Saturday, November 30, 2013

As you might suspect, being a former math major - and, for a while, high school math teacher - I start a discussion about Hawaiian numbers and counting by simply saying that numbers matter.  Numbers talk to me, they help tell stories.

It’s interesting to see that the Hawaiian word Hā - to breath, exhale; essentially, the breath of life – is also the word for four (4.)

Hmmm ... you see, numbers do matter.

Four (and decimal multiples of it) shows up in other important Hawaiian things.

There were four Great Gods in Hawaiian tradition, Kāne, Kū, Lono and Kanaloa.   Each has his area of responsibility or “departments” (essentially covering life’s needs.)  (Kanahele)

Kāne heads the areas of procreation, fresh water, forests, certain plants and animals.   Kū oversees war, politics, certain fish and shrubs, and trees.  Lono is in charge of the peace, agriculture, the weather and healing.  Kanaloa’s responsibilities suggest an important role of the oceans, voyaging and fishing.

When Hawaiians prayed, in order to include all aspects of God (not to omit or offend any of the akua,) they added to the prayer the words, “E Hoʻoulu ana I kini o ke akua, ka lehu o ke akau, na mano o ke akua” (Invoke we now the 40,000 gods, the 400,000 gods, the 4,000 gods.) (Beckwith)

Hoʻoulu ana I kini o ke akua (cause the growth to reach the edge or realm of the multitude of the gods,) Ka lehu o ke akau (the 400,000 of the North, or along the direction of the sunʻs course,) na mano o ke akua (within the repeated increase or multiplier from the gods,) seen in the symbol of the sharks as Mano-kalani-po. (Yardley)

There were four Kū days and were called the cluster days – Ku-kahi, Ku-lua, Ku-kolu and Ku-pau (planting potatoes, bananas or melons these days meant the bearing would be good.)  (Fornander)

There were four ends of the earth – Kai Koʻolau, Kai Kona, Kahiki-ku and Kahiki-moe – north, south, east and west. (Fornander)

In Hawaiian, specific numerals involving four are reported for fish (kaʻau is used for counting fish,) kapa (ʻiako in counting tapa,) canoes (ʻiako) and tubers (kanahā in counting rope, cord, bundles of food)   (Beller; Schmitt)

Fornander notes that the Polynesian language gives undoubted evidence that at one time the people who spoke it did not count beyond four, and that its ideas of higher numbers were expressed by multiples of four. They evidently counted one, two, three, four, and that amount called "kāuna" was their tally, when the process was repeated again.  (Fornander)

A unit of four is kāuna, a term that perhaps arose, according to Alexander, "from the custom of counting fish, coconuts, taro etc., by taking a couple in each hand, or by tying them in bundles of four."

Other speculation for using four as a secondary base assumes that it originates from the main patterns of basket-weaving and in astronomy.  Beyond this pragmatic reason, four was also of extreme significance in a spiritual context.  (Johnson; Beller)

Present day counting is generally based on a decimal system, where ten is the base number.  Ancient Hawaiians used a mixed-base system, comprised of base 4 elements and base 10 elements.

Although words for numbers from one (ʻakahi) to ten (ʻumi) were typically short, larger numbers were often polysyllabic.  Early foreign residents like missionary EW Clark recorded numbers as high as 40,000 (kini), 400,000 (lehu) and even 4,000,000 (nalowale.)  (Schmitt)

"When they had arrived at 40, they returned to one and counted to 40 again," Clark noted. "The words ʻiako and kaʻau are sometimes used for 40 instead of kanakā."  (Schmitt)

Four was a formulistic number (adhering or conforming to some recognized formula.)  Pukui uses the term ‘pāhā’ to describe this – meaning, by fours, four at a time, four times; to distribute to four; to divide by four.

Numbers matter.

(The HĀ image is from the Polynesian Cultural Center's Hā Breath of Life.)

© 2013 Hoʻokuleana LLC

Friday, November 29, 2013


It used to be referred to as ʻĀina Momona (the bountiful land,) reflecting the great productivity of the island and its surrounding ocean.

It is about 38-miles long and 10-miles wide, an area of 260-square miles, making it the 5th largest of the main Hawaiian Islands (and the 27th largest island in the US.)

The island was formed by two volcanoes, East and West, emerging about 1.5-2-million years ago.  The cliffs on the north-eastern part of the island are the result of subsidence and the “Wailua Slump” (a giant submarine landslide – about 25-miles long that tumbled about 120-miles offshore – about 1.4-million years ago.)

In separate volcanic activity about 300,000-years ago, Kalaupapa Peninsula was formed.  Penguin Bank, to the west of the island, is believed to be a separate volcano that was once above the water, but submerged within the last 100,000-years.

Molokaʻi is divided into two moku (districts,) Koʻolau on the windward side and Kona on the leeward side.  (These are common district names that are universally used across of the Hawaiian archipelago (“Koʻolau,” marking the windward sides of the islands, and "Kona," the leeward sides of the islands.))

Archaeological evidence suggests that Molokaʻi’s East end was traditionally the home of the majority of early Hawaiians; large clusters of Hawaiians were living along the shore, on the lower slopes and in the larger valleys.   Productive, well-kept fishponds were strung along the southern shoreline.

The water supply was ample; ʻauwai (irrigation ditches), taro loʻi (ponded terraces) and habitation sites were found in every wet valley. ʻUala (sweet potato) and wauke (paper mulberry) were cultivated in the mauka areas between long shallow stone terraces which swept across the lower kula slopes.

The windward valleys developed into areas of intensive irrigated taro cultivation and seasonal migrations took place to stock up on fish and precious salt for the rest of the year.

The drier coastal regions of the West end were sparsely populated on a year-round basis, although they were frequently visited for extended periods of fishing during the summer months.  (Papohaku on the west shore is the longest stretch of white sand beach in Hawaiʻi (3-miles long and 300-feet wide.))

East end’s Pukoʻo had a natural break in the reef, good landing areas for canoes and nearby fishponds built out over the fringe reef. Archaeological evidence suggests it was a heavily populated area; it was also destined to become the first town in the western tradition on the island of Molokaʻi.

When the American Protestant missionaries arrived on Molokaʻi in 1832, they settled at nearby Kaluaʻaha.  The first church was made of thatch (1833,) a school soon followed.  By 1844, a stone church was built.

It was not long before a small community was forming around the church buildings. It became the social center of the entire island, with people coming from as far away as the windward valleys, over the pali and by canoe, just to attend church sermons on Sunday and socialize.

In the 1850s, Catholic priests began to visit the island; during the 1870s, Father Damien, who had come to Molokaʻi to serve the patients at Kalawao, traveled top-side to gather congregations of Catholics. He built four Catholic churches on the East End of Molokaʻi, at Kamaloʻo, Kaluaʻaha, Halawa and Kumimi.

In later years they built a wharf at Pukoʻo – it became the center of activity for the island and the first County seat.  However, with economic opportunities forming on the central and west sides of the Island, Pukoʻo soon lost its appeal (there is no commercial activity there, today.)

Like Pukoʻo, Kaunakakai had a natural opening in the reef.  In 1859, Kamehameha IV established a sheep ranch (Molokaʻi Ranch) and built his home, Malama, there.  “It is a grass hut, skillfully thatched, having a lanai all around, with floors covered with real Hawaiian mats. The house has two big rooms. The parlor is well furnished, with glass cases containing books in the English language.”

“On the north west side of the house is a large grass house, and it seems to be the largest one seen to this time. The house is divided into rooms and appears to be a place in which to receive the king’s guests.”  (SFCA)

Rudolph Wilhelm became manager of Moloka`i Ranch for Kamehameha V in 1864. However, Kamehameha V was probably best known on Molokaʻi for the establishment of the Leprosy Settlement on the isolated peninsula of Kalaupapa in 1865.

Meyer started to grow sugar shortly thereafter (1876.)  By 1882, there were three small sugar plantations on Molokaʻi: Meyer’s at Kalaʻe, one at Kamaloʻo and another at Moanui.

Meyer also served as the Superintendent of the isolated Kalawao settlement (Kalaupapa) (serving with Father Damien and Mother Marianne Cope (now, both are Saints.))

Kaunakakai Harbor was an important transportation link and key to these various activities.  After 1866, it became vital to bringing in supplies for the Kalaupapa Settlement. Goods, personnel and visitors were landed at Kaunakakai then transported by mule down the pali trail.

During the 1880s, sugar and molasses from the Meyer sugar mill were loaded onto carts and taken to the harbor where they were transferred into small boats. These boats came up to the sand beach and take the sugar and molasses to larger ships anchored in the harbor.  By 1889 a small wharf had been built at Kaunakakai.

After Molokai Ranch was sold to the American Sugar Company in 1897 a new, more substantial stone mole with a wooden landing platform at the makai end, was put up next to the old wharf to service their expected sugar shipments.

Finally in 1909, a political division of the island was made incorporating Moloka`i into Maui County and excluding the State Health Department administered area of the Kalaupapa Settlement. This district became known as Kalawao County.

During the 1920s Kaunakakai first began to develop as the main business center of the island. Several stores were built along either side of Ala Malama Street indicating the sense of prosperity of the times. This activity continued well into the 1930s, a period that corresponded to the largest increase in population on Molokaʻi.

At that time and into the early-1930s, Kaunakakai gradually became the main hub of activity, partially due to its central location and increased population. It was here that a larger, improved wharf had been developed for the pineapple plantations and for the shipment of cattle.

Another major change occurred when the Government passed the Hawaiian Homes Act in 1921. Seventy-nine Hawaiian homesteading families moved to Kalamaʻula in 1922 and in 1924 the Hoʻolehua and Palaʻau areas were opened for homesteading on lands previously under lease from the government to the American Sugar Company Limited. The homestead population rose from an estimated 278 in 1924 to 1,400 by 1935.

In 1923, Libby, McNeil & Libby began to grow pineapple on land leased from Molokai Ranch; their activities were focused primarily in the Kaluakoʻi section of the island.  Lacking facilities and housing, the plantation began building clusters of dwellings (“camps”) around Maunaloa.  By 1927, it started to grow into a small town – as pineapple production grew, so did the town.

