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hamm : surf riding in hawaii, 1899 

Margerita Arlina Hamm : Surf Riding in Hawaii, 1899.

Hamm, Margherita Arlina:
America's New Possessions and Spheres of Influence.
 Fully Illustrated.
F. Tennyson Neely, London, Chicago, New York, 1889

Internet Archive
Hamm, Margherita Arlina:
A Land of Perpetual Summer
The Anaconda Standard.
September 24, 1899, page 3

Chronicling America

Margherita Arlina Hamm (1867–1907) was among the earliest American female journalists, and perhaps the first one to cover a war from the front lines.
She was also a prolific author of popular books, especially relating to travel and famous people.
Hamm was both an active suffragette, and a supporter and defender of American overseas imperialism/colonialism at the time of the Spanish–American War, which she covered.

wikipedia: Margherita Arlina Hamm

Note that
America's New Possessions and Spheres of Influence (1899) has an illustration, Hawaii.Kanaka Aquatics, not available online.

In  April 1899
, The New York Times  noted works by Margherita Arlina Hamm:
Bird Lore, ... Cloth, $1.25.
... Fully Illustrated
Page 42

Page 44

The northern side receives more rain than the southern, and the southern more wind. In the center of each island, especially on the hills and in the mountain passes, the cool breeze seems actually chilling, although the thermometer shows that the temperature is nowise different from that of more protected districts.
Under these favorable auspices human comfort attains a maximum; but little clothing is required and the dangers and diseases incidental to extreme heat or extreme cold are unknown.
No Hawaiian has ever experienced the weather changes so familiar to Ameri

Page 45

cans, who dwell upon the Atlantic Coast or in the great Mississippi Valley.
It is just as easy and safe to live out-of-doors as it is beneath the roof.
The hammock is everywhere, and the veranda, with its easy-chair, rattan lounge and bamboo couch, is universal.
The men wear light woolen, linen and cotton suits, and the women equally light and porous attire.
The native women use the holoku, which resembles a dress once popular under the name of the Mother Hubbard.
It is not a graceful gown, but it is exceedingly comfortable and convenient. It is nothing more nor less than a long robe, like a nightgown, with a full yoke.
It falls so far in the back as to give the effect of a train, and it is so loose that it conceals any angularity of the wearer.
As a matter of fact, there is no necessity for concealment.
I have seen several thousand Hawaiian women and not one was attenuated.
The most slender was as round and plump as the proverbial partridge, and from that they ascend into larger and larger masses of healthy, and somewhat superfluous flesh and blood.
The women of our own race yield to the charm of the climate and fall quickly into Hawaiian ways.
Many use the holoku as a house frock, others the graceful Japanese kimono, while nearly all modify the style of New York and Paris so as to give some freedom to the muscles and tissues within.

Page 53

The standards of education and intelligence are quite high.
Of the Hawaiians eighty-four per cent can read and write, and of the half-breeds ninety-one percent; of the Americans eighty-two per cent; of the British, ninety-five per cent; of the Japanese, fifty-four per cent; of the Chinese, forty-nine per cen., and of the foreigners born in Hawaii sixty-eight per cent.
The large number of illiterates is due to the many sailors, stowaways and beachcombers that drift to the port of Honolulu.
At the same time it must be admitted that public education under Hawaiian rule did not receive the attention which it does in America and England, and which it will receive hereafter under the existing administration.

Page 55

Of the many Hawaiian cities and towns Honolulu, the capital, is the only one of great importance.
It is situated on the Island of Oahu, and is of extraordinary beauty.
The harbor is a roadstead and not a bay, so that the prospect to the inhabitant is a broad expanse of the blue Pacific.
A large part of the shore is a coral beach, which expands to the east of the city into the:famous place known as Waikiki, said to be the most beautiful bathing resort upon the globe.
The water is never cold, and is as warm in winter as in summer.
The surf is handsome and almost devoid of any under-tow.
There is no sewage and no flotsam and jetsam.
The only thing ever thrown up by the sea is a dead fish or a small bunch of seaweed.
The city is built upon a small plain, which ascends into hills, and these into a noble line of mountain

