Mourning for Mataio Kekuanaoa, 1868.

The Kawaiahao Choir:—We heard that tonight, this choir will go to the grounds of Iolani Palace [not the one standing today], where they will mourn for Kaimihaku who silently passed on: Continue reading

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J. H. Kanepuu the traditionalist, 1970.

Hawaiian Math

By Russell and Peg Apple

BY THE MID 1800s, the Hawaiian people were betwixt and between two cultures. There was the pull and the momentum of the old—the traditional Hawaiian; and the lure and exhortations of the new—a New England brand of Western.

And the Hawaiians were aware of the situation. They were not above pointing out to each other the conflicts they met in their everyday life.

One who did so was a man from Palolo, a Mr. J. H. Kanepuu. He wrote in the Hawaiian language newspaper Ke Au Okoa, and on Jan. 21, 1867, saw the need to call attention to two counting systems that existed side by side.

KANEPUU NOTED the conflict in the markets where Hawaiians bought and sold. There was a generation gap in methods of enumeration. Most of the fishermen and farmers who sold in the markets were old men who counted by the Hawaiian method. Those who bought were younger folks who counted by the haole system. Few knew both well.

The momentum and practices of the past fixed the habit patterns of the fishermen who caught flying fish, mullet, mackerel and milkfish for the Honolulu markets. They either sold their catch themselves, or it was sold by family members of the same generation. They counted Hawaiian style.

Those who bought counted haole style. They had been to the mission and public schools. They knew how to count by tens, from one on up into the tens of thousands. Each had ten fingers, including thumbs, to help.

BUT THE Hawaiian system was based on the numeral four, not the decimal system. Hawaiians had four fingers on each hand to help in counting.

Both the old timers and the younger Hawaiians spoke Hawaiian fluently. But the haole terms had been translated into Hawaiian and taught to the people who went to school, along with the counting-by-tens method. It was the same sort of confusion which occurs today when a nation switches from pounds-shillings-and-pence to a coinage based on the decimal system. Or when a student who learned his work in inches, feet, yards and miles tries to deal with millimeters, centimeters, meters kilometers. Misunderstandings and confusion result.

LOT KAMEHAMEHA, later to rule as Kamehameha V, was educated by Christian missionaries and was versed in the Western system. Kanepuu wrote that when he was still Prince Lot, he received a gift of fish at his house in Honolulu. This was sometime in the early 1800s, before Lot Kamehameha was crowned.

The men who brought the fish used the old system, the Prince only understood the new.

“How much fish?” asked the prince.

“One lau and nine kaau,” answered the Hawaiian servant who delivered the fish, a gift from chief Kuhia.

THIS ANSWER distressed Lot Kamehameha and he alsmost became angry. On seeing this, the Hawaiian switched to the new system. Continue reading

Kamehameha IV visits Nihoa, 1857.

The French man of war “Eurydice” arrived from Nihoa with Kamehameha IV, the King, and the Governor of Oahu [Kekuanaoa], on the 25th of April.

They were on Nihoa touring, and the trip was fine, and they returned in good health. They brought back three “Elephants of the sea,” from there.

Tomorrow, the vessel will return to Oahu.

Hanalei, Kauai, Ap. 27, 1857.

(Hae Hawaii, 5/13/1857, p. 26)

HaeHawaii_5_13_1857_26

Ka Hae Hawaii, Buke 2, Ano Hou.—Helu 7, Aoao 26. Mei 13, 1857.

Queen Emma sends condolences to Mataio Kekuanaoa, 1866.

News of the Royal Court

Through the kindness of His Highness Mataio Kekuanaoa, we put before our readers these loving words of our Queen Emma.

Upper Gore Lodge, England
Kensington, July 23, 1866.

