President Roosevelt and Ikua Purdy, 1909.


One thing that President Roosevelt [Rusawela] was extremely pleased at from the steer-roping boys of Hawaii nei, was their gift that they sent by way of Representative Kuhio; and within a letter sent was a picture of Ikua Purdy, the champion roper of the world and canoe racer at Waikiki.

According to Representative Kuhio in his letter written to Jack Low, it expressed that the President was filled with joy at hearing that Ikua Purdy was actually the one who came away with the name champion of the world at steer roping.

This was the first he found out about the skill of the Hawaiian boys in roping steer, and it was Representative Kuhio who told him that Hawaiians enjoyed this activity for a long time, way before them hearing about the abilities of the boys of Wyoming.

On this past new year’s day, the paniolo boys of Waimea, Hawaii, held a steer-roping contest, with the idea that the boys who are proficeint at that activity would snatch the fame gained by Ikua Purdy, however, Ikua was the fastest at their contest; his time was like nine minutes [? seconds] less than his time in Wyoming.

There were twenty-five Waimea boys entered in this contest, but most of them fell, and Kamaki Lindsey took second place, with a time of fifty-seven seconds to rope, fell, and tie his steer.

(Kuokoa, 1/15/1909, p. 4)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XLVI, Helu 3, Aoao 4. Ianuari 15, 1909.


One thought on “President Roosevelt and Ikua Purdy, 1909.

  1. I would dearly love to have a translation of that letter. Can you tell me where I may find one? The story of Ikua Purdy is so compelling!

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