EBEN P. LOW
OUR COWBOY CANDIDATE FOR
at the Primary Election, Oct. 7, 1916.
[What did you think of this weekend’s election?]
OUR COWBOY CANDIDATE FOR
at the Primary Election, Oct. 7, 1916.
[What did you think of this weekend’s election?]
After a sickness of only a week, Samuel K. Pinao of Lota Lane, Kalihi, left this life, at three o’clock in the afternoon on this past Sunday, in the Pa Ola Hospital in Kapalama because of the flu. At 3:30 in the afternoon of this past Monday, his services were held in the mortuary of Mr. Williams on Nuuanu Street. Continue reading
On Wednesday, October 24th, Thomas Lindsey a boy eighteeen years of age, son of William Lindsey of Waimea, Hawaii, was chasing a wild bull on Mr. Holmes ranch, when his horse struck a single rock bedded in the sand, throwing the boy off. Continue reading
On New Year’s day, held at Waimea, Hawaii, was a steer roping contest between Ikua Purdy, Thomas Lindsey [Kamaki Lindsay], Kaaua, Jack Low, and some other expert [kaea] at lasso throwers of that cold land; there were some 20 or more of them, and the victory went to Ikua Purdy, the champion lassoer of the world. He roped his steer, put it to the ground, and tied it in 47 seconds. It fell 2 seconds to his performance in the same event at Cheyenne last August. After him was Kamaki Lindsay. His time was 57 seconds.
(Kuokoa Home Rula, 1/15/1909, p. 2)
I give you my great thanks, Mrs. Kalua Kahaleanu, for your establishing of this Horse Riding Group called Kahikinaakala i Haehae; I was very happy to see in the Kuokoa newspaper of your becoming the leader of this pa-u horse riding group, and therefore, I embrace you with unwavering continued enthusiasm; we are bound fast and I tie us together with respect.
MRS. LIZZIE KAINANA PUAHI.
President of the Kaonohiokala Pa-u Horse Riding Group.
Waikiki, July 23, 1906.
(Kuokoa, 8/3/1906, p. 4)
By INEZ ASHDOWN
There are numerous books about cowboys. Some are written by the cowboys themselves, others were compiled by admiring friends. Whatever the manuscripts, all were written by those who wished to keep alive the old traditions and the romance of the western United States.
Yet while some of the finest American cowboys are those born and raised in Hawaii, no one has ever written about the native paniola and little is heard of them except for occasional news items, or, as during the recent Hoolaulea, one or tow are included in the general publicity.
Who were the first cowboys in Hawaii, who are the cowboys of today, where do they live and what do they do other than rope cattle and ride broncos?
To answer these questions research similar to that done by David Malo and the first missionaries when they endeavored to separate legend from actuality, would have to be followed. Yet who, in this modern day, can remember some long-forgotten mele telling of the first cowboys to visit this group of islands?
That they are Mexican or Spanish is known, because the name “paniola” is a derivation of the term “Espanol.” Some of the present day cowboys will tell about a father or grandfather who was of the Latin people.
Jack Aina, one of Maui’s most popular knights of the saddle, will say “Ai. My father Mexican. Those first paniola bring noho (saddles), kaula (rope), kaula waha (bridle), kipa (spurs), and all the things we get today.”
Aina is past 60, but is still the fastest shipping man and one of the best ropers on the island, and younger men will stand watching and shouting “Aina! Hu ka makani!” (Aina, go like the wind!) as he dashes out of a corral on his big shipping horse, a bawling crow-hopping steer at the end of his 20 foot manilla line, and into the sea with a fountain of spray.
The larger his audience the better he works and laughs and indulges in horse-play, particularly if there be present any malihini. Later, after he has washed and oiled his saddle and bridle, and done himself up in fancy shirt, chaps, boots and kipa pele (jingly spurs) and topped all the finery with a ten-gallon hat he enjoys singing and dancing the Hula for his Boss and guests.
He is now horsebreaker and trainer for Angus MacPhee at the Maui Agricultural Company’s Keahua stables where the Kahoolawe and company horses are kept. He is a master at braiding kaula ili (rawhide ropes) and uses most of his spare time for this and for putting fancy work on saddle or bridle, for he takes pride in his “jewelry” and “watches his shadow” as all fancy cowboys do.
He worked at Ulupalakua ranch when Mr. MacPhee was manager there, in company with the famous roping champion, Ikua Purdy, who is foreman of the ranch. Ikua who knows ranch work from A to Z, who jogs quietly along but seems to know by instict where the pipi ahiu (wild cattle) will be hiding. Then as they “scare” he and his horse unwind like clockwork, to rope and tie like lightning.
