Response to claim that Lahainaluna was banning the use of Hawaiian, 1868.

FROM LAHAINALUNA.

Aloha to you O Kuokoa:—

In the paper of this past March 7th, you wail over your hearing through a letter from one of students of that College, “the teachers and students of Lahainaluna have decided to ban speaking Hawaiian and to speak solely in English instead at all times, and someone speak in Hawaiian, he will be made to work.”

Is it right for you to spread all across this Archipelago something you hear in a pushy letter from a youngster?

That “Ban that the teachers and students of Lahainaluna passed,” is news to some of our teachers, first heard from this paper from Honolulu.

It would be somewhat better if before announcing publicly this or that rumor and shedding tears over an imaginary [“imaginary” in English] tragedy, that you inquire of someplace where you can hear the truth.

That great tree that grows haphazardly, for which tears are being shed from Kau to Niihau, it grew from a tiny mustard seed [hua makeke].¹

Because of the great desire of the students of Lahainaluna to speak English, it was they who—in a small meeting amongst only themselves—decided thusly: “To try first to speak their thoughts in English, and if it comes out  not clearly, then to speak in Hawaiian [kamailio maoli].” Your ears will not miss the Hawaiian language should you come here. You will drink “real milk” here, and have your fill, and it will be a regular thing.

I do however appreciate the great desire of our students to supplement the English language, along with all the many other things they are learning in Hawaiian. They are embarrassed at the judgement and the ridicule that their elder siblings receive, that graduated from Lahainaluna before them, in this manner: “The Lahainaluna students cannot speak English.”

C. B. Andrews.

Lahainaluna, March 12, 1868.

¹Hearkening back to the parable of the mustard seed and the kingdom of heaven in Matthew.

[This is one a response found to the article posted yesterday about the banning of Hawaiian language at Lahainaluna. It is always important to look for responses and followups in later papers and in other newspapers of the time, both in Hawaiian and English (and in other languages if available), to get a clearer picture of what is happening!]

(Kuokoa, 3/21/1868, p. 3)

MAI LAHAINALUNA MAI.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke VII, Helu 12, Aoao 3. Maraki 21, 1868.

Description of Yedo, capital of Japan, 1860.

Yedo.

This is the capital of the nation of Japan; it is a grand city. It is built by the sea, by a great and fine harbor; but large ships cannot approach it.

The land surrounding that city is beautiful, and is well farmed, and there are many shade trees and fruit trees. Inland of the city of Yedo, there is a tall mountain from 12,000 to 16,000 feet, almost like Mauna Kea; it is topped by snow and a caldera like Mauna Loa. It is a sacred mountain for the people there, they go there to worship and to repent for their sins.

In the city of Yedo, there are five forts which are equipped with cannons; there are a great number o people, and houses are crowded together, but the houses are not nice, they are dilapidated. They are not painted, and not improved.

Shops are small, not like here in Honolulu. Some houses however, of the distinguished people, are nice, and they are surrounded by fine trees. The streets of the city are wide, and straight, and clean as well. The houses of the alii there are restricted, men and women cannot enter; only when given permission can they enter. They are surrounded by great and tall walls. The length of this city is twenty miles, and the width is twelve miles. The population is not clear; it is said that the number of people in that city is almost three million.

The currency there is like this; this is similar two cents, and it is a copper coin; there are a many variety of currency.

Here is a problem that the haole traders have there: the fact that people there don’t want foreign money; Mexican currency is what is wanted, and so trading is problematic.

Perhaps this land would benefit by their chiefs coming here and to America; they would see many new things and get educated. And they’d return to their land and tell the alii what they saw, and then reform their land following the tenants of Christianity.

[This is just a few years after Japan was forced to end its sakoku policy by the United States and Perry (1854).

The image of the coin is a mirror image.]

(Hae Hawaii, 3/21/1860, p. 202)

Yedo.

Ka Hae Hawaii, Buke 4, Helu 51, Aoao 202. Maraki 21, 1860.