More on Kanehoalani, 1885.

[Found under: “NA NU HOU HAWAII.”]

D. Napela acquired at Kahananui, Molokai, on the 3rd of August, a wooden God idol which people called Kanehoalani. Continue reading

Death of John Polapola, 1896.

[Found under: “KELA A ME KEIA.”]

A little after 10 o’clock on the night of Tuesday last, the breath of Keoni Polapola left him, at his residence makai of Honuakaha, Queen Street. He was seen that afternoon in good health, and as it got dark, he started having a pain in his head until his death. His land of birth was Tahiti, and he lived in Hawaii nei becoming a citizen and kamaaina, and married a woman and had children. Aloha for him!

(Makaainana, 4/27/1896, p. 8)


Ka Makaainana,  Buke V—-Ano Hou, Helu 17, Aoao 8. Aperila 27, 1896.

James Kekela reports from Tahiti, 1890.


The letter below is by Rev. James Kekela to Dr. C. M. Hyde, and we were given permission to publish it.

Papeete, August 6, 1890.

Rev. C. M. Hyde,

Much aloha to you and your wife, and your children. It has been a long time that we have not associated through letters. All of us Hawaiian Missionaries are in good health here in the Archipelago of Nuuhiwa, except for the wife of S. Kauwealoha, she is somewhat weak and frail; she was like this for the past four months, but she has gotten a little better now; I saw them in Uapou during the first week of this past July.

I am here these days in Papeete to fetch her (my youngest daughter) to bring her back to be a teacher at the French language school in Hivaoa for the Nuuhiwa girls. This daughter of ours has been living in Tahiti for 4 years and she is prepared to teach the French language. She was approved by the teachers and the French government officials here in Tahiti. In the last days of June, I left Puamau and travelled to Nuuhiwa and reached there, where the boat [? kusie] had left for Tahiti, and I went for a bit to Uapou to meet with S. Kauwealoha them for a whole week and returned to Taiohae in Nuuhiwa to wait for the ship from California.

July 29, I left Taiohae and left for Tahiti, on the 2nd of August I reached Papeete after a four days’ trip, and I am living here these days, waiting for a boat to go to Nuuhiwa. I met with the French Protestant [Pelosetane] missionary teachers in Papeete, Mr. Verenie and his wife, the pastor for the kamaaina, and they have a fine church, and they had me give a sermon on the Sabbath. They were very happy to hear about the works of God in the Archipelago of Nuuhiwa and Hawaii and the land of Micronesia [Maikonisia]. As for here in the archipelago of Tahiti, this was the first islands to hear the gospel of Jesus. Continue reading

Escaped coconut crab, 1877.

[Found under: “NA ANOAI.”]

Last we we were shown by Kalua, a coconut-eating crab, which he found in the yard of the Senior Alii C. Kanaina, in a deep hole dug into the earth. Its whole appearance is strange indeed. Its legs are huge, and its pincers are scary to look at, and its whole body is remarkable. Where did it come from? Continue reading

Tahitian mele for La Kuokoa, 1861.

Songs of Polapola

Aue oe tau hoa hele e,
E fiteri tou e,
Tai ta pea ta te fa tu,
O Iesu ta haa maitai.

Eau ia oe te oa oa,
Eau ia oe te haa maitai,
Ia oe nae te fei a haa wale,
I loto i te au ahi oia nae.

Aue oe e ta Moi e,
He aroha to oe,
Mai horoa i te hau ia Mareta,
E ta pea maitai.

Iaorana oe e ta Hatu o Hawaii,
Tai haapao ia tai haapao hia,
E mono i tooe toloa.

Iaorana oe e Ema,
Te Alii Vahine e,
Faatere maitai to otou haue,
E mau te ora o te Alii e amuri no atu.

Auwe oe tou hoa he re e,
Pi te ri tou e tei ta pea i ta te fatu,
Oietu te parau maitai,
eau ia oe te oaoa,
Eau ia oe te haa maitai,
Ia oto nae te feia faa vare,
I roto o te au ahi oia nae.

