Charles E. King critique of “modern” Hawaiian music, 1939.

King Says Hawaiians Ruining Island Music

Venerable Charles E. King, whose Song of the Islands is among the most widely known of all Hawaiian music, pulled no punches in a talk before the Hawaiian Civic club today on modern  day treatment of island songs.

“Hawaiian music,” said Mr. King, speaking at the club luncheon at the YWCA at noon, “is being murdered—and by Hawaiians.” Continue reading

Pāʻū riding a hundred ten years ago and more, 1906.

PA-U PARADE ON MONDAY

The Riders Expect to Have a Very Big Turnout.

The Association of Pa-u Riders, otherwise known as the Hui Holopa-u Maile Alii, is making great preparations for its parade of Pa-u riders on Monday, June 11. This society formed by Mrs. Kaimana [Kainana] Puahi and others interested in the preservation of the old Hawaiian manner of horseback riding with the picturesque pa-u immediately following the floral parade of Washington’s birthday, of which parade the pa-u riders formed one of the most attractive features. The ladies have since devoted much time to practice, and to the making of appropriate dresses, and have been helped by the members of the Promotion Committee, by Manager Charles Crane of the Hawaiian Gazette Co. and by many others, to all of whom the members of the Hui Holopa-u Maile Alii wish to return their most sincere thanks.

OBSERVATIONS OF THE DAY.

The program for the day is most complete. At 6:30 in the morning, the members of the hui will meet at the Waikiki residence of Mrs. Puahi, at which time all will don the pa-u. At eight o’clock the line will begin to form, Sheriff A. M. Brown being the marshal of the parade. At 8:30 the procession will move to the Kapahulu road, thence to Beretania street, thence to Washington place. Continue reading

Whale vs Shark, 1909.

WHALE BATTLES SHARK

Seeing a fight between a Shark and a Whale was something entranced the tourists of the Moana Hotel outside of Waikiki at ten o’clock or so in the morning of this past Wednesday.

Just as the tourists usually do when staying at that hotel, they often go out to the lanai to watch the steamships leaving Honolulu Harbor, and that is why they gathered on the lanai to watch the departure of the Steamship Alameda.

When the Alameda was nearing directly outside of the hotel, the jumping of a huge whale was seen, as it kept striking its tail upon the surface of the sea. Continue reading

Famous singer, John Sumner Ellis, passes on, 1914.

VOICE OF SINGER FOREVER STILLED

John Sumner Ellis, Who Made Hawaiian Melody Popular on Mainland, Called by Death.

(From Thursday Advertiser.)

Following an illness of nine months, John Sumner Ellis, known as Hawaii’s premier tenor singer, died Tuesday afternoon shortly before five o’clock at the home of Deputy County Clerk Eugene D. Buffandeau, 1205 Alexander street, his brother-in-law.

Ellis was a victim of tuberculosis, which he contracted in the East. He…

JOHN SUMNER ELLIS

…returned to Honolulu three weeks ago with the avowed intention of seeing his beloved island home before he passed away. His wish was gratified to the extent that he died in his native land, surrounded by the friends of his boyhood.

The funeral will take place at ten o’clock this morning from the undertaking parlors of H. H. Williams, Fort street. Ellis’ remains will be buried in the family plot in Nuuanu cemetery.

Ellis was born in Honolulu on April 11, 1877, and would have been thirty-seven years of age on April 11 of this year had he lived. He was the son of the late Charles K. Ellis, who was at one time connected with the old Honolulu Iron Works, and Nancy Sumner Ellis, and a grand nephew of John Sumner, Honolulu’s well known pioneer.

Mourning his loss and surviving him are his wife, who was Mrs. May Barnard, and who married him in Chicago in 1909; his six-year old stepdaughter; William Sumner Ellis, a brother, and also a well known singer who resided now in New York, and Mrs. Victoria Buffandeau, of Honolulu, a sister. He also leaves a fourteen-year-old son who resides in San Francisco with his mother, Ellis’ divorced wife. Willie Davis, of Honolulu, is a cousin of the deceased.

John Sumner Ellis was educated in St. Louis College of this city, where he early made a mark as a singer. He was a member of the college band and after leaving school joined the Royal Hawaiian Band under Capt. Henri Berger. Ellis will be remembered as one of the foremost players with the Maile football eleven in the nineties.

