May 4, 2017

King Kamehameha II in Brazil

King Kamehameha II in Brazil

King Kamehameha II
Queen Kamāmalu

Emperor Pedro I of Brazil
King Kamehameha II became king upon the death of his father, King Kamehameha I or “the Great” in 1819. He was not a person who wanted to become king. Had he be given a choice, he probably would have preferred being a British naval officer. But history and his mother, Keōpūolani, had other plans for him.  After fighting a civil war over the kapu system and an insurrection on Kaua’i, King Kamehameha II focused his attention on foreign affairs.  On March 25, 1820 he wrote a letter addressed to Tsar Alexander I complaining about Russian claims over Kaua’i and the role of Russian subjects in supporting a Kaua’i insurrection. He also sent a beautifully carved koa wood double haul canoe to the tsar as a token of his respect.  The tsar never replied and King Kamehameha II sensed danger in that silence. King Kamehameha II was concerned that specifically the Russian-American was still supporting the family of King Kaumuali’i and wanted to secure an alliance with the British and French to counterbalance the Russians.  (Little did he know that his letter never arrived in Russia but instead ended up in the US.)

In November of 1823, King Kamehameha, Queen Kamāmalu and members of his court decided to visit London to discuss the “Russian problem” with King George IV.  There was also plans for Kamehameha II to visit Paris to secure a French alliance to compliment the British one. As the voyage from Hawai’i to England needed to go around the Cape Horn, the whaling ship that carried the king, L’Aigle, made unexpected detour in Brazil.   The official reasons for this detour was due to the Royal party’s desire to see the lands of South America.  The British consul in Rio de Janeiro suggested to the King that he should meet with Emperor Pedro I of Brazil. This would become the first foreign state visit a Hawaiian king ever undertook and the first state visit by a non-European monarch to a Latin American country.

Emperor Pedro of Brazil was from the Portuguese ruling House of Braganza. Portugal was a historical ally of Britain and Emperor Pedro, considering himself a liberal, distrusted autocratic Russia and the autocratic Bourbons. The Bourbons were restored to the French throne after the defeat of Napoleon and their cousins, the Borbones, were restored to the Spanish throne.  Kamehameha II saw that Braganzas could open help facilitate an alliance with the British and had similar concerns.  So with the help of the British consul in Rio de Janeiro, the three day detour became an 18 day state visit.  King Kamehameha II and Queen Kamāmalu were formally presented to Emperor Pedro of Brazil and his wife, Empress Maria Leopoldina, in a dazzling ceremony at the Paço Imperial.  

During the ceremony, the Emperor of Brazil presented to King Kamehameha II a diamond encrusted ceremonial sword. He then presented to Queen Kamamalu a set of diamond earrings. However, Queen Kamamalu seemed more impressed when told of the genealogy of Emperor Pedro and his wife. Empress Maria Leopoldina was an Austrian archduchess in her own right and a Hapsburg. She was also grand-niece to the ill-fated Queen Marie Antoinette. King Kamehameha then presented a feather cape belonging to Queen Kamāmalu and a hand kahili.  Thinking that these were insufficient gifts to his host, he offered Kalanimoku and Poki (Boki) to become the Emperor’s hanai (adopted) brothers. Kalanimoku and Poki by this time were both Roman Catholics and King Kamehameha II thought that Emperor Pedro I, also being a Roman Catholic, might be offended if offered himself to be the Emperor’s hanai brother as he was not at the time a Christian.  The Hawaiian Royals then invited the Emperor to establish diplomatic relations by sending a consul to Honolulu and he would appoint one in Brazil. 

Poki (Boki)

During the 18 day state visit, the Hawaiian Royal party attended audiences and balls were held in their honor. King Kamehameha was tutored in Portuguese and helped with his English court etiquette. The Royal [arty visited plantations and factories.  Some controversy was made when Poki and Kalanimoku skinny dipped in a beach, as was the Hawaiian custom.  A group of women gathered and watched. Poki then went up to the women to greet them and was told that he was indecent. Poki shrugged and told them in Hawaiian to let them see him because he knows that they like what they see.   Conservative Portuguese high society women found episode both shocking and yet erotic. Emperor Pedro quelled the controversy by saying that there was no shame in what the Hawaiians had done, only in people having shameful thoughts about the Hawaiians.   Emperor Pedro took efforts to ensure that the Hawaiian Royals were treated with attention and dignity and berated anyone who even spoke of their race.  Emperor Pedro envisioned a Brazil that was multiracial and “enlightened”. He therefore used the visit of the Hawaiian Royal party to set a tone for the rest of the Imperial Court and to show his support for abolishing slavery and ending racial discrimination.  King Kamehameha II for his part saw the friendship between himself and the Emperor of Brazil as the beginning of a new era for Hawai’i, one where Hawai’I could be survive as an independent power and be treated like an equal.   Kamehameha II left Brazil and arrived in England in May of 1824.  Unfortunately, King Kamehameha and Queen Kamamalu would pass away in London before meeting with King George IV.