Auwe oe e ta Moi e,
E aroha to oe e,
Mai ho roa i te hau,
Ia Amerita,
E ta pea maitai mai,
Iaorana oe e ta Hatu Hawaii e,
Tei haa pao hia i mano to oe to roa,
Iaorana oe e Ema te Rii vahine e,
Faa te re maitai to otou hau,
E mau te aroha o te Rii e,
Ea muri noatu.

Himeni 27.

1 Te ra, te aoae, te fetia,
Maramarama ai te ao,
Maitai atoa ai te po,
Na te Atua i faaue iho,

2 Ia ara, e ia moe tatou,
Te merahi maitai tei mau,
To ratou tiai ia tatou,
Aore e ino i roohia mai.

3 Te rai anaana i nia ae,
Te aihere rii i raro nei,
Te miti atoa e ati ae,
Na te Atua i hamani.

4 Te puapua, noanoa,
Unauna ai te raau nei,
Te raau maa na tatou a,
Na te Atua i horoa mai.

5 Te ata i pee, te ua i pou,
Te matai farara e oraʻi,
Te manu, i rere nei,
Te mau puaa nana anae,

6. Te ia e tere i te tai,
Tei nee i raro i te repo,
Tatiou atoa te taata nei,
Ohipa na te Atua mau.

7 Ia hamanihia ra tatou
Ia hau tu teie i te maitai,
E ia ra oe ta te Arii parau,
Ma te aau au i a rue ai.

[These are some of the mele performed on the 28th of November, 1861, at Kawaiahao Church in celebration of Independence Day.

For more Tahitian mele, see this composition of Ninito and Manaiula Sumner for Victoria Kaahumanu from 1862.]

(Kuokoa, 12/2/1861, p. 2)

He Mele Polapola.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke I, Helu 4, Aoao 2. Dekemaba 2, 1861.

Tahiti in the news, 1932.


On the steamship Malolo of the 27th of this past May, Dr. and Mrs. Gerrit Wilder left for San Francisco, and from there, they will sail all the way to Tahiti and some other places in the vicinity.

The Bishop Museum has sent Dr. Wilder to Makatea to request some new items from that island which is 130 miles away from Papeete, the capital of Tahiti.

And from there, they will get a number of rocks to enrich the soil of the sugar cane plantations of Hawaii nei.

While Dr. Wilder is there, he will ask for some things which he believes will benefit Hawaii nei.

From San Francisco Dr. and Mrs. Wilder will head to Papeete aboard the steamer of the Union Steamship Company.

From Papeete they will travel to Makatea aboard a tiny steamship, whereas the accommodations aboard the ship are fine.

The two will spend most of there time on Makatea asking for some items that will bring benefit to Hawaii nei.

(Alakai o Hawaii, 5/26/1932, p. 3)


Ke Alakai o Hawaii, Buke 3, Helu 46, Aoao 3. Mei 26, 1932.

Charles Nakao, survivor of the Aztec, writes home to Hawaii, 1917.


A MESSAGE from a Hawaiian survivor of the steamship Aztec, sunk by a German submarine, came to the Star-Bulletin in yesterday’s mail from Brooklyn, New York.

Charles Nakao in a letter to this paper tells how some of his comrades were lost in trying to launch a lifeboat, and of the suffering of those on the wintry sea. Five Hawaiians were among those who perished, and a few weeks ago the legislature held a public memorial in their honor.

The letter says:

“Brooklyn, New York, April 26, 1917.

