Response to claim that Lahainaluna was banning the use of Hawaiian, 1868.

FROM LAHAINALUNA.

Aloha to you O Kuokoa:—

In the paper of this past March 7th, you wail over your hearing through a letter from one of students of that College, “the teachers and students of Lahainaluna have decided to ban speaking Hawaiian and to speak solely in English instead at all times, and someone speak in Hawaiian, he will be made to work.”

Is it right for you to spread all across this Archipelago something you hear in a pushy letter from a youngster?

That “Ban that the teachers and students of Lahainaluna passed,” is news to some of our teachers, first heard from this paper from Honolulu.

It would be somewhat better if before announcing publicly this or that rumor and shedding tears over an imaginary [“imaginary” in English] tragedy, that you inquire of someplace where you can hear the truth.

That great tree that grows haphazardly, for which tears are being shed from Kau to Niihau, it grew from a tiny mustard seed [hua makeke].¹

Because of the great desire of the students of Lahainaluna to speak English, it was they who—in a small meeting amongst only themselves—decided thusly: “To try first to speak their thoughts in English, and if it comes out  not clearly, then to speak in Hawaiian [kamailio maoli].” Your ears will not miss the Hawaiian language should you come here. You will drink “real milk” here, and have your fill, and it will be a regular thing.

I do however appreciate the great desire of our students to supplement the English language, along with all the many other things they are learning in Hawaiian. They are embarrassed at the judgement and the ridicule that their elder siblings receive, that graduated from Lahainaluna before them, in this manner: “The Lahainaluna students cannot speak English.”

C. B. Andrews.

Lahainaluna, March 12, 1868.

¹Hearkening back to the parable of the mustard seed and the kingdom of heaven in Matthew.

[This is one a response found to the article posted yesterday about the banning of Hawaiian language at Lahainaluna. It is always important to look for responses and followups in later papers and in other newspapers of the time, both in Hawaiian and English (and in other languages if available), to get a clearer picture of what is happening!]

(Kuokoa, 3/21/1868, p. 3)

MAI LAHAINALUNA MAI.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke VII, Helu 12, Aoao 3. Maraki 21, 1868.

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Hawaiian Language banned at Lahainaluna and Hawaii to become a state of the United States? 1868.

Hawaiian Banned at

LAHAINALUNA.

We have heard through a letter from one of the students at the College, “The teachers and students have decided to ban the speaking of Hawaiian, and instead to speak English [namu kawalawala] all the time; and should anyone speak in Hawaiian, he will be made to work.” Is what we hear correct?

How sad for children to be denied their mother’s milk, and fed only cow’s milk. They will end up malnourished, for the nourishment God prepared for them is better than all other foods. How tragic is it for the youth to be denied speaking the language of their parents. What is this big push to acquire the English language [olelo haole]? Is it to prepare them to become Americans when Hawaii joins as a state of the United States as is being rumored about? Is that the idea at Lahainaluna?

This is what we think. Let us not treat with contempt this eloquent language, this graceful language, this beautiful language of our homeland.

These students of Lahainaluna who speak English [namu pakake] will not attain the high education of the early students of Lahainaluna, and they will not join the ranks of Rev. M. Kuaea, S. M. Kamakau, S. P. Kalama, and their fellow famed educated Hawaiians. This level will not be reached by the Hawaiian youth who attempt to speak only English, except perhaps for those who start young.

If only English is spoken at Lahainaluna, then it would be better were there only haole teachers there, and Kuaea should be sent somewhere that Hawaiian Language is recognized.

[Does anyone know if this ban ever took place in the late 1860s?

And what does “S. P.” stand for in “S. P. Kalama”?]

(Kuokoa, 3/7/1868, p. 2)

Kapu ka olelo Hawaii ma LAHAINALUNA.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke VII, Helu 10, Aoao 2. Maraki 7, 1868.