Z. P. K. Kawaikaumaiikamakaokaopua’s treatise on kalaiaina, 1921–1922.


(Written by Z. P. K. Kawaikaumaiikamakaokaopua).


God gave all men wealth [waiwai]; He gave land to grow food, He gave trees to build houses and to assist in great works, He gave all growing things to fulfill the desires of men, He gave us hands and strength to work and administer the land and all things that will bring us wealth.

But when man lived in ignorance, they were very poor. The things God gave him were not made into wealth. He lived in caves or shacks, or crude and dirty structures. His clothes were leaves, or animal hide, or tree bark; he hunted wild animals for food and plants that grew wild in the forest; he did not imitate the ant who prepared a lot of food. That is how ignorant men lived poorly. They did not know where to obtain wealth. The saw the wealth of foreign lands, and were amazed at the great wealth of other lands. They did not understand that God spread upon all lands things to make great wealth.

That is why kalaiaina is important. There are many facets of that word. The soil in which farmers farm is aina. The ocean in which fishing is done is aina. The public mart is aina. Canoe carving is aina. House building is aina. Everything done to bring wealth to many people is called aina. Administering to the different aina is how to gain wealth and it was called kalaiaina by the writers of old.

Living in this world, there are many things that we desire to make our life comfortable. Everything that will fulfill man’s desires and make his life easier, that is wealth. Food is wealth, because it gives life.

Therefore, fish is wealth, and medicine is wealth. However, not only things that bring life are wealth. Everything that is desired, if it is something that will benefit ones life, is wealth. Light is wanted at night, and so oil is wealth. Shade from the sun is wanted, so parasols are wealth. Silks are wanted, so silk worms are wealth. However everything around is not wealth.

Land that is not farmed and not lived upon is not wealth. Money left in the mountains is not wealth. Fish swimming in the sea is not wealth. Sandalwood lost where men cannot find it is not wealth. When they reach the hand of man, then they become wealth; things have no worth when they are just left aside. If it does not come into possession, man’s desire will not be met; he will not be contented. When he acquires it, his desires will be fulfilled and he will be content; that is wealth.

If a man has a lot of money, it is said that he has much wealth. But his stomach cannot be made full with it, his body cannot be made warm by it; but it can be used to buy and acquire everything he wants. So a man with a lot of money is wealthy.

Money is a measurement by which one can measure the quality and extent of wealth. If something is greatly desired for it great value, there is a lot of monetary value in it. People want to obtain a much money for buying things. Some wealth have not much use, but are very costly. Some wealth are very useful, but are not very costly. Iron is good and has much more use than that of gold. But gold is very costly, because it can be sold for much.

Commodities. Some things can be put up for sale while other things cannot be sold. If one were to measure the usefulness, some things that are not for sale can be much more useful than things that are for sale. Air is much more useful than clothes, for man can live without clothes, but man cannot live without air. Sunlight is not something sold. If its usefulness is measured, it is greater than that of ships and canoes.

For man can live without boats and canoes, but he cannot live without light. If we look at what can be sold and not be sold, this is what their differences between the two are. Things that are not sellable cannot be used up many. Sellable goods will be exhausted by the few. Air and light is not exhausted by the many. Clothing and ships and canoes will be exhausted by the few.

(To be continued.)

[This is the first installment of Z. P. K. Kalokuokamaile’s historic treatise on wealth and commerce, which includes descriptions of methods of farming, which ran in the Kuokoa from 11/25/1921 to 12/28/1922. This is then followed by his detailed description of canoe making.]

(Kuokoa, 11/25/1921, Section 2, p. 1)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LIX, Helu 47, Mahele Elua, Aoao 1. Novemaba 25, 1921.

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