The pillow mele for Kaahumanu, and the power of the newspapers, 1907.

One reason why the newspapers were/are so important was because they were “immediate,” just as I suppose Facebook and Twitter is today. One person claims something in the newspaper one day, and a few days later you could see more information or contradicting information by someone else, and not necessarily even in the same newspaper. Because people back in the day wanted the latest news, they would subscribe to the different newspapers being printed at the time, or at least would share them with each other.

Case in point:

The mele for Kaahumanu’s pillow submitted by Simon Paaluhi appears in the Kuokoa on 5/3/1907. He states that it was composed by Papohaku.

A month later, on 6/8/1907 in the Aloha Aina, J. Kahaukuwaiaoao and Nawaa Joseph submit a longer version of the same mele, and state that the composer’s name is Kaneiakama.

These interchanges must have been just as exciting to see then as they are now.


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