Page 57

The leading buildings are the government building, which was formerly the palace of Liliuokalani, the Hawaiian Hotel, the Royal Hospital, and the Bishop Museum.
This museum is of exceeding interest and value. It was founded in 1889 by the Hon. Charles R. Bishop, and was endowed sufficiently to insure its preservation through the coming years.
The building is appropriately made out of blocks of dark lava.
It would be somber in appearance, but the surface is so richly draped with vines and flowers that only here and there can one catch sight of the stone beneath.
The main hall, when I visited it, was finished with native koa woodwork.
There are several rooms and a picture gallery.
In addition there are a great hall with storerooms, a library room and a reference library
 It is already well supplied with collections of various classes of objects.
It is intended to show every bird, insect, animal, fish, shell, coral, plant, flower, soil, rock and seaweed which grows in the archipelago or in the waters round about.
In addition there is a collection devoted to the archaeology and history of the Hawaiians, as well as a collection illustrating the development of every industry.
There are hundreds of wooden bowls, dishes, plates and other receptacles, ranging from a poi bowl, nine feet in circumference, down to the little handleless cups used by children and babies.
There is a series of articles representing the fish in- (page 58) dustries, including nets, seines, traps, fishhooks, bits of tortoise shell, mother-of-pearl, fish scales and fish bones.
One section is devoted to native toys and games, surfboards for the water, Ihes or war spears, ulus or huge balls, feather cloaks, stone tools, stone hammers and toboggans for hill sliding.
Other sections are set aside to Maori implements and manufactures.
The Fiji islanders have a section to themselves, Micronesia has another, as have New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and the native Australians.

Chronicling America
The Anaconda standard. (Anaconda, Mont.) 1889-1970, September 24, 1899, Morning, Image 3
Image and text provided by Montana Historical Society; Helena, MT
Persistent link:

Miss Ham Points Out a Way for Americans to Enjoy the Greatest Beauties of Nature's Most Attractive Season
-Think of Mid-Winter Bathing Parties.

Written for the Sunday Standard.

Now that the summer season is over here it is comforting to Americans to know that when they get rich enough to extend the season and indulge in a second 'summering there is an ideal spot that for beauty and attractiveness surpasses any holiday resort in the world.

Waikiki beach, which I have Just visited, is the Mecca of every resident in Honolulu and of every visitor from the outside world.
It has no counterpart upon the globe.
Alongside of it Coney Island, Long Branch, Rockaway, Newport, Bar Harbor and Nantucket are utterly insignificant.
The great roadstead south of the Island of Oahu is traversed by an irregular coral reef which prevents the larger billows of the ocean from reaching the land.
Between this submerged reef and the shore the water is practically a superb lagoon, clear, clean and warm.
The bottom is hard sand made from the erosion of coral rocks, lava and other volcanic substances, which compares well with the
famous white beaches of the Mediterranean.
The slope is gradual, and nowhere are there pits and hollows or undertow in which the unwary bather or the ignorant visitor risks life or limb.

The shore line extends for miles and was originally dotted with many villages.
Of these Honolulu and Waikiki were the two most important.
Waikiki was the more beautiful, but Honolulu was the more practical because the channel in front of it which leads to the ocean beyond was broader, deeper and safer than all the rest.
Thus Honolulu grew while Waikiki remained stationary.

Long ago, before the wharves and piers were built, the beach was as attractive as that of Waikiki, but commercial necessities have played havoc with its original loveliness.
Sheds, battered hulks, shipyards and storages have utterly changed its character and made it as dull and prosaic as the average seaport the world over.
The village has become a great city and its population, native and foreign, now patronize Waikiki, which is practically a suburb and a pleasure resort of the community.
No matter how approached, Waikiki is of extraordinary beauty.
Back of it are high mountains completely covered with vegetation.
To the east the beach terminates in a massive bluff known as Diamond Head, which is really the place where the mountains themselves go down into the sea.
Between the mountains and the shore are fields, splendid forests, cottages, mansions, flower gardens and marvelous lawns, beautiful roads, thatched cottages and a strange mixture of the civilizations of the temperate and tropical zones.

The beach itself lies a polished white floor never less than a hundred yards wide and beyld it is the lagoon, whose color varies from minute to minute according to the time of the day, the cloud in the heavens and the winds, which ripple its surface.
The physical configuration of the place is unique.
The high mountain wall stilts off the winds and storms of the north and catches two-thirds of the rain which is brought down by the atmospheric currents from far off seas.
The rain fall on the north side of the hills is usually twice what it is on the south side.
Not that the benefit of the rain is lost, because much is deflected by the chasms and valleys and flows southward in rills and streams unnumbered.

