Kiaaina Nuuhiwa, 68, completing the heiau, or temple, which is one of seven huts now being built for the Hawaiian village at Waikiki. Native gods will be enshrined here.—Star-Bulletin photo.
GRASS HUTS GO UP IN WAIKIKI’S HAWAII VILLAGE
Mossmans Transform Lemon Estate Into Old Center of Native Life
By GEORGE SAKAMAKI
A typical Hawaiian village of olden days is finally becoming a reality to Mr. and Mrs. George Mossman, who are rapidly completing the construction of seven grass huts on the former Lemon estate at 2558 Kalakaua Ave., at the corner of Kaokalani St. [Paoakalani St.], near Kapiolani park.
The village site is across the road from the surging waters of Waikiki and is shaded under majestic coconut and pine trees which sway to the everlasting music of tradewinds. Song and laughter of both old and young even now add enchantment to the place while frequent showers from the valleys bring peace and quiet. An exquisite harmony of true Hawaiian life is re-lived here.
The former home of leading kahunas of the Waikiki district Mr. and Mrs. Mossman plan to restore to a native cultural center not for the purpose of attracting tourists, but for the preservation of Hawaiian life, customs and things native in general.
At the entrance, the famous shark demigod of the Waikiki Hawaiians formerly stood guard.
A Hawaiian school, especially for children, will be opened as soon as the village is completed. With a true Hawaiian setting, Mr. and Mrs. Mossman expect to accomplish much of their desire to preserve the life of their people, now fast disappearing.
When Moon Is Full
The village will be formally dedicated May 19, at the time of the full moon, known to Hawaiians as “mahealani.”
According to an ancient Hawaiian custom, banana and coconut trees will be planted by the light of the moon at that time.
A bounteous luau and generous entertainments will feature the opening. The entire community is invited to participate.
With Kiaaina Nuuhiwa, 68, of Wainiha, Kauai, working incessantly from early morning to late in the day, Mr. and Mrs. Mossman expect the village to be completed in time for the dedication.
Kiaaina, or governor, as the builder is familiarly known, is agile, active and indefatigable, despite his age. He is a master hut builder, his ancestors having all excelled in the profession.
He has already completed the building of the village heiau or temple and has started work on the other huts.
The huts are being built of coconut trees and pili or thatched grass tied with lauhala cords.
Variety of Huts
In addition to the temple shed, the following huts are being built.
Halemua, or men’s eating and council hut where women will not be allowed to enter, under penalty of death.
Hale noa, or sleeping hut, for the family.
Hale aina, or women’s dining hut where men folks are prohibited from entering under penalty of death.
Hale kahumu, or cooking hut, where all food for the family is prepared. The imu and other kitchen paraphernalia are to be located in this hut.
Hale kua, or working hut, where the women will weave mats and beat tapa.
Halau waa, or canoe shed.
The village includes an area of 175 by 250 feet. Sugar cane, vegetables, fruit trees and other plants will be planted on the grounds.
A number of Hawaiians from various places in the territory have already inquired for reservations to live in this village.
Poi Supply Aged
Mr. and Mrs. Mossman now conduct the Lani Poi innn at the place, serving Hawaiian meals prepared in the ancient Hawaiian fashion.
Poi, averaging at least 72 hours and often more than 100 hours, is served. Mr. Mossman explains that poi in ancient times was never eaten raw and that poi not properly made would spoil if left for 72 hours.
(Star-Bulletin, 4/30/1932, p. 39)
Hoihoi maoli nō kēia kanaka, mahalo NUI i ka hōʻike mai i kēia moʻolelo!