In 1927, California Packing Corporation, later known as Del Monte Corporation, leased lands of Naʻiwa and Kahanui owned by Molokaʻi Ranch to establish a pineapple plantation with headquarters in the town of Kualapuʻu.  The town takes its name from kaʻuala puʻu, or the sweet potato hill, the hill to the south where sweet potatoes were grown on its slopes.

The town was first created when Molokaʻi Ranch (American Sugar Company) moved their ranch headquarters from Kaunakakai to Kualapuʻu after the demise of their sugar enterprise.

After the Hoʻolehua homesteads were opened up by Hawaiian Homes Commission in 1924, the ranch headquarters began to take on the character of a real town. However the real change came with the arrival of California Packing Corporation in Kualapuʻu to grow pineapple for shipment to the Oʻahu cannery.

In 1968, there were 16,800 acres of pineapple under cultivation on Moloka`i. The Libby plantation was sold to the Dole Pineapple Corporation in 1970, which very soon closed down the plantation when they determined it was no longer a profitable venture.  After fifty-five years of operation, Del Monte began a phased shut down operation in 1982 which terminated in 1989.

Maunaloa and Kualapuʻu were towns created expressly for agriculture. Kaunakakai came into its own due to its harbor, central location, and the shift of population from the east end of the island. It gradually became the administrative and business center of Moloka`i, much as Pukoʻo had been many years before.

The image shows an 1897 map of Molokaʻi.  (Lots of information here is from Curtis.)

© 2013 Hoʻokuleana LLC

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving !!!

No one knows when the first western Thanksgiving feast was held in Hawaiʻi, but from all apparent possibilities, the first recorded one took place in Honolulu and was held among the families of the American missionaries from New England.

According to the reported entry in Lowell Smith’s journal on December 6, 1838: "This day has been observed by us missionaries and people of Honolulu as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God. Something new for this nation. The people turned out pretty well and they dined in small groups and in a few instances in large groups. We missionaries all dined at Dr. Judd's and supped at Brother Bingham’s. ... An interesting day; seemed like old times - Thanksgiving in the United States."

The first Thanksgiving Proclamation in Hawaiʻi appears to have been issued on November 23, 1849, and set the 31st day of December as a date of Thanksgiving. This appeared in ‘The Friend’ on December 1, 1849.

The following, under the signature of King Kamehameha III, named a day in December as a day of public thanks. The Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1849 read, in part:

“In accordance with the laws of this Kingdom, and the excellent usage of Christian Nations, it has pleased his Majesty, in council, to appoint the Thirty-first day of December, next, as a day of public thanksgiving to God, for His unnumbered mercies and blessings to this nation; and people of every class are respectfully requested to assemble in their several houses of worship on that day, to render united praise to the Father of nations, and to implore His favor in time to come, upon all who dwell upon these shores, as individuals, as families, and as a nation.”  (Signed at the Palace. Honolulu, November, 23, 1849.)

"It will be seen by Royal Proclamation that Monday, the 31st of December has been appointed by His Majesty in Council as a day of Thanksgiving. We are glad to see this time-honored custom introduced into this Kingdom."

The celebratory day of Thanksgiving changed over time.  On December 26, 1941 President Roosevelt signed into law a bill making the date of Thanksgiving a matter of federal law, fixing the day as the fourth Thursday of November.

Thanksgiving is a major holiday celebrated in the United States, with origins dating back centuries to Colonial times.

The faith of celebrating a harvest of plenty was a dramatic event in early Colonial America, since food supplies were far from dependable. Years of massive starvation were as common as times of plenty.  Their celebration of Thanksgiving continues today.

Although Native Americans were known to have harvest celebrations for centuries, if not millennia, before arrival of Europeans, the heart of Thanksgiving is a time of sharing the bounty of autumn and celebrating common survival.

The site and date of origin of Thanksgiving are matters of great dispute, with regional claims being made by widely disparate locations in North America. The chief claims are: Saint Augustine, Florida - 1565; Baffin Island, Canada - 1578; Jamestown, Virginia - 1619 and Plymouth, Massachusetts - 1621.

In Hawaiʻi, the Makahiki celebrated the harvest and Lono, the god of fertility and rain. It is similar in timing and purpose to Thanksgiving, Oktoberfest and other harvest celebrations (beginning in late-October or early-November when Makaliʻi (the Pleiades constellation) is first observed rising above the horizon at sunset, the Makahiki period continued for four months.)

Tributes in the form of goods and produce were given to the chiefs.  Success of the harvest was commemorated with prayers of praise made to the Creator, ancestral guardians, caretakers of the elements and various deities - particularly Lono.

The land was allowed to rest and rejuvenate for the next growing season; it was a time of peace.  The image shows Makaliʻi, the Pleiades constellation (NASA-WC.)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

© 2013 Hoʻokuleana LLC

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


When chief Kekaulike died, his younger son Kamehamehanui (uncle to Kamehameha I) was named heir to rule Maui. In 1738, Kauhi‘aimokuakama (Kauhi,) his older brother, began to wage war to win the title of ruling chief.

Battles were fought across West Maui, from Ukumehame to Honokowai.  Kamehamehanui engaged the forces of his uncle from Hawai‘i to fight with him, whose troops numbered over 8,000, and Kauhi brought troops of warriors from O‘ahu.

The war ended with the battle Koko O Nā Moku (“Bloodshed of the Islands.”) Over several days, the blood of fallen warriors from both sides flowed from a stream into the shorebreak and caused the ocean to turn red.  (Kamehamehanui won.) (Kāʻanapali Historical Trail)

This occurred in the moku (district) of Kāʻanapali ("divided cliffs.")  A prominent feature noted at the beach is Pu‘u Kekaʻa (“the rolling hill”) - the outcrop that separates portions of the beach (commonly known as “Black Rock.”)

It was “ka leina a ka ‘uhane” - the place where a person’s soul left the earthly realm for the afterlife (these were usually at the westernmost point of the island.)

It was also a place for “lele kawa” (cliff jumping;) Kahekili gained respect from many warriors for his leaps from Pu‘u Kekaʻa, as most were frightened of the spirits who were in the area.  (Kāʻanapali Historical Trail)

The island of Maui is divided into twelve moku; Kāʻanapali, Lāhainā, Wailuku, Hāmākuapoko, Hāmākualoa, Koʻolau, Hāna, Kīpahulu, Kaupō, Kahikinui, Honuaʻula and Kula.

An area in the moku of Kāʻanapali is referred to as Nā Hono A Piʻilani (The Bays of Piʻilani (aka Honoapiʻilani.))  In the 1500s, Chief Piʻilani (“stairway to heaven”) unified West Maui and ruled in peace and prosperity.  His territory included the West Maui bays, a place he frequented.

From South to North, six of the identified bays are Honokōwai (bay drawing fresh water), Honokeana (cave bay), Honokahua (sites bay,) Honolua (two bays), Honokōhau (bay drawing dew) and Hononana (animated bay).

In the late-1800s and early-1900s there was a horse racing track (Koko O Na Moku Horse Racing Track) at Kāʻanapali Beach that stretched from the present day Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel to the present day Westin Maui Resort. Horse races ended in 1918.

In 1860, James Campbell started the Pioneer Mill Company; sugar cultivation proved to be very profitable.  He later sold his interest in the Mill and, after subsequent transfers, in 1960, Pioneer Mill Company became a wholly owned subsidiary of American Factors (Amfac - one of Hawaiʻi’s Big 5.)

Kāʻanapali was the terminus for the plantation railroad; a landing on the northerly side of Puʻu Kekaʻa with a wharf and off-shore moorings served as the primary loading spot for shipping processed sugar from the island and bringing in supplies for the plantation camps.

After the sugar industry's peak in 1930, production, acreage in sugar and profits declined.  Seeing hard times ahead, Amfac took 1,200-acres of Pioneer Mill Company land out of cane to develop as a visitor resort destination (in 1999, Pioneer Mill closed its sugar operations.)

Then, a few years before Hawaiʻi became a state, before Maui County even had a mayor, in 1956, Pioneer Mill's board of directors got together for a lūʻau on the beach near Puʻu Kekaʻa. There, they sketched out the whole Kāʻanapali Beach Resort master planning venture.  (mauitime-com)

Seven years later, the grand opening for the Sheraton (the second, following the Royal Lāhianā completed the year before) put Kāʻanapali on the map as a resort area and featured celebrities like Bing Crosby, golfer Sam Snead and then-California Governor Pat Brown. It was a groundbreaking place, in more ways than one.  (mauitime-com)

The land set-aside by Amfac became Hawaiʻi's first master-planned resort.  When it opened in 1962, it became known as the Kāʻanapali Beach Resort.

Today, along its 3-mile coastline, this self-contained resort has over 5,000 hotel rooms, condominium suites, timeshares and villas; 2-championship golf courses (in 1962, Bing Crosby took the inaugural shot on the Royal Kāʻanapali Course) and 35-tennis courts.  It accommodates over half-a-million visitors each year.

Kāʻanapali Beach was ranked “Best Beach in America” in 2003 (Dr. Beach.)  A beach walk runs parallel with the sand the entire length of Kāʻanapali interconnecting the five major resort hotels and six condominiums and timeshares, as well as the numerous recreational, shopping, dining and other activities in the area.

Twenty-five years after it started, the Urban Land Institute recognized Kāʻanapali Beach Resort with an Award of Excellence for Large-Scale Recreational Development.

In the early years, Kāʻanapali Airport, built on an old coastal road in 1961, serviced the resort first by transporting workers and materials for the new development and then it brought guests in/out.

Take-offs and landings were a thrill for pilots and passengers; the Airport’s runway (01-19) started just 30-feet from the shoreline and extended north a short 2,615-feet.  Kahekili Beach Park now sits on the former Airport site.

The Airport was used exclusively by the commuter aircraft of Royal Hawaiian, initially using Cessna 402 aircraft.  In 1987, Hawaiian Airlines built the nearby Kapalua Airport; the State took over that facility in 1993.

They must be doing something right, Maui and the visitor destinations of Lāhainā-Kāʻanapali-Kapalua continue to lead the neighbor islands in room occupancy and they lead the state in average daily room (ADR) rates and revenue per available room (ADR x occupancy rate.)

