Helen H. Roberts, ethnomusicologist, collecting mele from across the islands, 1923.

SOMETHING WORTHWHILE HELPING

In this past Legislative session, $5,000 was set aside for the cost to prepare a book of “Ancient Hawaiian Music”. This endeavor has been given to Kamehameha School, and they are now utilizing this to preserve the “old mele olioli” of Hawaii nei. Miss Helen H. Roberts has been sent by the Trustees of the Kamehameha School to go amongst the Hawaiians and to search out ancient mele of Hawaii nei.

She is accompanied by a phonograph [ponotalapa (ipu malama olelo)], and is looking to have people chant ancient mele into the phonograph and to record and save it for generations to come. Not only mele olioli are being sought after, but also wanted are mele hula hoaeae of the Hawaiians. Many years from now the people who know these old mele will be gone, but these mele olioli and mele hoaeae will become something to look back to the history of the Hawaiian Lahui.

This will be something that will look for where the Hawaiians came from, whereas also being sought are mele of other Polynesians while comparing these ancient mele with the ancient mele of Hawaii.

This is something that the old people who are fluent for instance in the old mele hoaeae of Hawaii nei should assist in.

This is not being done for monetary profit, but to seek the ancient things of the beloved Kupuna of this Lahui; and for all Hawaiians who have pride in the fame of their Lahui, there is no reason for them to withhold these ancient things of the Kupuna and to go to the grave without leaving these blessings for those coming after them. We ask Rev. W. M. Kalaiwaa and Rev. William Kamau of the Kohala districts to support this great endeavor for the acclaim of the Hawaiian Lahui. We are also helping to move this project along with what little we have, being that this will help to perpetuate the great Moolelo of the Hawaiian People.

[The opening to the book "Ancient Hawaiian Music" reads:

A survey of ancient Hawaiian music was conducted, 1923–24, by Miss Helen H. Roberts under the auspices of the Hawaiian Folk-Lore Commission represented by John R. Galt, chairman; Edna J. Hill, secretary; Mrs. Emma Ahuena Taylor, Hawaiian member. In cooperation with the Commission, manuscripts resulting from the survey are published by Bernice P. Bishop Museum.]

(Hoku o Hawaii, 12/6/1923, p. 2)

HE HANA MAIKAI E KOKUA IA

Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Buke XVII, Helu 28, Aoao 2. Dekemaba 6, 1923.

The name of Kaumualii’s mahiole, 1906.

[Excerpt from: "He Moolelo no Kamehameha I. Ka Na'i Aupuni Hawaii." by Hooulumahiehie.]

After these words of Kamehameha’s were over, he then took his mahiole, Koki, from a basket and placed it upon the head of Kaumualii. Kamehameha removed his royal malo and so too did Kaumualii remove his malo, and they exchanged them with each other.

[This account is from the meeting of Kamehameha and Kaumualii. It is just a tiny excerpt of the kind of awesome information available in the story of Kamehameha I translated by Kamaoli Kuwada, Emalani Case, and Beau Bassett, slated to come out from Kamehameha Publishing. I can't wait.

I was informed that this priceless feathered object from the past is indeed being cared for amongst the many other antiquities at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum.]

(Na’i Aupuni, 9/14/1906, p. 1)

HE MOOLELO NO KAMEHAMEHA I.

Ka Na’i Aupuni, Buke II, Helu 88, Aoao 1. Sepatemaba 14, 1906.

Kau ka pea, holo ka waa, 1980.

HOKULEʻA SAILS AGAIN

Hold on to the course! Hold on to the course! Continue On!

by Wayne Washburn, Malcolm Naea Chun and Duke Wise

In early March the Hokuleʻa will again set sail in hopes of reaching first landfall somewhere near Tahiti. Crewmen and scientists will concentrate efforts on documenting the thinking process, and methods, which may have been used by the ancient Polynesian navigators.

