More on Opukahaia, 1865.

The Story of Opukahaia.

Keau was the father, Kamohoula was the mother. From the two was born this child, Opukahaia, along with another younger child (the name of that child is not known). Opukahaia was born soon before the battle between Kamehameha and Namakeha at Kau. And at Kau in Ninole, is where Opukahaia was born. He was named for the slitting of the stomach of a certain alii, and that is why he was called Opukahaia [“the cutting of the stomach”].

When the time of warfare between Kamehameha and Namakeha arrived, the parents of Opukahaia were killed. When his parents were killed, Opukahaia fled Kau, and went to Kohala.

While he lived in Kohala, Opukahaia was found by Pahua, the brother of his mother, and he was returned here to Kona, and lived with Puhua them and Hina them here in Napoopoo, South Kona, Hawaii.

The time when Opukahaia was living here in Napoopoo, when he was brought back from Kohala, he was an adult at the time. While he lived here, to him belonged the occupation of the kahuna of the olden days. Opukahaia was obedient; he was however not a farmer nor a fisherman, for he was not taught much about those things. He really just wanted to be taught kahuna things, and this was something that he was very interested in doing constantly, on sacred nights of Prayer [? Hainapule]. The one who taught him the ways of the kahuna was Pahua. He was a skilled kahuna taught by Hewahewa, the Great Kahuna of the Heiau of Hikiau.

After Opukahaia received the knowledge of the occupation of the kahuna, he constructed his stone Heiau within Helehelekalani, and he built a house atop his heiau, while he worshiped three gods. 1. Lono, 2. Kukaohiakala, 3. Kukailimoku.

He was constantly honing his skills, until he left for America.

When the American trading ship appeared here at Kealakekua, he was prodded by a haole aboard the ship, named Mika Alani, who was an aikane of Hewahewa; and so he went and left the work that he was trained in.

And at this Heiau which he built, he planted three coconuts, and they are growing and fruiting. The cave [? pao] of this boy, Opukahaia, can be seen by those who visit here. His relative still lives here in South Kona, her name is Hina; she is gray-haired and is frail now.

This is a short story of what is heard of Opukahaia. With mahalo.

S. W. Papaula.

Napoopoo, S. Kona, Oct. 10, 1865.

[This seems to be written in response to the translation being published in Kuokoa at the same period. Papaula is adding to the information given in the translation. This ability to quickly add to or correct information published in the newspapers was one of the many advantages newspapers had over books.]

(Kuokoa, 11/4/1865, p. 4)

Moolelo no Opukahaia.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke IV, Helu 44, Aoao 4. Novemaba 4, 1865.

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Niihau purchased for $10,800. 1864.

The Haole are Really Working Niihau.

O Kuokoa Newspaper; Aloha to you:—I met up with the newspaper article under News of Hawaii, in Issue 15 of the 9th of April, about the selling of Niihau to Mr. James Francis Sinclair, for $10,800, along with the lands of Kuakanu, which are the konohiki lands of Halewela and Kahuku, which the Government sold to the one named above, along with the konohiki lands, and this whole island has gone to the haole; perhaps you all and those others as well have heard that Niihau was sold, along with those penny-pinching folks who don’t get the shining beacon of Hawai nei through the Kuokoa Newspaper. And it is we who know of the great, who know of the small, and who know of the wide, that knows of the selling from Kii to Kawaihoa, from the Makahuena Point to Pueo Point; everything upon the land is bought and there is nothing left for us, the Hawaiians, under the haole owners.

Their Way of Living: They are pleasant and good, and speak nicely with the people, but they are not very proficient in the Hawaiian language. The haole say, “mahope aku kumaki” [?] There are ten Hawaiians, caretakers [hoaaina] of the land, chosen from amongst the locals, but two are from elsewhere, they are newcomers, one from Hawaii and the other from Maui, and including them there are ten caretakers. Here are each of their names which the haole selected: A. Puko, D. Kauki, Hetesia, J. H. Kanakaiki, P. R. Holiohana, H. Haokaku, Mose Kanohai, Ioela, Kapahee and Pouli; Kanakaiki is from Napoopoo, Hawaii, and Holiohana is from Hana, Maui, and are locals from there. Those caretakers are in charge of the three work days every month just like the konohiki of the chiefs, should there be work by haole owner to be done.

Their Number: Mr. James Francis Sinclair them total twelve in number; two brothers, three sisters, five children, one mother, and one in-law, which totals twelve; they live in Kununui; they are religious, with one God, but their religion is very different; their houses were constructed in Britain and brought to Niihau: three houses, one currently stands, and two more to follow; we appreciate how nice and beautiful it is to see.

Dealing with the Animals: There are two horses per man and woman, and should there be three, it is killed, and so forth; as for dogs, there are none left, they were all killed, from the big ones to the small ones because sheep were being killed, and so the government is without money from the dog tax, also the goats were all killed. You Kauai people who own horses and sheep, get them quick, don’t dawdle, or they will be taken by the haole.

Things Grown by the People.

The Hawaiians consume what they produce, and they also assist with the land owners in the watering of the sweet potato, ke pola akaakai [?], and chickens, as long as they were pleasant, or else that was that.

On the Number of Sheep

Set loose on Niihau are the sheep which you have perhaps seen in our Newspaper; as for the count, you probably have not heard; this is the truth as to the abundance or dearth: the number of sheep is 3,400, with 1,400 belonging to the Hon. W. Webster and 2,000 belonging to the King; there is no end to their desire for sheep.

Sugar Cane Cultivation.

Niihau will be planted with sugar cane if the test on one acre goes well; and if the cane grows nicely, then planting will commence, but if it doesn’t grow, that’s it, because it is an arid land.

This is an undesirable land for those foreigners seeking to make money because it is dry and scorched by the sun, and crops die; but here are people who are after wealth, and they tell us, the locals, that this is very valuable land for sheep and cane; our good friend, H. M. Whitney, the local of Waimea and Niihau, along with his parents, are familiar with this island and its extreme heat in the Makalii months [summer]. I will stop writing as the Naulu rain of Niihau is falling. With aloha.

P. R. Holiohana.

Kihalaui, Niihau, May 2, 1864.

[This P. R. Holiohana (later it seems he goes by the name P. R. Holi) writes in to the newspapers often from Niihau on a number of subjects.]

(Kuokoa, 6/4/1864, p. 1)

Hana io ka Haole ia Niihau.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke III, Helu 23, Aoao 1. Iune 4, 1864.