At the same time properties like the Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel are recognized as Hawaii’s Most Hawaiian Hotel for demonstrating an ongoing responsibility, commitment and dedication to honoring and perpetuating the Hawaiian culture for generations to come.

The image shows an early aerial view overlooking Kāʻanapali (Lozoff.)  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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Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Today, you don’t necessarily use the words ʻEwa and Kalo in the same sentence – we tend to think of the ʻEwa district as dry and hot, not as a wetland taro production region.  Some early written descriptions of the place also note the dry ʻEwa Plains.

In 1793, Captain George Vancouver described this area as desolate and barren:  “From the commencement of the high land to the westward of Opooroah (Puʻuloa – Pearl Harbor) was … one barren rocky waste, nearly destitute of verdure, cultivation or inhabitants, with little variation all to the west point of the island. …”

In 1839, Missionary EO Hall described the area between Pearl Harbor and Kalaeloa as follows: “Passing all the villages (after leaving the Pearl River) at one or two of which we stopped, we crossed the barren desolate plain”.  (Robicheaux)

However, not only was ʻEwa productive, its taro was memorable.

Ua ʻai i ke kāī-koi o ‘Ewa.
He has eaten the kāī-koi taro of ‘Ewa.

Kāī is O‘ahu‘s best eating taro; one who has eaten it will always like it. Said of a youth or maiden of ‘Ewa, who, like the Kāī taro, is not easily forgotten.  (ʻŌlelo Noʻeau, 2770, Pukui)

The island of Oʻahu is divided into 6 moku (districts), consisting of: ‘Ewa, Kona, Koʻolauloa, Koʻolaupoko, Waialua and Waiʻanae. These moku were further divided into 86 ahupua‘a (land divisions within a moku.)

‘Ewa was divided into 12-ahupua‘a, consisting of (from east to west): Hālawa, ‘Aiea, Kalauao, Waimalu, Waiau, Waimano, Mānana, Waiʻawa, Waipi‘o, Waikele, Hōʻaeʻae and Honouliuli.

‘Ewa was at one time the political center for O‘ahu chiefs. This was probably due to its abundant resources that supported the households of the chiefs, particularly the many fishponds around the lochs of Puʻuloa (“long hill,) better known today as Pearl Harbor. (Cultural Surveys)  ʻEwa was the second most productive taro cultivation area on Oʻahu (just behind Waikīkī.)  (Laimana)

The salient feature of ‘Ewa, and perhaps its most notable difference, is its spacious coastal plain, surrounding the deep bays (“lochs”) of Pearl Harbor, which are actually the drowned seaward valleys of ‘Ewa’s main streams, Waikele and Waipi‘o…The lowlands, bisected by ample streams, were ideal terrain for the cultivation of irrigated taro.  (Handy, Cultural Surveys)

‘Ewa was known for a special and tasty variety of kalo (taro) called kāī which was native to the district. There were four documented varieties; the kāī ʻulaʻula (red kāī), kāī koi (kāī that pierces), kāī kea or kāī keʻokeʻo (white kāī), and kāī uliuli (dark kāī.)  (Handy)

Handy says about 'Ewa:
The lowlands, bisected by ample streams, were ideal terrain for the cultivation of irrigated taro. The hinterland consisted of deep valleys running far back into the Koʻolau range. Between the valleys were ridges, with steep sides, but a very gradual increase of altitude. The lower parts of the valley sides were excellent for the culture of yams and bananas. Farther inland grew the 'awa for which the area was famous. The length or depth of the valleys and the gradual slope of the ridges made the inhabited lowlands much more distant from the wao, or upland jungle, than was the case on the windward coast. Yet the wao here was more extensive, giving greater opportunity to forage for wild foods in famine time. (Handy)

Earlier this century, a few fishermen and some of their families built shanties by the shore where they lived, fished and traded their catch for taro at ‘Ewa. Their drinking water was taken from nearby ponds, and it was so brackish that other people could not stand to drink it.  (Maly)

An 1899 newspaper account says of the kāī koi, “That is the taro that visitors gnaw on and find it so good that they want to live until they die in ‘Ewa. The poi of kai koi is so delicious”. (Ka Loea Kalai ʻĀina 1899, Cultural Surveys) So famous was the kāī variety that ‘Ewa was sometimes affectionately called Kāī o ‘Ewa.

“I think it (wetlands) went all the way behind the Barbers Point beach area. … We’d go swim in the ponds back there, it was pretty deep, about two feet, and the birds were all around. … It seems like when there were storms out on the ocean, we’d see them come into the shore, but they’re not around anymore.”

“The wet land would get bigger when there was a lot of rain, and we had so much fun in there, but now the water has nearly all dried up. They even used to grow wet-land taro in the field behind the elementary school area when I was young. (Arline Wainaha Pu‘ulei Brede-Eaton, Maly Interview)
 ”… Bountiful taro fields covered the plain and countless coconut palms, with several huts in their shade beautified the country side. … The taro fields, the banana plantations, the plantations of sugar cane are immeasurable.” (A Botanist’s Visit to Oahu in 1831, Journal of Dr FJF Meyen, Maly)

“This district, unlike others of the island, is watered by copious and excellent springs that gush out at the foot of the mountains. From these run streams sufficient for working sugar-mills. In consequence of this supply, the district never suffers from drought, and the taro-patches are well supplied with water by the same means.”  (Commander Charles Wilkes, 1840-1841, Maly)

“Rev. Artemas Bishop, in the summer of 1836, removed with his wife and two children from Kailua, Hawaii, to Ewa, Oahu.  … Throughout the district of Ewa the common people were generally well fed. Owing to the decay of population, great breadths of taro marsh had fallen into disuse, and there was a surplus of soil and water for raising food.”  (SE Bishop, The Friend, May 1901)

As in other areas, kalo loʻi converted to rice patties.  “These days at ‘Ewa, the planting of rice is spreading among the Chinese and the Hawaiians, from Hālawa to Honouliuli and beyond. There will come a day when the mother food, taro, shall not be seen on the land.”  (Ka Lahui Hawaii, May 3, 1877, Maly)

Of course, in our discussion of the ʻEwa Moku, we need to remember that it ran from Hālawa to Honouliuli and circled Pearl Harbor.  Much of the watered wetland taro was produced off of streams from the Koʻolau; however, there is considerable mention of the wetland taro of Honouliuli (what we generally refer to today as ʻEwa.)

The image shows the ahupuaʻa within the Moku of ʻEwa over Google Earth.  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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Monday, November 25, 2013

Kohala Ditch

Central to Hawaiʻi’s use of water has been agriculture, sugar in particular.

Initially brought to the islands by early Polynesians, the first successful commercial sugar plantation started in 1835.  And, with it, Hawai`i’s environmental, social and economic fabric changed.  Hawaiʻi's economy turned toward sugar in the decades between 1860 and 1880; these twenty years were pivotal in building the plantation system.

What encouraged the development of plantation centers?  For one, the American settlement of California opened lucrative avenues of trade in the Pacific.  In addition, the Civil War virtually shut down Louisiana sugar production during the 1860s, enabling Hawai'i to compete in a California market that paid elevated prices for sugar.

The Pacific whaling trade collapsed after 1860, pushing Honolulu merchants into the sugar trade.  About the same time, the closing of the Hawaiian mission left the previously supported missionaries in search of new means of income.

The 1876 Treaty of Reciprocity between the United States and the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi eliminated the major trade barrier to Hawai`i’s closest and major market.  Through the treaty, the US received a station at Pearl Harbor and Hawaiʻi’s sugar planters received duty-free entry into US markets for their sugar.

For nearly a century, agriculture was the Island's leading economic activity. It provided Hawai`i's major sources of employment, tax revenues, and new capital through exports of raw sugar and other farm products.

Sugarcane requires a lot of water to grow. Pioneer sugar planters solved water shortages by diverting stream water and building irrigation systems that included aqueducts (the first in 1856), artesian wells (the first in 1879), and tunnels and mountain wells (the first in 1898).  These irrigation systems enabled the planters to expand their sugar production.

These irrigation systems were modeled largely after the elaborate and extensive diversion and ditches developed by the ancient Hawaiians.  Unlike the traditional Hawaiian system, which never diverted more than 50% of stream flow, the sugar plantations diverted large quantities of water from perennial streams and moved water from one ahupuaʻa to another.

Boston missionary Reverend Elias Bond sailed with the Ninth Company of Protestant Missionaries, arriving in the Islands in 1841. He was then assigned to Kohala.

As a means to provide employment to the people in the region and support his church and schools, in 1862, Reverend Bond founded Kohala Sugar Company, known as "The Missionary Plantation;” it produced its first sugar crop in 1865.  Bond gave all his dividends and profits beyond his living expenses to the Board of Missions.

Bond included the following in a letter: "So this was the 'Missionary Plantation', and the prophecies were many and loud that it would not live five years". But in the goodness of God we came through."  (Schweitzer)

From the mid-1800s, the sugar industry developed and commercial centers sprung up around the processing mills, especially in Kapaʻau and Hawi.  The construction of the railroad and the Kohala Ditch acted to encourage the further development of these more centrally-located communities.

Seven sugar mills operated in Kohala: Kohala, Union, Niuliʻi, Hawi, Halawa, Hōʻea and Star.  With the exception of Star, which existed for only a brief period of time, each was the nucleus of a community of plantation managers, supervisors, and laborers.  (In 1937, all of the mills were consolidated into Kohala Sugar Company.)

To water the crop, John Hind first conceived of an irrigation system tapping into the abundant, wild and inaccessible rivers that ribbon the Kohala Mountains.  In 1904, JS Low acquired a license from the Territory of Hawaiʻi to "enter upon, confine, conserve, collect, impound and divert all the running natural surface waters on the Kohala-Hāmākua Watershed;" he assigned the license to the Kohala Ditch Company.

Notable engineers and other professionals became involved in the construction of irrigation ditches that were the forerunners of large irrigation projects in the Western US.  Among the engineers was Michael Maurice O'Shaugnessy; he was both an investor in the Kohala Ditch Company and the Chief Engineer for the aqueduct.  (ASCE)

The Kohala Ditch, built by the Kohala Sugar Company, diverted water from the Honokāne Nui Stream to Hikapoloa, west of Hawi.  600-Japanese laborers worked on its construction; in the process, 17 lost their lives.

