Something to consider as more and more agricultural lands get covered over by concrete, 1911 / 2013.

THE STIRRING AND FLUTTERING OF TARO LEAVES TO DISAPPEAR

 We are discussing this problem, that being the disappearance of the fluttering taro leaves from places where kalo farming was seen often before. This is clear should our speculation be true.

The Bishop Trustees and those of Pauahi Bishop are considering putting an end for all time to the farming of kalo on lands owned by Bishop and Mrs. Pauahi Bishop here in Honolulu, or in all areas near Honolulu; there will be no more farming of kalo from now on. Should the reader take a look at the lands towards the ocean and towards the uplands of School Street, the majority of those kalo lands belong to Bishop and Pauahi, and should these large tracts of kalo-growing lands be put an end to, taro leaves growing there will no longer be seen, and two years hence, the leases with the Chinese taro farmers will come to an end; but these are not the only taro lands; in Manoa Valley, there are acres of kalo land. It can be said that most of the taro-farming lands in Manoa Valley belong to Bishop, and should the kalo farming be put to an end in that valley, then it is appropriate for us to say that taro leaves will disappear from the district of Kona, and when the leases are stopped, the lands will be dried up, and they will be made into lots to lease to those who have no homes, or they will be sold, like what is being considered by the Trustees of Bishop folks.

 One of the main reasons to end the farming of kalo on these lands is perhaps because if the farming of kalo continues, these areas will be places for infectious diseases to reside; through this, O Hawaiians, our end will come; if these kalo lands are dried out and kalo is not grown, then there will be no other lands for the Chinese to lease like these tracts of lands of many acres, and should they indeed be done away with, then the places where kalo is grown will decrease. As a result, the poi prices will increase, for where will kalo be readily obtained to supply this town and to get poi? For those who have taro fields, it is important that they continue to plant taro; there will not be the profits in that work like what we always speak of when talking of farming; and it is not just here that the leaves of the taro will no longer be seen, but it will disappear from Waikane, Waiahole, and Kahana, for the water there is going to the sugarcane plantations. Alas for us Hawaiians who hereafter will be left wandering, looking for kalo and poi. Rise O Hawaiians and continue to farm kalo lest you be left hungry, being that the stirring and fluttering of kalo leaves will disappear from Honolulu nei.

[This deserves to be retranslated nicely…]

(Kuokoa Home Rula, 8/18/1911, p. 2)

E NALOHIA ANA KA ONI AME KA LULI ANA O KA LAU KALO

Kuokoa Home Rula, Buke IX, Helu 33, Aoao 2. Augate 18, 1911.

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On kalo, poi, and life, 1901.

FARMING KALO.

When considering how we Hawaiians are being supplied with poi, there is not the slightest indication that the cost of our staple food will decrease, and it is also very clear that if what has happened in the past years continues on into the upcoming years, and we continue relying on the Chinese for our supply, it is obvious that the price of poi will shoot up, and we will not be able to eat poi.

As a result of the increase in the price of rice, the former taro lands are being planted with rice, and should the rice market continue to be favorable, then a majority of the Chinese will abandon taro and become rice farmers, then, the cost of kalo will skyrocket, and as a result, so too will the price of poi.

Therefore, in our opinion, Hawaiians should start farming kalo, and obtain its benefits; looking at the land situation these days, it is very clear that the price of poi will continue to rise for long into the future; and the Hawaiians or others perhaps who continue this occupation will not fail to reap its benefits.

That man will make himself prosper and he will supply those who are lacking poi at a fair price, and so we say, O Hawaiian people, go into the occupation of kalo farming, and there shall be many blessings.

[While rice is no longer being planted here, perhaps in its place are being planted buildings. What is there to be done today?]

(Lahui Hawaii, 6/22/1901, p. 4)

E MAHI KALO.

Ka Lahui Hawaii, Buke III, Helu 25, Aoao 4. Iune 22, 1901.

 

Makalei Cave, North Kona, Hawaii, 1924.

ENJOYMENT OF TIME

DESCRIPTION OF MAKALEI

This is a cave to the south of the hill of Akahipuu, and it was there that a man named Ko’amokumoku-o-hueia [Ko’amokumokuoheeia] lived, who came from Koolau and settled here, living as a newcomer.

And he lived here with his family: his wife, whose name was Kahaluu; and their two daughters; and one young son named Makalei.

And it was for this boy that this cave is called the cave of Makalei until this day.

While this man was living here, he began to farm taro, sweet potato, banana, sugar cane, and awa; and it all appeared to be well watered.

The natives of the area came to him and said, “The problem with this land is the water; it is a land without water, and you have to get water from the cave, but the places to store water here are kapu and cannot be fetched from in secret; if you are caught, you will be killed by the one who the water belongs.

Ko’amokumoku-o-heeia heard this talk of the locals, and this caused him to contemplate about where he and his family could get their water; and therefore, he made a reservoir [pa-o wai ?] for himself, and when the rains returned, water would fill receptacles [haona] then be held in the reservoir.