One of the lasting bonds of effects of this state visit was the introduction of coffee beans. The Hawaiian Royal party had visited plantations and had tasted coffee. Poki continued to inquire about coffee and sugarcane plants while in London.  Poki clearly saw the commercial value of coffee and sugarcane and predicted that those crops could change Hawai’i. While a variety of coffee plants that were sent to Francisco Paulo de Marin failed, an Ethiopian variety introduced by Poki thrived becoming Kona coffee.

Joesting, Edward. Kaua’i: the Separate Kingdom. UH Press, 1988.
Kamakau, Samuel. Ruling Chiefs of Hawaii. Bishop Museum Press, 1961.
Kinro, Gerald. A Cup of Aloha: The Kona Coffee Epic. UH Press, 2003.

Kuykendall, Ralph. The Hawaiian Kingdom: Volume 1. UH Press, 1938.

Levels of Sacredness in Hawaiian Thought

In traditional Hawaiian religion, there's different levels of sacredness. For example there's laʻa, ano, ʻihi, ʻiu, poʻiu, ʻula and kapu levels of sacredness. Often times we will hear some say "such and such is sacred" or "the entire mountain is sacred" without much explanation. Some of this is due to the lack of real education on the topic and the fact that the concept itself is a bit tricky to explain in English. For example, during the Mauna Kea protests there was also "protect the sacred mountain" slogan. Some tied that idea with the idea of kapu--which one shouldn't. A place that is kapu is sacred and sanctified. It is also restricted to a few select people and there are specific ki'i (tiki) and mo'olelo attached. Traditionally these kapu places also placed restrictions on food and gender. In ancient Hawaiian thought, the idea of sacred, kapu, and restricted access are tied together because wahi kapu (sacred places) were at points that was believed to have significant mana. The restrictions were claimed by practitioners as being necessary to channel that mana towards the mokupuni. Heiau for example are always wahi kapu. They were sanctified by rituals. Mauna Kea is not kapu in that sense. It was traditionally was a pilgrimage site particularly Lake Waiau. It's ʻihi or wahi laʻa, a holy place. Wahi laʻa or wahi ʻihi on the other hand are places that should be treated with reverence but there was no particular need for restricted access, sanctification rituals and ki'i. The same would be true also of Kilauea. You would not find ki'i at Kilauea because everyone knows the mo'olelo of Pele. One might say that that makes it "even more sacred" but in ancient Hawaiian thought, they were not concerned about that because whether one is less or more sacred than another place. What was important was the connection one had with that place (which in turn would dictate the obligations, etc). For example, someone from O'ahu may feel a deeper connection to Kamapua'a than Pele therefore sites to Kamapua'a would have a feeling of having more "mana". To navigators, Kaho'olawe would be a wahi laʻa of great significance. To kahuna of the Mo'o o Lono (Order of Lono), the island of Lana'i would be a wahi laʻa while Kaho'olawe would be simply another island. Wahi kapu like heiau on the other hand would be of significance to both the navigators and the priests of Lono because of its ritual importance but also out of civic duty as heiau also places of political power especially after the 1600s.

Some Thoughts on Hawaiian Culture

When we talk about Hawaiian culture, we often talk about it as almost being homogeneous, monolithic and sterile without taking into account the various time frames and subcultures. When most Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians think of "Hawaiian culture" they think of it as being somewhere in the time frame of Captain Cook and Elvis Presley. Much of this could be blamed on the Calvinist influences, colonialism and the tourist industry which influenced Hawaiian Studies programs. Some of it could also be blamed also on personal or family interests. As 99.9% of Hawaiians claim to have ali'i blood, an emphasis has been to have ali'i subculture of the 1600s represent what is Hawaiian culture in general. But ali'i subculture was different from regional and mass culture of Hawaiian society after the 1400s.

For example, in recent debates on UH's taro patents and in Mauna Kea protests, there had been an emphasis on the Hawaiian genealogical links to Wākea, the Sky Father. In every Polynesian society, Wākea or Akea is a mythical figure except in Hawai'i where he is an actual person and the founder of the kapu system, the social hierarchical system, as well as originator of royal dynasties. Wākea is therefore held in awe today. Interestingly, that was not always the case in every level of Hawaiian society. As noted by Malo, Kamakau and Pukui, common people associated Wākea with blind lust, weakness, and craziness due to his relationship with his daughter. Commoners would say that incest was ‘ohana kiko moa or no better than breeding chickens. In Papa and Wākea epics, Wākea is emotional volatile yet cunning. Papa is always with him in battle and she is seen defending his rule. These were epics that commoners would have known about. Unlike many Hawaiians today, commoners while seeing incest as disgusting and shameful in general, tolerated it only in the ruling family not because of the Wākea and Papa example but because of an older example---Kū and Hina, who in mythology were brother and sister and were the first set of akua venerated universally by ancient Hawaiians. It is from Kū and Hina that the pi'o line of chiefs (including the term pi'o itself) originated from. But Papa and Wākea are emphasized more because of Wākea's association with the kapu and of social divisions.

