Death of Joseph Kaaua Kaaa, 1918.


Mr. Solomon Hanohano, Aloha between the two of us strangers:—May it please your honor to welcome my bundle of hinano lei in a open space of your office and it will be you who carries it to the four corners of this globe, so that the family, friends, and the many people of my dear hinano lei, my husband, will know that he has passed on and that he left me and our beloved lei grieving for him in this world.

On Thursday, July 11, 1918, at 4 p. m., my dear Joseph K. Kaaa grew weary of this life and and silently moved on alone to the other side of the dark river of death, leaving me behind, burdened with our beloved lei. Auwe, how pained is my heart! No more is my dear Joseph Kaaua Kaaa, my companion for all places.

O Kukalahale Rain, you will no longer see his eyes, no more will will hear his voice, and he will not tread upon your streets.

Auwe, my sadness and grief for my dear husban who has gone afar; no more will I see his features; no more will I hear his voice; no more, no more for all times!

He was infirm for but only five days when he quickly grew weary of this life, without any previous idea that the weakness would take with it his life breath, being that he was in good health and went simply to his repose!

We searched for a cure from the doctors, Dr. Lee and the military doctor, and both saw that the illness was pneumonia.

Therefore, there was nothing humanly possible to do; there was only God, for it is written in the Great Book, that man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.

Whereas, my dear Joseph K. Kaaa was born in Puna of the fragrant bowers of hala and hinano, of Keolewa (f) and Kaaa (m) on May 31, 1872; and so he spent a full 46 years old, 1 month, and 10 days breathing the suffering of this life.

During our life together in the bond of holy matrimony, God made bear fruit our garden with 11 children, but God took back 7, and we were left with 4 children; they look for their papa but their papa is not there, the parent of the home. Auwe, the home is cold, the home that was given warmth by the parent.

On Friday, July 12, at 4:30 p. m., his cold body was taken to the Catholic church to be blessed by the Catholic fathers, and from there to the cemetery of Koula for all times.

I feel full of pity remembering the music of the band, where my dear husband stood for many years. Auwe how sorrowful is my heart! No more will I hear the voice of his instrument.

I give my appreciation to the to the boys of the band in giving their services carrying his coffin, and all for walking in the procession to his eternal home; and so too do I once more give my endless thanks to the family, intimates, and friends for their gifts of flowers strewn upon my dearly beloved man; and also my boundless thanks go to Mayor Fern for his help with the hearse. Please all of you accept my thanks, and may God help us all.

Therefore, I stop the nib of my pen here with thanks to you, Mr. Editor, and so too to the typesetting boys.

Me, with a heavy heart for my dear husband who has gone afar.


1035 Morris Lane, Kapalama.

[Kaaa was a longtime member of the Bana Lahui, or the Hawaiian National Band.]

(Kuokoa, 7/26/1918, p. 8)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LVI, Helu 30, Aoao 8. Iulai 26, 1918.

1 thought on “Death of Joseph Kaaua Kaaa, 1918.

  1. Thank you! Mary Pahukoa Kaaa is my great grandmother. I have never seen this before. Thank you for the translation.

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