La Hoihoi Ea, 1865.

Restoration Day.

Monday last, the 31st July, was the twenty-second Anniversary of the Restoration of the Hawaiian Flag by Rear Admiral Thomas, and as such was celebrated with becoming joyousness.

The day opened warm and sultry, but by nine o’clock the trades set in and before noon were blowing half a gale. Continue reading

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)

Kuokoa_10_6_1866_2.png

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