The laborers were housed under corrugated iron roofs. The raised floors “nearly always two-feet above the ground and higher if practicable” provided “a place for drying the men’s clothes in wet weather.” Additionally, “a hospital and medical department was also provided for the men, who were assessed 50-cents a month apiece for this object.”  (ASCE)

The Honokāne section of Kohala Ditch was opened on June 11, 1906; waters of Honokāne began flowing to the Kohala, Niuliʻi, Halawa, Hawi and Union mills.  The Awini section was finished in 1907; it started from the Waikoloa stream and traveled over 8-miles, mostly in tunnel, to the Awini weir where the water dropped 900-feet in a manmade waterfall into the Honokāne section.

The ditch carried the water for 23-miles northwest, mostly as tunnel, toward Hawi.  The capacity was originally 70-mgd, later reduced to 50-mgd, when the original flumes were replaced with smaller ones.

The ditch drops about 80-feet in elevation from 1,045-feet at the bottom of the intake at the first large stream (Honokāne) to 956-feet at the terminus in the plantation fields.

Prosperity came to Kohala. At the peak of its production, the Sugar Company had 600-employees; 13,000-acres of land produced 45,000-tons of raw sugar a year.

As with other sugar operations, it didn’t last.  1975 saw the last harvest at Kohala Sugar Company.  The district’s economy struggled.  Almost one-third of the workforce now commutes to South Kohala to work in the hotels and resorts located there.  However, the Ditch remained open for other agricultural needs.

Vulnerability and the risks associated with reliance on the Kohala Ditch were made evident on October 15, 2006, when two earthquakes struck off Kiholo and caused extensive damage to the Kohala Ditch.  In that instant, rockslides and other damage to the ditch stopped the water from flowing through the Ditch.

Two years later, on November 25, 2008, after extensive community involvement and public/private funding ($2-million in federal money, $500,000 from the state, $500,000 from Hawai`i County, $342,000 from Kamehameha Schools and $100,000 from AT&T), water was released back into the Kohala Ditch after repairs to the damage caused by the 2006 quakes.

Agricultural and hydroelectric users continue to benefit from the Ditch; in addition, entrepreneurs saw an opportunity for recreational/visitor industry uses of the ditch with kayak and raft rides through the flumes and tunnels of the Kohala Ditch.

The image shows workers in the construction of the Kohala Ditch.  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, November 24, 2013

Prince Moses Kekūāiwa

Mataio Kekūanāoʻa (1793–1868) and Kīnaʻu (1805-1839) each served as Kuhina Nui, a position generally described as “Prime Minister,” “Premier” and “Regent.”  They were each born of chiefs; in Kīnaʻu’s case, she was the daughter of Kamehameha I.

They were also husband and wife.

They had five children: four boys, David Kamehameha (1828–1835), Moses Kekūāiwa (1829-1848,) Lot Kapuāiwa (1830–1872,) Alexander Liholiho (1834–1863,) and a girl, Victoria Kamāmalu (1838–1866.)

Consistent with custom, each of the sons were hānai (adopted) to other families - David by Kaʻahumanu, Moses by Kaikioʻewa, Lot (later Kamehameha V) by Nahiʻenaʻena, and Alexander (later Kamehameha IV) by Kauikeaouli.  (Luomala)

When Kīna‘u’s last child, Victoria Kamāmalu, was born she refused her maternal uncle Kuakini’s request to take the child to the island of Hawaii to rear. Defying custom, she herself nursed her and her adopted daughter Pauahi (but made John Papa ʻĪ‘ī and his wife Sarai her child’s kahu.)  (Luomala)

Moses Kekūāiwa was born July 20, 1829.  His hānai father, Kaikioʻewa, was a trusted and loyal advisor and warrior to Moses’ grandfather, Kamehameha I.  When Kamehameha died, Kaikioʻewa was one of the few there with him.

“After lying there three days, his wives, children and chiefs, perceiving that he was very low, returned him to his own house. … The chiefs requested him to give them his counsel … Then Kaikioʻewa addressed him thus:  ‘Here we all are, your younger brethren, your son Liholiho and your foreigner; impart to us your dying charge, that Liholiho and Kaʻahumanu may hear.’”

“Then Kamehameha inquired, ‘What do you say?’ Kaikioʻewa repeated, ‘Your counsels for us.’ He then said, ‘Move on in my good way and--.’ He could proceed no further. … The sick king was once more taken to his house, when he expired; this was at two o'clock.” (Jarves)  (Kaikioʻewa later became governor of Kauaʻi. Moses Kekūāiwa was also known as Moses Kaikioʻewa.)

As a child, Prince Moses Kekūāiwa, apparently “developed a violent and uncontrollable nature. … (while) embarking for Kauaʻi early in 1839 in company with Mr. and Mrs. Amos Cooke and the old governor of Kauaʻi, Kaikioʻewa, who was the official Kahu, or guardian of little Prince Moses. The youngster had made up his mind to go with his guardian.”

“He came down to Robinsons’ wharf where we were about to set sail, and laid hold of the side of the brig, yelling and howling. His guardian all the time continued to dissuade and expostulate. No one dared to use force upon the furious child. This continued for more than two hours, until nearly night. Finally his father, the governor Kekūanāoʻa, sent down a file of soldiers with orders to arrest and convey the little prince home to the palace near by.”  (Sereno Edwards Bishop)

Moses Kekūāiwa was educated at Chiefs’ Children’s School (Royal School.)  Founded in 1839, the original school was located on the grounds of the present Hawaiʻi State Capitol.  The school was created by King Kamehameha III; the main goal of this school was to groom the next generation of the highest ranking chief's children of the realm and secure their positions for Hawaii's Kingdom.

Seven families were eligible under succession laws stated in the 1840 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i; Kamehameha III called on seven boys and seven girls of his family to board in the Chief’s Children’s School (two more students were added in 1842.)

Amos Starr Cooke (1810–1871) and Juliette Montague Cooke (1812-1896), missionaries from the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, were selected by the king to teach the 16 royal children and run the school.

In this school were educated the Hawai‘i sovereigns who reigned over the Hawaiian people from 1855: Alexander Liholiho (King Kamehameha IV,) Queen Emma, Lot Kamehameha (King Kamehameha V,) King William Lunalilo, King David Kalākaua and Queen Lydia Lili‘uokalani.

In addition, the following royal family members were taught there: Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, Princess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniau Pratt, Prince Moses Kekūāiwa, Princess Jane Loeau Jasper, Princess Victoria Kamāmalu, Prince Peter Young Kaeo, Prince William Pitt Kīnaʻu, Princess Abigail Maheha, Prince James Kaliokalani and Princess Mary Polly Paʻaʻāina.

At times, all was not smooth at the school.  Cooke writes in his diary, “Yesterday I became a little more stern with my scholars, & had to strike Moses to make him mind. To day I struck Alexander on his head & Moses replied “he keiki a ke alii oia nei” (He is the son of the chief.) I replied I was king of the school.”

However, Cooke also notes, “Moses received quite a number of letters from Kauaʻi, in which they call him their chief.” (Cooke Diary, August 26, 1840)

Some people say that the Kamehamehas won the kingdom through successful warfare. Kamehameha made the daughters of his war counselors, who gave him the kingdom, his wives; and their descendants thus became heirs to the kingdom for which Kamehameha had striven. …  Kekūāiwa was considered in the succession of ruler. (Kamakau)

“Moses Kaikioʻewa … (was) by far (one of) the most important young chiefs of the country. (He was heir) to existing chiefs’ rights in very large and numerous estates or lands.”  (McCully, Supreme Court Decision, Hawaiian Gazette, January 22, 1889)

At the Māhele, among other properties, the ahupua‘a of Kapālama was awarded to Moses Kekūāiwa. The land passed down in turn to his sister Victoria Kamāmalu, to her brother Lot Kamehameha, to his half-sister Ruth Keʻelikōlani, and then to her first cousin, Bernice Pauahi Bishop. The will of Mrs. Bishop established a trust founding Kamehameha Schools.  (Cultural Surveys)

Moses Kekūāiwa, the eldest male of his generation and a lineal descendant of Kamehameha I, was expected to marry a high chiefess of rank to continue the royal line.

He was engaged to the Tahitian Princess Ninito Teraʻiapo.  “Ninito was a member of the royal family of Tahiti.  She came here … betrothed to Prince Moses…”  (Hawaiian Gazette, July 22, 1898)

However, she arrived too late to be wed Moses.  In September, 1848, someone infected with measles on an American warship arrived. It spread and killed about a third of the population.

A notice in the newspaper noted the sad news, “DIED - In this town, on Friday, the 24th, inst., Moses Kaikioʻewa, son of Kekūanāoʻa and Kīnaʻu, aged 19 years and 6 months.  The deceased was the expectant governor of Kauaʻi, and was educated at the Royal School.”  (Polynesian, November 25, 1848)  Moses Kekūāiwa is buried at Mauna ʻAla.

The image shows the Kamehameha dynasty (ksbe.)  In addition, I have included other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Mount Kaʻala

The Waiʻanae Mountains, formed by volcanic eruptions nearly four-million years ago, have seen centuries of wind and rain, cutting huge valleys and sharp ridges into the extinct volcano.  Mount Kaʻala, the highest peak on the island of Oʻahu, rises to 4,025 feet.

Today, only a small remnant of the mountain's original flat summit remains, surrounded by cliffs and narrow ridges. It’s often hidden by clouds.

Mount Kaʻala is mentioned in Hawaiian mythology as a mountain that the goddess Hiʻiaka, the sister of Pele, climbed on her way back to the island of Hawai‘i from Kaua‘i. From there she saw the destruction that Pele, enraged over her long absence, created by causing a flow of lava over her lands in Puna.

According to Hawaiian traditions, the Kaʻala bog, on the west side of the summit, was once a freshwater pond used as a fishpond. Kamaoha was the goddess of this pond in which shore fish and a kind of mullet were caught. The informant who reported the pond to McAllister called it a luakini fishpond (1933), which might indicate its use only by chiefs.  (TetraTech)

When viewed from Kūkaniloko, the sun sets directly behind the summit of Mount Kaʻala at the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. Thus, it has been suggested that these places may have been of importance in Hawaiian astronomy and calendric determinations. (TetraTech)

Kaʻala is the subject of several ʻŌlelo Noʻeau.

