Ua hala nā kūpuna, a he ʻike kōliʻuliʻu wale nō ko kēia lā,
i nā mea i ke au i hope lilo, i o kikilo.
The ancestors have passed on; todayʻs people see but dimly times long gone and far behind.
In collaboration with Kumu Kamalani Johnson, we are pleased to present to you "Pana Hawaiʻi", a journey across Hawaiʻi Island through the lens of a moʻolelo (story) titled Kamiki. These extracts from Kamiki shed light on the meaning and history of famous sayings many of us use and hear in many mele (songs). Recognizing the value of knowing where one is from and being acquainted with the meaning behind place names, we have selected extracts from Kamiki from the five moku (districts) of Hawaiʻi Island. Our journey will begin in Hilo.
“ʻĀnō, ua hiki maila kākou i ka hopena o kā kākou moʻolelo hōʻoni puʻuwai a ua loaʻa nō hoʻi iā kākou he mau mea e hoʻomanaʻo ai no [nā] mea pili i nā loina a me nā ʻoihana a nā kūpuna o kākou o ke au kahiko o ko kākou lāhui ʻōiwi aloha a aia he mau haʻawina aʻo maikaʻi loa e aʻo mai ana i ka hanauna hou, ʻo ka hoʻolohe, ʻo [ka] mālama pono i nā kānāwai i hoʻolaʻa ʻia a i ʻālana ʻia no nā akua me ka ʻeʻehia me ka hoʻokō pono ʻia o nā kauoha a pau me ka uhaki ʻole ʻia o nā kauoha paʻa luli ʻole a ko lāua kupuna wahine i kauoha ai ma ke ʻano he kauoha kānāwai luli ʻole a mana hoʻi.” (Ka Hoku o Hawaii, 6 Kekemapa 1917).
Above is a quote from the author of Kamiki, J.W.H.I. Kihe. Kihe wrote these reflections at the last issue of the story of Kamiki, which took four years to publish. Kihe is reflecting on the lessons incorporated, hoping to teach younger generations how to listen well, follow the customs, rules and laws set in place.
From 1834-1948 the Hawaiian Islands had an abundance of newspapers printed in ‘ōlelo Hawaiʻi. These papers provide vast information and insight into the Hawaiian language, its people, and way of life. The newspapers not only provided news, but also printed chants, announcements, letters from readers, and moʻolelo.
The moʻolelo of Kamiki in its entirety took four years to publish over a span of 189 issues, from 8 January 1914-6 December 1917. This was after the story was attempted to be published in three previous newspapers, the first began in 1910. Unfortunately, the first three papers - Ke Au Hou, Hawaii Holomua, and Ka Momi o Hawaii – lost funding. On 25 September 1913, Rev. S. L. Desha Sr., the editor of Ka Hoku o Hawaii, announced that he will publish Kamiki in its entirety.
Desha stated that, due to pressure from his readership, he will publish the story from its beginning instead of picking up where the previous newspaper had left off. It was noted that publishing the story from the beginning was important so that the readers would know the customs, moʻolelo, and story of Kamiki in its entirety.
“Mamuli o ke noi ikaika ana mai o kekahi poe heluhelu o ka Hoku, e hoopukaia no kela Moolelo o Ka-miki mai kona mau helu mua mai, ai hoopuka mua ia no hoi ma kekahi mau nupepa i moe aku nei, a wahi a kahi o lakou, he mea maikai ole ka hoopuka ana aku mawaena konu o kela moolelo, a ma ia manao o ia poe, ua hele aku ka Lunahooponopono o ka Hoku e hui me ka mea kakau moolelo ma Kona a kuka no ia mea. A mamuli no hoi o ke kuka maikai ana, ua ae maikai mai oia e hoouna mai i na kope mua o ka hoomaka ana o kela moolelo, a nolaila, e hoopuka aku ana makou i ka moolelo nani o Ka-miki mai kona hoomaka ana, a e oluolu mai no hoi ka poe i heluhelu mua, e opu alii iho, a e noonoo pu ae hoi no ka poe i heluhelu mua ole i kela moolelo i kona wa i puka mua ai.
E hoopuka aku ana paha makou i kela moolelo mahope koke iho no o ka pau ana o ka moolelo o Unupaialoha e puka nei ma na kolamu o ka Hoku, oiai, mai ka peni mai no a ka mea kakau o Unupaialoha e puka aku ai ka moolelo nani o Ka-miki. Ke hoike pu aku nei no hoi makou, o ka poe e lawe ana i ka Hoku no ka makahiki 1914, a e hoomaka ana mai Ianuari aku, e haawi wale aku ana makou i na nupepa mai ka mahina aku o Okatoba a hoea i Dekemaba nei, 1913, aia nae keia haawi pela no ka poe e hookaa mua ana ma ke kuike”
- Ka Hoku o Hawaii, “Ko Kakou Moolelo Hou,” 25 Kek, 1913