The dews are remarkably heavy, so that there is never any need of water so far as the vegetable world is concerned.
Everything grows in astonishing profusion.
On the other hand, the very formation prevents the collecting of water in pools and the decay of organic matter.
There is no marsh nor wet land, no malaria, and none of the living forms which abound under these conditions.
This applies to all of the Islands.
There are practically no reptiles and very few insects, birds or mammalia which are found in marshy habitats.
The drive from the city to the beach I shall never forget.
It is along a road equal in beauty and excellence to the magnificent thoroughfares of the national capital.
But the few trees and the little yards and parks of Washington would not altogether equal the vegetable wealth of the grounds of a single merchant In Honolulu.
Palm, banyans, bamboos and Norfolk pines are so numerous as to make veritable living walls on either side of the road.

Every here and there is a break in the foliage, through which the passerby obtains glimpses of wonderful attractiveness.
At one point it is a vista of mountains, at another it is a long expanse of gardens gleaming in floral color, at a third it is a tunnel in checkered light and shade between the trunks of mighty trees festooned together by trailing vines, while a fourth gives a long avenue through trees and flowers, ending in the bay and the ocean.

When you arrive at the beach there are always people upon the sand and on the water.
The Hawaiians are true amphibla.
Left to themselves they would spend as much of their active Iife in the water as on the land.
The Europeans who have settled there have unconsciously contracted the same habits, and the cleanly Japanese practice in Hawaii what they do in their own empire.

This love of the sea manifests Itself in many curious ways.
Very often at balls and receptions the guests will re pair to the bedrooms of their host's residence at Waikiki, there remove their
clothing, put on bathing suits and, by the light of the moon or stars, run over to the beach and race the night muoiral with splashing laughter and conversation.

Bathing parties, swimming parties, surf-board parties, canoe parties and fishing parties are as much a feature of social life in Honolulu as are dinners and receptions in the colder climes of America and England.
Everybody goes in swimming once a day.
About one-half the people go in twice a day, while an appreciable number seem to regard the mermen and the mermaid as their model, and indulge in aquatic pleasures more often.
The swimming is very much the same as on the beaches in our country, but there are differences which are soon recognized, all of which are in favor of the paradise of the Pacific.
Thus the air is never cold nor the water either.
The lagoon formation makes the water near the land still warmer than that of the tropical ocean outside.
In winter the water seems warmer than the air, and the air itself is at a temperature where superfluous clothing may be omitted with delight.
In summer the water is a trifle cooler than the air, but is never chilly enough to make the lips purple or to produce that unpleasant symptom of discomfort, goose flesh.
It is always deliciously tepid.

Some fashion has invaded Waikiki, and here and there one can see bathing suits which would be a credit to Narragansett pier or Dieppe.
On the other hand the average past is not entirely forgotten.
Sturdy young natives may be occasionally noticed floundering in the water in a condition of beauty unadorned, while In the night
time both natives and foreigners yield to the temptations of swimming with the body unhampered by woven tissues.
Of course everybody swims.
The very air invites the bather to use her muscles.
The surf is never strong enough to terrify you or to shock nervous organizations, and neither air nor water produce the chill which sends bathers flying to the shore.
Here the natives show their matchless natatorial skill.
They swim with a grace and abandon and strength that are ever alluring.
They float in seeming sleep up on the wave, they imitate the swimming motions of every animal and indulge in freakish modes of propulsion that are grotesque one moment and graceful the next.

Sometimes they imitate the seal.
All that you see is a cluster of motionless heads and long blue black hair gleaming with the sunlight reflected on its wet surface. Or they may play dead, when to your horror and half amazement, a dozen well built men and women will suddenly cease all movement and float along face down upon the bosom of the ocean, looking for all the world like the dead of some storm or accident at sea.

There can be no doubt that the wonderful physique of the Hawaiian is largely due to the swimming habits of the race.
The broad chest, the great expansive power of the lungs, the superb shoulders and arms are the resultof centuries of swimming and floating.
If you compare the natives and foreigners in the waters of Waikiki you see at a glance that the Kanaka is more buoyant and floats higher out of the water than the Caucasian.
He swims faster without losing his wind, he stays longer under the water when diving and he performs more aquatic feats than the men of other races.


 Hamm, Margherita Arlina:
America's New Possessions and Spheres of Influence.
 F. Tennyson Neely, London, Chicago, New York, 1889

Internet Archive

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Geoff Cater (2016) : Margherita Arlina Hamm : Hawaii, 1899.