"Ka ua Kolowao o Kaʻala.
The Mountain-creeper rain of Kaʻala.
This rain is accompanied by a mist that seems to creep among the trees."

Ancient Kahuna spoke of Mount Kaʻala as being clothed in the golden cloak of Kāne, the first deity of the Hawaiian pantheon. Kaʻala was the guardian of the road to the west, the path of the sun, the resting place on that great road to death where spirits of the dead return to their homeland.  (CZM)

Several ʻŌlelo No'eau speak of Kaiona, goddess of Kaʻala and the Waiʻanae Mountains.

Ka wahine hele la o Kaiona, alualu wai li‘ulā o ke kaha pua ‘ōhai.
The woman, Kaiona, who travels in the sunshine pursuing the mirage of the place where the ‘ōhai blossoms grow.

Ke kaha ‘ōhai o Kaiona.
Kaiona's place where the ‘ōhai grows.

He lokomaika‘i ka manu o Kaiona.
Kind is the bird of Kaiona.
Said of one who helps a lost person find his way home.

Kaiona was known for her kindness and helpfulness. She rescued travelers who lost their way while crossing her mountain home by sending an ʻiwa bird to guide lost individuals to safety. This goddess was so beloved by Hawaiians that her name was given to Bernice Pauahi Bishop in mele that honor Pauahi.

In 1970, Hawaiʻi became one of the first states in the country to recognize the importance of its unique natural resources by establishing the State Natural Area Reserves System (NARS.)

Then, in 1981, the 1,100-acre Mount Kaʻala Natural Area Reserve was established to protect the diversity of native ecosystems, including native shrublands, forests and a bog.  (DLNR)

Most of the 1,100-acres of the state natural area reserve at Mount Kaʻala are made up of rugged terrain, including steep, inaccessible gulches. It ranges from wet forest at the top, to lowland dry forest.

The Mount Kaʻala NAR protects Hawaiian plants and animals and ecosystems, most found only in Hawai`i, and some very rare. The only vehicle access is a controlled government road, while arduous ridge trails lead to the summit of Mt. Kaʻala.

There, a boardwalk trail takes you on a walk through a native cloud forest. The boardwalk allows visitors to explore the misty flats of Kaʻala safely, and with a minimum of impact to the fragile plants and animals.

Protection of Mt. Kaʻala Natural Area Reserve’s watershed forests by restoring native forest ecosystems is critical for maintaining the water supply of West and Central Oahu. Volunteers reintroduced the critically endangered kamakahala – with fewer than 100 individuals remaining in the wild – to its native habitat in the ridges of Mt. Kaʻala.

(The FAA maintains an active tracking station at the summit, which is closed to the general public and secured by the US Army from Schofield Barracks. The tracking station can be clearly seen from afar as a white domed shaped structure.)

The image shows Mount Kaʻala (USGS.)  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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Friday, November 22, 2013


A 2003 archaeological survey located and mapped stone platforms and ahu (rock cairns). One site is over 800-years old. Ancient Hawaiians visited Lehua for fishing and feather collecting.

Lehua was one of the first five islands sighted by Captain James Cook in 1778, which he referred to as "Oreehoua".

Cook first sighted Oʻahu on January 18, 1778. On February 2, 1778 his journal entry named the island group after his patron: “Of what number this newly-discovered Archipelago consists, must be left for future investigation. We saw five of them, whose names, as given by the natives, are Woahoo (Oʻahu,) Atooi (Kauaʻi,) Oneeheow (Niʻihau,) Oreehoua (Lehua) and Tahoora (Kaʻula.) …. I named the whole group the Sandwich Islands, in honour of the Earl of Sandwich.”  (Clement)

Lehua, part of Kauaʻi County, is approximately ¾ -mile north of Niʻihau and about 18-miles west of Kauaʻi.  The largest of Hawaiʻi’s offshore islets, Lehua is about 290-acres in size and 702-feet high at the highest point. It is more than twice the size of Kaʻula.

Several sea caves are present on Lehua, including Anakukaiaiki which is home to Kukaiaiki, son of the shark god Kuhaimoana.  (Kuhaimoana was a deified shark (ʻaumakua) who lived at the island of Kaʻula and had a cave so large that a small schooner could sail through it. “Kuonoono ka lua o Kuhaimoana” means, "He has a cave like Kuhaimoana's.")  (OIRC)

The volcanic crater that formed Lehua 4.9-million years ago has been sculpted by marine erosion and is dominated by grasslands and herblands.

It is in the rain shadow of Kauaʻi and is very dry, especially during the heat of summer. Much of the island is bare rock; eroded sediment has collected only in gully bottoms, ledges and small caves.  Vegetation is sparse but many plants have a growth spurt after winter rains.

The south side of the island is characterized by steep sea cliffs notched with sea caves at the water’s edge. The cliffs taper off to low-lying points that border a wide-mouthed bay opening to the north.

Lehua Island was set aside as a Lighthouse site under the control of the US Department of Commerce in a proclamation dated August 10, 1928.  The island is owned by the US Coast Guard and managed by the State DLNR.

The federal government built a lighthouse on Lehua, the highest beacon operating in marine service. It is situated on a narrow ledge along the crest of the  islet.  (Brown, HJH)

The light became operational in April 1931 and was visible for about 15-miles. A modern light is in operation at present and is maintained by US Coast Guard personnel using a helicopter to land on the narrow crest of the island.  (Brown, HJH)

Lehua is one of the largest seabird colonies in the main Hawaiian Islands.  The island is designated as a State Seabird Sanctuary and DLNR-DOFAW is responsible for the management of such Sanctuaries and is a trustee for seabirds and other native plant and wildlife resources on the Sanctuaries.  Lehua is home to at least eleven species of seabirds, as well as monk seals and native coastal plants.  (DLNR)

Lehua is important for the number and diversity of breeding seabirds it supports and for the presence of several seabird species that are rare or have restricted breeding ranges.  (Audubon)

Surveys estimate approximately 50,000-seabirds are on Lehua. Seventeen seabird species are present, including eleven species nesting or attempting to nest on the island.  Some of the bird species found include Laysan and Black-footed Albatross, Red-Footed and Brown Boobies, Red-tailed Tropicbirds, Hawaiian Petrels, Band-rumped Storm Petrels, and Newell’s and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters. Migratory shorebirds also visit the island.  (USFWS)

The Brown Booby colony on Lehua is the largest in the Hawaiian Islands with 521-breeding pairs, and the Red-footed Booby colony is one of the two largest in the Hawaiian Islands, with 1,294-pairs and approximately 4,288-total individuals. The colonies of Laysan Albatross (28 pairs, 93 total individuals) and Black-footed Albatross (16 pairs, 53 total individuals) are small but appear to be growing.  (Audubon)

These species appear to be declining in Hawaiʻi and may be difficult to manage on the larger Hawaiian Islands. Offshore islets such as Lehua may become increasingly important in the conservation of these species because their small size makes it more feasible to eradicate predators and manage other threats.  (Audubon)

When the first biologists visited Lehua in 1931, Polynesian rats and Rabbits had already been introduced.  Rats eat many native species of plants, insect, seabirds and intertidal invertebrates; they are a major threat to island by decimating native plants, allowing alien plants to dominate, and impacting smaller seabird species.

In 2005, resource managers were able to eradicate the feral rabbits (with that, seabirds no longer have to fight for their burrows;) the efforts to eradicate the rats is ongoing.

Landing on Lehua requires permission from the US Coast Guard. Activities on Lehua are also subject to Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources regulations for State Seabird Sanctuaries.

Disturbance of seabirds and other wildlife within the sanctuary is forbidden. Federal law also protects seabirds, shorebirds, and threatened or endangered species.

The image shows Lehua Island in the foreground and Niʻihau in the background.  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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Thursday, November 21, 2013


In 1837, Samuel Northrup Castle arrived in Honolulu as a missionary.  He left Hawaiʻi for a short time, then returned as a businessman for the mission.

With Amos Cooke, he founded Castle & Cooke Company, in 1851 – it grew into being one of Hawaiʻi’s “Big Five” companies.

One of his ten children would surpass him as a businessman; James Bicknell Castle was born November 27, 1855 in Honolulu to Samuel and Mary (Tenney) Castle.

Harold Kainalu Long Castle was born July 3, 1886 in Honolulu, son of wealthy landowner James Bicknell Castle and Julia White, and grandson of Castle & Cooke founder Samuel Northrop Castle.

In 1917, Harold Castle purchased about 9,500-acres of land on the windward side of Oʻahu, in what became Kāneʻohe Ranch.  Later acquisitions added several thousand acres of land, with holdings from Heʻeia to Waimanalo.  The Castle fortune was built on ranching and dairying.

The family had land in Waikīkī, as well; it was formerly called Kalehuawehe. The surf break ‘Castles’ is named after the Castle family's three-story beachfront home; they called it Kainalu.  They later sold it to the Elks Club, who now use part of the site and lease the rest to the Outrigger Canoe Club.

With the widening and paving of Old Pali Road in 1921 (which helped to initiate the suburban commute across the Koʻolau,) the Castles realized that the Windward side of the island of Oʻahu was a beautiful place to live and could become a vibrant community.  (The Pali Highway and its tunnels opened in 1959.)

In 1927, Harold and his wife Alice Hedemann Castle built a home for themselves that overlooked much of their land holdings.  It was just below the hairpin turn, below the Pali.

They called the home Palikū (Lit., vertical cliff.)

Architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue designed it (Goodhue’s other work included Los Angeles Central Public Library, the Nebraska State Capitol and Saint Thomas Church, New York City;) there were 27 rooms with ornamental ironwork, redwood beams, plumbing and electricity - one of the first buildings on the windward side of the island to have those amenities. (Brennan, Honolulu Advertiser)

In 1946, the Castles sold the 22-acre Palikū to the Catholic Church for the Saint Stephen Seminary (the seminary closed in 1970; it’s now the St. Stephen’s Diocesan Center (the driveway is makai, just below the scenic lookout at the hairpin turn.))

St. Stephen's Seminary was shut down for a time after a mysterious occurrence in October 1946.

