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kamakua : hawaii, 1871 
Samuel Kamakua  : Ruling Chiefs of Hawaii, 1861-1871.

Extracted from
Kamakua, Samuel Manaiakalani (1815-1876): Ruling Chiefs of Hawai
The Kamehameha Schools Press, Honolulu, 1961.
Translated from a series of Hawaiian language articles originally published in
Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Honolulu, 1866 to 1869.
Ke Au Oko a, Honolulu,1869 to 1871.

Kamaku's writings arein two basic sections.
The first is largely based on traditional legends and largely reports them with only minor commentary and largely avoids imposing a cultural perspective.
The second, a modern history since European contact, strongly reflects his Christian beliefs, and many features of the traditional society are considered morally blameworthy.
A similar division is also apparent in the work of the other two noted Hawaiian historians, David Malo and John 'I'i.
This is to be expected since the missionaries were responsible for the develpoment of a written Hawaiian language and all three converted and were educated at missionary church schools.

Story of 'Umi
Page 10

'Umi hearkened to the advice that Pi'i-mai-wa'a brought from his mother and went to live in the district of Hilo near the boundary of Hamakua.

When the season came for bonito (aku) fishing down at Laupahoehoe, the harbor from which those of that land went fishing, his adopted sons went too.
They obtained bonito whenever they went out because they helped to man the canoes.

'Umi and his wives went sea bathing, surfing (he'e nalu), riding on the surf (kaha nalu), and a certain chief of Laupahoehoe noticed ...

Page 11

'Umi's skill in surf-riding.
His name was Pai'ea, and he knew all the surfs and the best one to ride.
It was the one directly in front of Laupahoehoe, facing Hilo.
It was a huge one which none dared to ride except Pai'ea, who was noted for his skill.
Gambling on surfing was practiced in that locality.
All of the inhabitants from Waipunalei to Ka'ula placed their wager on 'Umi, and those of Laupahoehoe on Pai'ea.
The two rode the surf, and while surfing Pai'ea noticed that 'Umi was winning.
As they drew near a rock, Pai'ea crowded him against it, skinning his side.
'Umi was strong and pressed his foot against Pai'ea's chest and then landed ashore.
'Umi won against Pai'ea, and because he crowded 'Umi against the rock with the intention of killing him, Pai'ea was roasted in an imu [in later years.]

The Story of Kiha-a-Pi'i-lani
Page 25
Kiha-a-Pi'i-lani had a perfect physique and was good-looking from head to feet, without mark or blemish.
Because he lived in comfort and ate properly, his body filled out.
His constant bathing in the sea reddened his cheeks to the color of a cooked crab, and [made] his eyes as bright as those of a moho' ea bird.
The surf on which Ho'olae's daughter surfed was called Ke-anini.
It was inside of the bay of Kapueokahi, a surf that broke easily.
Ho'olae's daughter was accustomed to surf-riding.
Kiha-a-Pi'i-lani was used to surfing at Waikiki, and he often boasted of those with a long sweep, the surf of Ka-lehua-wehe and the surf of Mai-hiwa.

Two to four days Kiha-a-Pi'i-lani and Kolea-moku spent in surf-riding.
Noticing his handsome appearance, Kolea-moku made love to him.
The girl was determined to have him for a husband, but her father was set against it because she was betrothed to the ruling chief, Lono- a-Pi'i-lani.
The flowers wilted in the sunlight when she saw this other man [her desire for her betrothed died away].
As they made love to each other, she asked, "Whose son are you? Where is your home-land ?"
He answered, "My father is Ka-hu'a-kole.
Kawaipapa in Waipuna'a'ala [another name for Waipuna'alae?] is our native land, and our home is there."
For several days after that he did not go surfing.
After waiting two days, Ho'olae's daughter wondered where the lover she thought ...

Page 26
... so much of had gone.
She remembered some houses that were once pointed out to her, and so she went by way of the upland of Waika-'ahiki to Waikaloa and on to Kawaipapa, accompanied by some women.
Upon arriving on the lowland of Kawaipapa, they came to Kiha-a-Pi'i- lani's house where they were happily greeted.
She was eager to be married to him.
They were married, and Kolea-moku became the wife ot Kiha-a-Pi'i-lani.