Without first voyage demonstration to the modern world two important findings. First, was that navigation by the stars without use of modern navigational instruments can be successfully used when travelling between Tahiti and Hawaii. Second, a Polynesian double-hulled canoe without keels or deep centerboards is able to sail to windward, and thus maintain planned course. For the present voyage celestial navigation will once again be of primary importance. Where the first voyage showed that celestial navigation was possible, the presēnt will pay particular attention to the recording of the thought process of the navigator.

Dr. Will Kyselka of the Bishop Museum Planetarium, and an assistant to the project, cited an incident involving a highly skilled non-instrument navigator from Satawal, Mau Piailug. Once caught in a storm for three days, Mau was unable to sail or use celestial markers for assistance. After the storm, though his course direction had been turned around many times, Mau miraculously found his way home to his tiny atoll of Satawal. Dr. Kyselka suggested that maybe there are maps within some of the more skilled navigators’ minds. He mentioned that pigeons are said to find their bearings in flight by being able to sense the difference magnetic fields given off by certain structures. Using the changes in magnetic fields the pigeons are able to draw a mental map and find their way home. Did the Polynesians possess this ability or something which would enable them to find Tahiti and Hawaii with regularity?

Captaining the voyage down will be Gordon Piianaia. Navigating for the trip will be Nainoa Thompson. There to assist Thompson will be Mau Piailug, the navigator from the 1976 voyage. Crew member Steve Somsen will be documenting the navigation process. This will be done by conferring with Nainoa and Mau and then orally recording it through the use of a tape recorder. Hopefully this will shed more light on the Polynesians’ navigational thought process.

The Ishka, a sailing vessel captained by Alex Jackobenko with assistance from his wife Elsa will follow some distance behind Hokuleʻa. Dr. Kyselka will be on board to study and document the route of the Hokuleʻa using modern navigational instruments and charts. On completion of the voyage the two styles of navigation will be compared for scientific value.

March has been designed for departure because it is the season that tends to favor the northeast tradewinds which are important for the first half of the voyage. Like the 1976 voyage the canoe will travel southeasterly for about 1000 miles. Once “easting” is accomplished winds blowing from the southeast will be used to rēach first landfall or Tahiti from a windward approach. This “easting” is important in that not enough movement in that direction might cause them to sail west of Tahiti and miss the islands completely. Certain safety features have been added to the canoe in order to avoid swamping problems encountered in previous inter-island trips. The gunwales and hatches have been raised to help prevent water seepage into the hulls. Also on board will be six hand pumps, a radio and flares. The radio will be used to notify the Hokuleʻa’s escort boat in case of an emergency. Certain sections of the hulls will contain inflated rubber. In the event that the hulls are accidentally smashed these will enable the canoe to remain afloat. Although non-instrumental navigation is the paramount research project of this voyage, other projects are being encouraged on a smaller scale. One of these is to fish using traditional types of fishhooks to learn how they were used. This hopefully will also provide a supplement to the crew’s diet by adding fresh fish. While conducting the fishing experiments crew members will record how the differences of fishhooks: design, material and size; the speed of the canoe; the types of fish caught and other factors affect fishing in the deep sea. These fishhooks are being faithfully copied from authentic fishhooks under the supervision of Sam Ka’ai of Kaanapali, Maui. Ancient fishhooks were made from materials such as shell, coral, turtle shell, dog and human bones and even hard woods.

In 1964, Drs. Kenneth Emory and Y. Sinoto of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, found a Tahitian one-piece fishhook at Maupiti in the Society Islands. They proposed a theory that this type of fishhook is the same as found in various sites in Hawaii. After its initial introduction they believe it became a major type used by the ancient Hawaiians, Today, other anthropologists are not as certain if Tahitian migrations caused the popularity of this fishhook, but nonetheless, the experiments conducted by crew members of the Hokuleʻa should provide some information that may help the on going research in finding common links between the ancient Hawaiian society and the Southern Polynesians.

With a crew of fourteen, the Hokuleʻa is scheduled to depart from Hilo on…

(Ke Alahou, 2-3/1980, p. 1)

Ka Waʻa Nui E Holo Ai...

