Kanuha Jr. dies gathering opihi at Opihikao, 1919.


Rev. L. K. Kalawe of Kapoho, Puna, who came to Hilo this morning brought news of the accidental death by drowning at Opihikao last Saturday morning of Kanuha, Jr., a Hawaiian 21 years old, who leaves a young wife and child.

Last Saturday a large party of Opihikao residents went along the beach for opihis and among the crowd was young Kanuha and his father. At the beach the party separated into small groups. Kanuha and his father went to a place far away from the rest of the opihi gatherers, and as the sea was choppy they tried to hurry gathering up enough of the shells to fill their bags.

The father was busy at one place while the son was quite a distance away. The father, noticed a big wave coming in and started to run towards the highlands, at the same time calling to his son to leave the place. But the son was so busily engaged picking up opihis that he did not hear the cry of warning nor did he see the big wave coming.

In an instant the father saw the wave dash along the cliff and carry away his son, and a little later the father saw a few hundred feet away the hands of his son reaching out of the water, but that was the last seen of him.

Kanuha Sr. hurried to notify the other opihi gatherers. A Filipino volunteered to swim out to the place where the father saw his son holding up his hands.

A rope was tied around the swimmer’s body and the Filipino started off for the spot. When he reached the place he came back and reported that the undercurrent was so great that no human being could possibly¬† live long there, and the conclusion of kamaainas along that coast was that it was a lua-milo or blow hole, and that Kanuha was carried down to his death by the strong undercurrent which even the strongest swimmer could not escape.

(Daily Post-Herald, 11/12/1919, p. 1)


Daily Post-Herald, Volume XII, Number 938, Page 1. November 12, 1919.


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