Some suggest the seminary was haunted; when one night there were methodical clicking and tapping sounds; invisible pressure on a person in bed; dishes, pots and pans strewn all over – they suggest it was "diabolical obsession."  Later, "I understand there was some kind of a blessing done," said Bishop Joseph Ferrario, the retired bishop of Honolulu. (honoluluadvertiser)

After the seminary's ultimate closure, the facility was transformed into a diocesan center housing various offices of the diocesan curia (a diocesan center (chancery) is the branch of administration which handles all written documents used in the official government of a Roman Catholic diocese.)

The former Castle home also serves as the residence of the Bishop of Honolulu, Clarence Richard Silva, popularly known as Larry Silva (born August 6, 1949), bishop of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the fifth Bishop of Honolulu, appointed by Pope Benedict XVI on May 17, 2005.

In 1962, Castle founded the Harold KL Castle Foundation. On his death in 1967, he bequeathed a sizeable portion of his real estate assets to the Foundation.

Throughout his life, Castle donated land for churches of all different denominations because he felt that churches would bring congregations, congregations would bring stability, and that would benefit the community that was growing around them.

Mr. Castle also donated land and money to Hawaii Loa College, Castle Hospital, ʻIolani School, Castle High School, Kainalu Elementary School and the Mōkapu peninsula land, which would become the Kāneʻohe Marine Corps Base.

His foundation has annually provided millions of dollars in support to worthy causes, a good chunk of it going to the windward side of Oʻahu.

It looks like we are coming to an end of an era; recent reporting notes the core of the commercial property of Kāneʻohe Ranch and Harold KL Castle Foundation will soon be sold.

The image shows Palikū (gokailuamagazine.)  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, November 20, 2013

Buckle, Wahinepio and Leoiki

At the end of May in 1823, Keōpūolani, Nāhiʻenaʻena and Hoapili (Keōpūolani’s husband) moved to Maui and took up residence in Lāhainā.

"The queen was desirous to have missionaries to accompany her … A meeting was called to consult whether it was expedient to establish a mission at Lahaina. The mission was determined on, and Mr. S. (Stewart) was appointed to go: he chose Mr. R. (Reverend William Richards) for his companion."  (Betsey Stockton Journal)

At about the same time, whaling ships were calling at Hawaiʻi.  (Hawai‘i’s whaling era began in 1819 when two New England ships became the first whaling ships to arrive in the Hawaiian Islands.)

At that time, whale products were in high demand; whale oil was used for heating, lamps and in industrial machinery; whale bone was used in corsets, skirt hoops, umbrellas and buggy whips.

Rich whaling waters were discovered near Japan and soon hundreds of ships headed for the area.   The central location of the Hawaiian Islands between America and Japan brought many whaling ships to the Islands.  Whalers needed food and the islands supplied this need from its fertile lands.

Starting with Cook’s arrival, his crew and later the whalers sought and received other pleasures.  The matter of sailors and Hawaiian women got more complicated in 1825, when the British whaler Daniel IV, under the command of William Buckle, made its way into Lāhainā.

Before leaving, Buckle asking that Leoiki accompany him on his cruise sent her to her chiefess, Wahinepio, with eight gold doubloons. At first hesitant, Wahinepio spoke with Buckle and then gave her OK, after he promised to bring the girl back (as well as adding two more doubloons.  (Litten)

To many it appeared Wahinepio sold Leoiki, a girl of sixteen, into slavery to Captain Buckle.  The money was later added to the treasures left by Liholiho, because no one was found willing to be its owner.  (Thrum, 1918)

As was the practice, Richards sent his daily journal to the mission headquarters (his account of the matter later appeared in the newspapers – likewise, a new policy was established, not allowing women to board the ships at anchor.)

This brought two areas of disturbance: (1) a claim of slavery, with subsequent assertions of libel and (2) a rowdy crew expecting female companionship on board ship.

Let’s address the latter, first.

Take the scene of October, 1825. A missionary and his family are alone on the Island of Maui. The British whale ship Daniel, under Captain Buckle, arrives and comes to anchor. The crew soon find that a change has taken place. Instead of the accustomed throng of native females, not an individual of the sex approaches the ship. (Dibble)

With a law in force forbidding women to visit ships, the Captain and his crew threatened to burn Mr. Richards' house, and to kill him and his wife. The next day fifteen sailors came ashore armed with knives and pistols and waving a black flag. By order of the chiefs the mission was surrounded by two hundred armed natives. The sailors marched up the hill with threatening mien but, seeing the array of bayonets, turned around and marched right back again. (Thrum, 1918)

The first matter of slavery claims did not go unnoticed by Kauikeaouli, King Kamehameha III.  “After sitting silent a short time Boki read a manao of the king & his sister in which they express their intention to prevent any violent measure being taken against Mr. Richards, that they would condemn the one that should be proved to be in the wrong and justify the one that should prove to be in the right.”  (Chamberlain)

Buckle had claimed libel against Richards for publishing the slavery claims in the papers (the story was not just mentioned in the Islands, it made the continental papers, as well.)

To this Richards replied that he had not seen the communication alluded to and that he could not make oath to any newspaper declaration & moreover that he had never written or said anything which by a fair interpretation could be construed to mean that Buckle had made a purchase for the purpose of reducing to slavery.  (Chamberlain)

Supporting the ‘no sale’ situation, Leoiki (and Buckle) denied that she had been sold to Captain Buckle.  (Chamberlain)

Later, Richards addressed a conciliatory letter to Buckle stating the reasons which he sent his report to the Mission Board and that he did not authorize the publication of it and that he had never supposed that Buckle had obtained the woman for the purpose of reducing her to slavery, nor did he think that by a fair interpretation that meaning could be inferred.  (Chamberlain)

Buckle, feeling his reputation has been damaged, answered Richard’s letter declaring false the account of the purchase & of the riot & pronounces the whole to be a libel, and states if this were a civilized country where justice could be obtained he should bring him to the punishment which he deserved; and that even now he could demand that Richards retract what he had written and acknowledge his statements to be false.  (Chamberlain)

Richard Charlton, British Consul-General, noted, "Captain Buckle could not be convicted of having bought a female slave as the inmate of his cabin."  (Bingham)  The natives say Mr. Richards is to be put to death for falsely accusing Buckle. (Chamberlain)

While the transfer of funds raised the suspicion of many that Leoiki was sold into slavery, some suggest the payment was simply the traditional payment of dowry. (While we sometimes limit the context of ‘dowry’ to the property a woman brings to a marriage; it can also mean money given by the groom to the family of the bride.)

Then, on December 26, 1827, the Daniel IV, under the command of Captain Buckle, left Lāhainā.  “The departure of this captain who has been the occasion of so much trouble to the mission gave us no small comfort. She sail’d in company with the Elizabeth Capt. Stewart. We were happy to see both vessels steer directly off without altering their course.”  (Chamberlain)

A meeting of the chiefs followed.  There, they agreed to close the subject.  The meeting did, however, proclaim three general laws: those against murder, adultery and theft. (Litten)

There is another tangential end to this story.  On February 5, 1826 (very much in the middle of the above timeframe,) William Wahinepio Buckle was born to Buckle and Leoiki (apparently born while they were at sea.)

The Māhele documents show that Leoiki was given five lands on three islands; she also received title to the land Captain Buckle bought for their home in downtown Honolulu: both definite indications that she was still considered an Aliʻi.  (Creed, waihona)

William Wahinepio Buckle later was a member of King Kalākaua's Privy Council.  His daughter, Jane Kahakuwaiaoao Keakahiwalani Buckle Clark, was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Liliʻuokalani.

Some of the Buckle descendants are buried in the Honolulu Catholic Cemetery on King Street.

(The image shows some of their headstones there.)  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, November 19, 2013

Keʻanae Prison Camp

In June, 1925, Governor Wallace Farrington and the County Board of Supervisors Chairman Samuel Kalama led a grand procession of cars on the official opening of the road from Kailua to Hana.

The road was called the Belt Road and would link the isolated communities of East Maui with the rest of the island. By December, 1926, the governor and the board chairman were able to drive all the way to Hana on the dream road that was fast becoming a reality.

Wait ... Let’s step back a bit.

Handy, Handy & Pukui report that in ancient times there were several major population centers on the Island of Maui: Kahakuloa (West Maui) region; the deep watered valleys of Nā Wai ‘Ehā (Waiheʻe, Wai‘ehu, Wailuku and Waikapū;) the ‘Olowalu to Honokōhau region of Lāhainā; the Kula - ʻUlupalakua region and the Koʻolau - Hāna region.

They note the importance of the Koʻolau region in this discussion:
“On the northeast flank of the great volcanic dome of Haleakala…the two adjacent areas of Keʻanae and Wailua-nui comprise the fourth of the main Maui centers and the chief center on this rugged eastern coast. It supported intensive and extensive wet-taro cultivation. Further eastward and southward along this windward coast line is the district of Hāna…” (Maly)

Settlement in the watered valleys along the Koʻolau coast consisted primarily of permanent residences near the shore and spread along the valley floors.  Residences also extended inland on flat lands and plateaus, with temporary shelters in the upper valleys.

Handy, Handy and Pukui further note that “…Ke‘anae lies just beyond Honomanu Valley. This is a unique wet-taro growing ahupua‘a… It was here that the early inhabitants settled, planting upland rain-watered taro far up into the forested area. In the lower part of the valley, which is covered mostly by grass now, an area of irrigated taro was developed on the east side. A much larger area in the remainder of the valley could have been so developed. However, we could find no evidence of terracing there. This probably was due to the fact that the energies of the people were diverted to create the lo‘i complex which now covers the peninsula.”  (Maly)

In modern times, when Hāna was without a road, and the coastal steamer arrived on a weekly schedule, Hana-bound travelers unwilling to wait for the boat drove their car to the road's end at Kailua, rode horseback to Kaumahina ridge, then walked down the switchback into Honomanu Valley. (Wenkam, NPS)

Friends carried them on flatbed taro trucks across the Keʻanae peninsula to Wailua cove. It was a short ride by outrigger canoe beyond Wailua to Nāhiku landing where they could borrow a car for the rest of the involved trip to Hana. Sometimes the itinerary could be completed in a day. Bad weather could make it last a week.  (Wenkam, NPS)

It was not until 1847, that the historic and modified trail and road alignments became a part of a system of “roads” called the “Alanui Aupuni” or Government Roads. Work on the roads was funded in part by government appropriations, and through the labor or financial contributions of area residents, or prisoners working off penalties.  (Maly)

The law (Sec 1536DD. Warden, Deputy, Duties, Powers) allowed a warden to have "the immediate charge and direction of all Territorial prisons and prison camps and the administration thereof. The warden shall be responsible for the safekeeping of all prisoners and persons who may be committed to said prisons and for the enforcement of proper order and discipline among and concerning prisoners and prison officers and employees."  (Attorney General)

Neighbor Island prison camps were set up, there were 4: Maui had three, the other was on the Big Island (outside Hilo.) Keʻanae camp had 22-prisoners and 3-guards; Olinda camp had 31-prisoners, with Jailer and 3-guards and Paukakulo camp had 27-prisoners, with 1-jailer and 3-guards. The three camps on Maui are engaged in road work and forest lines.