So when we speak of Hawaiian culture, we should ask ourselves which Hawaiian culture and what time period. We should also ask ourselves what aspects of what we know to be "Hawaiian culture" were influenced by certain agendas and what are values and traditions that should be questioned and which could be emulated today.

Twenty Notable Native Hawaiian Women

Image result for queen kaahumanu
Twenty Notable Native Hawaiian Women

1. Queen Regent Ka'ahumanu.  She remains a controversial figure due to her role with abolishing the kapu system and in allowing the Calvinist missionaries to convert Hawaiians. Not many people in history like Ka'ahumanu are singularly credited with bringing down an entire religion and changing an entire nation within a single generation. Ka'ahumanu was one of the most significant figures in Hawaiian history as she served as adviser to three Hawaiian kings and ushered in public education, Christianity, and a written Hawaiian language. She maintained Hawaiian unification and independence throughout her reign as regent and prime minister and in the face of internal political struggles and against American, French, and British colonial designs for Hawai'i.  Strong willed, Machiavellian at times, charming and intelligent, Ka'ahumanu had learned several languages, accounting and accompanied her main consort, Kamehameha I, in his major campaigns.   She was also a champion surfer.

Related image
2. Queen Lili'uokalani. Largely known for being Hawai'i's first female queen, Hawai'i's last constitutional monarch and composer of "Aloha 'Oe", Queen Lili'uokalani was well traveled and accomplished.  She composed over a 150 songs, had her own glee club, wrote editorials in Hawaiian language newspapers (under pen names), and wrote "Hawai'i's Story by Hawai'i's Queen". She was deposed by a minority of wealthy sugar plantation owners with the support of the US mainly due to her support of wanting a better constitution for her people and for refusing to compromise Hawaiian independence.   She also believed in empowering women politically, socially, and economically. She started the Lili'uokalani Educational Society which helped girls recieve an education. These girls were mainly orphans or from family backgrounds that Victorian society scorned. She also wanted to start a women's bank to help fund women-owned businesses.  Though a devout Christian, she fought against religious bigotry particularly welcoming Buddhist and Shinto priests to Hawai'i.  She was also active in supporting the Red Cross, the YWCA, Girls Scouts, and numerous charities.  Upon her passing, the Queen willed that all of her properties, jewelry, dressed, and other items be sold and those monies would be used to create a trust to help orphaned and destitute Hawaiian children and their families. That trust, the Queen Lili'uokalani Trust, still exists.

Related image

3. Queen Emma. Queen Emma was well educated, determined, beautiful, and a candidate for the Hawaiian Throne.  She spoke English, Hawaiian and French fluently and was an accomplished equestrian and surfer. She was called Queen Emma's first political fight was over healthcare. She believed that access to healthcare was not a privilege but a national security concern and a right.  When the Hawaiian National Legislature refused to fund health services to indigent citizens, she took the step of going house to house throughout O'ahu on foot to ask for donations to fund a public hospital. She accomplished that goal and founded Queen's Hospital, which included a training center for nurses.  She and her husband, King Kamehameha IV, also sponsored an Anglican mission to Hawai'i. When the Anglican mission began to experience financial difficulties, Queen Emma went to England to meet with Anglican bishops and Queen Victoria. On her way to England, she stopped in the US becoming the first Queen to visit Washington DC. While in the US, she experienced racism and sexism (at the hands of the then US president no less) which made her more determined to cement an alliance between Hawai'i, the British, and the French politically, economically and spiritually. She was successful and helped to found St Andrew Girls Priory and St Alban's School (now called 'Iolani School) to assist the new Anglican mission and community. She also was a poet. When her husband and young child died, she composed some of the most heart wrenching  kanikau or mourning chants. She was also a friend of Queen Victoria. When Prince Albert passed away, Queen Emma sent Queen Victoria a gold mourning bracelet engraved with a Hawaiian saying in Old English lettering and with Hawaiian fauna. The saying was selected by the then Princess Lili'uokalani. This was the start of Hawaiian heirloom jewelry.  