“Dear Sir: I, Chas. Nakao, was one of the members of the crew of the S. S. Aztec which was the first American vessel armed with two three-inch guns. Number of crew was 49, including 12 navy gunners and an officer of the U. S. S. Dolphin. We sailed from New York March 18, 1917, and were torpedoed by a submarine April 1, 1917, Sunday night, at 9:30 o’clock, off the coast of France. It was very stormy weather, the seas were about 30 feet in height and the current from English channel was running about 7 miles an hour. It were dark hail storm and were impossible to launch any lifeboat over the weather side. Seven of the crew got excited and try to launch the boat No. 2, which were on the weather side they were all smashed between the life boat and the ship side one of the boys were from Honolulu, Ekela Kaohi, the other were Chinese boy from Puna Pahoa Henry Look. No. 3 boat there were Hail Rice of Honolulu, Chas. Pumoku, Julian Makama of Honolulu, one from Tahiti Islands, John Davis. I were on board the No. 1 boat which I suppose to be the gunners’ boat. There were 19 of the crew on board. The vessel had sunk within 15 minutes it took 9 minutes because we were away from the ship side. After we were probably about 100 yards away some one gave four long blasts. Nobody knows how it happened. After four hours and a half in lifeboats on the high seas and hail storms and rain and darkness we were sighted by a French patrol boat. We had signaled to the boat with flashlights. They got full speed away from us. The second one had passed by and we lighted a torch and they came and picked us up. The temperature of the water was 40 degrees and I didn’t have any shoes or hat on. I was frozen and could hardly speak for about two hours after we got picked up. It was 1:30 o’clock in the early Monday…

Charles Nakao, survivor of the torpedoed Aztec

…morning and we had looked around for about 18 hours for the other boat. There were know sign whatsoever. So we landed at Brest, France, the American consul came and met us at the dock and over 6 hundred Frenchmen were treated fine. I got warm and were send to Brest hospital. From Brest we were send to Bourdeaux, France, about 48 hours ride train.

“We got on board the S. S. La Tourine, the French passenger boat from Bourdeaux, and we got back to New York safe.

“I remain yours truly,


Waiakea, Hilo, Hawaii.

“If any of boys’ family wants to get any information about the clothes or anything else please sent me your address and I will try my best to send it over. This is my address: Chas. Nakao, 324-32th street, Brooklyn, New York.

“P. S.—Thinking our Queen for her kindly remembrance to us boys off the ill-fated S. S. Aztec.

“Yours sincerely,

“C. N.”

[This article seems to be summarized in the Kuokoa of Iune 1, 1917, p. 5]

(Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 5/9/1917, p. 1)


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Volume XXIV, Number 7822, Page 1. May 9, 1917.

Mele by Ninito Sumner and Manaiula Sumner for Victoria Kaahumanu, 1862.

A mele for V. Kaahumanu.

1. E ipupu itoito mau,
To matou pupu nei,
Ia hau roa tei mua roa,
Te mau mea maitatai.

2. Iaorana oe Witoria,
Te mata hiti a pai,
Iaorana oe iaorana oe Witoria,
Te mata hiti api.

3. Te oaoa nei tatou,
Tona aroha rahi mau,
Iaorana oe Iaorana oe Witoria,
Te mata hiti api.

4. Teia to matou  manao,
Ia hau atu te maitai,
Iaorana oe Iaorana oe Witoria,
Te mata hiti api.

5. Ua tia o Kamamaru e,
Ta hitia o ta ra e,
Tea ra noia e,
Tae ahi i Tahiti e.

6. Teia te parau e,
Faa tia mai oe e,
E haere hoi oe e,
E hio i te piri e.

7. Ta pua o te me hau e,
Tama tai nui hiti e,
O Tahiti i te vai uri rau e,
Tefe nua he aroha e.

8. O hoa i te tai rapa tia e,
Te matai toe rau e,
Nania mai ra paia e,
Paia i ma ramae.

Mrs. N. Sumner.

” M. Sumner.

[Can anyone supply a translation for this mele?]

(Kuokoa, 1/25/1862, p. 3)

He mele no V. Kaahumanu.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke I, Helu 9, Aoao 3. Ianuari 25, 1862.

More on Ninito and John Sumner, 1867.

Left for Bolabola.—With the departure of the schooner Aorai to Bolabola, on last Sunday, on board was John Sumner (Kapilikea) and his queen, Niniko, from foreign lands, “Palau mai oe e hoa e [“Talk to me O Friend” in Tahitian?].” Kapilikea’s queen is a relative of Pomare, and at her behest, Ninito is returning to see the land of her birth and to be embraced.

(Au Okoa, 9/26/1867, p. 2)

Ua hala i Bolabola.

Ke Au Okoa, Buke III, Helu 23, Aoao 2. Sepatemaba 26, 1867.