A large part of the road to Hāna was constructed by prison labor based at the Keʻanae Prison Camp. The camp was built in 1926 to house the prisoners who would construct the road, including several bridges from Kailua to Hana. When the road was completed in 1927, men from Keʻanae to Hāna town were hired to maintain the road, especially during the rainy season.  (McGregor)

Later, an announcement in the Maui News (January 20, 1934) carried the headline, “Conservation Program Will Be Launched Within Week or 10 Days.”  Sub-headlines were “$421,000 Is Provided” and “…To be Located at Keʻanae’s Old Prison Site.”

No longer needed, the Keʻanae prison camp was converted into quarters for the Civilian Conservation Corps. This federal program, created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide jobs to get the US through the depression, brought in men from other parts of Maui and other islands to plant thousands of eucalyptus and other introduced trees throughout the Hana coast.  (McGregor)

In December 1942, during World War II, Governor Ingram Stainback tried to assist the war effort by sending forty inmates from Oʻahu Prison to the former Keʻanae Prison camp to revive the old Nāhiku rubber plantations in the hope of yielding 20,000 to 50,000-pounds of crude rubber annually. The venture was no more successful than the earlier ones had been.

Eventually, in 1949, the camp was acquired by the YMCA and is still used by the “Y;” part of the land area continues to be used as a roadway base yard.

The image shows Hāna Highway (BlueHawaiiHelicopters.)  In addition I have added other images related to the property in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Kapa Moe

Ancient Hawaiian bark cloth was originally called kapa which literally translates to “the beaten thing.”  Kapa was used for clothing, bed covers, items of trade and gift items, indicators of wealth and status and objects of ceremonial or religious events.  (Romanchak)

Clothing consisted of three main items of apparel: the pāʻū or skirt for the women, the malo or loincloth for men and the Kihei or shawl for members of both sexes.  (Romanchak)

Most kapa was made from the inner bark of the wauke plant (paper mulberry) because it made soft, white kapa. The bark is stripped, soaked, and then compressed into sheets with special patterned wooden beaters and finally dyed and decorated.  To make kapa, Hawaiian women used wooden mallets to pound the strips of bark together to form sheets of various sizes, textures, and thicknesses.

The kapa sheets were then decorated with stamps and painted with brushes made from the seed of the hala (pandanus) tree; kapa was colored by native dyes and decorated with block printing.  (Arthur)

For bed covers, Hawaiian women made kapa moe consisting of five sheets of kapa.  The top sheet was decorated, but the four sheets underneath were plain white kapa. The set of five sheets were sewn together on one side with thread made with strips of kapa.  (Arthur)

The top layer was known as the kilohana, it was colored and decorated with pigments; the collective name for the inner kapa sheets was ‘iho.’  (Brigham)  The loose-leaf design allowed the user to choose how many layers needed on a given night.

“(T)apa moe (sleeping cloth), made principally for the chiefs, who use it to wrap themselves in at night, while they sleep. It is generally three or four yards square, very thick, being formed of several layers of common tapa, cemented with gum, and beaten with a grooved mallet till they are closely interwoven. The colour is various, either white, yellow, brown or black according to the fancy of its owner.”  (Brigham)

“During the ordinary summer weather along the coast the native use of the kapa moe in a close grass house would have been impossible to a white man, so warm is this covering. Sleeping in an open cave on the summit of Mauna Loa (13,675 ft) I could not bear a kapa moe over my ordinary clothes, although water was freezing in the calabashes at my feet. In the morning the bedmaking in a native house consisted in carefully folding the kapa moe and putting it in a safe place.”  (Brigham)

Several of these Kapa moe are on display.  I had a recent meeting at the Outrigger Waikīkī and a kapa moe is displayed that had been passed down through five generations (that display and its description were the inspiration for this story.)  (Images of the kapa moe and interpretive signs are in the Photo album.)

A notable kapa moe belonging to Princess Kaʻiulani was installed at the Art of the Pacific gallery at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (not currently on public view.)  it is described as an unusually large five-layer kapa moe.

Kaeppler noted that the design of Kaʻiulani’s kapa moe may metaphorically incorporate the saying, “He aliʻi ke aloha, he kilohana e paʻa ai,” “Love is like a chief, the best prize to hold fast to,” in honor of Kaʻiulani.  One corner of an underside white layer of the kapa is signed “Kaiulani.”  (Images of it are in the Photo album.)

Kapa moe were gradually replaced by blankets.  Later, another bed cover, the Hawaiian quilt, came into regular use.  Here HERE for a prior summary on the Hawaiian quilt. 

The wives of American missionaries introduced the patchwork quilts and their construction to Hawaiians. The first missionary women arrived in 1820, and were warmly welcomed by some of the highest-ranking Hawaiian men and women.

Lucy Thurston, the wife of Asa, one of the first missionaries, recorded in her journal:  “Monday morning, April 3rd (1820,) the first sewing circle was formed that the sun ever looked down upon in his Hawaiian realm. Kalākua, queen-dowager was directress. She requested all the seven white ladies to take seats with them on mats, on the deck of the Thaddeus. Mrs. Holman and Mrs. Ruggles were executive officers to ply the scissors and prepare the work….The four native women of distinction were furnished with calico patchwork to sew-a new employment to them.”  (Thurston)

The image shows Princess Kaʻiulani’s kapa moe.  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, November 17, 2013

Hawaiʻi – 1820s

In the dawn hours of January 18, 1778, on his third expedition, British explorer Captain James Cook on the HMS Resolution and Captain Charles Clerke of the HMS Discovery first sighted what Cook named the Sandwich Islands (that were later named the Hawaiian Islands.)  Hawaiian lives changed with sudden and lasting impact, when western contact changed the course of history for Hawai‘i.

Forty years after Cook’s death, the Pioneer Company of American Protestant missionaries (American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM)) set sail on the Thaddeus for the Sandwich Islands (on October 23, 1819.)  There were seven American couples sent by the ABCFM to convert the Hawaiians to Christianity in this first company.  Missionaries arrived first at Kailua-Kona on April 4, 1820; they then went to Honolulu and arrived there on April 14, 1820.

Captain Cook estimated the population at 400,000 in 1778. When Vancouver, who had been with Cook, returned in 1792, he was shocked at the evidences of depopulation, and when the missionaries arrived in 1820, the population did not exceed 150,000.  (The Friend, December 1902)

By the time the missionaries arrived, Kamehameha I had died and the centuries-old kapu system had been abolished; through the actions of King Kamehameha II (Liholiho,) with encouragement by former Queens Kaʻahumanu and Keōpūolani (Liholiho’s mother,) the Hawaiian people had already dismantled their heiau and had rejected their religious beliefs.

But how were our ears astonished to hear the voice devine proclaim, "in the wilderness prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God"! How were our hearts agitated with new & various & unexpected emotions, to hear the interesting intelligence, "Tamahemaha is dead," - "The Taboos are broken" - "The Idols are burnt" - "The Moreahs (heiau) are destroyed" - and the priesthood abolished.   (Hiram Bingham and others in a letter to the ABCFM)

So, what was Honolulu like forty-years after the first arrival of foreigners?  The following, from books, journals and letters, helps to paint the picture of Honolulu.

This village (Honolulu,) which contains about two hundred houses, is situated upon a level plain extending some distance back from the bay part of which forms the harbour, to the foot of the high hills which abound throughout the Island. The little straw-huts clusters of them in the midst of cocoanut groves, look like bee-hives, and the inhabitants swarming about them like bees. In passing through the midst, in our way to the open plain, it was very pleasant to hear their friendly salutation, Alloah (Aloha,) some saying, e-ho-ah, (where going?) We answered, mar-oo, up yonder. Then, as usual, they were pleased that we could num-me-num-me Owhyhee (talk Hawaiian.)  (Sybil Bingham)

Here we dropped anchor in the peaceful waters of this safe and commodious harbor, the best in this part of the world. It is sufficiently large to admit 150 sail, of the capacity of 100 to 700 tons. The depth of water at the bar, or mouth of the harbor, being little more than twenty feet, and little affected by the tide, the largest class of ships could not pass in and out with safety, without under-girders, or camels, to buoy them up.  (Hiram Bingham)

Ships lying at harbor whose officers were interesting themselves in our object, and whom we sought to entertain at our little dwelling as much after the manner of our own country as we could— a respectful attention also to the chiefs and their suite whenever they came in and spread themselves around upon our mats.  (Sybil Bingham)

Passing through the irregular village of some thousands of inhabitants, whose grass thatched habitations were mostly small and mean, while some were more spacious, we walked about a mile northwardly to the opening of the valley of Pauoa, then turning south-easterly, ascended to the top of Punchbowl Hill an extinguished crater, whose base bounds the north-east part of the village or town.  (Hiram Bingham)

On the east were the plain and grove of Waikiki, with its amphitheater of hills, the south-eastern of which is Diamond Hill, the crater of an extinct volcano, in the form of a cone, truncated, fluted, and reeded, larger, higher, and more concave than Punchbowl Hill, but of much the same model and general character.  (Hiram Bingham)

Below us (below Punchbowl,) on the south and west, spread the plain of Honolulu, having its fish-pond and salt making pools along the sea-shore, the village and fort between us and the harbor, and the valley stretching a few miles north into the interior, which presented its scattered habitation and numerous beds of kalo (taro) in it various stages of growth, with its large green leaves, beautifully embossed on the silvery water, in which it flourishes.  (Hiram Bingham)

