Theodore Kelsey reminisces about his life on Kauai and in Palolo, 1948.

A Hawaiian Lament

One of the most cherished memories of the writer’s life is that of himself as a small barefoot boy, when, with his mother, his little girl playmate and sweetheart, and others less remembered, he made a midnight visit from his home in Ke-kaha, on the enchanted island of Kau’ai, traveling in a horse-drawn, vehicle to the far-famed “Barking Sands,” at Mana’ (mah-nah’), lovingly called by the Hawaiians “Ke One Kani o No-hili—”The Sounding Sand of No-hili.” Continue reading


The greatest of the mountains, 1883.


A luna au o Hualalai
Ku au nana i ka lai
Apo ana ka malino i ka malie
Lohi ana kehau a hinu ke kai
Paa ana i ka pewe* piko o ka lai
Kahela ka olu i na kuahiwi
Kahiko mai la i na kualono
I ka luna kapukapu o Maunakea
Ke pookela ia o na kuahiwi
O ka oi kelakela o Hawaii
Haina ka pua i kaulana
O Keanolani no he inoa.

[Atop Hualalai am I
I stand and view the calm
Peace encircles serenity
The mist sparkles and the sea glitters
Fixed at the center of the stillness
Coolness spreads across the mountains
Adorning the ridges
At the sacred heights of Maunakea
The greatest of mountains
The supreme one of Hawaii
Tell of the famous descendant
A name song for Keanolani.]

[This is one of the verses of a name song for the Alii, Princess Ruta Keelikolani Keanolani Kanahoahoa Muolaulani Keikiheleloa Keanohalia Kaleonahenahe Kohalikolani.

*I can only find the term pewe in this mele. Has anyone seen it anywhere else?]

(Kuokoa, 6/16/1883, p. 3)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XXII, Helu 24, Aoao 3. Iune 16, 1883.

Emma Ahuena Taylor remembers Princess Ruth Keelikolani, 1935.


Her Highness Princess Ruth Keelikolani seemed to have always been in my life.

When she came to stay at Wailuakio (Palama), she would always spend the night in my mother’s home. For her retinue was large and my mother’s home was a convenient place to entertain them all. Continue reading

Ikeia Kau na Wahine, he Kau ka makani, 1883.


Ikeia Kau na Wahine, he Kau ka makani,
He umauma i pa ia e ka Moae,
E ka unulau, o Makounulau,
Ina aku no la i Unulau,
Ka wahine kaili pua o Paiahaa,
Hahai, alualu, puahala,
O Kamilo, pae kanaka e—— Continue reading

The grand celebration of the 64th birthday of Princess Ruta Keelikolani Keanolani Kanahoahoa Muolaulani Keikiheleloa Keanohalia Kaleonahenahe Kohalikolani at her newly completed Keoua Hale, 1882.

Birthday of Her Royal Highness Princess Ruth Keelikolani.

Her Royal Highness Princess Ruth Keelikolani celebrated, on Thursday last, her sixty-fourth birthday by a luau, or banquet in native Hawaiian fashion, given at H. R. H.’s new mansion in Emma-street, followed on the evening of Friday by a Reception and Ball. The occasion was indeed adopted for the “house-warming” the handsome and beautifully decorated house being only just ready for occupation. The event has been long talked of, and looked forward to, and has been the chief topic of conversation during the past week, almost to the exclusion of all others, causing the exciting events of the previous week to fall quite into the background.

The Mansion which was the scene of these festivities is situated on the land known as Kaakopua, which has a long frontage to the Ewa side of Emma-Street. It is a handsome structure of two main stories, on a high basement with an attic story and turret above. On the main floor on the mauka side of the house, are two drawing rooms which communicate with one another by a wide arch. Continue reading