Why are some religions “real” while others are “superstitions,” “myths,” and “legends”? 1905 / today.

WAKEA THE POLYNESIAN

(By Rev. W. D. Westervelt in Paradise of the Pacific.)

The fountain source of the Mississippi has been discovered and re-discovered. The origin of the Polynesian race has been a subject for discovery and re-discovery. The older theory of Malay origin as set forth in the earlier encyclopædias is now recognized as untenable. The Malays followed the Polynesians rather than preceded them. The comparative study of Polynesian legends leads almost irresistibly to the conclusion that Polynesians were Aryans, coming at least from India to Malaysia and possibly coming from Arabia, as Fornander of Hawaii so earnestly argues. It is now accepted that the Polynesians did not originate from Malay parentage, and that they did occupy for an indefinite period the region around the Sunda Straits from Java to the Molucca Islands, and also that the greater portion of the Polynesians was driven out from this region and scattered over the Pacific in the early part of the Christian Era. The legends that cluster around Wakea have greatly aided in making plain some things concerning the disposition of the Polynesians. By sifting the legends of Hawaii-loa, we learn how the great voyager becomes one of the first Vikings of the Pacific. His home at last is found to be Gilolo of the Molucca Islands. From the legends we become acquainted with Wakea (possibly meaning “noonday” or “the white time” and his wife Papa (“earth”), the most widely remembered of all the ancestors of the Polynesian race. Their names are found in the legends of the most prominent island groups, and the highest places are granted them among the chief dieties. Their deeds belong to the most ancient times—the creation or discovery of the various islands of the Pacific world. Those who worshipped Wakea and Papa are found in such widely separated localities that it must be considered impossible for even a demi-god to have had so many homes. Atea or Wakea was one of the highest gods of the Marquesas islands. Here his name means “light.” The Marquesans evidently look back of all their present history and locate Atea in the ancient home land. Va-tea, in the Society Islands, Wakea in Hawaii and New Zealand, Makea-Vakea and Akea are phonetic variations of the one name when written down by the students who made a written form for words repeated from generation to generation by word of mouth alone. Even under the name Wakea this ancient chief is known by most widely separated islands. The only reasonable explanation for this widespread reference to Wakea is that he was an ancestor belonging in common to all the scattered Polynesians. It seems as if there must have been a period when Wakea was king of chief of a united people. He must have been of great ability and probably was the great king of the United Polynesians. If this were the fact it would naturally result that his memory would be carried wherever the dispersed race might go.

In the myths and legends of the Hervey Islands, Vatea is located near the beginning of their national existence.” Then there came upon the ancient world Te Vaerua, “the breath” or “the life.” Then came the god time—Te Manawa roa, “the long ago.” Then their creation legends locate Vari, a woman whose name means “the beginning,” a name curiously similar to the Hebrew word bara, to create, as in Gen. 1:1. Her children were torn out of her breasts and given homes in the ancient mist land, with which without any preparation or introduction, Hawa-iki is confused in a part of the legend. One of the children of Vari dwelt in a “sacred tabu island” and became the god of the fish. Another sought a home “where the red parrots’ feathers were gathered”—the royal feathers for the high chief’s garments. Another became the echo-god and lived in the “hollow grey rocks.” Another as the gods of the winds went far out “on the deep ocean.” Another, a girl, found a home, “the silent land,” with her mother. Wakea, or Vatea, the eldest of this family remained in Avaiki (Hawaii) the ancestral home—”the bright land of Vatea.” Here he married Papa. This Ava-iki was to the Herveyites of later generations the fiery volcanic under-world. When the long sea voyages ceased after some centuries, the islanders realized that Ava-iki was very closely connected with their history. They had but a misty idea of far off lands, and they did know of earthquakes and lava caves and volcanic fires—so they located Ava-iki as the secret world under their islands. This underworld with legendary inconsistency was located on the ocean’s surface, when it became necessary to have their islands discovered by the descendants of Vatea. According to the Hervey legends, Vatea is the father of Lono and Kanaloa, two of the great gods of the Polynesians. They are twins. Lono has three sons, whom he sends away. They sail out through many heavens and from Ava-iki “pull up” out of the deep ocean two of the Hervey islands. The natives of the Hervey group supposed that the horizon around their group inclosed the world. Beyond this world were heaves after heavens. A daring voyager by sailing through the sky line would break out from this world into an unknown world or a heaven bounded by new horizons. Strangers thus “broke through” from heaven to heaven, sometimes making use of the path of the sun. Thus about twenty-five generations ago Raa (possibly Laa, the Hawaiian), broke down the horizon’s bars and established a line of kings in Raiatea. So also when Captain Cook came to the Hervey Islands the natives said: “Whence comes this strange thing? It has climbed up (come up forcibly) from the thin land the home of Wakea.” He had pierced the western heavens from which their ancestors had come. Continue reading

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And more on the Maori, 1920.