While living there with the family, one day, the boy went to relieve himself at a ravine behind their house, and while he was throwing the old waste into a plain old hole, right then wind blew out from that hole, and Makalei examined it and saw this deep, dark hole.

This boy was however not frightened at all; he stood up and went to where his father was farming and said:

“I went over there to defecate, but this is the astonishing thing, there was a lot of wind coming from that pit, maybe it is a hole of winds.”

“Where?” the father asked. “Down there,” and the father went to see.

When Ko’amokumoku-o-heeia reached the area and cleared away the stones covering the hole, he saw that it was a deep cave and wind rose from it as if it came from the mountains.

He turned and said to the child, “We have our place to hold water for our life here in this land without water, and I will make a hole for us to defecate in.”

The mouth to the cave was finished off nicely and there they defecated; while one side of the opening was made so that a person could enter.

No kamaaina knew of this cave, and he did not tell his wife, and nor did he talk of it again to his son; he totally refused to speak of the things pertaining to this cave.

One day, he entered the cave and saw the great vastness, and that he could walk upright without his head touching the wall above, and there was a lot of water dripping down; he decided to make containers [waa] of ohia, and containers of wiliwili.

In the night he fetched wiliwili and carried it on his back inside the cave, and it was inside of the cave that he dug until he made the opening of the wiliwili water container; the ohia chosen was dug out by the farmer and he carried it on his back into the cave. The inside of the cave grew criss-crossed with water troughs of wiliwili and ohia; there was just so many of the water containers that continued to be fitted inside.

When the dry season of this land returned as always, he did nothing other than farm, and he had ample water and had no problems with it.

It was at night that he fetched water and filled containers and gourds [olo], until the reservoir was full, and this was their drinking water for the month, and so forth.

The locals were suspicious about where these people go their water from, being that they did not see the source of their water, and they spoke often about the water of these malihini.

This cave still remains, and the entrance is very small but made like the entrance to a house, but within is very spacious and the walls are very tall.

When Maguire lived at Huehue, a great water catchment was built inside of the cave and a pipe was laid from the catchment until his house because he wanted cold water like ice water; also, pipes were laid above the catchment so that more water would go into it.

The story of this boy, Makalei is a beautiful one, along with his father, and it is a very long story; and should the writer have time to write this touching entertainment, then Makalei will be seen, the one whose name this cave is named after, Makalei Cave.

Here we will list the famous storied places [wahi pana kaulana] of these ahupuaa, from the sea until the summit of the mountain of Hualalai. With their names that they were called by the people of old.

1. Kileo hill.

2. Kaaialalaua.

3. Kapuukao.

4. Pahulu.

5. Moanuiahea.

6. Puumamaki.

7. Puuiki.

8. Puukoa.

9. Kaiwopele [Kaiwiopele].

10. Puuuhinuhinu.

11. Kahuaiki.

12. Kamawae.

13. Hikuhia, in the uplands of Napua.

14. Uau pooole [Uaupooole].

15. Na hale o Kaua [Nahaleokaua].

16. Kipuka o Oweowe.

17. Pualala.

18. Kawahapele.

19. Keoneeli.

20. Hinakapoula.

21. Kalulu.

22. Na puu Mahoe [Napuumahoe].

23. Kumu mamane [Kumumamane].

24. Kaluamakani.

25. Pohokinikini.

26. Hopuhopu.

27. Kipahee.

28. Hanakaumalu.

29. Kapuu o Honuaula [Honuaula Hill].

30. Ka puu o Hainoa [Hainoa Hill].

31. The summit of Hualalai and the pit of Milu.

32. Kipahee.

33. Makanikiu, Hill.

The pit of Milu [lua o Milu] spoken of is the pit which Hikuikanahele went to fetch Kawelu under the [Nuu ?] of Milu, the chief of the dark night; this is the round pit atop the summit of Hualalai which still remains to this day; it is a very deep hole and if you drop a rock down the pit, you will not hear the rattling of the rock.

The width of the mouth of this pit is perhaps about 6 to 7 feet in my estimation as I am familiar with those regions.

The water of Kipahee is a pit which goes down and reaches a spring.

It is not rippling water from which to scoop water out of, but it is moss [limu] which you collect until the container is full and then return to the top.

Climbing back up is troublesome; should you try to go straight up thinking you will exit immediately, you won’t be able to because you will keep sliding back until you are sitting after exhaustion from sliding down. In order to return to the top with ease, you have to climb zigzag, turning to the right and then to the left, and that is how you climb back to the top easily.

(Not complete.)

[This article continues into the next issue (6/5/1924, p. 4) and is signed: “Ka Ohu Haaheo I na Kuahiwi Ekolu. Kona Hawaii, April 30 1924.”]

(Hoku o Hawaii, 5/29/1924, p. 4)

NA HOONANEA O KA MANAWA

Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Buke XVIII, Helu 1, Aoao 4. Mei 29, 1924.

Poi description in English. 1909.

[Found under: “Our English Items”]

What is Poi?

