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picturesque cuba, porto rico, hawaii, phillipines 1899. 

Picturesque Cuba, Porto Rico, Hawaii, and the Phillipines 1899.

 Extracts and photographs from
Picturesque Cuba, Porto Rico, Hawaii, and the Philippines.
 A photographic panorama of our new possessions,
Also life in the American Army and Navy, with portraits of the chief actors in the Spanish-American War.
Over three hundred illustrations.
Mast, Crowell & Kirkpatrik, Springfield, Ohio, 1899

Open Library

One of the many books published celebrating the annexation of several countries by the United States at the end of the 19th century.
The author is not accredited, and the text on Hawai'i certainly compiled from previous sources.

There are two photographs of Waikiki, the first the widely reproduced Surf Board Rider by James J. Williams, circa 1893.
The second, is of two natives hauling their out-rigger canoes ashore.
They are probably the same natives and a very similar photograph published in John R..Musick's Hawaii - Our New Possesions, in 1898.
Also note that all three photographs appear to be taken at almost the same location on the beach-front, relative to Diamond Head.

Page 50

Commerce and social intercourse between the islands are very extensive. .
Several local steamship companies have complete lines of boats which run continuously on schedule time between the islands, with regular stopping-places.

Besides these, many of the wealthier residents have hand some yachts or launches, and there are excursions along the coast
continually, to say nothing of the native boats, which swarm everywhere.
Thus the straits between the islands are constantly alive with craft.

This inter-island traffic is one of the most fascinating phases of life in the islands, rendered so, doubtless, by the constant
danger to those engaged in it.
Here the Kanaka proves his worth.
The sea is his great text-book, his one theme of ecstasy, his field of manly .sport, and his grave.
Prior to civilization it was his god, and it has done more to develop his latent energies, bravery, hardihood, skill and endurance
than any other element or influence he has ever encountered.
In the sea the Kanaka is in his element, and the dangerous inter-island navigation and commerce is accomplished by him
under difficulties that would disconcert most seamen to the point of abandoning the project.
Some of the landings are particularly dangerous.
At one place on the island of Hawaii a village is built on the top of a clitf, and passengers are hoisted with a huge crane to which a chair is attached, and swung two hundred feet in the air to the top of the cliff.
Departing travelers are lowered by the same means to the boat, and thence rowed out to the ship in the harbor.

The native Hawaiians are nearly amphibious, and in their small canoes, with light outrigger to jire.serve their equilibrium, will brave a sea that would swamp many a stancher craft in the hands of less skilful seamen.
Often when a wreck occurs on the coast and the sea runs so high that a life-boat cannot be gotten off, the natives will swim out to it, and if any of the ship's boats are still sound, they will almost certainly bring some of the crew safely to shore tlirough a sea which no white seaman would attempt to brave.
Surf-riding was formerly the chief sport of the natives, but has fallen somewhat into neglect.
The feat is performed on a carefully prepared slab of wood, rounded on one end, and consists in gaining and

Page 51

retaining such a position on one of the immense waves rolling in to shore as to be carried with fearful velocity toward the beach The more skilful of the surf-riders are still frequently seen standing erect, with arms folded, on their little planks, while rushing with terrific speed on the crest of some monster wave, which finally breaks with a roar and sends its burden scooting over the smooth water toward the sands of the beach.
Promiscuous bathing is indulged in by all ages and sexes, and although sharks are numerous, the natives are seldom caught. They always know when a shark is in the harbor, and act accordingly.
But even should they be surprised by the unexpected approach of one of the monsters, they are by no means apt to perish.
They will float calmly on the surface and gaze down into the clear water at his sharkship, watching his every move.
At the moment he rushes and turns on his side to grasp his prey the Kanaka dives, and the great jaws come together with notliing between them.
This is repeated until help comes.
Usually, when a

Page 52

shark is known to be present, the native goes into the water armed with a piece of iron about sixteen inches long and sharpened at both ends.
If the shark appears, he will not only be cheated of his prey, but in all probaiiility will be seriously wounded, and perhaps killed.
It is said that some of the most daring of the natives will wait until the shark turns on his side and opens his mouth, and will then place the iron perpendicularly between his jaws, so that they are propped open.
The Hawaiians are very successful deep-sea fishermen, often going in their frail canoes out of sight of land.

Page 55

Diamond Head in the Distance.
James J. Williams : Surf Board Rider, circa 1893.

Also printed in 

Twombly, Alexander S. : Hawaii and Its People
Silver, Burdett & Co., 1899, New York, 1899, page 35.

Hannaford, E.:
History And Description Of The Philippine Wonderland
And Photographic Panorama Of Hawaii, Cuba, Porto Rico,
Samoa, Guam, And Wake Island.
The Crowell & Kirkpatrick Co., Springfield, Ohio, 1899, page 184


Native Boatman, 
Near Diamond Head.

A similar photograph,
with probably the same 
natives and canoes 
is printed in 

Musick, John R..
Hawaii - Our New Possesions.
 Funk and Wagnalls, New York, 1898,
facing page 5.

Picturesque Cuba, Porto Rico, Hawaii, and the  Philippines.
 A photographic panorama of our new possessions,
Also life in the American Army and Navy, 
with portraits of the chief actors in the Spanish-American War.
Over three hundred illustrations.
Mast, Crowell & Kirkpatrik, Springfield, Ohio, 1899


Open Library

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Geoff Cater (2013-2014) : Picturesque Cuba, Porto Rico, Hawaii, and the Phillipines : Surf Riding in Hawai'i, 1899.