Lae Ahi, Leahi, Daimana Hila, uhe uhene, 1877.

[Found under: “Na Nu Hou Kuloko.”]

Lae Ahi vs. Leahi—This is a question to the our oldsters of Hawaii, what is the correct name which we are calling Daimana Hila [Diamond Head]? Is it Lae Ahi or Leahi perhaps? Reply quickly with the correct answer.  Ninau. Continue reading

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The beginning of Mary Kawena Pukui & Margaret Titcomb’s list of sea creatures, 1940.

TO PEOPLE WHO KNOW THE  NAMES OF VARIOUS SEA CREATURES AND THEIR DESCRIPTIONS

Here below is a list of names of some Hawaiian sea creatures that are written down in a book of names of the Kamehameha Museum.

The director of the Museum wrote that if some of our oldsters can write down the names and descriptions of the fishes.

That director wrote that he will pay the cost of one year’s subscription to the newspaper Ka Hoku o Hawaii, if he receives some fish names and a description of them, like if it is long, or striped, and so forth.

Here below is a list of names of some fishes sent in by Mrs. Mary Kawena Pukui and Mrs. Makalika Titcomb [Margaret Titcomb]. Continue reading

Speaking of fishes, here is a list of fish names put out by Margaret Titcomb, 1940.

TO PEOPLE WHO KNOW THE  NAMES OF VARIOUS SEA CREATURES AND THEIR DESCRIPTIONS

(Written by M. TITCOMB)

Below is a list of names of some Hawaiian fishes that are written in a book of names at the Kamehameha Museum [Bishop Museum]. Continue reading

J. H. Kanepuu the traditionalist, 1970.

Hawaiian Math

By Russell and Peg Apple

BY THE MID 1800s, the Hawaiian people were betwixt and between two cultures. There was the pull and the momentum of the old—the traditional Hawaiian; and the lure and exhortations of the new—a New England brand of Western.

And the Hawaiians were aware of the situation. They were not above pointing out to each other the conflicts they met in their everyday life.

One who did so was a man from Palolo, a Mr. J. H. Kanepuu. He wrote in the Hawaiian language newspaper Ke Au Okoa, and on Jan. 21, 1867, saw the need to call attention to two counting systems that existed side by side.

KANEPUU NOTED the conflict in the markets where Hawaiians bought and sold. There was a generation gap in methods of enumeration. Most of the fishermen and farmers who sold in the markets were old men who counted by the Hawaiian method. Those who bought were younger folks who counted by the haole system. Few knew both well.

The momentum and practices of the past fixed the habit patterns of the fishermen who caught flying fish, mullet, mackerel and milkfish for the Honolulu markets. They either sold their catch themselves, or it was sold by family members of the same generation. They counted Hawaiian style.

Those who bought counted haole style. They had been to the mission and public schools. They knew how to count by tens, from one on up into the tens of thousands. Each had ten fingers, including thumbs, to help.

BUT THE Hawaiian system was based on the numeral four, not the decimal system. Hawaiians had four fingers on each hand to help in counting.

Both the old timers and the younger Hawaiians spoke Hawaiian fluently. But the haole terms had been translated into Hawaiian and taught to the people who went to school, along with the counting-by-tens method. It was the same sort of confusion which occurs today when a nation switches from pounds-shillings-and-pence to a coinage based on the decimal system. Or when a student who learned his work in inches, feet, yards and miles tries to deal with millimeters, centimeters, meters kilometers. Misunderstandings and confusion result.

LOT KAMEHAMEHA, later to rule as Kamehameha V, was educated by Christian missionaries and was versed in the Western system. Kanepuu wrote that when he was still Prince Lot, he received a gift of fish at his house in Honolulu. This was sometime in the early 1800s, before Lot Kamehameha was crowned.

The men who brought the fish used the old system, the Prince only understood the new.

“How much fish?” asked the prince.

“One lau and nine kaau,” answered the Hawaiian servant who delivered the fish, a gift from chief Kuhia.

THIS ANSWER distressed Lot Kamehameha and he alsmost became angry. On seeing this, the Hawaiian switched to the new system. Continue reading

Mele for the island chain of Papa and Wakea: a response to the Armstrong call, 1860.

He Mele no ka pae aina o Papa ma.

Hoao Papa hanau moku,
I kana kane o Wakea i noho ai,
Hanau o Hoohokukalani,
He Alii,
He kaikamahine na Papa,
Noho ia Manouluae,
Hanau o Waia ke ’lii, o Waia,
O Wailoa, o Kakaihili,
O Kia, o Ole,
O Pupue, o Manaku,
O Nukahakoa, hanau o Luanuu,
O Kahiko, o Kii,
O Ulu, o Nana,
O Waikumailani ke ’lii,
O Kuheleimoana, konohiki wawe na Kaloana,
Hanau o Maui, he hookala-kupua,
He kupua he ’lii o Nana a Maui,
O Lanakaoko, o Kapawa,
O Keliiowaialua,
I hanau i Kukaniloko,
O Wahiawa ka hua,
O Lihue ke ewe,
O Kaala ka piko,
O Kapukapukakea ka aa,
Haule i Nukea,
I Wainakia Aaka i Heleu,
I ka lai malino o Hauola, ke ’lii,
O Kapawa hoi no,
Hoi no iuka ka waihona,
Hoi no i ka pali kapu o na ’lii,
He kiai kalakahi no Kakae,

[This is but one of the many mele submitted to the Hae Hawaii in response to the calls put out by Samuel Chapman Armstrong.]