Inter-Island Mobility
Page 64

Keawe was a chief who was fond of traveling and he traveled about Maui, Molokai, Oahu, and Kauai.
(Hence the saying, "Red-eyed was Keawe on Kauai, bald-headed was Keawe on Hawaii.")

Canoe Construction
Page 41

After the enemies of Keawe-nui-a-'Umi had flown away to the sky (two birds, accused of rotting the centres of large trees at harvest), a man was found who was an expert in putting on canoe parts and in hollowing the log.
His name was Lulana, and he came from Kipahulu, Maui.
This man's skill was noticed when he went to the upland and saw two very large trees, one on either side of the trail.
These were hollow trees used as dwellings by some of the canoe-makers.
When the stranger went to the upland he noticed them and said to Keawe-nui-a-'Umi's canoe-making experts, "These will make good canoes for the chief, as the centers are hollowed already."
The chief's men replied, "Who would convert these hollow trees into canoes? They are used as shelters for canoe-makers, bird-catchers, and experts in canoe-making.."
Lulana said, "These are easy to use, for the opening is already there.
They will be fine canoes, and there are no defects.
If these were made into canoes for the chief, they would be excellent."
The hewing began at the spot pointed out by Lulana, until both fell.
The large side branches and tops were cut off, the bark stripped until none remained on the outside, the prow and stem shaped, the sides smoothed off, and the prow and stem polished smooth.
The canoe was then turned up, the edges leveled, and as the canoe was already hollow, leaving only the two sides at the opening, the opening was then shaped.
The opening was already there, so there was little work needed on it.
The work was soon finished, and it was seen that there were no canoes to equal the canoes of Lulana in the days of 'Umi or of the ancient chiefs before him.

Word was carried to Keawe-nui-a-'Umi of the fine canoes made by Lulana, that they were beautiful and free from defects.
No canoes as beautiful had ever been seen in olden times.
They were twenty anana long [20 fathoms] and one anana and one iwilei [1 1/2 fathoms] in depth.
When Keawe-nui-a-'Umi heard of the doings of this expert who was unequalled in his skill, he was filled with happiness and joy.
In no time the canoes were finished inside and ready to be hauled to the shore.
Keawe-nui-a-'Umi, the chiefs, lesser chiefs, and commoners hauled the canoes to the shore of Hilo. Lulana became a favorite and was made qhief over all canoe experts (po' e kahuna kala'i) on Hawaii by Keawe-nui-a-'Umi.

Lulana and all the experts put together the canoes of Keawe-nui.
When the pieces (la'au) and all the things which belong to a canoe were fitted together, the canoe which was to take the place of the outrigger float (that is, the 'ekea canoe) was set alongside.
Then the booms ('iako) of the canoe were put on.
When the four large inner booms had been fixed, then were added the two booms for holding together the forward ...

Page 42

... and rear ends of the double-canoe (na 'iako elua i na umi 0 na umi'i 0 mua a me hope).
Now the wash strakes (palepale) were set over the booms, on the inside and outside.
In front were placed the bow pieces (kua po'i).
After the clamping down (uma) of the rear pieces of the canoe and the fastening with running sennit-cord (holo 'aha), the platform midway between the canoes was lashed on.
Just over the arch of the main booms was set up the house for the chief, so that the chiefs could sleep on the platform.
It was lashed securely (helea) with sennit just as for the lashing (lu'ukia ana) of the booms.
There at the big boom over the large lugs (pepeiao) the sail (pe'a) was set up (kukia).
When the little imperfections of the canoe had been remedied, then all that was left was to sail it on the ocean.*

* The canoe-making passage is translated by Kenneth Emory from terms identified by Mr. Kupihea.

The Story of Lono
Page 52

When Lono sailed from Hawaii, his emblem was erected, and on the tops of  the masts hung ka'upu bird [skins] like banners, the wing-spreads of which were a fathom and ...

