Canoe Building, 1924.

The Art of Canoe Building is Being Revived in Hawaii

In the olden days of Hawaii nei, canoe building [kalaiwaa] was one of the occupations deftly done by Hawaiians, but during the years since, this work has gone down to but a fraction; but these days, it is being started up once again in Honaunau, South Kona, Hawaii.

Charley Apo along with his assistants are undertaking this endeavor of carving waa from large koa trees growing on the land of Paris and Company [Hoahana Parika ?].

The koa is fell in the high mountains, then it is roughly carved out into the form of a waa, and then dragged to sea by animals.

Twelve large waa are being carved by Charley Apo in a building prepared for this work, and he is able to fill all orders that he receives as per specifications wanted, from large to small.

In the picture on the far left, Davis Paris can be seen with two waa that are unfinished; to the right is Charley Apo ; to the right of that are many unfinished waa. Below on the left is a nearly finished waa; in the middle is an assistant of Charley Apo; to the right of that is a roughly completed waa for Alika Dowsett.

[I wish the newspapers were reshot clearly so not only the words are sharp and legible, but so that pictures and images are as clear as possible…]

(Kuokoa, 6/5/1924, p. 2)

Ke Hoalaia Mai Nei ka Oihana Kalaiwaa ma Hawaii

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LXIII, Helu 23, Aoao 2. Iune 5, 1924.

1 thought on “Canoe Building, 1924.

  1. The layout of the photos with the story is nice! Coincidentally, or not, I’ve been wondering recently about building a large wa’a. Who are the kumu to seek out for guidance? Anyone suggestions? Is there a book I should read?

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