(Hae Hawaii, 8/8/1860, p. 77)

HaeHawaii_8_8_1860_77

Ka Hae Hawaii, Buke 5, Ano Hou.—Helu 19, Aoao 77. Augate 8, 1860.

The call for information on traditional knowledge, 1860.

ANCIENT MELE.

I want to obtain Mele about the arrival of Papa folks, and perhaps others, and Mele with each individual name, and Mele about the Kaiakahinalii [Great Flood], and Mele showing what the ancient people thought about the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars.

For those who know these Mele, write them down and send them to me. S. C. ARMSTRONG.

Honolulu, July 27, 1860.

[There was a broader request earlier that year. See: No na Mele!]

(Hae Hawaii, 7/25/1860, p. 71)

HaeHawaii_7_25_1860_71

Ka Hae Hawaii, Buke 5, Ano Hou.—Helu 17, Aoao 71. Iulai 25, 1860.

More on mele, 1860.

Pertaining to Mele

Perhaps the mele of old are almost all lost; those who know them are but few. This is something to be regretful of for in those mele, one can understand the way of life of the people of very long ago, and the stories of the land as well. The means for these mele to continue and not to be lost is by printing them in books and newspapers perhaps; in that way, the new generations can read them and contemplate over it and see the misconceptions of their kupuna and to not follow in their misguided ways. We wish to print the old mele and new mele, as long as they are good, and we ask of those who have mele and the composers of mele to send them to us and we will print them. Write the letters very clearly, and insert punctuation where they should be so that the printers understand.

We are printing below an old mele previously printed in Nu Hou in 1854, composed by Kaleiopaoa and submitted to the Nu Hou by S. M. Kamakau. In the mele there are foreign place names.

HE MELE I KILAUEA.

Hulihia ka mauna wela i ke ahi,
Nopu wela ka uka o Kuianalei,
I ke a pohaku puulele e lele mai iuka,
O ke kakoi ka hookele mai ka lua,
O ka maiau pololei kani lealea,
O ka hinihini kani kuamauna,
O ka mapu leo nui kani kohakoha,
O Kanakaloa o ka mauna,
O Kupulupulu i ka nahale,
O na’kua mai ka waokele,
O Kulipeenuiaiahua, o Kikealawaopiikea,
O ka uwahi pohina iuka,
O ka uwahi mapukea i kai,
O ke awa nui i ka mauna,
O ke pookea i ka nahele,
O ka uwahi noe lehua—e,
O ka aina a Pele ma iuka,
Ua ku ke oka, aia i kai—e,
Pau ae la ka maha laau,
Ka maha ohia loloa o Kaliu,
Ka uka i pohaku e kapu, e kapu,
Kapu mai la Puna, ua kulepe ke ahi,
Ua haiki Puna i Kilauea,
Ua ha ka lama i ka luna i Mokuaweoweo,
Ua ha uka i Keahialaka,
Aina ae la o Moeawakea,
Ke a i kai o Kukalaula,
A luna au o Pohakuloa,
Holo nae ku au nana ilaila, e maliu mai—e,
O ku ike wale aku ia Puna,
I ka papa lohi o Apua,
He la liliu e nopu wela ka wawae,
A pau na niu o Kula i Kapoho,
Holo ka uwahi maha oo Kuauli,
Pau o Maolala i ke ahi,
I hia no aa i ka papa,
Pulupulu i ka lau laau,
Punia ka lani, haule ka ua loku,
Kaa mai ka pouli, wili ka puahiohio,
Ke owe la i ka lani, eia Pele mai ka mauna,
Mai ka lua i Kilauea,
Mai Papalauahi, mai Ooluea,
Hiki malama mahina ka uka o Kaliu,
Enaena Puna i ka aina, e ke Akua,
Nihoa ka pali ka lua iuka,
Koea mania kikaha koae,
Lele pauma ka hulu maewaewa,
Kikaha pouli na’kua o ka uka,
Liolioiwawau na’kua o ka lua,
Ae ae Pele, noho i ke Ahiku,
Kani ke ilalo o ka lua,
Kahuli Kilauea me he ama la,
Kunia puna, moa wela ke one,
Wela Puna, e wela i ke ahi—e,
Kina Puna wela i ke ahi—e.

(Hae Hawaii, 3/21/1860, p. 204)

No na Mele.

Ka Hae Hawaii, Buke 4, Ano Hou.—Helu 51, Aoao 204. Maraki 21, 1860.