Hawaiian Historical Society collection, 1892.

[Found under: “NU HOU KULOKO.”]

The number of books and documents accumulated in the library of the Hawaiian Historical Society [Ahahui Hoopaa Moolelo Hawaii] is 2,247. Mr. Hoes, the person whose duty it is to organize and care for the books, is most careful.

(Leo o ka Lahui, 12/7/1892, p. 3)

He 2,247...

Ka Leo o ka Lahui, Buke II, Helu 598, Aoao 3. Dekemaba 7, 1892.

Hawaiian Historical Society seeking donations, 1892.


The HAWAIIAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY [AHAHUI MOOLELO HAWAII] is looking for all the newspapers that were published in the Hawaiian language. Should a reader be in the possession of old newspapers, please donate them or sell them to us perhaps. Send correspondence regarding to this announcement to the secretary of the society. REV. C. M. HYDE. Post Office Box 67, Honolulu.

(Kuokoa, 4/9/1862, p. 3)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XXXI, Helu 15, Aoao 3. Aperila 9, 1862.

Hawaiian Historical Society established, 1892.


On the evening of Dec. 28th, a few of our citizens met and engaged in an informal interchange of ideas in regard to the importance of forming an Historical Society. Prof. Alexander was chosen temporary chairman, and the Rev. Dr. Hyde secretary. It was then decided that the proper time had come for the organization of such a society, and a committee composed of Prof. Alexander, Rev. Dr. Hyde and Mr. J. S. Emerson was chosen to draft a constitution. An adjourned meeting was held last Monday evening at the Honolulu Library, at which this committee made its report. A large number of our most prominent citizens attended, and much interest was shown in the formal organization of the new society. After the adoption of the constitution the following officers were unanimously elected: President, Hon. C. R. Bishop; Vice-President, Mr. J. S. Emerson; Corresponding Secretary, Hon. W. D. Alexander; Recording Secretary, Rev. Dr. C. M. Hyde: Treasurer, Mr. T. G. Thrum. The constitution states that the object of the society is “the collection, study, and utilization of all materials illustrating the Ethnology, Achæology and History of the Hawaiian Islands.” Active members are to pay an initiation fee of five dollars and an annual fee of one dollar. It is hoped that arrangements will be made by which the society will secure as its permanent quarters, for the accommodation of its prospective library and a place of meeting, the large front room of the Honolulu Library. Immediate efforts are to be made for the formation of a library which shall include all books relating in any way to this Kingdom, and all books, pamphlets and newspapers ever printed on the Hawaiian Islands. Continue reading

William Hyde Rice’s Hawaiian Legends in English, 1923.

[From the Preface of “Hawaiian Legends by William Hyde Rice”]

The collection of Hawaiian legends of which a translation is given in the following pages represents the work of many years by William Hyde Rice of Kauai. However, it is only within the last few years that Mr. Rice has translated the legends from his Hawaiian manuscripts. He has tried to make his version as literal as possible, preserving at the same time the spirit of the original Hawaiian, its flavor, rhythm, and phrasing. He has avoided adding modern embroidery of fancy, as well as figures of speech foreign to the Hawaiian language and to its thought and expression.


Mr. Rice has been exceptionally well prepared for this work, as he has been familiar with the Hawaiian language from his earliest childhood. In fact until he was twenty, he never thought in English but always in Hawaiian, translating mentally into his mother tongue. In 1870 when he became a member of the House of Representatives, during the reign of Kamehameha V, Governor Paul Kanoa and S. M. Kamakau, the historian, both well-known Hawaiian scholars, gave Mr. Rice much help with his Hawaiian, especially teaching him the proper use of various complicated grammatical constructions, and explaining obscure variations in pronunciation and meaning.

The sources of the legends in this collection are varied. A number of the stories Mr. Rice remembers having heard as a child, and now rare ones were gathered in later years. Many are from more than one source, but have corresponded even in details, and almost word for word. The legend of Kamapuaa, for instance, is one of the first which Mr. Rice remembers hearing. When a boy, the places mentioned in this story were pointed out to him: the spot where the demi-god landed, where he found the hidden spring, and where he rooted up the natives’ sugar-cane and sweet potatoes. The story of “The Small Wise Boy and the Little Fool” he has also been familiar with since childhood. The places mentioned in this tale can likewise be pointed out.

Most of the legends are from Kauai sources, but a number have been gathered from the other islands of the group. Whenever Mr. Rice heard of an old Hawaiian who knew any legends, he went to him, sometimes going to several to trace a special story, as for instance, the “Jonah and the Whale” story, “Makuakaumana”, which after a long search he finally procured from Mr. Westervelt. This curious story seem to be more modern than the others of the collection. While hunting for a reliable version of this story, Mr. Rice incidentally heard the story of “Manuwahi” at Heeia from an old Hawaiian.

