New Years celebration in Kalawao, 1888.


On new year’s day of this year, a feast was held in the land of the leprosy patients at Kalawao by the Board of Health, and all of the patients were invited to gather within the party lanai where they feasted upon the things prepared for them. Mr. Ambrose Hitchcock [Hutchinson], the Assistant Superintendent of the Hospital, sent a letter to the President of the Board of Health, reporting on the good outcome of the efforts done for the leprosy patients.

Upon that same ship which arrived the letter from the Assistant Superintendent, the President [of the Board of Health] also received a letter of appreciation in Hawaiian, which was signed by the Committee chosen by the patients, to express their delight in the kind act done by the Board of Health for them. Here is a copy of that document.

N. B. Emerson, Esq.,

President of the Board of Health:

“Aloha oe—We are the Committee chosen by the Assistant Superintendent of the Leprosy Colony, whose names appear below; we humbly put before you our expression in response to your gift spread before the patients, to celebrate the new year.

“The patients are joyous and delighted with the great blessings sent by you, they ate until full, and this a something brand new for them.

“This is our expression, respectfully,

J. Kahaulelio,  S. Kamahalo,

F. Gaiser,  A. Puaaloa,

J. A. Kamakini,  P. Kaluna,

J. Kahauola,  S. Kamoahaku,

P. Kiha,  Kunui.

“Done and signed at Kalawao, January 12, 1888.”

[I think that the phrase, “this is something brand new for them,” is something to ponder and consider.]

(Kuokoa, 1/21/1888, p. 2)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XXVII, Helu 3, Aoao 2. Ianuari 21, 1888.

Poi made from wheat flour in Kalawao and Kalaupapa, 1879.

Poi Palaoa.

O Kuokoa Newspaper; Aloha oe:—

Here in the colony of the leprosy patients in Kalawao and Kalaupapa, flour is used to make poi [poi palaoa]; it is similar to poi made of breadfruit [poi ulu] in the yellow color, and it is truly delicious; it is a lot like taro poi [poi kalo]: your stomach doesn’t get sore, and you become full indeed; we have no poi because the taro won’t arrive to these Koolau cliffs because of the terrible weather during these months.

This new poi began at Iliopii, by a Hawaiian who lived in California who was used to making it there, and that is how he spread this new poi here; and the benefits of this poi is now known, and therefore, our poi problems are over during this stormy period, and should calm weather return, the patients will get their paʻi ʻai¹ [pai kalo].

Poi palaoa is very appropriate when working because you stay full, and it is fun to make when you get used to it, and so too with rice mixed with crackers and stirred up in a pot; when it boils and is cooked, it is time for to fill the stomach, and you will be always full.

The Superintendent of the Leprosy Patients.

In my observations, our Superintendent, Mr. N. B. Emerson [Emekona], M. D. is quick with filling the storehouse [hale papaa] with flour [palaoa], rice [raiki], crackers [barena], bags of sugar [eke kopaa], and salmon [kamano]; there is nothing to complain of Kapuukolu.²

Worship. Worship always happens now: Protestants [Hoole Pope], Mormons [Moremona], and Catholics [Katolika]; their meetings on Sundays are always full; life of the patients is peaceful now, not like before when Damien [Damiano] and when W. K. Sumner were Superintendent; there were uprisings from drinking okolehao and other alcoholic drinks made of ti, sweet potato [uala], and so forth.

Bell of the Church of Kalaupapa. On the 5th of Feb., the Bell arrived on the Warwick; a very fine bell which was a gift from the Sunday School of Kaukeano and the brethren of that church; and now it hangs proudly in its honored steeple with its ringing voice in the cliff faces of Kalaupapa, and it points out the movement of the hands of the clock, and the Sunday School of Kalaupapa fully appreciates the gift of the Sunday School of Kaukeano.

S. K. K. Kanohokula.

Kalaupapa, Feb. 18, 1879.

¹Although i tend not to use ʻokina and kahakō, i marked “pai ai” here for added clarity.

²Kapuukolu is a place on Kauai, figuratively used to represent abundance of good food.

(Kuokoa, 3/15/1879, p. 2)

Ka Poi Palaoa.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XVIII, Helu 11, Aoao 2. Maraki 15, 1879.