Aina knew old Hapakuka, now dead, whose sons quietly carry on his famous work and name. And Kinau, who looked like an ancient time warrior, and who brought to mind that first noted horseman, Kamehameha the Great, whose horses and cattle, the first in Hawaii, were brought as gifts by Vancouver and Cleveland in 1793–4.
Those first animals were placed under a ten year tabu by the Hawaiian monarch, and that tabu was probably the beginning of the wild cattle which roamed the mountain slopes of Hawaii and Maui until ranchmen who wished to have pure bred cattle and thoroughbred horsses, killed them off. Today’s roping does not need the wild riding, the pinning of roped animals to pipi kauo (pin oxen), any more than kaa pipi (bullock wagons) are needed for hauling.
George Davis of Hawaii was another of the ranch’s finest, working with Willie Purdy and his brothers, Moku Smythe, George Swift, and many others who have moved away or have died, but who remain unknown although their stories would equal, and, in some instances, surpass, many stories told of heroes of the old West.
There is another paniola man on Maui who is an artist as well as a cowboy. This Hawaiian Charlie Russel is called John Lihau Kaaihue and is foreman of the cattle work at Honolulu ranch. He is 41 years old, was married in Kaupo in 1919 and is proud of his fine wife and nine children. Six husky boys and three pretty girls who help Father with the chores, or Mother with housework or the preparing and weaving of lauhala.
Lihau can make a fine saddle tree and cover it to perfection, can strip and scrape a green hide for braiding a fine kaula ili, makes his own ili kalapu (knee leggings), ordinary leggings, or chaps; repairs the family shoes when they need half-soling, makes most of the household furniture, and can repair anything from a pan to a roof.
He makes canoes and boats, fish nets, lauhala hats or mats, and likes to employ old Hawaiian methods whenever possible. But in those akamai (clever) fingers, according to trained artists who have seen his carvings, is genius.
Charlie Russel, famous cowboy artist, liked to fashion little figures of men, horses or other things from candle wax as he yarned with the cowboys in a Wyoming bunk-house. His picture, The Last Stand, according to an old story, was given by him to a saloon owner in payment of a board-and-keep bill, and the owner later refused an offer of several thousand dollars for the now famous picture. Yet Russel did not, as he joked and worked with the men, believe he would someday be famous.
Nor did Lihau, a few months ago, think that he was doing exceptional carving with his pen-knife. He often does carving for friends just to please them. But some weeks ago he found a friend who was very much disturbed. The vocational school at Kahului had made a fine table of monkey pod wood and the owner desired that the legs of the table be carved as an akua (god or idol).
The only artist available for the carving had asked a prohibitive amount, others had no time or honestly admitted that they did not believe they could do justice to the exceptionally fine piece of wood.
Lihau inspected the table, looked at a drawing made by the owner, studied some old history pictures of ancient idols, and finally said quietly that he could do the work.
At the friend’s glance of incredulity Mrs. Lihau nodded and announced that indeed John could carve anything, when he had spare time.
Two weeks later they brought the table back to town from their ranch home. It was taken by the enthusiastic owner to the vocational school principal, Ernest Hood, whose own beautiful native-wood furniture is famous. At the school the coffee table was polished and completed, and people from all parts of Maui have called at the owner’s home to see that and other carvings done by Lihau, and mats made by his wife.
One and all agree that genius created this masterpiece of art and legend, for with a few deft lines the wraith of an akua rises from the “flames” of the wood-grain.
Lihau listens to their praises, accepts their congratulations, while his wife smiles proudly, and returns home to his family and his work wondering why they all give him so much attention, for he is a quiet unassuming man who does not look for attention but who does things because they are his jobs or because he wants to. And he would not be guilty of turning out poor work of any sort.
Is he a throw-back to those old ancestors who carved idols from forest trees for the ancient temples? Or is it just simply that real cowboys must use their heads and hands to such a degree that they can do anything they wish to do?
Lihau has had very little schoolhouse training, no one has ever taught him of Art and its principles, and he does most of his carving with his knife, although he does have a few tools now which were lent by a friend.
While he works at his hobby he teaches his boys also just as he teaches them to rope and to ride and to save time a trouble by learning to think quickly, such as at the time of the big flood at Punalau.
