Hannah Baker in Hilo starting Hawaiian quilting clubs, 1941.

A FINE THING FOR HAWAIIAN MOTHERS

Here in Hilo is Mrs. Hannah Baker now, and she established some Hawaiian Quilting Associations. The first of her Associations was established at the YWCA Building and the second in Keaukaha.

From what was said, there are many who joined these clubs because they were interested in how to quilt Hawaiian blankets, and others perhaps because they wanted to obtain the knowledge of how to cut patterns of all sorts. Continue reading

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More on prolific Charles Furneaux, 1881.

Mr. Furneaux’s Paintings.

A very interesting series of oil paintings by Mr. Furneaux is to be seen in the tower room of the Government Building [Aliiolani Hale]. These are chiefly sketches of the volcanic phenomena which have been displayed on Hawaii since November last. Having been on the spot from the beginning of the eruption, and taking a great interest in it, Mr. Furneaux has been able to secure illustrations of all its phases during the progress of the flow, from its source to the immediate proximity of the sea. The first of the series is a view taken from Kawaihae, in November last, after the flow had divided into two or more streams; one the Kau stream, which, after threatening the Kapapala Plantation, has long since ceased to flow; another the flow towards the plateau between Maunaloa and Maunakea, which, after many windings and doublings, is now threatening the town and harbor of Hilo. The next view was taken from Hilo Bay, and shows the three streams which were so conspicuous on the face of the mountain in November last. Immediately after his arrival Mr. Furneaux paid a visit to the crater of eruption, which is situated at an elevation of about 12,000 feet, or about 2,000 feet below the summit of the mountain. Three of the paintings depict this crater, one being from a point which gives a view of its interior. Another picture gives a near view of the blow-hole, or secondary crater, from which a discharge of lava was noticed on December 3rd. The next group of paintings gives us vivid illustrations of the conditions of things near Hilo in April and May last. In the former month Mr. Furneaux obtained a fine view of the main flow, as it appeared in the woods about eight miles from Hilo, at the time when its whole width of two to two and a half miles was in a molten and very active state, just at a point where the Puna, Waiakea and Hilo flows were being separately developed from it. In this picture we have a fine illustration of the “volcano cloud” with its deep red tinge looking more fiery than the very lava whose glow it reflects. The next of the series shows the curious phenomena of a waterspout on the lava flow, a sight frequently witnessed when the front face of the stream was lingering in the woods. Another picture also taken in April at the same distance from Hilo, shows the black and broken surface of the flow of 1856 and this new and greater flow creeping up to and over it. The next series of sketches were of the Waiakea flow taken two months before the sudden outburst by which it has threatened the sugar mill. One is of the artist’s camp in a dense growth of ohias, tree-ferns and wild bananas close to the edge of the flow. Another sketch from the tent door pictures some bananas, ferns and creepers with the red glare from the lava as a background. A third is a daylight view of the flow showing the havoc made in the lovely forest thus cruelly invaded. This sketch was taken when one tall ohia remained still erect with lava all round it. John Hall, whose place has since been destroyed, was Mr. Furneaux’s guide, and the latter made a sketch of his house before its fate was anticipated. This view was taken in May; a companion picture shows everything overwhelmed except a tree and part of the fence, with an extraordinary pit in the foreground, revealing the liquid lava flowing beneath the cooled crust. Later in May Mr. Furneaux paid a visit to what is known as the Hilo flow. Among the group of sketches then taken is one of the advanced part of the flow, with a group of Hawaiians getting specimens in the foreground; a sketch of Hale Laumaia, with the volcanic cloud hanging over the wooded scenery of the background; a sketch of the flow at the moment of one of the gas explosions, which are common when the lava is passing over the surface of previous flows, and penetrating into the caverns which about in the dead lava. Then comes a sketch in which we have a cascade of lava falling over a ledge of bare rock, and by way of contrast to its lurid fire, the flame of burning timber and undergrowth on the right hand of the picture. Following this series is a picture of the Waiakea flow as seen from a distance before its sudden advance; also a sketch of H. H. Ruth Keelikolani’s place, where that flow will probably reach the sea. The last group are from sketches taken late in July, after the Waiakea flow had pushed forward with so much violence. One of John Hall’s property has already been alluded to; another shows the lava flowing over a precipice about 60 feet wide, and 14 or 15 feet high, into a great pool of water—a scene already familiar to us through Mr. Dickson’s photographs; and a third shows the Waiakea mill, and the position of the flow on 25th July, with the intervening land. One interesting picture shows the way in which the lava at times pushes its way forward, throwing out snake-like tongues of fire from the black front of the stream.

