The First Compass in the Hawaiian Language.
“Missionaries arrived here before, here to the Hawaiian archipelago, and brought the gospel and the Christian way to guide the people to be good spiritually. But Hawaiians were not given a compass in their own mother tongue to use as a guide to steer their canoes,” according to J. R. Macaulay, the pilot who is well known in Honolulu Harbor.
And because Hawaiians lacked this, Mr. Macaulay created a compass that was marked with the Hawaiian terms for the directions as shown in the picture printed here.
According to this gentleman’s recollection, his is the first compass fashioned in the language of the land. This compass was designed with the help of Mr. J. K. Keliikahi, one of the boat pilots. And after careful adjustments, the desired results were reached, as is shown in the illustration.
For North, it is shown by its abbreviation, “A” [for akau], “He” [hema] for South, “Hi” [hikina] for East, and “K” [komohana] for West. There are 32 directional points set skillfully. And those in between the cardinal points are laid out and are written as shown below:
“A me Hi” for North and East, “A me K” for North and West, “AAK” for North North West, and “AK me K” for North West and West, and “A me Hi” for North and East, and “A Hi me A” for North East and North and so forth all the way around the compass.
The black divisions are made carefully so that the compass is accurate, and within the circle in the middle of the body, you cannot fail to see the names of Capt. J. R. Macaulay and J. K. Keliikahi, the two who fashioned this first compass in the mother tongue of this land. This is one of the valuable things in the history of Hawaii’s progress.
(Kuokoa, 11/17/1905, p. 1)
Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XLIII, Helu 46, Aoao 1. Novemaba 17, 1905.