Hawaiian Idol.—A genuine idol of the olden time, has recently been discovered at Waialua, Oahu, by Mr. Lane. Through the permission of His Excellency ex-Governor Kekuanaoa, this idol has been presented to the Museum of Oahu College [Punahou]. It is about eight feet in length, and resembles the ancient images represented in Jarvis’ History. Mr. Chase has had this idol sketched by Mr. Emmert, and very soon photographs will be on exhibition. Many hundreds of Hawaiians have gathered to see this huge image while it was set up in front of the Kuokoa office, at the Sailors’ Home, Honolulu. So very rare are these specimens of ancient idolatry that but very few of the present generation of Hawaiians ever saw one. This one was found in a taro patch or fish pond, where it was doubtless cast when the idols were destroyed in 1819. One old native woman informed us, while gazing at the image, that Mr. Lane would get no more fish from his fish pond because he has such shown such indignity to this idol. Reader, do not be surprised at this woman’s thought. What says the great English writer, Macaulay, in one of his essays? “We have seen an old woman with no talents beyond the cunning of a fortune-teller, and with the education of a scullion, exalted into a prophetess, and surrounded by tens of thousands of devoted followers, many of whom were in station and knowledge immeasurably her superiors; and all this in the nineteenth century, and all this in London.”—[Essays, vol. iv., page 307.] We doubt not there is less superstition in Honolulu than in London!—Friend.
—This idol is a singular relic, and, on account of its great age—for it is probably two hundred years old—valuable as a curiosity. It is the ancient fish god, and there are old natives still living who remember seeing it when children, fifty years or more ago, guarding the fish ponds of Waialua. It is probably made out of koa wood, though after having lain imbedded in mud so long, it is difficult to determine the kind of wood it is made of. It measures eight feet six inches in hight—four fee six inches from the top of the head to the neck, two feet from the neck to the feet, and the remainder is a pedestal. The mouth is distended wide open, large enough to take in a peck measure, with a row of huge teeth above and below. The nose, eyes and ears are nearly perfect. The crown is surmounted by a tuft or crest intended to represent hair, which was the ancient custom of wearing it. In the days when Hawaiians feared their idols, this one doubtless received his share of homage and devotion from those who now care nothing for it except as a curiosity.
(PCA, 9/1/1866, p. 3)