This is an independent blog. Please note that I am nowhere near fluent, and that these are not translations, but merely works in progress. Please do comment if you come across misreads or anything else you think is important.
When the Hilo Ad Club visited Honolulu in Territorial Fair week, they all wore lauhala hats, which a few years ago were worn almost exclusively by Hawaii’s male citizens. Following up this re-introduction of the native woven Hawaiian headgear, J. Walter Doyle, who had charge of the publicity for the Fair, appeared on Honolulu’s streets with a widebrimmed papale, adorned with a pugaree.
Not a 15 years or more has the native-made lauhala hat been in the honored position as a part of the sartorial adornment of Honolulu’s men about town, but up to that time it held its own steadily against the encroachment of the straw sailor from Philadelphia and Troy and Camden, running a good second to the jaunty and serviceable Panama, then purchaseable at a reasonable price.
The increased duties on the real Panama have served to make the Panama a luxury as a part of men’s dress, while the lauhala, not fashionable enough to go with custom made serges and the creations of Broadway and State street finally went into the discard, despite its cool and shady qualities.
[Let’s bring it back! And who needs a pugaree when you can pair your hat with a nice lei…]
(Maui News, 7/4/1919, p. 1)
The Maui News, Twentieth Year, Number 1007, Page 1. July 4, 1919.
[Found in an advertisement for Hale’s Good Goods store in San Francisco]
In ready-to-wear hats
We are showing now a splendid variety of chic, nobby styles. This imitation of the Hawaiian hat, bound with silk and trimmed with silk and gold scarf, for $1.25 is a splendid illustration of the money’s worth we can give you Two or three others:…
(San Francisco Call, 3/24/1901, p. 32)
The San Francisco Call, Volume LXXXIX, Number 114, Page 32, March 24, 1901.
IF WE listen to fashion authorities today we are convinced that harmony is just important to millinery as it is to music, and its influence prevails in both alike. This may account for the Hawaiian influence extending from “Aloha oe” and the like to this new leghorn hat, which has a brim apparently unfinished, with the edge not a little suggestive of the grass skirts worn by Hawaiian belles. The brim is of natural color straw and the flowers and trimmings are made of straw, all of which are enhanced by way of contrast with the rich seafoam or blue crown of the favored Yo-San silk.
(Evening Ledger, 4/5/1917, p. 12)
Evening Ledger, Volume III, Number 174, Page 12. April 5, 1917.
A question which has long puzzled the friends of the Hawaiian people has been how to provide, for the ones who wish to work, suitable occupations. Critics of the Hawaiian race have been free in their statements to the effect that the Hawaii is lazy and unprogressive, in utter forgetfulness of the fact that it takes more than a generation or two to outlive the old customs more especially when the vitality of a once healthy people has been sapped by the vices and evil productions of socalled civilizasion.
This attitude on the part of many whites and the importation of foreign goods has very nearly doomed to extinction many industries distinctively Hawaiian, but a determined effort is being made to revive at least some of them before they are forgotten entirely.
Perhaps among the most interesting of these is that of making Hawaiian hats and in this a fine start towards establishing a truely native industry has already been made.
The prices commanded by Panama and Filipino hats is such as to encourage those who are looking after the present attempt as there is no doubt that as good hats can be made by the Hawaiian women as any that come from the places mentioned. For these expensive hats however there is of course a limited demand and it is towards the production of grades for ordinary wear that attention has been directed.
First attempts to enlist Hawaiian women in the work were discouraging but after some time Theodore Richards and the Atherton Estate, recognizing the importance of the work, took it up in order to assist the lady who had the matter in hand.
“When Mr. Richards heard of the work he became interested and at once offered a work room at the Kauluwela lodgings, on Vineyard street,” she said this morning, “with out that we could have done nothing. There the women work on the hats and on the braids. Some of the original Hawaiian patterns for braids had disappeared entirely. Others were recalled by native women who remembered them from the early days. Others we managed to get from the other islands and one or two I designed. We have now thirty patterns in all.” Continue reading →
Hoola Luahine—In these recent past days, women have been seen wearing tilted to the side, high-crowned hats made with skill, and when looking at this, it is becoming to the youth and to the elderly as well; and for this reason, this type of hat is called, a “hoola luahine [reviving old lady].” We are appreciative of this endeavor; it decreases the money spent on foreign hats.