MRS. MONTANO’S REMINISCENCES OF OLD HAWAII
(Continued from Page 9)
together at his town home on Fort street, and decided as they had heard about the gold rush in California, they would go there to dig gold, because of the taking of their lands in Hawaii.
They went to California and never returned. They all died over there. My aunt Maria Kaiponuikaipoliilii Beckley, was the wife of the High Chief Kamakahonu Kane, and when she was left a widow with her orphan son, George Kekapalahaole II, she called that home (Fort street), Maunakula, meaning “Mountain of Gold.” That is where she lived and she died there about 1887 or 1888.
CHIEFS’ COUNCIL RECALLED
I remember as a child seeing these magnificent Hawaiians as they sat there in the shade of the mango trees, on soft mats, in just their malos, because they were at home, a happy lot, all seated and chanting one another’s chants, and using their eyes and hands to interpret the songs. They were all so cheerful because they felt they would bring home a great deal of wealth, not only for themselves, but to share again with their king.
But the Great Mahele, after all, was just, for the Government could not be effectual without lands and finances, but it imposed many hardships on the chiefs who were dispossessed of many of their lands that were dear to them. Had it not been for the spears of these chiefs and their loyalty to their king, Kamehameha I, there would not have been so early a consolidation of the group.
BIRTH RECORDS KEPT
Captain Beckley’s children, as he wrote their births in his family Episcopal prayer book, which is still in Honolulu, were:
William, August, 1814; Mairia January 25, 1817; Nancy, January 25, 1818; Mary, October 1, 1820; George F., January 1, 1823. then comes an entry with no date of the year: “April, this day, Saturday, Emiline Marie Guadalupe was born at sea in lat. 28.40 North, and Long. 116.40 W., at 1 o’clock p.m.”
I am writing of this will, to show you how methodical Capt. Beckley was. The will and the list of this property were in the hands of Alexander Adams and at the request of my father, Abram Fayerweather, he gave the will over to him.
Coming back to the time I returned to Honolulu from Kohala and became acquainted with my own father and my mother: The first school I attended while my parents were alive was that conducted by Mrs. Gummer and her mother, Mrs. Davis, a select school. It was on King street almost to the corner of Alakea. The house was owned later by the MacIntyres, father and mother of Hugh MacIntyre. My little classmate was Rebecca Meek, youngest daughter of my father’s friend, Captain Meek. She became Mrs. Horatio Crabbe, wife of the chamberlain of Kamehameha V.
DIDN’T LIKE DRESSING
When I look back to my first coming back to Honolulu, I realized how much I had to learn of the ways of my father’s house. First I had to be dressed in little white dresses in the afternoon, with shoes and stockings. Goodbye to my little calico muumuus. After being dressed I was fussed about uncomfortably until I would go out to the well where there was a big tub of water, duck my head into it, throwing my wet hair back, dripping the water all over my pretty dress. My poor beautiful mother would open her large, black eyes and call out to the servants to bring me in and change my dress. It was repeated many times to her vexation until I got used to it.
There was one thing I never forgot. The retainers said that the clouds that blew from the east came from Hawaii, so at every opportunity when I could leave the other children I would run back of the house and look for those clouds, and weep for my Hawaii home.
I would watch my sisters at the table and imitate them, and soon learned to do as they did, for I had only learned the ways of my Hawaiian people at the table. Sometimes I would make a mistake and my mother would say: “Abram, look at her; it is not my fault; you gave her away; I didn’t.”
HAD HINDU COOK
Father’s cook was a Hindu. He was a puzzle to me. He would pick me up and say: “Miss Mary you mustn’t eat too much butter, you see me, I am dark, that’s for eating too much butter.” I wondered how butter could make me dark, for at Little Mexico, which was my uncle’s ranch on Hawaii, our Spaniolas always made butter for us to eat, and I wasn’t black.
After I had been placed with the family of Consul Reynolds, by the Masons, my father’s cousin, Mrs. Horton Knapp, who afterwards became Mrs. Daniel Dole, came and saw that our dresses were nicely arranged for our going to Mr. Reynold’s school. She was the stepmother of Sanford B. Dole, who afterwards became president of the Republic of Hawaii, and the first governor of the territory of Hawaii. I was so proud to feel that one of my people helped to bring him up.
SYSTEM OF ADOPTION
I have told much about my having been taken away from my mother shortly after I was born and raised by my foster mother. The custom of adoption was a great thing amongst the Hawaiian gentry. Not only children, but grown folks were adopted, as Capt. George Beckley was adopted by the king, as a son. Kinau Judd Wilder was claimed by Queen Kinau and called after her, although Dr. Gerrit P. Judd, her father, would not give her up. Hawaiians would not only adopt one another as friends, but as brothers. Hence the mixup in some genealogies.
Adoptions caused unusual loyalty. They were bound to stand by one another’s lives in time of battle. If one was captured and taken prisoner, the other friend or brother would surely see that his adopted brother’s life is spare, if he knew that he was a captive. If that captive were at court he would be given all the distinction and honor of his rank.
ENEMY’S LIFE SAVED
I have heard it told of the sworn friendship of great cousin of mine (Kupunakane). His name was Kalaualu. During the battle of Nuuanu, in 1795, he was with the right wing of the army in the mountains above the valley, serving with High Chief Keikioewa. He is what the Hawaiians called, Kanaka o ke ‘lii’, one of the younger brothers.