Related image
4. Mary Kawena Pukui. She was one of the greatest and most prolific Hawaiian scholars of the 20th century publishing over two dozen books on Hawaiian subjects and over 50 scholarly works.  Her works touched on various subjects ranging from fishing traditions to hula to Hawaiian values. Her work made the Second Hawaiian Renaissance (1970s-1980s) possible.  One of the works she edited "Nānā i ke Kumu, Look to the Source, Vols. 1 and 2" and published in 1972 was ground breaking because it touched on the impact of Christianity, homosexuality, family planning, women's rights, and other subjects that were still taboo to talk about even in the larger general community.  She also helped to preserve and perpetuate many Hawaiian traditions such as feather lei making, hula, and the language itself to the general public.  She also was a teacher at Punahou and a master Hawaiian chanter.

Image result for Isabella Kauakea Aiona Abbott
5. Isabella Kauakea Aiona Abbott. Dr. Abbot was the first Native Hawaiian to receive a PhD in the sciences. She wrote over 8 books and published over 150 scientific papers.  Her work involved mostly algae and seaweed. She was also one of the first scientists to blend indigenous knowledge with Western sciences.

Image result for queen kapiolani

6. Queen Kapi'olani.  Queen Kapi'olani is best remembered for founding the Queen Kapi'olani Women's and Children Hospital (now called Kapi'olani Medical Center) as well as for attending Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887.   Queen Kapi'olani was shy, well educated and had traveled throughout Micronesia, the US, and Great Britain.  She and her sister-in-law, Lili'uokalani, were the first royals to make visits to the leper settlement of Kalaupapa. Though an Anglican, she was one of the main supporters of St. Damien of Moloka'i (Father Damien de Veuster) and actively sought donations for Kalaupapa directly from the Church of England.  Being the granddaughter of the last king of Kaua'i, she helped to promoting the Ni'ihau lauhala mat, Kaua'i feather leis and Ni'ihau shell leis by giving those items as state gifts to foreign countries and by wearing this items on formal occassions. She also promoted the Hawaiian language by refusing to use English in the Palace and on state occassions. During an audience with Queen Victoria in 1887, Queen Kapi'olani--who knew English--spoke in Hawaiian as a way to signal back home that Hawaiian was as important and as official as English.  While a promoter of all things Hawaiian, she also promoted diversity and cultural pluralism. She was a patron of the Peeking Opera Society and attended the first official sumo match in Hawai'i with husband, King Kalakaua, in 1885 at the Hawai'i Immigration Depot. This would also be the first official sumo match outside of Japan. She maintained a friendship with Empress Shoken of Japan and sought to have Hawai'i look more towards the East rather than the West.  After suffering from a miscarriage, she adopted two of her nephews.

 7. Manono II. Manono II was a cousin to Ka'ahumanu I and half-sister to Kalanimoku. When the kapu system was abolished in 1819 and after repeated diplomatic attempts failed, she and her husband went to war to defend the traditional Hawaiian religion against Ka'ahumanu and Kalanimoku. She was remembered in hula and mele as someone who heroic figure dying for the love of her ancestors and her husband, Kekuaokalani.

The British missionary, William Ellis, would later report this about the Battle of Kuamo'o.
"The small tumuli increased in number as we passed along, until we came to a place called Tuamoo. Here Kekuaokalani made his last stand, rallied his flying forces, and seemed, for a moment, to turn the scale of victory; but being weak with the loss of blood, from a wound he had received in the early part of the engagement, he fainted and fell. However, he soon revived, and, though unable to stand, sat on a fragment of lava, and twice loaded and fired his musket on the advancing party. He now received a ball in his left breast, and immediately covering his face with his feather cloak, expired in the midst of his friends. His wife Manono during the whole of the day fought by his side with steady and dauntless courage. A few moments after her husband's death, perceiving Karaimoku and his sister advancing, she called out for quarter; but the words had hardly escaped from her lips, when she received a ball in her left temple, fell upon the lifeless body of her husband, and instantly expired. The idolaters having lost their chief, made but feeble resistance afterwards; yet the combat, which commenced in the forenoon, continued till near sunset, when the king's troops, finding their enemies had all either fled or surrendered, returned to Kairua."

Related image
8. Haunani-Kay Trask.  Poet, scholar, documentary producer, writer, professor, TV talk show host and activist, Trask has been involved with indigenous rights, anti-colonial struggles, and feminism both in Hawai'i and abroad for decades.   Her ground-breaking work "From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai'i" has been recommended reading in many Ethnic Studies and Women's Studies programs around the world for years.

9. Bina Kailipaina Nieper Mossman.  Having been musically trained by Queen Lili'uokalani, Mossman was an accomplished 'ukulele player, guitarist, vocalist and composer.  She became politically active in the 1920s after women were allowed the right to vote and held several positions within the Hawai'i Republican Party. Her first position was that of Executive Secretary of the newly created Hawaiian Homes Commission in 1922.  In 1938 she became the first Native Hawaiian female to be elected to the Legislature and was re-elected three times. In the year, she was elected National Committeewoman of the Republican Party.  After retiring from Legislature, she was appointed in 1953 as High Sheriff of Honolulu becoming the first Hawaiian female to hold that office.  She then retired from politics in 1957 and focused on music and in preserving Hawaiian ali'i traditions through the civic clubs and ali'i societies. She was elected to the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame.