Comparison of New Zealand and Hawaii, the Hawaiian People and the Maori.

In the English morning newspaper [Pacific Commercial Advertiser] of the 17th of June, that mouthpiece published a clarification between the island of New Zealand and Hawaii, the population of the Maori lahui living today and that of the Hawaiian lahui.

That English paper said the area of New Zealand is 160,000 square miles, and that there are 50,00 Maori living today. As for Hawaii, it is 6,500 square miles, and there are 20,000 of its lahui living currently; and these two people are very much alike in language and genealogy.

However, the Maori have 500,000 heads of sheep, 60,000 heads of cattle, and 50,000 heads of horses. In Hawaii nei, the job of raising livestock is left to the other ethnicities, and the Hawaiians themselves, they raise a few chickens and a couple or three pigs.

In comparing these islands, New Zealand is fifteen times as big as Hawaii nei, but the total Hawaiians are more than the Maori per square miles; the comparisons put forth by the English paper are correct, all but what was said about our few chickens and pigs.

That comparison criticizes  and ridicules the Hawaiian people. But the one who wrote these comparisons pertaining to the chickens and pigs is not far from these things of which he mocks the Hawaiian people about, for his wife is a Hawaiian, and he is a Kolea bird¹ from America.

¹The kolea is the migrating plover, that is used to symbolize people who come to Hawaii, and like these birds, feed off of the riches only to leave after getting fat.

[I will have to check on who the writer was. Too bad the Advertiser is not online!]

(Aloha Aina, 7/4/1920, p. 4)

Na Hoohalike ana ia New Zealand me Hawaii, ka lahui Hawaii a me ka Maori

Ke Aloha Aina, Buke XXXX, Helu 43, Aoao 4. July 3, 1920.

More on Maori visit, 1920.

[Found under: “On The Other Islands”]

Returns Green Stone—Because the visiting Maoris from New Zealand declined to be initiated on Sunday into the Hale o na Alii, Princess Kawananakoa returned to the Maoris the beautiful green New Zealand stone which they had presented her at her reception in their honor.

(Maui News, 7/2/1920, p. 6)

Returns Green Stone

The Maui News. 21st Year, Number 1059, Page 6. July 2, 1920.

Maori visit Hawaii, 1920.

This is Mr. J. K. Mokumaia with the Maori malihini, photographed before the statue of Kamehameha; they are Mr. and Mrs. Clark of New Zealand. The woman is the last kaukau alii [kaukaualii hope loa ??], and they came to do good works by strengthening the missionaries of the Latter Day.

[The text is pretty clear, but during the last decades of the newspapers, you will notice more and more typos, as you can see here.

If the newspapers were reshot clearly, the image would no doubt be much more crisp.]

(Kuokoa, 7/9/1920, p. 3)

Mr. J. K. Mokumaia keia...

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LVIII, Helu 28, Aoao 3. Iulai 9, 1920.

Meeting with Maori residents of Hawaii, 1920.

AUDIENCE WITH THE MAORI AT THE HOME OF MRS. A. P. TAYLOR.

In the uplands of Manoa, at the home of Mrs. A. P. (Ahuena) Taylor, at “Luana Pua,” an audience was held to honor the Maori of New Zealand [Nu Kilani], living in this town; and attending were many Hawaiians, where they spent a long time, last night, meeting with the malihini, while they compared the old Hawaiian stories with that of the Maori people.

This is the second time which the Maoris appeared at the home of Mrs. A. P. Taylor, on that night, because of the desire of these malihini to have proper time for them to meet and discuss with the descendents of the important families of Hawaii nei.

Present were the descendents of the line of Kamehameha and Kalakaua on that night, there also were some kamaaina who had a deep understanding of the history of the Hawaiian people, to satisfy the desire of the malihini.

Within Mrs. A. P. Taylor, as well as in all of the people who gathered there last night, was the wish to find the genealogy shared between the Hawaiians and the Maori people, and that it be in accordance with the stories memorized by the Maori; and it is their true belief that the Maori came from the Hawaiians by Hawaiians travelling to New Zealand.

This night was spent with talking between the malihini and kamaaina, as the crowd was entertained by singing, while light foods were passed before all who were invited.

