or forty ʻili, each named with its own individual title and carefully marked out as to boundary.

Occasionally, the ahupuaʻa was divided into ʻili lele or “jumping strips”.  The ʻili lele often consisted of several distinct pieces of land at different climatic zones that gave the benefit of the ahupuaʻa land use to the ʻili owner: the shore, open kula lands, wetland kalo land and forested sections.

The gift of land to Hiram Bingham, that later became Punahou School, had additional land beyond the large lot with the spring and kalo patches where the school is situated (Ka Punahou) as part of the initial gift - the land was an ʻili lele.

Punahou included a lot on the beach near the Kakaʻako Salt Works (‘Ili of Kukuluāeʻo;) the large lot with the spring and kalo patches where is school is situated (Kapunahou) and also a forest patch on the steep sides of Manoa Valley (ʻIli of Kolowalu, now known commonly referred to as Woodlawn.)  (Congressional Record, 1893-94)

‘Ili of Kukuluāeʻo is an ‘ili lele (before the reclamation of the reefs, it was on the mauka side of the beach trail (now Ala Moana Boulevard) on the Diamond Head side of the Kakaʻako peninsula).  Included with this were the fishing rights over the reef fronting the property.

In addition to this makai, coastal property, there was an associated larger lot with a spring and kalo land, and another piece of forest land on the slopes of Mānoa Valley.

In 1829, Governor Boki gave the land to Hiram Bingham – who subsequently gave it to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) – to establish Punahou School.

The ‘Ili of Kukuluāeʻo was bounded on Honolulu side by “Honolulu;” the mauka by “Kewalo;” and “Koula;” the Waikīkī side by “Kālia” and extended seaward out to where the surf breaks (essentially the edge of the reef.)  It included fishing grounds, coral flats and salt beds.

The land was owned by the King (Kauikeaouli – King Kamehameha III) and was originally awarded to the King as LCA 387, but he returned it to the government.

It’s not clear how/when the makai land “detached” from the other Punahou School pieces, but it did and was given to the ABCFM (for the pastor of Kawaiaha‘o Church.)

Testimony related to the land noted:
“The above land was given by Boki to Mr. Bingham, then a member of the above named Mission and the grant was afterwards confirmed by Kaahumanu.“

“This land was given to Mr. Bingham for the Sandwich Island Mission by Gov. Boki in 1829... From that time to these the S. I. Mission have been the only Possessors and Konohikis of the Land.”

“The name of the Makai part is Kukuluāeʻo. There are several tenants on the land of Punahou whose rights should be respected.”

Interestingly, there are two other ʻili lele, with ʻIli Lele of Kukuluāeʻo, that make up what is now known as Kakaʻako, ‘Ili Lele of Ka‘ākaukukui and ʻIli Lele of Kewalo.

‘Ili Lele of Ka‘ākaukukui was awarded to Victoria Kamāmalu, sister of Kamehameha IV and Kamehameha V. This was on the Honolulu side of Kakaʻako and the associated fishing area included in this ʻili makes up most of what is now known as Kakaʻako Makai (the Kakaʻako peninsula.)

Kaʻākaukukui held Fisherman's Point and the present harbor of Honolulu; then kalo land near the present Kukui street, and a large tract of forest at the head of Pauoa Valley.

ʻIli Lele of Kewalo was awarded to Kamakeʻe Piʻikoi, wife of Jonah Piʻikoi (grandparents of Prince Kūhiō;) the award was shared between husband and wife.  The lower land section extended from Kawaiahaʻo Church to Sheridan Street down to the shoreline.

The ʻIli Lele of Kewalo had a lower coastal area adjoining Waikīkī and below the Plain (Kulaokahu‘a) (270+ acres,) a portion makai of Pūowaina (Punchbowl) (50-acres, about one-half of Pūowaina,) a portion in Nuʻuanu (about 8-acres) and kalo loʻi in Pauoa Valley (about 1-acre.)

The image shows the three portions of the ʻili lele initially given to Hiram Bingham; the buff outline notes the present boundaries of the school and the blue background notes the three properties included in the initial gift.  This helps to illustrate the nature and benefits of ʻili lele – makai resource land, kalo land with water source and mauka forest land.

In addition, I have added other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Kaneʻaki Heiau


The ahupuaʻa of Mākaha, between Waiʻanae Ahupuaʻa to the southeast and Keaʻau Ahupua‘a to the northwest, extends from the coastline to the Waiʻanae Range.

Earliest accounts describe Mākaha as a good-sized inland settlement and a smaller coastal settlement.  These accounts correlate well with a sketch drawn by Hiram Bingham in 1826 depicting only six houses along the Mākaha coastline.

