A Hawaiian Co-Op, 1918.


These passing day, Hawaiians like Mayor Joseph J. Fern, David Kalauokalani, Samuel C. Dwight, James L. Holt, Hon. William P. Jarrett, Hon. C. P. Iaukea and a number of other Hawaiians are joining together to establish a company that will deal in the sale of poi, beef, salmon, dried fish, and so forth; with the intent to help Hawaiians in all ways that will lessen their household expenses; because it is very clear these days that because the poi factory of Kalihi is not making poi now, the current poi manufacturers are greatly raising the price of poi to five cents per pound; this is a price not seen in the past ten years or more; so too with the price of beef; the Chinese are buying very fine beef from the company of C. J. Waller [Wala], but the Chinese are charging Hawaiians 35 cents per p0und; it is an exorbitant price which has never been seen before; and it is heard from the talk of the Chinese that they will raise the price of poi once again to 6 cents a pound; it was this that encouraged the Hawaiians to establish a company that could hold back the severe increasing of the prices of our foods, O Hawaiians, by the Chinese.

The establishing of a company amongst Hawaiians is important and crucial; but if we Hawaiians do not implement an endeavor that will help ourselves, there will  be no one else who will help us.

If we turn back and look at the history of Hawaii nei, we will see that the dissension amongst us Hawaiians was what wrenched away small businesses from us Hawaiians as well as all the other endeavors.

Has the time not come when we rise and work together to move ourselves forward? The time has come; and do not listen, O Hawaiians, to the talk making us uncertain about progressing; and those Hawaiians telling you that is an enemy of yours, O True Hawaiians.

It is true, we see the losses of businesses of Hawaiians in the past, but there were also losses from many companies of the Haole, Chinese, and Japanese; but this is no reason that Hawaiians cannot try to help us Hawaiians these days from being put in a bind by the Chinese poi mongers and others.

We say as a spokesperson for the lahui, if we Hawaiians join together and build poi shops for the many Hawaiians, and we buy our poi from there, then the poi sellers of today would not be able to grossly increase the price of poi like they are doing now.

And also, if this company being planned happens, their funds will be sufficient to establish a company to sell beef, and we Hawaiians all go to buy from them; then the Chinese will not be able to raise the price of the beef we buy.

And so too with salmon, dried fish, and other foods that we eat, the natives of this land. Large showers result from combined tiny raindrops; so too if we Hawaiians join together our meager funds into one company; then the company will not lack in strength.

Hawaiians, the low, the poor, the high, the men, the women, the children, and the grandchildren should join together in this company to save ourselves from these difficulties.

With these short thoughts, I hope that this will prompt you, O Hawaiians, to join as one in regard to this great problem facing us these days, that being the question of poi, our mother food from the ancestors of ours.


(Kuokoa, 3/1/1918, p. 3)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LVI, Helu 9, Aoao 3. Maraki 1, 1918.

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