The first Kamehameha Day out in the country, 1872.

Day Commemorating Kamehameha I.

According to the news we received, the day the nation remembers Kamehameha I was preciously observed in different places of the nation, and this is good news for the very beginning of this day. Here below you will find what took place in various places, and here it is:

In Lahaina

“The activities of the day for the commemoration of Kamehameha I began at 9:12 A. M. with G. W. Pehu as the Chairman of the day’s events.”

A prayer was given by Hanunu. Chairman G. W. Pehu stood and explained to the crowd. This is the day that we were told in the announcements in our newspapers that this day is one that we are to commemorate, but not just on this day and that’s it; no, we are to continue this until the end, for he is the pillar of our world, the one who cleared away the thorny wilderness of this archipelago and made it into a fine garden, and it for him which we have pride: the wondrous one, the victor of victors, the one who shorn off the roughness  of these islands and smoothed it out making it a peaceful nation.

The one for whom we are starting off with this very first day, for whom we are celebrating for all times, with humble hearts, modesty, and aloha. He is our famed conqueror across the whole world. He is called the Napoleon of the Pacific Ocean, for his dexterity and his bravery and fearlessness; the victor of victors in battle for these 12 islands. He is the 1st of the Kamehamehas, who has gone, leaving our sacred offspring, King Kapuaiwa, Aliiolani, now living amongst us, the fifth of the Kamehamehas, one of his blossoms now appears clearly before us. And we proclaim together O Crowd gathered here at the church of Wainee, the House made by his royal ancestors who are passed on, while some of their descendants live on, along with the one who occupies the throne today.

For we now say in unison with aloha and humble hearts, May He Live! May the King Live in God!!

Therefore O People, let us keep the activities of the day well under control.

The first event. The singing of the Choir of Wainee, the hymn, “He Akua Hemolele.” There was a prayer by Hanunu, the pastor of the day. The Choir sang once more, “Ke Akua Mana Mau.”

The old ladies stood, along with the old men; some of the old men were right below the pulpit of Wainee, decked out in  layers of pa’upa’u kapa, and sang memorized songs of old. Like the Second Alphabet [Pi-a-pa-lua], sung like this: “Aha, Ahi, Aho, Ahu,” and so forth. Kenoi was the leader along with A. Makekau; this came to an end.

A. Makekau called out once more to this group of oldsters, with the Pi-a-pa-lua, exhorting in this manner:

“Don’t care after wooden idols,
Let us turn to the ever-living ruler,
It is good to glorify the ever-living God,
This, according to Iolani, the King of Hawaii.”

With this singing of the old ones, there was not a single one there who did not feel gratitude for the work done in times past. And after this was done, the makua then sang the Pi-a-pa-lua.

When the speaker, J. K. Unauna, stood, he was wearing a Large Whale Ivory Lei [Palaoa], which curved at the front like a banana of Kaea whose blossom containers [okai] are twisted. By the speech, of the speaker, the audience was immensely pleased, like a fish caught on the hook, weaving this way and that.

He spoke of the different famous feats of the Chief Kamehameha I. The audience was filled with thanks and appreciation. And, at the end of the speech of the speaker, the audience stomped their feet, like these lines of mele:

“I have nothing but praise for the beauty of Aipo,
Shuddering at the cold of Hauailiki”

[“Aole a’u mea mahalo ole i ka nani o Aipo,
E li ana ka io i ke anu o Hauailiki.”]

And when the audience calmed down, the voices of the men and women burst forth, singing the national anthem [mele lahui] composed by one of our chiefly children, Lilia K. Dominis. To witness this, it was as if the current was drawing to Alae [e ko ana ke au i Alae].

The program was over, and the audience was released, and the went to the other festivities at Keawaiki, which was teeming with people; there were so many people seen at the activities of the white ones of Lahaina nei. At the hour of 11 A. M., the games began:

First event, boat race, won by the boat of A. C. Smith. Event 2, Mule race, won by Castle Jr.’s mule. Event three, sack race, won by Arika of Kaanapali. Event 4, swimming race, won by Poepoe. Event 6, pig chase [alualu puaa], which was won by him. Event 7, tin can filled with molasses and you try to get the dollar inside using your tongue; it was miserable to watch. Won by [?Nahioihi]. Event 8, a wooden pole of 6 feet tall; the money ($2.50) atop the pole was not gotten.

[This article continues with scenes from Wailuku and Kailua, Kona. Look for the continuation at a later date. The image online is very hard to read. I can’t wait for the day when all the newspapers are rescanned clearly!]

(Au Okoa, 6/20/1872, p. 3)

La Hoomanao Kamehameha I.

Ke Au Okoa, Buke VIII, Helu 10, Aoao 3. Iune 20, 1872.