Let the old men go forth and lie upon the roads… 1895.

“LAW OF THE PADDLE BLOW.”
[“MAMALAHOE KANAWAI.”]

This above are the initial words of the very first law promulgated in the communities of Hawaii, and those words spoken by one in authority still remain. Here below is the the law in its entirety:

“MAMALAHOE KANAWAI—Let the old men go forth and lie upon the roads; let the old women go forth and lie upon the roads; let the children go forth and lie upon the roads.”

This first law was proclaimed by Paiea (Kamehameha I) after his head was struck by some fishermen at the seashore in Puna, Hawaii, because they mistakenly thought he was someone else. When his head was struck with the blow from a canoe paddle, the men fled, there being five of them; that was when Paiea rose, picked up a rock, and made to chase after them, however, his foot was caught in a rock crevice, and his chase was cut short. The rock in his hand fell, and there was no getting it back. And it was this disappointment which caused him to proclaim these famous and powerful words in our history. The place where Paiea’s foot was caught can be seen to this day.

Here, we take what is shown on pages 94 and 95 of “Ka Buke Lapaau me na Mea Pili Kaulana” which was published by Kamaki [Thomas P. Spencer]:¹

“Soon after this battle (Kepuwahaulaula), the fishermen who years earlier struck the head of Kamehameha with a paddle near the sea were brought before him by his officers. This shameful act of theirs was made known to Kamehameha face to face, for which his officers demanded that they be killed by stoning them to death.

“The aloha Kamehameha had for his fellow man was expressed for the first time in his famous pardon by announcing:

“‘Mamalahoe Kanawai: you are prisoners of war, but you are forgiven for unwittingly striking my head–I escaped, but nearly was in trouble.’

“Here, O Reader, do recognize–love for his fellow man was the cure² for which allowed for the release of these rebels of Puna by Kamehameha, and him not giving regard to the calls by his officers to put them to death. This is a fine comparison to President Dole of the Republic; he with his Executive Powers does not come close to a hundredth of the Kanawai Mamalahoe, in his treatment of the Hawaiian prisoners of the revolution of January 17, 1895 who continue to be imprisoned albeit the lahui are united in wanting them released. That was an uncivilized time when [the men] were triumphantly released by Kamehameha, and this is a knowledge and civilization, and yet Dole has not given clemency to the Hawaiian prisoners for the fame of his name and that of his Nation.”

Our elucidation of this famous story is not like that of Spencer’s, but the basis of his explanation of Kamehameha’s forgiving those who injured him, that is what we want to make clear at this time, so that true love of one’s fellow man is seen by them.

¹This book was republished in 2003 by Bishop Museum Press as: Buke ‘Oihana Lapa’au me na ‘Apu la’au Hawai’i (Book of Medical Practices and Hawaiian Prescriptions). See here for further description.

²”Laau lapaau” [medicinal cure] is the word chosen here because this story appears in a book of traditional medicinal practices.

(Makaainana, 11/25/1895, p. 4)

"MAMALAHOE KANAWAI."

Ka Makaainana, Buke IV—-Ano Hou. Helu 22, Aoao 4. Novemaba 25, 1895.

Kuakini, and Hawaiian tradition, 1845.

BIOGRAPHY OF KUAKINI.

Kuakini was the son of Keeaumoku, the son of Kalanikauleleiaiwi, the sister of Keawe. They are the royal ancestors of Hawaii Island’s high chiefs, Kuakini was befitting the class of high chiefs amongst Hawaii’s alii nui.

Kuakini was the son of Namahana who was born from Kalanikuihonoikamoku, and they are Maui’s royal ancestors, and therefore, Kuakini is amongst Maui’s…

…class of high chiefs; Kuakini was born as an alii.

Kuakini was born in the year 1792 perhaps; he was born in the year of [battle of] Kepuwahaulaula; at Keauhou in Kona in Hawaii was where he was born.

His caretaker [kahu hanai] was Kameheaiku, and Kuakini grew up at Keauhou, and he was made by his father, Keeaumoku, to pray to the wooden gods; this was Kuakini’s duties in his youth, the worship of the wooden gods.

He was the one who cared for all the temples in Kona, along with the Loulu temples, and in regard to his worshiping, one of the names Kuakini was called was Kiipalaoku, for Ku was the god for whom he would fetch pala fern.

Kuakini was a thinker from when he was small; he was meticulous; he often would sail boats with the other children in his youth, and when he grew up, he went with his parents to Maui, and thereafter he lived with Kamehameha I.

He became an aikane of Kamehameha I, because Kuakini possessed a fine body, he was skilled in English, he thought much about the way a body functions, he was sullen, and was a man of few words.

When Kamehameha I died, Liholiho them went to Oahu, and Kuakini was appointed Governor of Hawaii, and it was he that was to care for Hawaii until his recent death.

When Kuakini was assisting intently with the kingdom of God, it was he who built the great churches here on Hawaii Island.

O Armstrong [Limaikaika], please ask of Thurston [Tatina] or Bishop [Bihopa], for they know what he was like for both of them lived with him.

O Father Armstrong, I am living here on Hawaii these months, and will then return to Maui, or perhaps not. D. MALO.

(Nonanona, 1/7/1845, pp. 89–90)

KA MOOOLELO O KUAKINI.

Ka Nonanona, Buke 4, Pepa 19, Aoao 89. Ianuari 7, 1845.

papa alii nui, he alii no o Kuakini...

Ka Nonanona, Buke 4, Pepa 19, Aoao 90. Ianuari 7, 1845