Related image

10. Clarissa "Clara" Haili. Better known as "Hilo Hattie", she was a singer and comedian.  She was part of "Hawai'i Calls", a program that broadcasted from over 600 stations world wide. Her comedies and her "kolohe" songs were literally world famous.  She was the first Native Hawaiian comedian to recieve world fame. She originally was a school teacher from Waipahu Elementary School.

11. Kūkaniloko.  She was the first Native Hawaiian to reign as the first female Hawaiian ruler of an island.  In the 13th or 14th century, her father Piliwale, decided to nominate her as his successor to the Kingdom of O'ahu over his other children--including male children. Upon his death, she succeded him as ruler and proved herself a capable one including participating in male temple ceremonies, sports competitions and fighting in combat. She resisted a Kaua'i invasion and brought peace by choosing Luaia, a high ranking chief of Maui, as her consort. Their daughter, Kalaimanuia, would later succede her as the second female ruler of O'ahu and like her mother, was rather successful. Kalaimanuia would suspend the death penality during her reign and is remembered for O'ahu's agricultural development. Upon Kalaimanuia's death the question was asked by a male chief "Are we ready to return to kings?"

Image result for emma nawahi
12. Emma 'A'ima Nāwahī. She was one of the first documented female Native Hawaiian journalist and newspaper editor.  She was the wife of the Queen Lili'uokalani's former Interior Minister, Joseph Nāwahī.  Joseph Nāwahī would later lead an uprising against the Republic of Hawai'i, contract TB from his imprisonment, and pass away suddenly--leaving an entire nation in mourning.  Despite on-going government repression, her husband's funeral saw thousands of Hawaiians line the streets to pay respects to his coffin. After his death, she became the editor of the popular Hawaiian language newspaper, "Ke Aloha Aina" ("The Nationalist"), for over two decades continuing to resist the oligarchy.  She was politically active opposing US annexation through the Hui Aloha 'Aina and after 1900, with the Home Rule Party and the Democratic Party.  She wrote passionate articles and editorials on Hawaiian independence, women's sufferage, labor issues, Hawaiian Homelands and a New Deal for Hawaiians.  She also met Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1934.

13. Emma Ka'ili Metcalf Beckley Nakuina. She was a cultural informant for such people as Abraham Fornander, Thomas Thrum and William Alexander--sometimes not getting the proper citation and credit in their works. King Kalākaua had her appointed as the first curator of the Hawaiian National Museum and Government Library located at Ali'iolani Hale. She used the title curatrix in official documents and was the only official female curator of any major museum in the world. Queen Lili'uokalani in 1892 had her appointed as Commissioner of Private Ways and Water Rights for the Kona district of O'ahu, which included Honolulu. Emma was chosen specifically for this post because of her vast knowledge of traditional land water rights, and she was tasked with the duties of resolving issues in regards to water usage and rights. She would hold this position for fifteen years from 1892 to 1907 until the powers were reassigned to the circuit courts. Though her official title was that of a Water Commissioner, she was addressed as a judge due to her legal and cultural knowledge but due to her gender, she was not allowed to take the law exam. Yet she advised even members of the Hawai'i Supreme Court on water and land issues. In 1904, she wrote her only book Hawaii, Its People, Their Legends, published by the Hawaiian Promotion Committee. The book openly touched upon the "negative influences of the Western civilization" i.e. issues of sexism, racism, colonialism and the overthrow of the Monarchy while promoting her love of her Hawaiian culture.   The University of Hawai'i at Manoa is located on what used to be her estate.

14. Adelaide Keanuenueokalaninuiamamao “Frenchy” DeSoto. Frenchy DeSoto was involved in the O'ahu land eviction and the Kaho'olawe struggles in the 1970s.  She was also in the James Michner movie, "Hawaii", where she was cast as an extra beating up a missionary. She worked as a janitor before being elected as a delegate to the State Constitutional Convention of 1978 and is considered by most to be the "mother" of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. At the time, DeSoto thought that the Department of Hawaiian Homelands and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs would be merged--but that was not to happen.  She was also instrumental in having Hawaiian as an official language within the State constitution. She served as on the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for more than two decades. She was a controversial figure among her OHA colleagues due to her blunt talk and a tendency to give certain politicians the middle finger and other expletives for not serving the public.

