[Found under: “KA MAKUAHINE PALEKA.”]
The famous saying of the Hawaiians said always in prayers of the old kahuna—”Haumakaiole, palalauhala a kaikoko;” it was those words that showed how long lived the ancient Hawaiians were. Because from the actual meaning of the word “haumakaiole,” it is the shriveling of a person’s eyes that is all wrinkly, which is why they are tiny like that of a rat’s, and that is the stage after gray-haired [poohina]; and elderly [elemakule] comes before gray-haired, but elemakule is the general stage for when a person becomes frail [palupalu].
And after an old and frail person passes the stage of “haumakaiole,” then that person enters into the stage “palalauhala,”and the idea behind that it is the very old age of a person if he continue to live, he cannot walk around by himself, should he not perhaps receive assistance; that is when the person lies constantly atop a mat, and sometimes the person is rolled up in a mat.
And if that person lives past that stage, he enters the stage “kaikoko,” and that is when he is hung from the ridgepole of the house in a net [koko], and it is said that it is a time when he lives without eating, and that is why it is said, “living on wind [i ola no i ka makani].” These are some explanations, and to them is always added the saying, “to god belongs that life. [na ke akua ia ola].”
And by taking these famous words of the Hawaiians, we, the people of today, will not go without seeing that the ancient Hawaiians were people who lived a long life, and there were many of them like that, which is one reason they were famous; however, for the Hawaiians of these days, and the other ethnicities, it is not a truly difficult thing to say that they reached safely the century mark of life on this earth; however, Mother Parker has garnered the honor of living for a century.
[These are pretty nice descriptions of the meanings of three stages in a person’s later life. It appears in an article on the hundredth birthday of Mother Parker, Mary Elizabeth Parker. You never know where you are going to find good definitions!]
(Kuokoa, 12/15/1905, p. 2)