“The Bird Man”, “Holuamanu”, “The Destruction of Niihau’s Akua”, and “The Girl and the Mo-o”, were obtained from Mr. Francis Gay, who is one of the best living scholars of the Hawaiian language. The Niihau legend was heard from several other sources as well. Mr. Gay also gave the legends of the “Rainbow Princess” and the “Shrimp’s Eyes”; the ti plants mentioned in the latter legend can still be pointed out, growing at the mouth of a little valley near Holuamanu. The Hawaiian manuscript of part of the Menehune story was obtained from J. A. Akina, while the story of the “Rain Heiau” was told to him in 1912 by a man named Naialau, who has since died at Kalaupapa. “How Lizards Came to Molokai” and Paakaa and Ku-a-paakaa” were told Mr. Rice by a man from Hawaii named Wiu, while the Rev. S. K. Kaulili, who is still living at Koloa, Kauai, gave him the most complete version of the “Rolling Island”.

During Mr. George Carter’s term as Governor, a reception was given in his honor, at Hanalei, where Mr. Rice was much interested in the very fine oli (chanting) of an old Hawaiian, named Kaululua. From him he obtained a number of legends, including that of “Ulukaa” from corresponding versions of other already in his collection. Other legends have been lost forever on account of ill-timed ridiculing by some chance companion, for Mr. Rice has found that the old people who know the legends are very sensitive, and when they find an unsympathetic auditor, refuse to continue their stories.

[It is often just as important to read the front matter and the back matter of a book than simply heading straight to the main text itself. Many times you can learn a lot of important information.

The stories credited to W. H. Rice found in the Hoku o Hawaii are probably the ones Rice collected over the years.]

(Rice, William Hyde. “Hawaiian Legends. Bernice P. Bishop Museum Bulletin 3.” Honolulu: The Museum, 1923.)

Hawaiian Legends

Hawaiian Legends by William Hyde Rice

The story of Kana, from William Hyde Rice, 1908.





Hookaakaa ka Lani
Kakaa ka Iloli
Wehiwehi ka Mauna
Palamoa ka Opua

E Kana—e
Hina ia i o Uli ala
Ko Kupunawahine.
* ∗ * ∗ * ∗

[The Heavens Turn
Rolling are the pangs of pregnancy
Bedecked are the mountains
Dense are the clouds

O Kana
It is Hina and Uli is there
Your Grandmother.
* ∗ * ∗ * ∗]

(By the kindness of Hon. W. H. Rice of the Island Sun-Snatching Island.)

Uli (f) dwelt with Ku (m), born was Hakalani-leo (f), and she was called another name, Kuahuula. Kuahuula (f) dwelt with Haka (m), born was Kukahikapo (m), Halekamakamaole (m), Kuluakapo (m), Kukolukapo (m), Hanalolo (m), Ouwaikaaha (m), Paukukaula (m), Awepumaia (m), Kaeekowali (m), Pinawelewele (m), Niheu (m) and Kana. Uli (f) was born in Hilo, Hawaii, and she had a number of siblings. Manu (m) is from below in Milu, and Wakea (m) is from below in Papanuihanaumoku. They were high chiefs. Uli’s work was planting all growing things and making kapa. Continue reading

Kawelo story by S. K. Kawailiula, 1861.

Story of Kawelo.

Maihuna was the kane and Malaiakalani his wahine; the two of them lived in Hanamaulu on Kauai. Malaiakalani was with child and gave birth to a son, and they called their first born, Kawelomahamahaia; and they were with child once again, and Kaweloikiakoo was born, and after him was born a daughter, and she was called Kaenakuokalani, and after her was born Kawelo, and called Kaweloleimakua, and he is the one who this moolelo is about, and after him was born Kamalama, their youngest sibling, and that was the last of their generation.

[This is how the moolelo of Kawelo written by S. K. Kawailiula starts off. This telling appears in Ka Hoku o ka Pakipika from 9/26/1861 to 12/5/1861.]

(Hoku o ka Pakipika, 9/26/1861, p. 1)

Mooolelo no Kawelo.

Ka Hoku o ka Pakipika, Buke I, Helu 1, Aoao 1. Sepatemaba 26, 1861.

Kawelo story, 1909 / 2009.

The Great Story



The Foremost and the Powerful, the One Who Put
Down the Strength of Kauahoa, the Youthful Hero of Hanalei;


The writer of this Moolelo gives first his New Year Aloha to the friends and companions of the Pride of the Nation [Ke Kuokoa Home Rula], before putting before them a short explanation about things pertaining to this story. Continue reading