Much more on the protest mat, 1990.

For much, much more on Kalai’s mat of protest, see Roger G. Rose’s “Patterns of protest : a Hawaiian mat-weaver’s response to 19th-century taxation and change,” found in Bishop Museum Occasional Papers, Vol. 30 (June 1990). It can be found online by clicking here below:

Patterns of protest : a Hawaiian mat-weaver’s response to 19th-century taxation and change

Patterns of protest : a Hawaiian mat-weaver’s response to 19th-century taxation and change, Roger G. Rose

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Kalai’s fame spreads to far away Pennsylvania, 1874.

[Found under: “Varieties.”]

King Kalakaua, of the Sandwich Islands, has requested an old woman named Kalai, who sent him a mat into which she had woven a petition praying for the removal of taxes on animals, to weave two mats, one with the American and the other with the English coat-of-arms, to be exhibited at our Centennial Exhibition as specimens of Hawaiian handiwork.

[There is mention of this also in the National Republican (Washington, DC) on 6/19/1874.]

(Juniata Sentinel and Republican, 6/24/1874, p. 1)

King Kalakaua...

Juniata Sentinel and Republican, Volume XXVIII, Number 25, Page 1. June 24, 1874.

Message in a mat, 1874.

[Found under: “Nu Hou Kuloko.”]

We have heard that the woman who wove the pawehe mat of Niihau, that being Kalai, was asked by the king to weave a moena pawehe, two of them, with the symbol [kii hoailona] of America and so too of Britain.

(Kuokoa, 5/2/1874, p. 2)

Ua lohe makou, ua kauohaia...

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XIII, Helu 18, Aoao 2. Mei 2, 1874.

The famous Niihau protest mat on display at the Bishop Museum, 1874 / 2015.

[Found under: “NOTES OF THE WEEK.”]

A Valuable Gift.—His Majesty received on Monday last a choice Niihau mat, presented to him by Mr. George Gay of Niihau. In this mat is wrought in red letters, a petition, praying that the taxes may be removed on all animals, and for other changes in the laws. The petition, which is in Hawaiian, is quite lengthy, and when copied off covered a page and a half of cap paper. It is the handiwork of an old woman named Kalai, who has been occupied 11 months in making it. She commenced it to give to the late Lunalilo, but on hearing of his death and the election of Kalakaua, sent it to the latter. His Majesty has requested her to work tow mats for the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition—one to show the American coat-of-arms and the other the British coat-of-arms, designs of which will be sent to her to copy. Should she execute the order, these will be very attractive specimens of Hawaiian handiwork.

—Some years ago a native brought to us a Niihau mat three fathoms in length and less than one in width, in which was wrought in red letters the Lord’s prayer in Hawaiian. It was beautifully done, and must have cost him many months of labor. We engaged to take it at his price, but before he delivered it, he found a customer who offered him just double what he had valued it at. Such specimens are very rare, and of course valuable. If made by days’ work, it would be valued at hundreds of dollars.

[This mat was put on display at the Bishop Museum just yesterday. Go check it out if you are on Oahu nei.]

(Hawaiian Gazette, 4/29/1874, p. 3)

A Valuable Gift.

Hawaiian Gazette, Volume X, Number 17, Page 3. Aprila 29, 1874.

Hooulu Lahui, 1874.

[Found under: “Nu Hou Kuloko.”]

A Gift.—This past Wednesday, at 9 o’clock at night, one of our coworkers at this Office was given a gift, by his Lady giving him a large, well-developed girl, who weighed even eleven pounds. To Mr. H. L. Sheldon, the Editor of the newspaper “Advertiser,” goes our shared joy for his being blessed with a beautiful grandchild, as we ask of the Heavens to continue to send this type of gifts, to once again increase the lahui of King Kalakaua, the king of whose reign is said,

—”E hooulu i ka Lahui.”¹—

¹One of the great goals of King Kalakaua was to Hooulu Lahui, or to increase the Hawaiians.

(Kuokoa, 8/22/1874, p. 2)

He Makana.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XIII, Helu 34, Aoao 2. Augate 22, 1874.