Page 53

... more in length.
They were hung at the very top of the masts.
His voyage to meet the chiefs of Maui was an awesome sight.

Kama-Iala-walu, ruler of Maui, met him and welcomed him royally.
The chiefly host and guest spent much time in surfing, a sport that was enjoyed by all.
It showed which man or, which woman was skilled; not only that, but ,which man or woman was the best looking.
It was a pleasing sight, and that was why chiefs and commoners enjoyed surfing.
Lono and Kama surfed until evening.

Page 54

After Lono departed from Maui, he made a circuit of Molokai.
The chiefs of Molokai spent some time at Kalaupapa to surf.
Halawa was the second-best place where the Molokai chiefs liked to surf.
They welcomed the chief of Hawaii.

Lono sailed away and landed at Lapawai, Kailua, Oahu.
Ka-'ihi-kapu-a-Kuhi-hewa was the chief of the hilly Ko'olau side of the island, and Lono was graciously welcomed by him.

Page 55

Lono went with Ka-'ihi-kapu to surf at Kalapawai.
The chief's home was named Pamoa, and the thing that was much done there was to recite the chant of Kuhi-hewa II, called Ke-alialia.
Kuhi-hewa appropriated the chant for himself, for it had belonged to a woman of Kauai.
Lono had learned the chant from this woman, whose name was 'Ohai-kawili-'ula.
When Lono wandered insane on Kauai he adopted her as a relative (ho'owahine), and thus learned the chant.
After surfing, the chiefs returned to the house.
The sacred cord was set up [at the entrance], and the guards would not admit anyone with a wet loin cloth.
The native chief could receive a dry loin cloth and step over his own tabu sign, but the stranger could not receive a dry loin cloth until he was able to chant one chant.
Lono, chief of Hawaii, was made to feel humiliation by being refused a loin cloth unless he chanted the chant of the Oahu chief.
Lono said, "My attendants composed that chant, Ke-alialia, for me and not for any other chief."
The Oahu chiefs asked Lanahu-'imi-haku and others, "Is it true that the chant, Ke-alialia, was composed for Lono ?"
They replied, "We do not know, for we have not heard that it belonged to him.
He claims that his attendants composed it when he was a child, but we deny that he had a chant like that."
When Lono made comparison with his version of Ke-alialia, those who appropriated it and gave it to Ka-kuhi-hewa II failed to complete it.
Lono won Ke-alialia. (This is a lengthy chant.)
Fishing was another sport enjoyed by Ka-kuhi-hewa and Lono.
Ka-kuhi-hewa lost in that contest of skill.
In canoe-racing and other sports Ka-kuhi-hewa lost to the chief of Hawaii.

Inter-Island Mobility
Page 64

Keawe was a chief who was fond of traveling and he traveled about Maui, Molokai, Oahu, and Kauai.
(Hence the saying, "Red-eyed was Keawe on Kauai, bald-headed was Keawe on Hawaii.")

Events of Ka-lani-'opu'u's Time
Page 105

After the death of Captain Cook and the departure of his ship, Ka-lani-'opu'u moved to Kainaliu near Honua'ino and, after some months, to Keauhou where he could surf in the waves of Kahalu'u and Holualoa, and then to Kailua.
He delighted in the hula dance.

While Ka-lani-'opu'u was amusing himself with the pleasures of the dance, trouble came in the form of a famine in Kona.
He ordered all the products of the cultivated areas to be seized, even those which were the people's property.
The people wept bitterly over this seizure of their property, and life in Kona became so uncomfortable that the chief said to his household, "Let us make a circuit of the island, eat, waste, enjoy ourselves, dance and sleep or not as we please."

