On koa haole and uses, 1881.


Pertaining to the Koa [Haole] Tree—The “fruit” of this tree is a fruit that is not of interest, however the seeds are much desired. They are used to make lei for ladies, and the seed pod is thrown away; however, because of the keen investigation of the Hawaiian women, this fruit is woven into baskets, and now it is sewn into hats, which are truly fine looking; and the women are like flocks of birds as they all reach up with their hands picking the pods. The problem perhaps with these kinds of hats is that ones hair might fall out from ones head, because I remember horses; if the horses eat too much koa, their tails and manes fall out and all that is left is the kano! Perhaps however, it may be that only horses shed, and not people; Malakua folks don’t even own koa¹ hats, but they look like they are starting on the top.

¹The original reads “kou”, but it would make more sense here to be “koa”. Thank you to BK for helping me think out of the box.

[This is part of a column on news from Lahaina, written by its representative in the legislature, Samuel K. Kaihumua.

The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum has in their collection one of these haole koa hats. See here for further information. Thank you to MB for help with this information!]

(Ko Hawaii Pae Aina, 10/8/1881, p. 1)

No ka Laau Koa

Ko Hawaii Pae Aina, Buke IV, Helu 41, Aoao 1. Okatoba 8, 1881.