My Father; Much Aloha:

During these dark days of distress of ours and the nation, I have much aloha for you and the One who left us. Alas for my sister-in-law [kaikoeke], my companion of the land from when we were children. The sun and the rain are companions, joined together by us are the sea spray and the rains steady on the barren fields and the forests; your leader of the islands. How sad; aloha for that lei of ours, my child, and aloha for my dear husband. Alas for you all! My heart is troubled as I am separated alone in a foreign land. It is as if this trip to introduce the Archipelago to the Great Nations of the World is a waste of time. But be patient, O Father, don’t give up, and leave us. For there is one who remains from your loins. Be patient.

With a heavy heart,

Your child,

(Signed) Kaleleonalani.

[There were so many deaths amongst the alii during these years, Ka Haku o Hawaii and Kamehameha IV, and now, Victoria Kamamalu. Not long after, her hanai mother, Grace Kamaikui Young Rooke would pass on. These were indeed dark days for Queen Emma.]

(Kuokoa, 10/6/1866, p. 2)

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Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke V, Helu 40, Aoao 2. Okatoba 6, 1866.

Birthday of Kamehameha IV, 1862.

Orders of the General
[Kauoha Alihikaua]

1. This coming Sunday, the 9th of this month, is the birthday of King Kamehameha IV; therefore, it is commanded that at 8 o’clock that morning, the Hawaiian Flag will be raised at Punchbowl [Puowaina], and at the residence of the Honorable M. Kekuanaoa, the Governor, and on the other Flag Poles of the Nation. All of the Flags will be taken down at sunset that day.

Because the birthday of the King will fall on a Sunday, therefore, the celebration of the King’s birthday will be postponed until the following Monday, that being the 10th.

2. The Hawaiian Flags will again be raised, as was stated above. 21 guns will be shot off at the rising of the sun, and at 12 noon, and also at the setting of the sun.

3. All of the Military Officers and the King’s personal Guards are to wear their gold-trimmed uniforms [kapa kula] and their swords. The Officers shall be smartly uniformed until sunset.

By the order of the General.

John O. Dominis.
Adjutant General [Akukana Kenelala].

War Department [Keena Kaua],
Feb. 5, 1862.

(Hoku o ka Pakipika, 2/6/1862, p. 3)

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Ka Hoku o ka Pakipika, Buke I, Helu 20, Aoao 3. Feberuari 6, 1862.

Death of Abner Kuhooheiheipahu Paki, 1855.

The death of A. Paki, on the 13th of this June.

The chief A. Paki. He appears in the genealogy of the Chiefs of this Nation, from ancient times, and he is a high Chief of this land descended from Haloa, that being the one father of the children living in this world, and the father of our people.

Part of his genealogy is taken from the High Chiefs of the land, and he is part of Kamehameha’s, and he is part of Kiwalao’s, and he is a hereditary chief of a single line from ancient times; and he was a father who rescued from trouble his people of this nation from Hawaii to Kauai.

His accomplishments during his life. When he promised to stop drinking and to become a Christian, from that time on he did not drink alcohol again until the day he died.

He was a Chief who was steadfast in his work for the nation, and he was an Alii who would be furious when he heard his deceased child being spoken ill of, as well as of his children who survive him.

From what I have seen of this Alii while he was alive. In the year 1837, he began his governmental work, and at one point he was appointed Chief Justice [L. K. Kiekie] of the country, and at another point he served as Governor, and another time he was included in the Privy Council, and still another time he was the steward for his child, this during his lifetime. Continue reading

Restoration Day celebration, day number 4! 1844.

On Saturday, Aug. 3—Gov. Kekuanaoa gave a rural feast at the village of Waikiki, to his Majesty and court. A rustic arbor, with flags over head, was prepared under the beautiful grove of Ko [Kou] trees. The table was 100 feet long, well laid out, and accommodated 81 guests. The feast was cooked altogether in the Hawaiian style, and consisted of 17 different dishes, some of which were excellent.

(Polynesian, 8/10/1844, p. 47)

On Saturday...

The Polynesian, New Series, Volume 1.—Number 12, Page 47. August 10, 1844.