Ke Alahou, Helu 4, Aoao 1. February/March 1980.

…the first favorable day after March 2.

Editor’s comment: The projects conducted by the crew of the Hokuleʻa remind us of the legend of Hema, a pan-Polynesian legend about a great super chief.

Hema was the son of Aikanaka and his wife Hinaaimalama of Hana, Maui. Hema’s wife was called Hina-polipoli and they lived at Kipahulu, East Maui. When she was pregnant with their second child, Hina craved for the eyeball of a large fish of the open, deep sea. This fish had a tail like that of the shark, Ahiale and was called Kekukaipaoa.

Hema prepared all his fishing gear and made ready the double-hulled canoe by loading enough food and water for several days. He covered his canoes with many mats, lashing them down with cords so that sea water could not seep in. When the canoe was covered securely, he hung his fishing line, Pupuwaiakolea, above the top of the poles that were between the hulls of the canoes. He put the end of the line through a knot he had tied and then he set up his cord calabash, which was called Kumaaiku. He took out the fishhook and tied the end of the fish line tightly around it fastening it to the pole.

Hema’s fishhook was not made of human bone like some of those found in the Bishop Museum, nor was it made of whale bone or turtle shell like Manaiakalani. It was made of a branch of wood whose name is not known today. The kikala or the intersection of the barbs, is found at the branch closest to the trunk of the tree. When this branch is laid flat, three other branches project from it. These branches are broken so they are short and sharp. This joint is called lehua, perhaps after the flower. The shank knob of the fishhook is called muʻo and this is where the fish line is tied. The name of Hema’s fishhook is Papalahoʻomau and still survives today as the name of the Congregational Church in Kipahulu.

It was later on in the story that Hema was blown off course and his voyage to Kahiki or Holani-ku began.

(Alahou, 2-3/1980, p. 11)

ʻelua o March.

Ke Alahou, Helu 4, Aoao 11. February/March 1980.

Z. P. K. Kawaikaumaiikamakaokaopua’s treatise on canoe building, 1922.

CANOE BUILDING AND ITS CHARACTERISTICS.

(Written by Z. P. K. Kawaikaumaiikamakaokaopua.)

Canoe building is one of the greatest trades; it is with great knowledge and thought that this is done. And when the important high chiefs of Napoopoo were living, they being Kamakau; Kahalau; Kanuha; Kekukahiko; and Kanihomauole, the son of Kiilaweau; Kanihomauole decided to go to Maui in search of a number of canoe building kahuna for himself. And that alii Kanihomauole did indeed go with some attendants from his royal court.

When they went, they landed at Hana, Maui. Kaahumanu was there living at the time, and was married (hoao) with Kamehameha, who was away on Oahu. And because it was heard often that Kanihomauole was the child of Kiilaweau, the alii of highest blood, and that he was kin to Kamehameha, the Conqueror of the Nation, they were welcomed along with those who came, they being Kahula, Kamaka, Naili Sr., Keaka and Puuki.

The queen asked, “why have you come?” The alii Kanihomauole replied, “I have come in search of a kahuna kalaiwaa for myself, and I have come to see the two of you to get my kahuna kalaiwaa.” “Yes, you will have one. Let us remain until Papa Keeaumoku and the boy Kamehameha returns; they will be back tomorrow.” And they waited, and spent the night, and those that came were treated well by the kamaaina of the place.

[This is how the piece on canoes by Kalokuokamaile begins on 10/26/1922, and it continues on in the Kuokoa until 2/15/1923. This is one of the many priceless translations appearing in the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum's Hawaiian Ethnographic Notes (HEN) Collection.  HEN: Newspapers, October 26, 1922.

Kalokuokamaile was very prolific. This series is then followed by yet another, this time on net making!]

(Kuokoa, 10/26/1922, p. 7)

KE KALAIWAA ANA AME KONA MAU ANO.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LXI, Helu 43, Aoao 7. Okatoba 26, 1922.