Page 106

Perhaps Ka-lani-'opu'u was by this time senile with age.
At Kapa'au in North Kohala he selected a place at Hinakahua for sports and games such as hula dancing, kilu spining, maika rolling, and sliding sticks.
Meanwhile rebellion was brewing.
It was I-maka-koloa, a chief of Puna, who rebelled, I-maka-koloa the choice young 'awa [favorite son] of Puna.
He seized the valuable products of his district, which consisted of hogs, gray tapa cloth ('eleuli) , tapas made of mamaki bark, fine mats made of young pandanus blossoms ('ahu hinalo) , mats made of young pandanus leaves ('ahuao) , and feathers of the 'o'o and mamo birds of Puna.

Nu'u-anu-pa'ahu, chief of Ka-'u, was also in the plot to rebel, but he was at this time with Ka-lani-'opu'u, and Ka-lani-'opu'u feared Nu'u-anu-pa'ahu.
Ka-lola in the meantime was with Kiwala'o on Maui.
Ka-lani-'opu'u ordered nets from Hilo and lines for albacore fishing (aho hi-ahi) from Puna and from Kalae in Ka-'u; and Ka-hekili and Ka-lola sent him a double canoe filled with small-meshed nets and fishlines.
Because of his fear of Nu'u-anu-pa'ahu, Ka-lani-'opu'u plotted with his false kahunas to be rid of him. The kahunas said, "Let Nu'u-anu-pa'ahu be devoured by a shark so that his kahunas may not have his remains to burn in vengeance."
"Yes," assented the chief, "let him be swallowed by a shark so that his kahunas cannot avenge him. Let him be swallowed whole by the shark."
The kahunas boasted, "0 heavenly one, the shark is ready that is to devour him.
Let all the chiefs go to Kauhola at Hala'ula to indulge in surfing, the favorite pastime of chiefs.
Should the surfer from Ka'wa' in Ka-'u join in the sport he will be swallowed by the shark.
He will then not be able to rebel against the rule of your son, Kiwala'o."
The chief agreed to this plan, and chiefs, guards, warriors, and all the members of the chief's household went to Kauhola, erected temporary shelters, and went, surfing, but Nu'u-anu-pa'ahu could not be persuaded to join them.
All the other chiefs and commoners went surfing, but he did not go with them.

One day when the waves of Maliu and Ka-pae-Iauhala were rolling in magnificently, the cutworm-tearing son of Na'alehu (Nu'u-anu-pa'ahu)  resolved to show the skill he had got through practice [in surfing] on the bent wave of Ka'wa', or diving headforemost into the waters of Unahea. He reached for his surfboard and went out to sea beyond Ka-pae-Iauhala.
He rode in on a wave and landed at Kinaina.
Again he went out and, having set himself in the way of a good wave, rode once more to land.
As the wave rolled landward, a shark came in with it.
It came with open mouth that showed sharp, pointed teeth.
Sea water poured between ...

Page 107

... its teeth and through its gills; its skin seemed to bristle; dreadful was the appearance of that rough-skinned one.
Six fathoms was its length.
Chiefs and commoners fled terrified to the shore, but Nu'u-anu-pa'ahu, the lad who had broken mamane branches at Kapapala and torn up koai'e vines at 'Ohaikea, did not lose courage.
When he saw that the shark was pursuing him, he steered his board for the crest of the wave.
The shark saw him on the crest and pursued him there.
Nu'u-anu-pa'ahu fled with the speed of an arrow.
The shark passed under and turned to slash; Nu'u-anu-pa'ahu struck out with his fists and hit it in the eye.
The shark dived downward; Nu'u-anu-pa'ahu turned toward a low surf, and as he rode it the shark passed under him.
Again it turned to bite; he sped on and the shark missed.
He struck at the shark's gills, his hand found its way in, and he grasped the gills and jerked them out of its head.
The shark, wounded, left him.
Just as he was about to land, another shark that lurked near a stone appeared with open mouth. Nu'u-anu-pa'ahu struck out at it with his fists, hitting it back of the jaw.
The shark turned and gashed him on one side of his buttocks.
Then at last Nu'u-anu-pa'ahu reached shore.
Chiefs and commoners shouted applause for his strength and congratulated him upon his escape from death.
Sounds of wailing echoed and reechoed.*
His kahunas meanwhile saw to the securing of the gills (pihapiha) of the shark and quickly began their prayers.
The leaves of the trees went dry; there was no fish to be had.
"Let these sharks die in a day," they prayed, "land on shore, be eaten by hogs and dogs, and their flesh stink in the sun."
On that very day one shark came ashore at Na'ohaku, the other at Hapu'u.
But Nu'u-anu-pa'ahu lay suffering great pain until he died at Pololu', and there he was buried.
The natives of that place will tell you something of this, but they will probably repeat only half the story.