15. Gladys Kamakakuokalani ʻAinoa Brandt. She was the daughter of a famed Territorial legislator who had literally fought for Queen Lili'uokalani against the Republic of Hawai'i.   She would finish her BA in teaching at the University of Hawai'i (UH)--the first Hawaiian female to recieve a BA in education from UH. She eventually became Hawai'i's first female public school principal and later became the first woman to be named superintendent of schools. In 1963, she became principal of Kamehameha Schools for Girls becoming the first Native Hawaiian ever to serve as a principal of  Kamehameha Schools. Ironic considering that Kamehameha Schools was a school for Native Hawaiians.  During her tenure as principal, she and Nona Beamer restored the long banned standing hula at Kamehameha Schools and initiated a Hawaiian Studies program. She thought it was absurd that a Hawaiian school would not have Hawaiian programs. In 1971 she retired from Kamehameha Schools and in 1983 was appointed on UH's Board of Trustees by Governor Ariyoshi--the first Native Hawaiian female to be so appointed.  During her tenureship, she fought for the creation of a Hawaiian Studies Center and for that center that would also have graduate programs.   In 1997, she was a co-author of "Broken Trust", a public essay which criticized the corruption and ill begotten wealth of the Kamehameha Schools Trustees. After the Rice v. Cayetano decision, she was appointed by Governor Cayetano as a trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and would retire for the third time from serving the community in 2002. The Hawaiian Studies Center main building at UH-Manoa is named after her.

16, Moanikeala Akaka. She was a fierce no-nonsense activist and three term Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) Trustee representing the Island of Hawai’i. She became politically active in the 1970s as a result of the Kalama Valley struggles and became a prominent member of the Protect Kaho’olawe ‘Ohana after the disappearance of her cousin, George Helm.  Throughout her tenure at OHA, she fought hard for funding for immersion schools and health clinics and spoke against OHA’s self-interest, overly bureaucratic way of business and corruption. She was instrumental in the settlement between OHA and the State of Hawai’i of $100 million in back payments from the ceded land revenues.  Up until her passing at the age of 72, she was still engaged in trying to protect the land by protesting the Akaka Bill and the Ten Meter Telescope at Mauna Kea.

17. Joyce Kainoa. She was one of the founding members of the Protect Kaho’olawe ‘Ohana (PKO). She literally lived off the land—growing her own crops and fishing. Her fishing boat was used to bring protesters to Kaho’olawe and was later confiscated by the US Navy.  In 1977, she was arrested for “trespassing” on Kaho’olawe and jailed for six months. She was offered bail but refused it saying that she could not recognize the State of Hawai’I and the US Navy’s jurisdiction. 

During a tribute to George Helm and Kimo Mitchell at ‘Iolani Palace in Honolulu on March 6, 1982, a Kainoa urged a crowd to change the government.
“As far as the bureaucratic red tape, as far as trespassing on Kahoolawe, to me it’s full of bull…I have gone on Kahoolawe, trespassed, according to the federal government, and they can never give me back my identity, my lifestyle, what I believe in and all the principles my kupuna before me have practiced. And today, I say to whoever the politicians are in this crowd, you betta clean up your ack..[Kaho’olawe]…It is aina, land. The land is ours. It’s our life. It’s our roots. It’s our beginning, and it’s our end….”

18. Princess Victoria Ka’iulani. She was the last Crown Princess of Hawai’i. Her family friend, Robert Louis Stevenson, called her the “Island Rose” and Hawaiians called her the “Peacock Princess” due to her pet peacocks.  She was fluent in Hawaiian, English, French, and German and an accomplished pianist,  painter, Soprano singer, surfer and seamstress.  She introduced the sport of surfing to Europe. She was fascinated by German, French, and Russian history as well by as mathematics, economics and political theory. It was said that she inherited the charisma of her uncle, King Kalakaua, the sense of duty of aunt, Queen Lili’uokalani, and the enchanting beauty of her mother, Princess Likelike.  She also had a sharp wit and hated stupid questions and arrogance.  While in San Francisco, an American woman saw the boar’s tusk belt buckle of Princess Ka’iulani and asked what it was. Princess Ka’iulani said it was her grandfather’s tooth.  After her aunt was deposed, Princess Ka’iulani made trips throughout the capitols of Europe and to the United States to fight for the independence of her homeland. The wide background of her friends showed much of the Princess' open mindedness. Her friends and acquaintances included opera singers, exiled Tahitian royals, female economists, entrepreneurs, Hawaiian sailors, professors, feminists, suffragettes, Cuban nationalists, businesswomen, Scottish lords, Irish poets, writers, German nobles and artists.  In 1897, she returned to Hawai’i after nearly a years of exile, witnessed the final theft of her country by the United States, and fought for the right of Hawaiians to be able to vote under the new Territorial regime. She died at age 23.

