MY LEI OF DIAMONDS, MRS. KAHALEKI HAO, HAS GONE.
Ka lani kuu home e maha mau ai;
Pokole paa ole kuu noho maanei,
Nokeaha e ohumu ke kau paa pu mai,
Na eha na luhi na kaumaha e?
Eia mai na anela ke memele no’u
Memele, memele, a hiki i o,
Ma ka puka mabela, e ku ka poe maikai,
A mele aloha no ko’u puka ana ae.¹
Mr. Editor, Aloha oe:—Please should there be space on your ship the Nautilus,² allow me space for the words placed above, and may the ship take them to the four corners of our beloved land, from the rising sun at Kumukahi all the way to the pleasant base of Lehua; so that the many friends of my beloved wife, who live across the four corner of our aina aloha may know.
On the night of the 17th of April, 1922, Mrs. Kahaleki Hao grew weary of this life, and her soul returned to the One who made it, and fulfilled was the words in Job XIV:1–2. O ke kanaka i hanauia e ka wahine, he hapa kona mau la, a ua piha i ka popilikia. Puka mai no ia me he pua la, a ua okiia aku; a holo aku no ia me he aka la, aole ia e mau.
She was born from the loins of her parents Mr. Mailou (m) and Kalua (f) in 1833, in the month of September 17. Therefore, it was after 88 years and 8 months of breathing the air of this worldly life that she took her sleep; God’s love was great indeed in extending her days for that many years mentioned above.
We were wed in 1909, in the month of June 12, and we were married for 12 years and 10 months and a number of days when she left on that path all must take; and so blessed be God in the high heavens, peace on earth, goodwill toward men.
O Waialua, land fragrant in the calm, her feet will no more tread upon your pathways, no more, she is gone. Aloha no.
O Roaring sea of Puaena, no more will you moisten her cheeks, she will no longer pass along your shores, auwe aloha wale!
O Waters of Anahulu, no more will you moisten her cheeks, for she has gone, and she will not be seen again, auwe aloha ino!
O Waters of Paukauila, my beloved will never again pass by to moisten her body fishing for opae, she has gone forever, auwe, how very regrettable!
O Waters of Kawelowai, you will no more moisten her, for her face is now hidden and she is lost to you forever.
O Plains of Kemoo, she will no more pass by your ridges, for her hands are crossed behind her back, my beloved has gone, she moved along with acknowledgement, auwe, so much aloha!
O Plains of Halahape, aloha to those plains that we traveled; you will no longer see the beauty of Leilehua, where the people of foreign lands are stationed. Auwe my aloha for my dear wife, my close companion!
O Wide expanse of Kipapa, where my beloved went; she will pass no more upon your meandering roads; auwe my love! O Ewa of the fish requiring silence, you will no more hear her footsteps, for the Puulena wind has gone off to Hilo in search of Papalauahi. Auwe for my endless regret!
O Kukalahale rain, here is important news of love, Mrs. Kahaleki Hao has gone; you will no more moisten her lashes. O Waters of Kewalo, I call out without being heard, for Hiku, the woman who travels on the ridges has arrived. Auwe, my wife, my close companion!
In the year 1913, she was one of those who published nane alongside the men, and it was she who sponsored the prize which traveled on the steam engine in the last week of January, and was caught by J. W. K. Kakelamaluikaleo the next month, on February 8, 1914; this was conducted by the Editor of the Kuokoa, and they met face to face, and that is why she is called by the pen name, Home Lauiwaiwa.
And so I give my appreciation to all those who gathered to see her last countenance, and those who stayed up with me and my children Antone Kaoo, Mrs. Puahai Pine, that night and day.
I also beseech in my prayer to the Father in heaven to lighten the burdens and sadnesses of this life in body, and it is He who will give blessings upon us, and and such gives life to our bodies, extending our days, and prolonging our years; that is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
My endless regards to the boys of your press.
J. H. HAO,
Waialua, Oahu, April 22, 1922.
[You will never know what you can find in death announcements. The mention of Kahaleiki Hao being a woman nane artist associated with the identity “Home Lauiwaiwa” was an exciting find. Most of the riddles in the newspapers were signed with pen names, and only a few of their actual identities are known today.]
¹Number 585, “My home is in heaven, my rest is not here.” Found in Lyons, Lorenzo, ed. Buke Himeni Hawaii. New York: Ko Amerika Ahahui Teraka, 1872.
²From the time Jules Verne’s “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” was translated into Hawaiian and published in the Kuokoa (12/18/1875–3/30/1878), various motifs from the story were incorporated in Hawaiian writing.
(Kuokoa, 4/28/1922, p. 3)