He was driving a truck-load of laborers home from the pineapple fields but when they came to the gulch the road was impassible. He could take the men back to the main camp where they might be able to stop with friends or get food at the ranch store and sleep in the big garage used for trucks, but that meant a lot of bother for everyone concerned, and the use of a great deal more gasoline.
Why not swim? But eighteen of the men could not swim enough to breast those swirling waters rushing to an angry sea.
Eighteen times Lihau swam back and forth across the flood to take the non-swimmers to a spot from which they could easily reach home, while others stood grouped about watching and wondering just how long the man could stand the strain.
When the last man was across Lihau turned his truck, drove it back to the garage and arrived home a little late for supper. He was bothered a bit by hunger because his habit is to eat breakfast, skip lunch, and eat a hearty meal at evening.
Ranch work and its life are always varied, interesting and romantic. Other walks of life may be as exciting, or so much more dangerous that all the fun is lacking, but for sheer freedom and soaring of the spirit no other work is more satisfying than that done by the cowboy. And of all the cowboys in the world there are none who are more joyously reckless, more dependable in tight spots, more full of song and versatility than the paniola of Hawaii.
Outstanding among them are always Eben Parker Low and Ikua Purdy, whose names and skill are known far and wide even as of their haole friend, Angus MacPhee of Wyoming, whose champion roping record of 1907 still holds first place, and who is a kamaaina here.
These men are known, but there are many fine paniola whose names have never been heard outside their home ranches or islands, and among these is Lihau, the cowboy-artist of Maui.
(Hoku o Hawaii, 4/26/1939, p. 6)
Ka Hoku’s Maui Corresponent.
This picture was taken at the time Mrs. Ashdown’s father Angus MacPhee was manager of the Ulupalakua ranch for Dr. Raymond. She had just returned from Dana Hall school at Wellesley and, as she says, “‘rarin’ to be a cowboy like him and all his Hawaiian paniola.”
“My people brought me here in 1907 when Dad was champion roper of the world and came to take part in Eben Low’s first wild west show,” writes Mrs. Ashdown. “Ikua went back to Cheyenne, our home town, the following year and took the title for that year, but no one has ever broken Dad’s time for that sort of roping. The first year we were here my parents were guests many times at the home of Queen Liliuokalani and I loved her very much. I was only a kid, but even then it made me boil because the people had taken her crown away.”
Mrs. Ashdown has lived on Maui most of the time since 1907, except for the years she was away at school. Her husband, C. W. Ashdown, is office manager for the Baldwin Packers at Lahaina. They have two sons and writing is Mrs. Ashdown’s hobby. She hopes some day to write some real good novels. She used to rope wild cattle, ride race horses and break colts, but says “that was a long time ago.”
(Hoku o Hawaii, 4/26/1939, p. 6)
O Mr. Editor of the Kuokoa, Aloha a nui:—Please in your kindness allow me some space in your thing of pride, so that the family and friends of my dear husband, Joseph Kahaulelio, may know that he left this life from the home of his daughter, Mrs. Kuuleialoha Whaley, at Pearl City, Ewa, on Monday, Aug. 18, 1924, at 2 o’clock p. m., before me, his wife, and our children and grandchildren, on that evening that he was taken by the Borthwick Company to Honolulu to be cleansed.
My husband was born at Honouliwai, Molokai, by Kamaka (f) and Joseph Naoo (m); there were three children, and the elder sibling and younger sibling of my husband were taken earlier, leaving just him, but there are many children and grandchildren living who…
JOSEPH KAHAULELIO NAOO.
…are living, who grieve from this side.
In the days of his youth, his occupation was caring for horses and breaking in new horses, and because he was proficient at this work, he became important to his employers, and as his bosses were getting ready to leave Hawaii nei, they instructed him to take a wife, and he carried out their instructions, and when his bosses were ready to go back, they urged Joseph Kahaulelio and his wife to go along to California, and their wishes were followed without any hesitation or uncertainty; his bosses instructed them to make ready, for they would be leaving Maui behind with Los Angeles as their destination, and they went with their bosses over the sea to this foreign land, and there he lived and worked with his beloved employers, Mr. and Mrs. Willie Bailey, for nine years, and from their garden sprang three children, two girls and one boy, and because his companion, his first wife, left him, he asked his employers to let him go back to the land of his birth, and when he stepped onto the shores of his birth sands, his heavy thoughts were lightened, and after living with his children, he found a new wife, this being his second wife, and this mother died as well, and he married once again with me, and in my bosom he grew weary of me and the children and grandchildren of ours.