Besides these paintings, there are some pictures of Halemaumau, and some views of forest and mountain scenery. Mr. Furneaux has also a number of other pictures, which he has not at present opened out for the public view, as he intends to return at once to Hilo to increase his store of sketches, and to catch, if possible, the lava stream in the very act of precipitating itself into the sea.

(Pacific Commercial Advertiser, 8/13/1881, p. 3)

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The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, Volume XXVI, Number 7, Page 3. August 13, 1881.

“Makaloa ihi” hats, 1861.

Home Manufactures.

Our contemporary [Pacific Commercial Advertiser] talks very emphatically about Hawaiian made hats, worn much of late by the native women. It says they are made of a grass called “makaloa ihi,” which is very “abundant,” and it can’t explain why the women’s hats are so much dearer than the men’s hats. Had it asked the first native it saw, it would have been told that the mens’ hats are made of the makaloa grass, which is tolerably abundant, and the women’s hats of the Ihiihi grass, which is very scarce, short, and tiresome to braid. We and many other foreigners have patronised the manufacture by using hats of both kinds in our families. Why don’t the Advertiser do the same, instead of talking about it? And we think that what “is exceedingly neat and a most graceful article” for a pretty Hawaiian face, would not disgrace the looks of a foreign born lady, especially when she can have it made in “a style and variety” to correspond with the latest fashion plates. It is pleasant to see that several foreign ladies have already adopted the Ihiihi hats, and the demand is increasing.

(Polynesian, 11/30/1861, p. 2)

Home Manufactures.

The Polynesian, Volume XVIII, Number 31, Page 2. November 30, 1861.

More on Don Blanding, 1939.

About Don Blanding

Don Blanding

Moses Company, Limited announced the arrival of plates decorated by this famous poet, Don Blanding, a they are being displayed in their store and are placed in one of their show windows. You can see the true value of his recollections. His abilities in painting is incomparable.

You can begin your collection of plates for $8.80. They are beautiful to look at, and can be used everyday.

Should you desire to see some of those plates, go to the book store of the Moses Company. Continue reading

Hei, cat’s cradle, Hawaiian style, 1916.

Some String Figures of Hawaii

There are many people studying the history of Hawaii nei and the lifestyle of its people, like what has been done with America, Europe and Asia. And through this studying of history, there has not been a lack of new information which brings benefits by its study. However Judge [Lyle Alexander] Dickey has come up with a new path to this study, not utilized before in Hawaii nei. He is learning string figures, and is collecting the old names and the mele that go with these string figures. He now has about a hundred or more of them.

String figures is something done all over the world. And most people know one or two. From what is known, there is not much of them in Europe and Asia; there are a bit more in Africa; and there is a lot with the Indians of America and the people of the islands of the Pacific. There are two books on string figures of the islands of Britain, the Indians of the Arctic, the Indians, and a few from the islands to the south of us. There is nothing written on the hei of Hawaii nei, even if Hawaii’s figures are most wonderful for the mele which accompany them. Some are not difficult, however some are very problematic because of the many transformations, with different lines of mele going along with each change. Some are very humorous without value, while some are for wooing, while others are riddles. Knowing the way of life of the people, its tales, its history, and the lay of its lands—this is the means of understanding the meanings and kaona (underlying meanings) of these hei. Perhaps the most widely memorized figure is called Hale Kumukaaha. However to this day, Judge Dickey has not gained clarity as to the true meaning and kaona of this hei.

Some figures done by the school children of Hawaii are perhaps not originating in Hawaii nei. The hei called “six eyes” is probably not from here [the first image]. Not a single old Hawaiian can make this figure. Maybe it is a new figure or maybe one from outside of Hawaii.

