John Wise on Hawaiian Homes and more, 1921.

The Question about the Work Ethic of Hawaiians.

Your writer [John Wise], continues to defend the Hawaiian lahui from being attacked by that question above.

The Hawaiians have perhaps become much talked about amongst those who do not know them and who are not familiar with their accomplishments of today and of the past. And maybe mostly these days for the land being given to us. Your writer frequently clashes with all kinds of other people who protest the giving of land to Hawaiians, because of the ridiculous idea that they don’t know how to work or that they are lazy.

In these attacks, we can see, O Lahui, that they are carried with criticisms and that it is would be a waste to confirm their misbeliefs. But so that the Hawaiians may answer these questions, your writer wants to be made known for all times the sound justification for our side. The readers of past issues of the Kuokoa have seen the responses given by the Commissioner in Washington, and they have seen also the other justifications given, in the newspaper.

The ultimate representation of the skill of a people is their supplying themselves with food and the things necessary for their livelihood. There perhaps is no better response than that. This lahui was living by  themselves for centuries, supplying themselves with everything, and received no assistance from the outside.

But there are things made by this lahui, things that attest to their fine craftsmanship, that will serve as a measure of their skills. Those that see Hawaiian canoes and their manufacture and how they can get Hawaiians through great gales, remaining solid in the dangers of the pounding of waves; how they could make beautiful canoes by using stone adzes; the distance they were taken from mountain to the sea; the patience of the canoe makers. All of these things will show, without being contradicted, that just by seeing the quality of the canoes can one see that this is a lahui that knows how to work. We see the canoes of today being made by people from other lands, and the canoes made by Hawaiians are far more well made and beautiful.

The beauty of things crafted by a people are undeniable proof of the work ethic of that people. Where will you find things more beautiful, O Hawaiians, if you travel all over the world, than the ahuula that are preserved at the Museum of Kamehameha School. Where is the lahui that lives on today, or perhaps has disappeared, that can make these outstanding works, with a beauty second to none, with fine craftsmanship, and patience; with a true sense of work ethic. Snaring birds is a great task all in itself, the inserting [kuku ana] of the feathers is a big job. One mamo feather cloak was said to have been started during the time of Umi and completed during the time of Kamehameha. For this ahu, the entire ahu were done with mamo feathers. And by our counting back, we see that ten generations of ancient kings passed on before the completion of this ahu; showing that it took from about 250 to 300 years of work. Where is there a great work that was completed by a people taking hundreds of years to construct? We perhaps can think of huge things, but as for something of this nature which required the knowledge and patience of men, there is no equal. Continue reading

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Clarification from the Commissioners to Quiet Land Titles, 1846.

TO ALL CLAIMANTS OF LAND IN THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.

The undersigned have been appointed by His Majesty the king, a board of commissioners to investigate and confirm or reject all claims to land arising previously to the 10th day of December, 1845. Patents in fee simple [alodio], or leases for terms of years, will be issued to those entitled to the same, upon the report which we are authorized to make, by the testimony to be presented to us.

The board holds it stated meetings weekly at Hale Kauila in Honolulu, to hear the parties or their counsel, in defense of their claims; and is prepared, every day, to receive in writing, the claims and evidences of title which parties may have to offer, at Hale Kauila, in Honolulu, between the hours of nine in the morning and three in the afternoon. Continue reading

Land Commissioners, 1846.

PAY HEED!

On the 9th of February, the King appointed Keoni Ana as Minister of the Interior [Kuhina Kalaiaina].

On the 10th of February, John Ricord, William Richards, Zorababela Kaauwai, J. Y. Kanehoa, and Ioane Ii were appointed Commissioners to settle land claims [Luna hoona i na kumu kuleana aina]; the Minister of Interior selected them and gave them an oath as per what is prescribed in Article 4 of Chapter 7 of Part One of the Second Act of Kamehameha III.

[O ka hoohiki, oia no:

Ke hoohiki nei kela mea keia mea o makou, e imi pono me ka paewaewa old i na kumu kuleana aina a na kanaka i hoopii mai nei no ke Aupuni o ko Hawaii pae aina, a e hooholo makou i ka olelo pono no ua kuleana la, ke kumu kuleana, ka loihi o ke kuleana, a me ka nui o ka aina, e like hoi me ka olelo iloko o ka Haawina eha o ka Mokuna ehiku o ka Apana m ua o ke Kanawai i kapaia, ‘He Kanawai hoonohonoho i na hana i haawiia i na Kuhina o ko Hawaii Pae Aina,’ i hooholoia ma Honolulu i keia la _____ o _____, 18_____.

Imua o’u _____ _____, ke Kuhina Kalaiaina.

The oath reads:

We and each of us do solemnly swear that we will carefully and impartially investigate all claims to land submitted to us by private parties against the government of the Hawaiian Islands; and that we will equitably adjudge upon the title, tenure, duration and quantity thereof, according to the terms of article fourth of the seventh chapter of the first part of an act entitled “An act to organize the executive departments of the Hawaiian Islands,” passed at Honolulu, _____ day of _____, 18____.

Subscribed and sworn to, this _____ day of _____, 18_____.

Before me, _____ _____,

Minister of the Interior.]

(Elele Hawaii, 3/3/1846, p. 184)

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Ka Elele Hawaii, Buke I, Pepa 24, Aoao 184. Maraki 3, 1846.