Waimea rodeo on new year’s day! 1909.

The Boys of Waimea.

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)


Kuokoa Home Rula, Buke VII, Helu 3, Aoao 2. Ianuari 15, 1909.

President Roosevelt and Ikua Purdy, 1909.


One thing that President Roosevelt [Rusawela] was extremely pleased at from the steer-roping boys of Hawaii nei, was their gift that they sent by way of Representative Kuhio; and within a letter sent was a picture of Ikua Purdy, the champion roper of the world and canoe racer at Waikiki.

According to Representative Kuhio in his letter written to Jack Low, it expressed that the President was filled with joy at hearing that Ikua Purdy was actually the one who came away with the name champion of the world at steer roping.

This was the first he found out about the skill of the Hawaiian boys in roping steer, and it was Representative Kuhio who told him that Hawaiians enjoyed this activity for a long time, way before them hearing about the abilities of the boys of Wyoming.

On this past new year’s day, the paniolo boys of Waimea, Hawaii, held a steer-roping contest, with the idea that the boys who are proficeint at that activity would snatch the fame gained by Ikua Purdy, however, Ikua was the fastest at their contest; his time was like nine minutes [? seconds] less than his time in Wyoming.

There were twenty-five Waimea boys entered in this contest, but most of them fell, and Kamaki Lindsey took second place, with a time of fifty-seven seconds to rope, fell, and tie his steer.

(Kuokoa, 1/15/1909, p. 4)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XLVI, Helu 3, Aoao 4. Ianuari 15, 1909.

Another English mele for Ikua Purdy folks, 1908.


From the sun-dried plains of Texas
From the rolling Northern lands,
From East and West they sent their best,
With chap and spur and flying vest,
And lariats in their hands.

From o’er the world came champions,
All strange alike to fear,
Each full of hope his whirling rope
Would be the quickest one to cope
With swiftly-running steer.

Alas! for all those champions—
From far across the sea,
With face all tanned and steady hand,
To meet the best in all the land,
Came our Hawaiian Three.

Aloha, then, to Purdy,
To Archie and Jack Low!
Those ropes may fly in skillful try,
But they must come to fair Hawaii
To learn the way to throw.


(Hawaiian Gazette, 8/25/1908, p. 3)


Hawaiian Gazette, Volume LI, Number 68, Page 3. August 25, 1908.

Mele and more for Ikua Purdy and the lads …in English, 1908.


Purdy, the sturdy, we’ve heard he has won.
For the little old isles of Hawaii,
The world’s roping contest, and what he has done
Is a plum in our promotion pie.

Kaaua took second, while sixth man was Low
In the steer-stringing stunt of the earth,
And it’s up to the cow-catching artists to know
What our lariat laddies are worth.

Three cheers, then, for Purdy, and then just a few
For Archie and Jack, three times three!
The boys of Hawaii who gallantly threw
For the fame of these Gems of the Sea!

A Saturday cable dispatch from Cheyenne, Wyoming, announces that Ikua Purdy of Hawaii won the world’s steer roping championship at the Frontier Day contest on that day and at that place. His time was fifty-six seconds. Archie Kaaua took third place and Jack Low was sixth.

These three men of Hawaii were contesting against the world’s best ropers.

Purdy, here, has a record of 38 3-4 seconds, but conditions differ. In December last, in the Wild West Show [contests at Kapiolani Park Makai Keliilike made 56 1-2 seconds. Angus McPhee holds the present record of 37 2-5 seconds, made at Cheyenne a year ago. Since then he was defeated.

(Hawaiian Star, 8/28/1908, p. 6)


Hawaiian Star, Volume XVI, Number 5117, Page 6. August 24, 1908.

More on the famous paniolo of Waimea, 1908.

The Boys of Waimea are Victorious!

Ikua Purdy is the Champion Roper of the World—Archie Kaaua took 3rd—the American Boys are Weak¹.


Hanohano wale no o Mauna Kea
A ka hau e hoohenoheno nei
Me ka Ua Kipuupuu ame ke anu o Waimea
Me ka Ua Kipuupuu ame ke anu o Waimea

E walea ana paha, e nanea ana paha
I ka hone a ke kai hawanawana
Me ka Ua Kipuupuu ame ke anu o Waimea
Me ka Ua Kipuupuu ame ke anu o Waimea

CHEYENNE, Wyoming, August 22—Ikua Purdy of Hawaii took the name of champion of the world in the roping contest held today for the first time. It took 56 seconds from the release of the steer until it was tied fast. Archie Kaaua [Achie Kaaua] took 3rd, and Jack Low took 6th, and they are all from Hawaii.

The Hawaiian boys took 1st, 3rd, and 6th places in the great contest of Wyoming; this is news which all Hawaiian hearts can be happy about, for the honor garnered by our boys. Many expert ropers showed up, from the forests of the north, the champion of the wire lasso of the rugged plains of Alaska, the experts from the furrowed lands of the far south, the champion rider of the Pampas, the lightning-handed champion of Texas, and so many more; however, all of their knowledge and preparation was overcome by Ikua Purdy. Not one of them was his match, with his swift and skilled lassoing and felling of the steer in short time. 56 seconds was not the fastest time made by Ikua Purdy like the 38 3/4 seconds he achieved at Kapiolani Park some years earlier, however, it should be kept in mind that the conditions there are not the same as ours. McPhee is the one with the fastest time, 37 2/5 seconds gotten at a big contest held in Cheyenne, Wyoming, but from that time to now, he did not make that time again; he was constantly defeated by the Hawaiian boys in contests after that.


Glorious is Mauna Kea
Graced with snow
With the Kipuupuu Rain and the cold of Waimea
With the Kipuupuu Rain and the cold of Waimea

Relaxing at ease
At the soft whispering sea
With the Kipuupuu Rain and the cold of Waimea
With the Kipuupuu Rain and the cold of Waimea

¹I’m not sure if “Lahilahi” here is referring to the American boys being “deflated”…

(Kuokoa Home Rula, 8/28/1908, p. 1)

Lanakila na Keiki o Waimea!

Kuokoa Home Rula, Buke VI, Helu 35, Aoao 1. Augate 28, 1908.