The upena, or net, had been drawn from one side of Nuuanu Valley to the other, drawing it all around Kahaukomo. The royal twins, Kameeiamoku and Kamanawa and their younger brothers were on the left wing. Keikioewa ha decided to give no quarter, and told his men so, although his king, Kamehameha the First, had asked him not to kill Kalanikupule, King of Oahu, if he found him.
Keikioewa’s men descended down to Waimanalo and as they went, Kalaualu captured a most handsome young chief by the name of Kahakaiomakaiwa, sometimes called Kukui, a young Kauaian, who was part Oahuan, and a relative of the King of Oahu. He had come over from Kauai, landing on the Koolau side of Oahu, to help the Oahuans. It would have been death for him had Kalaualu not adopted him as his friend and pleaded with Keikioewa for his life, which was spared.
He was afterwards taken to Hawaii by Keikioewa and given a wife of the island of Hawaii. He was the ancestor of Levi Kukahi, who is employed at the Honolulu post office, and was at one time private secretary to King Kalakaua for the Naua society.
KILLED ON KAUAI
Speaking of Kalaualu, it was he and his wife Kaunuohua, who reared Alexander Iolani Liholiho. They were his nurses. Kalaualu planted bananas in every valley on the islands for his young prince, because it was the latter’s favorite fruit, so that when he went to these places he would have bananas to eat. At the time of George Kaumualii’s rebellion on Kauai, Kalaualu went over with High Chief Keikioewa, and was killed there. He was buried at Kapaaula with the rest of those who perished. He was a homely man. When the Kauaians saw Kalaualu they asked: “O wai te la” (Who is that?). The answer came from another Kauaian, “O, te tanata o te ‘lii’ he piipii luna a he moowini lalo,” (meaning “The man of the chief Keikioewa. He is curly at the top, (meaning the head), and spindly down below, (meaning spindle legged).
Kalaualu, like Kaha, father of Ahia Beckley, (whose wife, Makaloao, was the aunt of Kalaualu) was given a portion of Kalihi from the mountain to the sea, by Kamehameha the First, after the battle of Nuuanu. His wife, Kaunaohua was married again to that fine old man, Major Moehonua, and it was known later as a part of the Moehonua estate.
During the battle of Nuuanu, Kaha was with his king, Kamehameha the First, like all of the Kohalas but when he saw the Oahuans fleeing, he chased after them, up the valley. He left his king at Laimi. As they climbed the mountains, “flying” as the Hawaiians said, he followed. The birds were frightened by the stampede. As he attempted to capture an Oahuan, an owl flew at him, and clawed at his face. He stood and struck his spear on the ground to balance himself, when he saw he was on the edge of the precipice, and the Oahuans were surging over. He went all the way back to his king and cried out to him: “E kalani e, kalele anae ala ke Oahu!” (The Oahuans are flying over the cliffs like mullets).
Then the King said: “Kaha, from this day your name is Huha o ke Kaua a Kaua,”meaning the “reporter of the battle,” and he was called Huha ever afterward until his dying day, and never again Kaha. There is one man in Honolulu today who is named after this warrior of Kamehameha. He is Eaton Huha Magoon, assistant United States Attorney.
GREAT SMALLPOX EPIDEMIC
The great epidemic of smallpox occurred in 1853, which I remember from several incidents in my own life. The first case was reported and all the schools were closed. No one was allowed to wash our clothes, so we had to do the best we could. I remember our clothing hung on a line for a week, forgotten, and everybody must be vaccinated by a Doctor Smythe, whose place of business was on Smith lane. By watching him I learned how to make scratches on my arm, and then put some of the matter from the vaccine on my arm. I had vaccinated many little boys and girls with a piece of glass as a knife, and doctor Smythe called me “Little Doctor.” During my lifetime I have often wondered how many I may have saved, for it was awful to see big cartloads of men and women taken away, never to come back. I think the toll of death from Hawaii to Kauai was many thousands. Some did get well but, O, their faces were all rotted with pockmarks.
WAGONLOADS OF DEAD
The Chiefess Kinoole, who was Mrs. Benjamin Pittman, wrote in one of her poems on the return of the people:
Ai inoino ke akua maunauna ka nahele
O ke ao hanuunuu kupukupu hawea
(The Gods have badly eaten the woodland
And they are like the uneven clouds
Or the drill flower, with uneven pointers.
Doctor Hunter, Mr. Reynolds’ Fort and Merchant streets, on the physician, located on the corner of Waikiki side, where Castle & Cooke now have their office, made camphor bags for us children to wear during the epidemic, and told us to smell the bags so that we would not be sick. We used to watch the dead wagons going by, filled with the dead, and the Hawaiian children used to be hanging on the back of those carts, just for a prank, but very thoughtless.
Rev. Lowell Smith, I have heard used to go into where the sick were and administer medicines to them. He used to give sweet oil to rub on their bodies so they would not be pockmarked.
(To be continued.)
(Honolulu Advertiser, 12/9/1923, Second News Section, p. 10)
Honolulu Advertiser, 68th Year, Number 12,905, Second News Section, Page 10. December 10, 1923.