Hawaii Before Foreign Innovations
Canoe Construction
Page 240

Canoe-making was also an expert art.
A canoe kahuna must first own adzes, and these were not of iron but of stone.
The best stone for the purpose was the hokele rock, the blue lava ('ala' makahinu), and the pahoa, and the adzes were fashioned at the crater of Pele where the hokele rock was to be found; at Kaluako'i on Molokai; and at other places.
The finishing was done with an adze called pupu'ole, holes were drilled with a shell called makoloa, and smaller holes for sewing the panks together with a makilihoahoa shell; another instrument for boring holes was fashioned from a dog's bone.
To see the tools these people used you would wonder how, with such crude implements, they could fashion a canoe.
I have been told by Ka-uhi and Kahi-poleau who sailed on the war canoe of Pele-io-holani that his double war canoe, named Kaneaiai, and said to have been made of planks sewed together, could hold 160 men.
Canoes of various kinds were used to travel from island to island for war expeditions, double (kaulua) and single (kau- kahi) canoes, the peleleu, and the hoapipi.
We today could not make some of these things.
Wooden food containers, finger bowls and spit-toons, made out of kou, kamani, and mila woods so highly polished that one could see one's image reflected in them and supplemented by gourd and coconut-shell dishes, adorned the feasts of a chief and were an indication of his wealth. ..

Sleding (he'e holua)
Page 242

Sledding (he'e holua) was another favorite sport, carried on sometimes over a cliffside, sometimes on the slope of a hill over a course either laid out on the ground or artificially built up, like that at Kaneaka at Keauhou in North Kona, Hawaii.
This was a vigorous sport in which beginners suffered, but those who were accustomed to it guided the board with legs and arms and could keep their balance and breathe lightly as they sped faster than a racehorse or a railroad train.
The runners were made of hard wood like ...

Page 243

... the koai'e, uhiuhi, or mamane, about two and a half fathoms long and a half inch thick, tapering upward, and some four inches high.
They were set in pairs six inches apart and fastened together neatly and firmly with cord of coconut fiber.
In front they turned straight up and then pointed outward like the beak of a duck.
The top where the person lay was woven over with fine matwork leaving a space between it and the runners.
The runners were made slippery with kukui-nut oil or some other vegetable oil.
The course was covered with stalks of pili grass stripped of the blade and laid evenly.
Midday was the favorite time for the sport when the heat of the sun made the grass slippery and the sled could then attain terrific speed.

The Conversion of Ke-opu-o-lani
Page 261

It was Ke-opu-o-lani who first welcomed the missionaries and whose children were first taught letters, Kau-i-ke-aouli when he was six, Nahi-'ena'ena at the age of four.
She herself first heard the word of God in 1820 from Thomas Hopu.
She became interested and was the first to adopt the teaching that a man should have but one wife and a woman but one husband, and she gave up having more than one husband and took Ulu-maheihei for her husband.
The other chiefs and chiefesses were given over to drink and sensual indulgence.
When Liholiho came to Maui and made a trip around that island she learned more of the missionary teaching.
Later she went with her husband to Kauai after a load of sandalwood for their boat, the Ho'oikaika, and met the missionaries, Samuel Whitney and Mr. Ruggles.
On Oahu she met Mr. Bingham, took her stand as a Christian, and gave up drinking.
On April 11, 1822, the Rev. William Ellis, an English missionary of the London Society, arrived from Tahiti bringing several Christian Tahitians, Ka-'au-moku who was unmarried, and Tau-'a and Akole, each with his wife.
These Ke-opu-o-lani took as ...

