Octopus fishing and more described by Emma Metcalf Beckley, 1902.


Women Got the Octopus With Spears.

The Hawaiians have five methods of fishing: by spearing, hand catching, baskets, hook and line, and with nets.

The Ia O is the spearing of fish and is of two kinds, below and above water. That below water is the most important, and is generally employed for the different kinds of rock fish. The spear used by the diver is a slender stick of from 6 to 7 feet in length made of very hard wood and sharply pointed at one end, but more tapering at the other. Since the possession of iron, spears are always tipped with it, but perfectly smooth, without hook or barb. Diving to a well-known station by a large coral rock or against the steep face of the reefs, the diver places himself in a half crouching position on his left foot, with his right foot free and extended behind, his left hand holding on to the rock to steady himself, watches and waits for the fish. Fish in only two positions are noticed by him, those passing before and parallel to him, and those coming straight towards his face. he always aims a little in advance, as, by the time the fish is struck, its motion has carried it so far forward that it will be hit on the gills or middle of the body and thus secured, but if the spear were aimed at the body it would be very apt to hit the tail, or pass behind. When the fish is hit, the force of the blow generally carries the spear right through to the hand, thus bringing the fish up to the lower part or handle of the spear, where it remains whilst the fisherman strikes rapidly at other fish in succession should they come in a huakai (train) as they usually do. Continue reading


Turtle caught at Laupahoehoe, 1928.

Large Turtle Caught

Laupahoehoe, July 26—Some days ago, there was person who said he was lucky and caught a big ulua at the same place. As for this, these men, whose names are Bill Maikui, a worker for the railway; Lopaka Mae; Akoni Jarda and Ned Rice; spoke about their luck in catching a large honu.

One day Bill Maikui noticed a big honu swimming by beneath the cliffs upon which they live. He fastened meat upon his fishing line and threw it down the cliff; perhaps this cliff is not very high. When he threw over his fishing line, the flippers [ekekeu] of that turtle soon was entangled in the line; and being that the honu was huge indeed, he called his friends to go down and secure a heavy line and pull it up to where he lives. It was with great difficulty that they pulled up this honu caught in the fishing line  up the cliff where Maikui lives. Continue reading

Joe Kauwila captures shark in Hana, 1903.



It is not often that any one is towed under water by a shark and lives to tell the tale, but this is precisely what happened last Thursday to Joe Kauwila a native sailor aboard the steamer Claudine. Not only did he survive the experience, but at last accounts he was shoving a truck at the Wilder wharf today helping to load the steamer Claudine with freight.

On Thursday at Hana while the Claudine was in the port, the sailors heard that a dead horse had been moored near one of the buoys, for the purpose of attracting a shark. A big shovel nose shark about 12 feet in length, came circling in the vicinity of the horse. Captain Parker took a boat crew and went over by the buoy. J. Welch a man from the shore, shot at the shark with a rifle and struck the shark in the head and evidently stunned it. The idea of Captain Parker and the men in the boat was to get a line on the shark and haul it aboard. There were two young natives in the boat one of them Joe Kauwila. Joe is about 18 years of age and the other man about 20.

The shark could be seen a few yards away lying on its back. Some thought the shark had been killed. The natives talked of going over with the line.

“I think he no make,” ejaculated one of the men.

“Oh! I think he make, all right,” declared Joe. “Any how, plenty more kanakas. I try get line on him.” Joe hauled off his shirt, seized the line and started swimming toward the shark. He caught hold of the shark’s tail and began to put the line over the tail. The instant that the shark felt the boy catch hold of its tail, the shark sprang into sudden life, and started to swim. Joe held onto the shark’s tail though. Down went the shark intending evidently to dive under the boat. Continue reading

Shark fin, sea cucumber and tree ear trade, 1864.

Sea Cucumber [Loli];—Tree Ear [Pepeiaolaau]—and Shark Fin [Lala Mano.]—In today’s newspaper, there is printed an Advertisement by Akuwai, one of the Chinese merchants of Honolulu nei, calling for all people to bring in Loli, Pepeiaolaau, and Lala Mano, to their Shop on Nuuanu Street, makai sdie of the store of A. S. Cleghorn [Ake], and right in front of the Hawaiian hotel, that being Haleola. Therefore O Friends near the sea, you should all go and bring in Sea Cucumber, Tree Ear, and Shark Fin, so that you get rich off of the money of Akuwai and company. Be quick! Be quick, lest you be too late.

(Kuokoa, 4/23/1864, p. 2)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke III, Helu 17, Aoao 2. Aperila 23, 1864.

Iwi found on the future site of the First National Bank, 1924.


While the site was being dug, where the First National Bank [Banako First National] will be built in the future, at King and Bishop streets, there was found human bones and a poi pounder in the earth, but as to how those bones and poi pounder got there, that is something unclear being asked today.

At about seven or eight feet, these things were found by workers digging the dirt in the earth, at the area where the old fire station stood during the time of King Kalakaua. Continue reading

The National Anthem and Patriotism, 1893.


Aloha aina is a wonderful gift held by people. The German loves his land of birth, and for it is the national anthem sung—”Die Wacht am Rhein” [“Ke Kiai ma ka muliwai Rhine!”]* And so too  with the Briton, whose love is steadfast for his birth land, and this is one of their songs—”Rule, Britannia! rule the waves, Britons never will be slaves.” [“O Beritania ka mana maluna o na aekai, aole loa oia e kauwa kuapaa.” And it is the same with the American; he loves his native land, and for it is sung in this manner—”The land of the triumphant and the home of the brave.” [“Ka aina o ka lanakila a me ka home o ka wiwo ole.”] Who would fault their patriotism? This like the aloha that the Hawaiian has for his land of birth, and for it is sung like this—

“Hawaii Ponoi
Nana i kou Moi
Ka Lani Alii nei,
Ke Alii.”

*Look at this awesome translation by King Kalakaua of Die Wacht am Rhein!

(Hawaii  Holomua, 2/11/1893, p. 1)


Hawaii Holomua, Buke III, Helu 7, Aoao 1. Feberuari 11, 1893.