Amongst those present at this meeting was: Princess Kawananakoa, Kaukaualii Stella Keomailani Kea, Kaukaualii Kekaaniau Pratt, Judge S. B. Dole, Mrs. Mary Jane Montano, Edwin Kea, Kaukaualii Lucy K. Peabody, Mr. and Mrs. E. Henriques, Mrs. E. M. Nakuina, Mrs. Irene Holloway, Mrs. K. Hutchinson, Misses Lani Mercy and Misses Lani Hutchinson, Mr. and Mrs. K. Beckley, L. Beckley, G. H. Beckley, Mr. and Mrs. M. Kahea, Mr. and Mrs. W. K. Taylor, Miss Mabel Taylor, Mrs. E. Straus, Mrs. K. Kali, Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Lane, Mr. and Mrs. C. Maertens, Miss Anna Maertens, Mrs. E. M. Foster, Mr. and Mrs. I. R. Burns, Mr. and Mrs. H. Afong, Mrs. J. M. Riggs, Col. and Mrs. C. P. Iaukea, Mr. and Mrs. M. Ahia, Mrs. N. Mahelona, Misses Mahelona, Mrs. M. Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. D. Hoapili, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. A. K. Hoapili, Miss Hoapili, A. Hoapili, K. Hoapili, G. Kealohapauole, Mrs. K. Mahoe, Mr. and Mrs. Hans Gittel, Mr. and Mrs. W. Simerson, Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Harbottle, Rev. and Mrs. S. Kamaiopili, Mr. and Mrs. E. Boyd, Mrs. K. Wallace, Judge and Mrs. A. G. M. Robertson, Mr. and Mrs. Chillingworth, Mr. and Mrs. S. Chillingworth, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. F. Hons, Mrs. Lahilahi Webb, Mrs. E. S. Cunha, Miss Irene Dickson, W. A. Beckley, Mr. and Mrs. J. Kamanoulu, Mrs. J. H. Wilson, Rev. Akaiko Akana, Mrs. Niau Iaukea, Mrs. S. Parker, Mr. and Mrs. Robt. Hind, Miss HInd, Miss Mary Low, Mr. and Mrs. Eben Low, Mrs. Hannah Paris, Mrs. Caroline Robinson, Miss Kathleen Ward, Miss Lucy Ward, Miss Kulamanu Ward, Mr. and Mrs. Hanohano, Mrs. K. Bishaw, Mr. and Mrs. C. Long, Mrs. Lewis, Mrs. Mana, Mrs. Myra Iona, Mr and Mrs. E. W. Burgess, Mrs. P. Phillips, Mrs. M. Fernandez, Mrs. Edwin Fernandez, Rev. and Mrs. Maikai, Mr. and Mrs. M. Robinson, Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Peterson, Mr. and Mrs. E. P. Irwin, Mr. and Mrs. D. Peterson, Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Cottrell, Mrs. Hilda Techera, Mrs. Kamaka Stillman, Mr. and Mrs. Cushingham, Mrs. Ellen Dwight, Misses Holt, Mrs. C. W. Spitz, Mrs. T. B. Walker, Mr. and Mrs. Constable, Captain and Mrs. W. E. Miles, Mrs. Victoria Buffandeau, Mr. and Mrs. W. Paikuli, H. L. Holstein, Carl Widemann.

[To have been a fly on the wall here…!]

(Kuokoa, 6/18/1920, p. 4)

KA AHA IKE A NA MAORI MA KA HOME O MRS. A. P. TAYLOR.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LVIII, Helu 24, Aoao 4. Iune 18, 1920.

Bishop Alfred Willis Leaves for Tonga, 1902.

BISHOP WILLIS TO TONGA.

Bishop Alfred E. Willis is leaving Hawaii, and not returning, aboard the steamship Ventura on the 28th of this month for Tutuila, Samoa, and from there for the island of Tonga, where he intends to take up the work of his church. Last Saturday he closed the doors of Iolani School, one of the very well known schools of this town in days gone by,  and it was established by this bishop for the advancement of the native children of this land. For his good works, there were many people gave their expressions of aloha and precious gifts to him when they heard that he will forever leave this land that he became a local to.

The population of the people of this island on which the bishop is intending to go teach the word of Christ to is 20,000; and with this number, 100 are haole. And should this trek to this island does not go well, he will continue on to New Zealand where he will put down roots.

(Aloha Aina, 5/24/1902, p. 4)

BIHOPA WILISI NO TONGA.

Ke Aloha Aina, Buke VIII, Helu 21, Aoao 4. Mei 24, 1902.

Ara, the Maori Wizard, 1912.

ARA, THE MAORI WIZARD

[Here is an image of Ara, mentioned in the previous post. See the rest of the article here: A Trip Around the World.

Also see more English-language coverage in Chronicling America!]

(Hawaiian Star, 2/10/1912, p. 12)

ARA, THE MAORI WIZARD

The Hawaiian Star, Volume XIX, Number 6198, Page 12. February 10, 1912.