Ellis was a member of Ernest Kaai’s well known musical organization when it first started out. He left the Islands on May 30, 1905, almost nine years ago, with “Sonny” Cunha’s Hawaiian quintet for a tour of the mainland. When this organization returned to Honolulu Ellis remained on the mainland, singing in vaudeville in the East. He was employed for a long time by the Hawaii Promotion Committee. He sang in grand opera shortly before being attacked with the disease which finally put an untimely end to his promising career.

He was possessed of an unusually sweet tenor voice wherever on the mainland he sang Hawaii’s plaintive airs he immediately became a favorite. Ellis was instrumental, probably more so than any other Hawaiian singer, in popularizing Hawaiian melodies on the mainland and especially in the east. He was attractive in appearance, well mannered and readily made lasting friends. With his passing away Hawaii has lost a son who was a credit to her, both at home and abroad.

(Hawaiian Gazette, 2/27/1914, p. 5)

VOICE OF SINGER FOREVER STILLED

Hawaiian Gazette, Volume VII, Number 17, Page 5. February 27, 1914.

Lauhala weaving revival, 1936.

ANCIENT HAWAII ART REVIVAL

Kona District to Supply Lauhala Articles to Hawaiian Village At Waikiki

George P. Mossman, of the Hawaiian Village at Waikiki, who has been spending some time on the Big Island, has succeeded in making arrangements through which the Kona districts will supply the village with lauhala, mats and other articles.

Mr. Mossman reported that he found three grades of lauhala articles produced. the First grade, which is the cheaper grade, is turned out as a medium of exchange for which the family obtains clothing, groceries and other articles for home use. Continue reading

Tourism and the revival of lauhala, 1936.

Tourist Business In Hawaii Booms As Result Of Publicity

An influx of visitors to the Hawaiian islands during the past few years has revived many of the interesting traditions and practices of Old Hawaii.

This paradox was recently pointed out by Percy A. Swift, manager of the merchandise department of American Factors, Ltd., in a discussion of Hawaii’s tourist industry.

“An interesting sidelight of the travel business here has been the way it has encouraged Island customs and activities,” he said. “The nourishing influence of tourist interest has given added impetus to the lei tradition, for example; and it has revived native sports such as surfing and outrigger canoe riding, which were on the point of dying out 15 years ago.” Continue reading

Desecration of heiau, 1917.

A Terribly Mischievous Act.

The great heiau, Hikiau, which is near the sands of Kealakekua, is being cleaned up, and while this cleaning was being done, the people working found some burial caves and in them were neatly placed human bones. They were arranged nicely and the mouths of the caves were closed over with rocks; the shocking thing is that the rocks were later removed and the caves were entered perhaps to be searched for antiquities, or perhaps to desecrate the bones in the caves, and the rocks were piled up inside by some unknown person. The perpetrator of such mischief is not known, however if the culprit is found, there is a stiff punishment established here for those who desecrate the bones of the dead. The grounds of this heiau were cleaned up because the history of this heiau includes the landing of Captain Cook here, and it will become an attraction for those visiting Hawaii nei. Also cleaned up was the pathway to the small heiau where Henry Opukahaia was taught the old ways of the kahuna of Hawaii nei, and this place will become a place visited by world travellers who come to Hawaii nei.

[The early years of Hoku o Hawaii (including the issue which includes this article) have yet to be put up online.]

(Hoku o Hawaii, 2/1/1917, p. 1)

HE HANA ANO KOLOHE MAOLI

Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Buke 11, Helu 36, Aoao 1. Feberuari 1, 1917.

William S. Ellis, leader of the glee club accompanying the Royal Hawaiian Band on tour, 1906.

THE ROYAL HAWAIIAN BAND AND THE HAWAIIAN GLEE CLUB.

WILLIAM S. ELLIS, THE LEADER OF THE SINGERS THAT ARE TRAVELLING WITH THE ROYAL HAWAIIAN BAND.

In the month of June, the Royal Hawaiian Band is leaving Honolulu and going on their tour of the states of the United States of America, and their number will increase until it includes forty people. Other than that, the band will go with a Hawaiian glee club that is made up of twenty people.

William S. Ellis formed the glee club going along with the band, and currently there are fifteen skilled singers who are practicing. When the band arrives in San Francisco, this glee club will be increased by the club that is touring America under the leadership of John S. Ellis.

(Kuokoa, 3/9/1906, p. 1)

KA BANA HAWAII A ME KA HUI HIMENI HAWAII.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XLIV, Helu 10, Aoao 1. Maraki 9, 1906.