He lived and worked aboard the government refuse collecting scow on the sea for a number of years, and was a sweeper at the dock, and he stayed there for a long time, for thirty years, and during the last session of the legislature he was one who received livelihood support.
My husband has a big family now living: three children with sons-in-law, sixteen grandchildren, and one great-grandchild, the precious pearls given by God as a monument to him.
He was a brethren of the joint Kawaiahao and Moiliili Church. It is He who giveth and He who taketh away; blessed always be His holy name.
Me in sorrow,
MRS. ANA KAHAULELIO,
And the Family.
(Kuokoa, 9/4/1924, p. 6)
Kamaaina au no Kohala-loko,
No na pali ku’i o Honokane;
He kupa mai au no Kohala-waho
Aina kaulana he Nailima.
Keiki mai au no Ihuanu,
O ke koa kaulana o Hinakahua.
O ka noe mai au o Puuhue
Na puu kaulana Haelelua,
He boy mai au no Kohala-Hema
Kamakani kaulana he olauniu,
He olali mai au no Kalaieha,
Kuahiwi kaulana o Mauna Kea
Kia pono e ka ihu a i Waikii,
Auwai kaulana a ka Menehune
Hala ae ka Makani o Noha-nohae,
Pili ana maua me Lihue,
O ke kula laula o Waikoloa,
O ka uhi-wai hoi a-o Ma-na,
O ka home kaulana o ke kupuna
Nana nei pua e ola nei,
He aloha e ka ua o ka aina
O ke ki-puupuu o Waimea,
O ka nalu ha’i mai Puakailima
Kai lana malie i Kamakahonu
E ola e ke Kama nona ka lei
Iku-a e ka moho puni e ke ao
E o e Iku-a i ko inua,
Ke koa kaulana kipuka ili
Haina ia mai ana ka puana,
Kaulana Iku-a puni e ke ao.
Hakuia e MRS. K. N.
Iosepa Skull Valley, Utah, U. S. A.
(Kuokoa, 10/23/1908, p. 8)
A Picture of the Railroad [Alahao] and Steam Engine [Kaamahu] of the Kohala-Hilo Railway Line.
Horse Race at Hoolulu Park, Hilo—The Turning of the Horses for the Goal—The Horse on the Inside Wins.
The town of Hilo celebrated the Fourth of July for three days, beginning on Thursday (July 2). There truly was great joy in Hilo during those days, and there were many people who came.
In the evening of the said Thursday, the festivities began with a concert put on by the students of Kamehameha School, the government band, and some people of the town, in Haili Church, and it was greatly appreciated.
On the following Friday, that is the day set aside for the lassoing boys. There were twelve events of this meet, and there was good competition. Henry Beckley was the liveliest one at throwing his bull, however, his horse was alarmed at all of the cheering of the people, and began to run. But this was not something that made this youth falter; he removed his handkerchief from his neck and tied his bull with it. The victory for the contest to throw down the steer went to Mani, a Maui boy, and his steer was thrown down and tied in 49 1-2 seconds. For bronc riding, that honor went to Levi Kalako.
The luau went well, held at the residence of the kahu of Haili Church, and the proceeds of this concert came to $500. Appearing at this luau were Queen Liliuokalani, Representative Kalanianaole, Senator Woods, Admiral Beckley, and other distinguished people. When the eating began, the government band played.
The Fourth was greeted with the salute of twenty-one guns, and at nine o’clock, the soldiers marched on the streets, and the government band and the Hilo Band joined in this parade. At the Fish Market Square [Kuea Makeke I’a], speeches were held, and so forth.
At half after ten o’clock, the breaking ground for the Kohala-Hilo Railroad was held, and Philip Peck gave the speech. It was said that the work of this railroad will move forward until what was planned is completed.
At Hoolulu Park was held the festivities of that afternoon. When the races were going on, a ballgame went on with the school boys of Kamehameha, and the victory went to the Hilo club with the score of 12 to 11.
When the races were almost done, Chairman Holmes announced from the area of the race judges that the government band had arrived by the efforts of Admiral Beckley, and the people gave him a cheer.
Later that evening, fireworks were shot off, and the Elks put on a “nigger show [hoikeike nika].”¹ These were the last major events of this Fourth of July.
[This is the same picture of Hoolulu Park found later in the Kuokoa three years later, on 12/7/1906. This kind of recycling of pictures happened back in the day, just as we see it happening today, therefore sometimes it is difficult to date a picture that appears in the newspapers.]
¹This type of entertainment here can be seen spoken of in the Hawaiian newspapers from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s.
(Kuokoa, 7/10/1903, p. 1)