Mr. Lorrin Andrews in his Hawaiian Dictionary gives the following definition of the word Poi: “The paste or pudding which was formerly the chief food of Hawaiians, and is so to a great extent yet. It is made of kalo, sweet potatoes or breadfruit, but mostly of kalo, by baking the above articles in ovens under ground, and afterwards peeling and pounding them with more or less water (but not much); it is then left in a mass to ferment; after fermentation, it is again worked over with more water until it has the consistency of thick paste. It is eaten cold with fingers.”

The learned Hawaiian lexiographer [lexicographer] do not give the exact meaning of the word. Poi is a name given to mashed Kalo, potatoe, breadfruit or banana. The Kalo (a species of arum ex-culentum [arum esculentum] when cooked, is mashed or pounded with a stone, especially made for that purpose, until it becomes like a good soft (flour) dough. From that stage it is then reduce to what is called—poi. It is only at this stage the word poi is used. When the taro is merely mashed, or pounded into a hard pulpy mass, it is called a pa’i-ai or pa’i-kalo. When it is reduced to a still softer condition, and could be twisted by fingers, it is then called poi—whether hard or soft (poi paa or poi wali). When the poi is too soft, it is called poi hehee.

Our kanaka savant ventures to give his definition of Poi. He thinks that it primarily means to gather up; to collect, to pull up; to hold or lift up an article, lest it falls down or spills over. It is analogous to the word Hii, “to lift up; to carry upon the hips and support with the arms, as a child.” An expert poi pounder will call the attention of an unskillful person when pounding taro, saying: “E poi mai ka ai i ole e haule mawaho o ka papa.” (Gather up the ai (foot [food]) lest it falls over the board). He found a French definition of the word “poi” in Boniface Mosblech’s “Vocabulaire Oce’anien—Francais, et cetera, (Paris, 1843) to wit: “boullie de taro” (soft taro). That does not give the derivative definition of the word (kalo) any better than Mr. Andrews.

In conclusion we add the old legend pertaining to the origin of Kalo (taro).

Wakea was the husband, and Papa was the wife, and they two were supposed by some ancient Hawaiian tradition, the first progenitors of the Hawaiian race. They lived on the Koolau side of the Island of Oahu, and also at Kalihi. Their first born son was of premature birth. The little fellow died and its body was buried at one end of their house. After a while, from where the child’s body was buried a new kind of plant shot up. Nobody knows what it was. Finally, green leaves appeared. Wakea called the leaves “Lau-kapa-lili” (the quivering leaves) and the long stalk or stem of the plant was called “Ha-Loa” (long stalk or stem). The plant was finally called by Wakea as “Haloa.”

(Kuokoa Home Rula, 1/1/1909, p.1)

What is Poi?

Kuokoa Home Rula, Buke VII, Helu 1, Aoao 1. Ianuari 1, 1909.

Poi and Kalo and a self sufficient Hawaii, 1915.

THE TIME WILL COME WHEN POI WILL BE SCARCE.

It would appear that the days are numbered, and 5 pounds of poi will go for a quarter, that is five cents per pound. This rise in price of poi is due to the lack of kalo, and perhaps because Hawaiians just don’t care to plant kalo in their fields.

These days in Honolulu, there are but few places that plant kalo. Places that loi kalo were seen are now dried out because the lands were accrued by other groups of people, and they dried the fields out; whereas it would be more beneficial if those back turners continued the planting of kalo. It has been almost two years since this spokesperson [the newspaper Ke Aloha Aina] first advised those with lands to farm them, for the time will come when there will be food shortages, at that time, America will declare war against Germany, which will intensify the problem, and that time we spoke of has come indeed. As proof of what we say, look to the issues of A. D. 1915–16, and you will find our words of advice, strongly encouraging Hawaiians to plant kalo and other crops, because the time will come when there will be hardships, and it will come, without fail.

Something terribly astonishing to us is that it as if kalo is being made into poi outside of Hawaii, for the cost is rising like goods imported here.

Why is this so? Because there is so little kalo being farmed, and there are a lot of people eating poi. These days, there are other ethnicities eating poi because their staples are expensive, and therefore, many people are eating poi and not much kalo is being planted.

We give our appreciation to the poi association of the stevedores which took some kalo lands and leased them out long term to plant kalo to supply their outlets at the markets and feed the poi-eating public.

Probably the public doesn’t realize that these days there is a poi shortage; maybe they continue to assume that poi is as usual. No! There is less poi now; six and a half pounds for a quarter, and some weeks it is just six pounds and sometimes five pounds for a quarter, which is five cents per pound.

So all you people with some kalo land, you should plant a lot of kalo and pull up well-developed corms when the time is right. Neglect during the day will leave you without. Work while the sun is up.

(Aloha Aina, 9/7/1917, p. 4)

E HIKI AKU ANA I KA MANAWA E LIILII LOA AKU AI O KA POI

Ke Aloha Aina, Buke XXII, Helu 36, Aoao 4. Sepatemaba 7, 1917.