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.

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