Paaiea Pond, part 4 and final, from the pen of J. W. H. Isaac Kihe, 1914.

SOME STORIED LANDS OF KONA

Written for the Hoku o Hawaii by ka Ohu Haaheo i na Kuahiwi Ekolu¹

PAAIEA POND

Meeting with Kolomu’o and Pahinahina.

When the flames subsided, the fire disappeared, and this is why it was assumed it was the fire of the Uau Bird Catchers in the Mountains.

In the middle of that night, the lava emerged and flowed like water below a crater on the side of a peak called Kileo, and it is black, shiny pahoehoe that remains there to this day. And from there the lava dove down and resurfaced makai side and several deep fissures cracked open and remain near the village that Mr. Maguire lives at.

The lava dropped down again and on the makai side of the old road there opened up a small furrow six (6) feet wide, and from here the lava began to flow and overran everything before it.

Villages were destroyed and some people died as victims to the wrath of the Goddess of the crater, because of the denial of Pele by that Konohiki [Kepaalani] which the Alii [Kamehameha I] stationed to oversee all of his wealth. And when the Konohiki saw the lava burning everything and turning into pahoehoe and gorging away, he finally realized that the old lady was Pele that appeared before him asking for fish, palu, and then shrimp, and he regretted this filled with dread and great fear. Continue reading

Paaiea Pond, part 3, from the pen of J. W. H. Isaac Kihe, 1914.

SOME STORIED LANDS OF KONA

Written for the Hoku o Hawaii by ka Ohu Haaheo i na Kuahiwi Ekolu¹

PAAIEA POND

Meeting with Kolomu’o and Pahinahina.

When the woman left that place at the seaside of Kaelehuluhulu, she arrived in the uplands of Keoneeli, a place that is renown to this day called Kepuhiapele ['the scorching of Pele'], a heap of aa lava that is almost 200 Feet high, downside of the place where J. A. MaGuire [known also as Keoni Kaimana] is living.

When the woman arrived there, there were two girls named Kolomu’o and Pahinahina broiling breadfruit, while the parents were away farming. This was a huge town during those days, with many people living there. When the woman met up with the girls broiling ulu. The woman said, “The ulu that you are cooking is done.” One of the girls responded, “We are cooking ulu, but it is not totally done.”

The woman went on, “When you ulu is cooked, who will partake of it first?” “La’i, my god, will eat first.” “So La’i is a powerful akua?” “Yes, La’i is powerful.” The name of this girl was Kolomu’o, and the area beneath that scorching of Pele is famous to this day and called Kolomu’o, and famous too is the Opelu fishing shrine [Ko'a] at the beach of Kaupulehu.

Then the woman asked the other girl, Pahinahina, “And when your ulu is done, who is it for?” “It is for Pele Honuamea, my god.” “Then it is our ulu; your ulu is cooked, let the two of us partake in it.” Pahinahina agreed, and the ulu was peeled [makikoe²] and eaten up. Continue reading

Paaiea Pond, part 2, from the pen of J. W. H. Isaac Kihe, 1914.

SOME STORIED LANDS OF KONA

Written for the Hoku o Hawaii by ka Ohu Haaheo i na Kuahiwi Ekolu¹

PAAIEA POND

The old woman replied. “I have come to the alii. I live in the uplands, and grew hungry for fish, so I got up and made the descent thinking that the Konohiki of the alii would be the friend here at the ocean side from whom I could receive something fishy to return upland with.

The Konohiki immediately answered. “Your trip will not be rewarded for the all the fish belongs to the alii.” “If I can’t have fish, then what about some palu?”² “There is no palu for you, it is for the alii. This is a work day for the alii; the people care for him, and I am placed here to oversee the wealth of the alii and the wealth of all of his dependents.”

“Both the Aku and the palu are kapu to the alii, as well as the amaama from the pond,” Kepaalani said, “they are restricted for the alii.” “If those are kapu, what about some small Aholehole or a little shrimp?” “Kahaha! Perhaps you can’t hear; all of those things are for the alii.” Continue reading