Through this valley, several streams descending from the mountains in the interior, wind their way, some six or seven mile watering and overflowing by means of numerous artificial canal the bottom of kalo patches, and then, by one mouth, fall into the peaceful harbor.  (Hiram Bingham)

The soil is of the best kind, producing cocoanuts, bananas, and plantains, bread fruit, papia, ohia, oranges, lemons, limes, grapes, tamarinds, sweet potatoes, taro, yams, watermelons, muskmelons, cucumbers and pineapples, and I doubt not would yield fine grain of any kind.  (Ruggles, The Friend)

There are large droves of wild cattle in the mountains, and a herd of about fifty fine ones on a large plain near this village, owned by a Spaniard who neither makes any use of them himself, nor will he permit us to, yet. There are also immense numbers of goats both wild and tame. They supply us with milk, and are excellent meat. Hogs are numerous in the mountains. Dogs abound in great numbers. I have counted 250 brought in one day to King Tamoree. They are esteemed by the natives as the best food.  (Ruggles, The Friend)

From Diamond Hill, on the east, to Barber’s Point and the mountains of Waianae, on the west, lay the sea-board plain, some twenty-five miles in length, which embraces the volcanic hill of Moanalua, two or three hundred feet high, and among them, a singular little lake of seawater, abounding in salt crystalized through evaporation by the heat of the sun, the ravine of Moanalua, the lagoon of Ewa, and numerous little plantation and hamlets, scattered trees, and cocoanut groves, range of mountains, three or four thousand feet high, stretches aero the south-western part of the island, at the distance of twenty-five miles.  (Hiram Bingham)

Another range, from two to four thousand feet high stretches from the north-western to the eastern extremity of the island. Konahuanui, the highest peak, rises back of Punchbowl Hill and north by east from Honolulu, eight miles distant, and four thou and feet high, often touching or sustaining, as it were, a cloud.  (Hiram Bingham)

We were sheltered in three native-built houses, kindly offered us by Messrs. Winship, Lewis and Navarro, somewhat scattered in the midst of an irregular village or town of thatched huts, of 3,000 or 4,000 inhabitants.  (Hiram Bingham)  “(O)ur little cottage built chiefly of poles, dried grass and mats, being so peculiarly exposed to fire, beside being sufficiently filled with three couples and things for immediate use, consisting only of one room with a little partition and one door.”  (Sybil Bingham)

In addition to their homes, the missionaries had grass meeting places, and later, churches.  One of the first was on the same site as the present Kawaiahaʻo Church.  On April 28, 1820, the Protestant missionaries held a church service for chiefs, the general population, ship's officers and sailors in the larger room in Reverend Hiram Bingham's house.  This room was used as a school room during the weekdays and on Sunday the room was Honolulu's first church auditorium.  (Damon)

The image shows a view of southern Oʻahu, from ʻEwa (Bingham.)  More images are added to a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Saturday, November 16, 2013


By the time of Cook's arrival, Kamehameha had become a superb warrior who already carried the scars of a number of political and physical encounters. The young warrior Kamehameha was described as a tall, strong and physically fearless man who "moved in an aura of violence." (NPS)

Physical attributes helped him get there, so did the assistance and training he received from Kekūhaupiʻo.  Let’s look a little into his trainer.  But first, let’s see how the trainer was trained.

Kohapiolani, father of Kekūhaupiʻo, was a warrior chief who had been involved in some battles in earlier times.  He is said to have been born at Keʻei close to Nāpoʻopoʻo. His mother was also from Keʻei and here he grew up in the days of his youth.

His father began to instruct Kekūhaupiʻo in the warlike arts, such as spear hurling, boxing and wrestling; as well, he trained him to run swiftly, for the father said: “One who is learning the warlike arts of the land does well to accustom himself to swift running whereas, by speed, the fleeing enemy can be pursued from the battlefield and caught. I am training you now, but when you become big, you will be taught by experts.”

After the passage of several anahulu (ten day periods) in practice, Kekūhaupiʻo had become quite adept and then his father said: “My son, fighting a battle consists not only in hurling a spear, but a most valuable thing in this warlike profession of our ancestors is the knowledge of how to dodge the spears that will be thrust at you—this knowledge makes a famous warrior.”

His father quickly saw that Kekūhaupiʻo had advanced in his training and determined it was time to seek some teachers in the art of war, including the spear and also the wooden staff, as well as lua, the bone-breaking arts of wrestling.

Laʻamea, his lua instructor noted, “This young aliʻi will become a famous warrior in the future and will become a fighter on the side of some famous aliʻi of the land. He will become one who seeks land for some of our aliʻi ʻai moku. If he exhibits such competence at this young age, his future competence is established and not only with the weapons in his hand, but combined with his genuine strength. This one’s status is as a moa lawai one who is sufficiently adept to prevail in future battles.”

After training under Laʻamea, Kekūhaupiʻo was under the instruction of Koaia, a certain man of Kapalilua very famous for bone-breaking wrestling.

When Koaia realized he had taught his student all he knew, having spent some months together with him and having been drawn to him by his agreeable nature, he said to him:
“‘Auhea ʻoe, e kuʻu aliʻi haumana, in my teaching of the various methods of our ancestors’ lua fighting, all that remains is the ʻailolo ceremony to confirm you an adept; however, unlike others I have taught to overcome a man, you shall also become adept in fighting that terrifying fish of the wide ocean which people fear—then you shall become a niuhi shark (tiger shark) on the battlefields of the future. Do you dare to become an adept by (overcoming) this terrifying fish of the ocean and eating the eye of the niuhi shark for your ‘ailolo ceremony?”

Preparing himself to battle the shark, Koaia advised, “E Kekūhaupiʻo ē, don’t hasten to leap into the fight with your opponent, but let us play with him. … This is something good for you to learn: in the future when you fight an opponent, don’t hasten to leap forward, but first study his nature to enable you to learn his weakness, then it will be easy for you to secure him by one of the methods you have learned. However, prepare yourself and look well at the place where you can kill him. I only ask of you that you act fearlessly.”

When the time was right, on hearing his teacher’s order, Kekūhaupiʻo dove straight to the shark’s side giving it no time to turn.  All that was seen by the people on board was the strong flick of the shark’s tail when it received the thrust behind its gills. Kekūhaupiʻo withdrew his spear and thrust again near the first thrust and the shark was weakened near to death - it only thrashed and Kekūhaupiʻo clung to its side and killed it.

Eventually, Kekūhaupiʻo went to live and serve as a warrior with the aliʻi ʻai moku of Kaʻū (Kalaniʻōpuʻu) and in his presence demonstrated his proficiency in the arts of battle.  There were constant battle-practice exercises and it was noted that Kekūhaupiʻo overcame his opponents and his fame spread as far as Maui, O‘ahu, and even to the sun-snatching island to the leeward (ka ‘āina kāʻili lā o lalo ē—a poetic reference to Kaua‘i.)

Then, Kamehameha came onto the scene.  When Kalaniʻōpuʻu reigned over Hawai‘i, Kamehameha returned to his uncle’s court and lived together with Kalaniʻōpuʻu’s own son, the young Kīwalaʻō.

Kalaniʻōpuʻu instructed Kekūhaupiʻo to teach Kamehameha the ancient martial arts of the land.  Kekūhaupiʻo was determined to give all his knowledge to his chiefly pupil, and he indeed did so.  This brought about the firm bond between Kekūhaupiʻo and the young Kamehameha.

Kamehameha became the most skillful of all the chiefs in the use of the spear. Captain George Vancouver later wrote that he once saw six spears hurled at Kamehameha all at the same time.  Kamehameha caught three with one hand as they flew at him. Two he broke by hitting them with a spear in his other hand. One he dodged.  (Williams)

Kekūhaupiʻo is arguably the one man most closely connected to Kamehameha I during Kamehameha’s formative years, while he developed his skills as a warrior, and through the early period of Kamehameha’s conquests.

A short while after this, Kalaniʻōpuʻu raised an expedition to Maui. Part of Maui, specifically the district of Hāna and the famous fortification of Kaʻuiki, had previously been held by those of Hawai‘i. Kekūhaupiʻo and Kamehameha were taken along on this war expedition by Kalaniʻōpuʻu, king of Hawai‘i.

While Kalaniʻōpuʻu was at Hāna he sent his warriors to plunder the Kaupō people. Kahekili was king of Maui in those days, and when he heard of the deeds of King Kalaniʻōpuʻu of Hawai‘i in slaughtering the Kaupō people and the taking of land, he raised a great army led by his very famous general named Kāneʻōlaelae. When Kahekili’s warriors met those of Kalaniʻōpuʻu at Kaupō, a very strong battle developed between the two sides.

This battle showed the fearlessness of Kekūhaupiʻo. It was said that when the battle started Kekūhaupiʻo moved amongst Kahekili’s warriors, and it was said of him: “The man raised up is broken in the strong hands of Kekūhaupiʻo.” However, while he was fighting fearlessly he was surrounded by the Maui warriors, and they combined in their multitudes so that Kekūhaupiʻo was in dire trouble.

When Kamehameha saw that his teacher was in trouble, he leapt into the heat of the battle attempting to rescue his teacher. By Kamehameha’s action, Kekūhaupiʻo escaped with his life.

Outnumbered and overpowered, the Hawai‘i warriors fled but many were slaughtered by the Maui people at that battle at Kaupō which was named the Battle of Kalaeokaʻīlio (it happened in 1775.)

This is the first battle of the rising warrior Kamehameha, and during the fighting, the young aliʻi chief showed fearlessness and bravery by coming to the rescue of his war instructor Kekūhaupiʻo.

Kekūhaupiʻo first served as Kamehameha’s instructor in the skills of combat before becoming his stalwart bodyguard, fearless warrior and trusted advisor.

Much of this summary is from a newspaper serial originally published in Ka Hoku o Hawaiʻi, written in Hawaiian by Reverend Stephen L Desha, translated by Frances N Frazier and produced into a book with assistance from DLNR by Kamehameha Schools.  The image shows Kamehameha as a young warrior (Herb Kane.)

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