19. ‘Iolani Luahine. She was born Harriet Lanihau Makekau and was a master kumu hula, dancer, chanter,  and teacher.  The New York Times wrote that she was "regarded as Hawaii's last great exponent of the sacred hula ceremony," and the Honolulu Advertiser wrote: "In her ancient dances, she was the poet of the Hawaiian people."  For ‘Iolani Luahine, hula was not simply entertainment. Hula was sacred. It was mystical. It was timeless.  She resisted the commercialized versions of hula and encouraged other hula dancers not to think of hula merely as a dance but as a calling. She also served as curator of Hulihe’e Palace in Kona and was a member of the Friends of ‘Iolani Palace.

20. Edith Kawelohea McKinzie. She literally wrote the book on Hawaiian genealogies and Hawaiian genealogical research. McKinzie was also a master chanter and kumu hula. She taught hula in Hawai’i, Guam, Alaska, and various other places in the United States. McKinzie also taught chanting for the State Council on Hawaiian Heritage and was a regular lecturer with the UH College of Continuing Education in the subjects of Hawaiian genealogy and mele hula. She was the first Hawaiian Studies professor at Honolulu Community College (HCC) a post she held for more than two decades. Among her many honors and recognitions, McKinzie received the Pūlama Award from the Kalihi-Pālama Culture and Arts Society, the Order of Distinction from the State Council on Hawaiian Heritage and the Kukui Mālamalama from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

May 3, 2017

Trans-Pacific Exchanges between Hawai'i, Spain and Latin America

While Spanish galleons on route to either Mexico or the Philippines might have stumbled on Hawai’i prior to the 18th century, the first undisputed documented presence of Spaniard in the Hawaiian Islands was of Don Francisco de Paula Marin.  He deserted a Spanish naval ship and became a resident of Honolulu around 1793 or 1794. Marin was originally from Jerez de la Frontera in Cadiz, Spain, and impressed into naval service as a seaman.  Jerez de la Frontera was well known for its agriculture and that seems to have been where Marin’s passion lay. Marin had knowledge of skills involving medicinal herbs, wine making, and wheat production. He also spent a great deal of time in Mexico and the Pacific Northwest so he was familiar also with many of crops from the Americas.   He arrived in Hawai’i as King Kamehameha I was unifying the Hawaiian Kingdom.  He quickly impressed King Kamehameha I and the king incorporated him into his court.  Eventually Marin served in various capacities including accountant, business adviser, interpreter, herbalist and agricultural adviser.  Despite being a Roman Catholic, Marin lived in accordance to Hawaiian customs and had three conjugal unions with chiefly women which produced numerous children. Through his service to King Kamehameha I and his business acumen, Marin acquired large land leases and wealth. He also introduced a number of plants to Hawai’i including:  apples, apricots, asparagus, avocados, cabbage, carrots, chile pepper, a variety of coffee, eggplant, lemons, limes, macadamia, nectarines, nuts, olives, onions, oranges, parsley, peas, peaches, pears, a variety of pineapple, Irish potatoes, rice, tea, tobacco, and tomatoes.  

Marin, in his role as interpreter, also helped to broker a treaty between King Kamehameha I and Captain Hipólito Bouchard in 1818. This Treaty of Friendship between the Hawaiian Kingdom and the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata (now called Argentina) is considered the first international recognition of the independence of Argentina by an outside power.   Calle Hawai in Buenos Aires is named after this event and King Kamehameha I was made a Lt Colonel in the Argentine army.  This treaty also marked the first treaty that the Hawaiian Kingdom made as an independent power and reaffirms that Kamehameha I saw himself as an equal ruler and not a vassal of some other power like Great Britain, the US, France or Spain.  It also reaffirms Kamehameha I’s foresightedness that the Spanish Empire in the Americas was collapsing and Hawai’i needed to open new channels of friendship, trades and diplomacy to these emerging Latin American nations.
Image result for ka'iana hawaii