Page 262

... her teachers.
They taught her to read and write, held religious services morning and evening, offered a blessing at meals, and taught the word of God to the household.
On March 23, 1823, the governor of Maui died and Ulu-maheihei was appointed in his place.
Ke-opu- o-lani took with her to Maui Mr. Richards and Mr. Stewart of the second installment of missionaries from the United States, made them her teachers, gave them one of the chiefs' places at Halehuku to live in, and taxed the people to build a covered shelter (lanai) and later a church for worship.

Lahaina was in those days a popular resort for the chiefs.
There lived Pele-uli and Kawelo-o-ka-lani, Kau-kuna Ka-hekili, Ke-kikipa'a, Ka-hou-o-kalani, Ke-oho-hiwa, Keoua, Pu'ali-nui, Ka-Iolo'u, Ha'eha'e, Kalai-koa, Ka-'ili-hakuma and their households, and between Mala and the farther end of Waianu'ukole lived other chiefs.
None of these paid any attention to the word of God but amused themselves at their gatherings with liquor drinking, dancing, gambling, sensual indulgence, and all kinds of such devilish doings.
This was true not only on Maui but allover the islands.
Even David Malo, who was one of the first teachers in Hawaii, knew little of religion and made drinking and dancing his principal pastimes.
But with Ke-opu-o-lani's acceptance of the Christian faith and way of life, the chiefs in Lahaina immediately left off drinking and gathered about Tau-'a and Ka-'au-moku to hear the new teaching. Great numbers became true worshipers of the Lord and many took up reading and writing.
Among the most proficient of these were David Malo, Daniel 'I'i, and One'o.
Ke-opu-o-lani's daughter, princess Nahi-'ena'ena, with her companions, and Ke-opu-olani's son, prince Kau-i-ke-aouli, with his companions, came to Maui at that time, and the young prince was at Halaka'a in Lahaina with his guardians, Ka-iki-o-'ewa, Ka-hou-o-ka-lani, and Ka-pololu.

Hardly four months had passed since Ke-opu-o-lani came to live at Lahaina when she fell ill and knew that she was to die.
Liholiho was sent for.
To Ka-lani-moku and Hoa-pili she said, "You two must accept God, obey Him, pray to Him, and become good men.
I want you to become fathers to my children."
It was to this that Ka-lani-moku referred when he said in May, 1825, at Honuakaha, "My sister [literally 'wife'], Ke-opu-o-lani, asked me to turn to God and obey Him."
She became very weak and her preachers, Mr. Bingham and Mr. Stewart, baptized her by the name of Harriet Ke-opu-o-lani.
Before the end of the day she was dead.
Thus the highest tabu chie!fess became the first Hawaiian convert.

Ke-opu-o-lani died September 16, 1823, at Kaluaokiha in Lahaina ...

Page 263

... in her fifty-fifth year.

The Career of Boki
Shark Attack, circa June 1828.
Page 283

A few months later the king, accompanied by his chiefs, Boki among them, his Hulumanu, and sailors, went to Hawaii on his warship Ka- melwmeha, attended by other vessels, for his first visit to that island since leaving it for Honolulu.
At Lahaina they were well feasted and met Nahi-'ena'ena, Ke-kau-'onohi, Hoa-pili, Ka-hekili, Kau-kuna, and all the other chiefs of that place.
Here they witnessed a tragic occurrence; a man out surf riding at 'Uo was killed by a shark which bit off ...

Page 284

... his limbs and left his body floating.


Kamakua, Samuel Manaiakalani (1815-18760): Ruling Chiefs of Hawai
The Kamehameha Schools Press, Honolulu, 1961.
Translated from a series of Hawaiian language articles originally published in
Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Honolulu, 1866 to 1869.
Ke Au Oko a, Honolulu,1869 to 1871.

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home catalogue history references appendix

Geoff Cater (2007) : Samuel Kamakua : Ruling Chiefs of Hawaii, 1861-1871.