Green describes Mākaha’s coastal settlement as “…restricted to a hamlet in a small grove of coconut trees on the Keaʻau side of the valley, some other scattered houses, a few coconut trees along the beach, and a brackish water pool that served as a fish pond, at the mouth of the Mākaha Stream.” (Cultural Surveys)

This stream supported traditional wetland agriculture – kalo (taro) - in pre-contact and early historic periods

Supporting this, Māhele documents note Mākaha’s primary settlement was inland where waters from Mākaha Stream could support lo‘i and kula plantings. Although there is evidence for settlement along the shore, for the most part, this was limited to scattered, isolated residents.

One of the best preserved heiau on Oʻahu is situated inland in Mākaha Valley.

It was originally built possibly as a Lono class agricultural heiau, probably around AD 1545. Unlike many other ancient religious sites, it remained intact after the Hawaiian religion was overthrown. (Apo)

Mākaha Stream, a focal point of the ahupuaʻa, gave life to the valley in both ancient and modern times. After six reconstruction phases, Kaneʻaki Heiau was transformed into the present day Luakini class structure. This final phase, imply direct reference to a paramount chief having commissioned and participated in the event, since only he/she could build such a heiau.  (WaiʻanaeHawaiianStudies)

Excavation data suggests that Kaneʻaki Heiau was in major operation for centuries, beginning in AD 1545. The last phase of construction occurred during Kamehameha's campaign to unite the islands (1795-1810.)  (WaiʻanaeHawaiianStudies)

When the kapu system was overthrown, Kaneʻaki Heiau, unlike many other ancient religious sites, remained intact. In time, two restoration projects (one from 1969-70 and the other from 1996-97) were completed in order to retain the physical, spiritual and historical aspects of Kaneʻaki Heiau. (WaiʻanaeHawaiianStudies)

Nearby is a huge stone, "Pohaku O Kāne" (Stone of Kāne). This is one of the forms of the god Kāne, the uppermost of the four major gods, was worshipped by the many ʻohana that lived that ahupua'a. In modern times, it has come to be regarded as the guardian over the heiau and is still venerated by some people.  (WaiʻanaeHawaiianStudies)

Earlier restoration was completed in 1970.  A terrace and platform temple was first constructed on this site about 1545. It underwent six alterations, becoming ever larger and more sophisticated. (NPS)

Tradition says that in 1795 Kamehameha ordered that Kaneʻaki be transformed into a war heiau to insure his final conquest of Kauaʻi (Kaʻena Point, nearby, points directly at that island).  (NPS)

Supposedly those who started restoring the temple in the 1940s used Puʻukohola Heiau (at Kohala on the Big Island) as a model for the placement of the houses and idols. (NPS)

Bishop Museum staff supervised the restoration. There is a low terrace from which observers watched the ceremonies, the large hale mana for the priests on the upper platform alongside the smaller hale pahu, with an altar on pole legs between them.  (NPS)

Behind the altar is the god figure flanked by two prayer towers. These structures were reconstructed on the basis of postholes found in the stone platform.  (NPS)

Waiʻanae School Hawaii Studies Program suggests the following General Protocol Guidelines.

Kaneʻaki Heiau remains a significant place of culture to this very day. Therefore, it is very important to establish guidelines that will ensure the preservation of this sacred site, and to protect those that come to visit.  (WaiʻanaeHawaiianStudies)

  • Your approach to Kaneʻaki Heiau should be very respectful and treated as though you are in the house of god. You may be greeted and briefed by members of Hui Mālama O Kaneʻaki. Then you may proceed to the heiau trail. 
  • Unnecessary noise should be avoided or limited to the lower areas (parking/lawn area).Only guides may speak. 
  • Absolutely no entry allowed onto the main platforms. 
  • You must remain on the trail established by guides. Let your eyes and ears do the touching and not your hands. 
  • The following list of hoʻokupu are considered acceptable offerings: Maiʻa (Hawaiian banana), Awa, Niu, Kumu, Wauke, ʻOhe, Kalo, Ipu or Lua Ki. These offerings should be made in their natural state and not “prepared.” But no hoʻokupu, other than the personal mana you share with us today, is better than inferior offering.  (WaiʻanaeHawaiianStudies)

The heiau is on private land and, due to activities there, for the past few months it has been "closed until further notice."  I spoke with a representative at Mauna ʻOlu Estates Security and they do not know when public access will reopen.  If you are interested, you may check back with them at (808) 695-8174.

The image shows a view of Kaneʻaki Heiau in Mākaha Valley.  I have added other images to a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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