It is also interesting to note that around the same time as Marin arriving in Hawai’i, developments were occurring with Spanish Captain Estevan Jose Martinez, who was key in the Spanish exploration of the Pacific Northwest. In 1789, Martinez had captured British corvette under the command of Captain James Colnett in Nootka Sound which almost triggered a war between Spain and Great Britain. The Viceroy of New Spain, based in Mexico City and uncle to Martinez, had ordered Spanish vessels to stop Russian and British ships from colonizing the Pacific Northwest. Among the crew of Colnett, there happened to have been Hawaiians in particular a chief named Ka’iana or Tiana, Tajana or Tayana in Spanish.   Ka’iana was the half- brother or cousin (depending on the account) of King Kaumuali’i and the first Hawaiian documented to have visited China, the Philippines, Java, California, Mexico, Alaska, British Colombia, Oregon  and Washington.  Martinez treated Ka’iana well due to his travel experience and rank as a chief. Before being released from Spanish custody, Ka’iana and his fellow Hawaiian crewmates helped Martinez and the Franciscan Father Lorenzo Socies to compile a 200 word Spanish-Hawaiian vocabulary which was published through the Colegio de San Fernando in Mexico City and given to the Viceroy. This was the first time a Hawaiian vocabulary list outside of English speakers had been compiled and the first time Hawaiian was compared to Nootka, Nahuatl, Spanish, and Philippine languages. The purpose of the vocabulary list was to help induce the Spanish government in Mexico City to sent a Roman Catholic Mission to Hawai'i, which would not happen due to the outbreak of the Mexican War for Independence.  But Ka’iana and his crew’s presence that early on shows that while we may remember people such Marin coming to Hawai’i, Hawaiian sailors and adventurers were also going around Latin America and the world.  The interaction and exchanges between Hawai’i, Spain and Latin America was going two ways,

During the reign of King Kamehameha III another event would help to shape Hawai’i’s ties to Latin America.  In 1793 British Captain George Vancouver gave King Kamehameha I five head of black longhorn cattle as well as a herd of sheep.  In 1803, Vancouver also gave Kamehameha horses. Kamehameha set them all free to roam the plains of the Big Island of Hawai’i where they multiplied and became a nuisance. As they were technically the cattle, sheep and horses of the king and therefore his property and was under kapu, people could do very little.  King Kamehameha III, seeing the problem, wrote to Mexico in 1832 asking for vaqueros (professional herders or “cowboys”) to deal with the cattle and to train Hawaiians in ranching.  In 1836, Mexico sent about 200 vaqueros from its region of Alta California (California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas were still all part of Mexico). Since these vaqueros spoke Español or Spanish, Hawaiians called them paniolo. These paniolo introduced the ranching, dive pit herding, the Mexican saddle, the guitar, and the cowboy hat.  Eventually many of vaqueros returned to Mexico, but their legacies live on through the Hawaiian paniolo traditions and Parker Ranch. Also from this cultural exchange, a distinctive Hawaiian type of music emerged--kī hōʻalu—that blended vaquero guitar music with Hawaiian rhythms and expressions.  Another important aspect is that the Hawaiian paniolo traditions are older than American cowboy traditions by some 30 years. As a side note, one of the promoters of paniolo traditions was Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole, who admired the paniolos.

Another important tie between Hawai’i and Latin America was the arrival of the first Puertorriqueños or Puerto Ricans in 1900.  In August of 1899, San Ciriaco, a huge hurricane, punished Puerto Rico for two days with winds of 110mph – 150mph.  It left the island completely devastated with thousands of agriculture workers unemployed. The Hawai’i Sugar Planters Association (HSPA) was looking for experienced workers for their plantations and saw the potential of Filipino and Puerto Rican workers. The Philippines and Puerto Rico had just been “acquired” by the United States in 1898 and due to colonial politics, Filipinos and Puerto Ricans were considered US nationals rather than aliens (unllike the Japanese and Chinese) and therefore would be exempted from alien exclusion acts.  When the HSPA found out about the hurricane, they saw it as an advantage and quickly started recruiting desperate workers from Puerto Rico.  Between 1900 and 1901, the HSPA brought 5,000 Puerto Ricans workers to toil on Hawai’i’s plantations. As a result of this migration and with many local Puerto Ricans no longer speaking Spanish, some Puerto Rican traditions and foods were adapted.  The traditional "arroz con gandules" became "gandule rice" and "pasteles" become "pateles."

Around the same time in 1907, the HSPA also began to recruit Spanish workers mainly from Málaga. These Spanish workers were mainly recruited to replace the local Portuguese, who were increasingly leaving the plantations for other employment opportunities.  This importation of Spanish workers continued for ten years but by 1930, over 95% of these Spanish workers either left for the continental US or went back to Spain as they found plantation conditions unbearable.

1.  Nathaniel Portlock, A Voyage Round the World . . . in 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788 (1789; New York: Da Capo Press, 1968)
2.  John Meares, Voyages Made in the Tears 1788 and 1789 from China to the North West Coast of America . . . (1790; New York: Da Capo Press, 1967)
3. Ralph S. Kuykendall, The Hawaiian Kingdom, vol. 1, 1778-1854 Foundation and Transformation (Honolulu: U P of Hawai'i, 1938) 429-30.
4.  Samuel M. Kamakau, Ruling Chiefs of Hawaii (Honolulu: Kamehameha Schools Press, 1961) 5. David Samwell, "Journal," The Journals of Captain Cook . . ., by John C. Beaglehole (Cambridge: Cambridge U P, 1967).
5. George Dixon, A Voyage Round the World . . . (1789; New York: Da Capo Press, 1968)