Some of the hei are associated with daily life, like the canoe, the net, the hammock, the imu, and the water gourd. Some are associated with animals and fish, like the turtle, the mo’o, the manini, the aweoweo, the hapuu, and the bird. Some hei are associated with the house like the kumukaaha structure, the loulu structure, and the paakai structure. There are a very little hei pertaining to body parts, like the piko of Kahoalii and the breasts of Ne. There are many dealing with land and famous fishing shrines as well as men with god-like bodies. Kauiki, for probably a good reason is the most widely known figure. One hei is for Wailua and it is seen in the attached illustration.

There is one famous hei, but it is only known by the oldsters of Hawaii nei, of which is accompanied by the chant starting with: “O Kuhaupio ka la, ka la i ke kula o Ahuena.”

A majority of the people who have the song or chant memorized along with the figures, have died without teaching them to their children. There are so many other things that entertain the new generation, but this entertainment of times long ago is something that the Hawaiian people are proud of. This skill shows intelligence in making the figures and associating it to this thing or that, and it is important that this ancient knowledge be kept. It would be good if someone reading this knows of some old Hawaiian who has a chant or mele memorized close at hand, one who is fond of mele and versed in string figures, or one who knows string figures, that he should Judge Dickey in Lihue, Kauai and tell him of what this person knows. There are many different hei of which the judge has heard, however, he has not found someone now living who can show them to him. There is one that is associated with the net of Makalii that J. S. Emerson saw in Hawaii many years ago; there are also some associated with the story of Pele and Kamapuaa, the paddle o Maui, “haehae ka manu e Kanealoha,” and so forth. These are great and very valuable, and it is important that they be preserved without regard to its simplicity or difficulty. And it is perhaps something that will bring joy when witnessing it being done, or perhaps something exceedingly appalling to consider.

(Kuokoa, 6/9/1916, p. 3)

KEKAHI MAU HEI A NA HAWAII

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LIV, Helu 23, Aoao 3. Iune 9, 1913.

Canoe Building, 1924.

The Art of Canoe Building is Being Revived in Hawaii

In the olden days of Hawaii nei, canoe building [kalaiwaa] was one of the occupations deftly done by Hawaiians, but during the years since, this work has gone down to but a fraction; but these days, it is being started up once again in Honaunau, South Kona, Hawaii.

Charley Apo along with his assistants are undertaking this endeavor of carving waa from large koa trees growing on the land of Paris and Company [Hoahana Parika ?].

The koa is fell in the high mountains, then it is roughly carved out into the form of a waa, and then dragged to sea by animals.

Twelve large waa are being carved by Charley Apo in a building prepared for this work, and he is able to fill all orders that he receives as per specifications wanted, from large to small.

In the picture on the far left, Davis Paris can be seen with two waa that are unfinished; to the right is Charley Apo ; to the right of that are many unfinished waa. Below on the left is a nearly finished waa; in the middle is an assistant of Charley Apo; to the right of that is a roughly completed waa for Alika Dowsett.

[I wish the newspapers were reshot clearly so not only the words are sharp and legible, but so that pictures and images are as clear as possible…]

(Kuokoa, 6/5/1924, p. 2)

Ke Hoalaia Mai Nei ka Oihana Kalaiwaa ma Hawaii

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LXIII, Helu 23, Aoao 2. Iune 5, 1924.

Another Antiques Roadshow find? 1868.

[Found under: “LOCAL NEWS: Oahu”]

Painting of Lava.—On the morning of this past Wednesday, placed outside the Bookstore of Whitney was a painting of a river of lava flowing and entering the sea of Kahioipakini [ka Hioipakini] in Kau, and it was sent here to Honolulu. The copy of that scene is painted by Joseph Nawahi [Iosepa Nawahi], (Kahooluhi), and it is placed at the entrance of our office to show the public. There have been many hundreds of men, women, and children who have come in flocks to see it starting on that day. The people were filled with fright and fear at this frightful representation of the deeds of Almighty God. Seen are four volcanoes ablaze upland of the house of Captain Brown in Kahuku.

(Kuokoa 4/18/1868, p. 3)

Ke kii o ke Ahi Pele.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke VII, Helu 16, Aoao 3. Aperila 18, 1868.