Hawaii

HAWAII (SANDWICH ISLANDS).Ha-wi´ee.

A kingdom of Oceania, consisting of a group of 15 islands, of which 8 are inhabited. The government is a limited monarchy. Hawaii is the largest island; but Honolulu, the capital, is situated on the island of Oahu. Population of Honolulu, 7,000. Area of the islands, 6,667 square miles. At the last census, the population numbered 57,985: male, 34,103; female, 23,882; native, 44,088; Chinese, 5,916; white, 4,561, of whom 1,276 were Americans, 883 English, 436 Portuguese, 272 Germans, 81 French; half-caste, 3,420.

To a great extent the islands are mountainous, and there are numerous volcanoes, several of which are active. The volcano of Mauna Loa, on the Island of Hawaii, is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. The soil is exceedingly fertile and productive. Chief products, sugar and rice; but coffee, hides, bone, whale oil and wool are exported in considerable quantities. Value of exports, 1883, $8,121,200; imports, $5,624,240.

In 1883, 267 vessels, of 183,316 tons, entered, and 263 vessels, of 189,494 tons, cleared the ports. Of the former, 195 vessels were American. The islands own 64 vessels, of 15,588 tons. The islands of Hawaii and Maui are provided with telegraphs, and have about 32 miles of railway. Almost every house in Honolulu has its telephone.

There are numerous schools in the islands; the annual sum devoted to public instruction is $95,850. The King is a member of the Church of England; but all forms of religion are permitted and protected.

From Honolulu to Hilo

"COME, aunty," said Willie, "we are all ready for our journey." So I began.

We rode down to the steamer Kilauea about four o'clock Monday afternoon. A great crowd was on the wharf; among them many of our good friends to see us off. Indeed, we could not feel that we were strangers in a strange land. The sight of the steamer was a novel one; the deck was covered with men, women, children, and dogs, with mats, calabashes, etc. It is quite a fashion here to trim the hair with flowers, and to wear them strung about the neck. Many of these people were so decorated, and it made quite a lively scene, with their gay calico dresses. The women generally have their hair divided into two long braids behind; these they bring up on the top of the head with a round comb, and slip the flowers in about the comb.

The queen and her suite came on board last. She was going to join the king at their country-seat at Kailua, on Hawaii. A salute of twenty-one guns was fired by Her Majesty's guard, who then formed in a line on the wharf and gave three cheers. The royal company preferred to sleep on deck, so that nearly all who occupied the saloon were foreigners.

To us Americans, it seemed a strange thing to have both gentlemen and ladies occupy the same saloon at night, and it was rather embarrassing to mount into an upper berth with half a dozen gentlemen looking on. But we soon became accustomed to it, and learned not to be alarmed at finding a Chinaman asleep on the transom below.

"What is a transom, aunty?" asked Harry.

A sort of cushioned bench, running along both sides of the saloon just outside the under berths.

At half-past four in the morning, we reached Lahaina, Maui. The steamer stopped here some hours; so Dr. Baldwin came off for us, and took us to his house to breakfast. Many friends, new and old, called, and some beautiful flowers were sent from Lahainaluna, about two miles distant, where there is a seminary for native young men. After breakfast, a large company of natives escorted us to the shore, carrying our shawls and bags, seeming eager to do something for our comfort. I wanted to take a photograph of grandpa, as he stood surrounded by natives, he looked so much the picture of happy contentment.

On the steamer we tried our first cocoa-nuts. They are very different from those we get at home, the meat not being half so thick, and quite soft. There is more than as much again liquid, and it is sweeter, and colorless like water.

A few hours' sail brought us to Kalepolepo. Rev. Mr. Alexander had ridden over from Wailuku, ten miles distant, and came on board, and stayed with us some hours while the steamer took on board a supply of wood. It was good to see his beaming face, and receive his cordial welcome. He gave me a lesson in Hawaiian.

"What was it, aunty?" asked Willie.

One sentence was, "He olu olu anei oe?" Are you well? You would say perhaps, "Aole au i ike." I don't understand.

"How funny!" said little Alice.

The next morning, just before we reached Kailua, we discovered the king's barge, and in a few minutes he himself came on board with some of his attendants. The meeting between himself and his queen was affecting; she, not having been to their country-seat since the death of the young prince, was quite overcome. His Majesty was dressed in a light mixed suit, with drab buskins buttoned to the knee, white boots, and a drab felt hat, with about two inches of crape on it. His buskins, setting off his fine form, gave him a very noble appearance. Indeed, he seemed to feel himself every inch a king. After the queen had become somewhat composed, he came to where we sat and, with a hearty shake of the hand, welcomed us to his country. He spoke of his visit to America, some years ago, and conversed very agreeably for some little time. At leaving us, both he and the queen again shook hands, with the same pleasant manner.

At noon we arrived in Kealakekua Bay, on the west side of Hawaii, where Captain Cook was killed. Rev. Mr. Paris was on the beach, with horses to take us to his house, about two miles distant. As the steamer was to remain till night, we went. Our landing was almost on the very spot where Cook was killed. Grandma and I donned our riding-skirts, mounted our horses and started on our ride. Such hills and roads, so dusty and steep, never before entered my imagination! It was the first time grandma had been on a horse for forty years. Sometimes we were a little afraid; but as our horses were not, we gathered courage. At times a precipice rose above us three or four hundred feet on one side, and on the other descended perhaps a hundred feet. The rock was of lava, much broken, sometimes looking like the waves of the sea, or like a stream rolling over the precipice. A portion of the road was cut out of the side of the rock. Mrs. Paris's cordial greeting repaid us for our hot and dusty ride. Here, for the first time, I saw orange-trees in full bloom. They were large and elegant trees, with blossoms and green and ripe fruit growing at the same time. How we enjoyed the fruit, luscious and juicy, and so refreshing after our ride! The arbutulum grows here like a large tree, and blossoms profusely. In the garden we saw young pine-apples, green mangoes, and Chinese oranges,—a perfect orange in miniature, but acid as a lemon.

Toward sunset, we returned to the ship. Darkness covered us before reaching the shore; but our sure-footed horses took us down without a mishap. At the head of the bay rises a pali, or precipice, six or seven hundred feet high, and it is said to go down perpendicularly into the water perhaps as much more.

Valley of Waipio.—Page 83.Valley of Waipio.

On Thursday, we sailed all day along grand precipices rising from the ocean, some of them seven hundred or a thousand feet high, with waterfalls leaping the whole distance, or broken into smaller cascades. Sometimes the streams seemed like a silver ribbon, bordered with green moss; these steeps being generally covered with verdure. Here and there was a deep gorge or gulch, as they are there called. The first and only valley of importance we saw was Waipio, whose sides rose exceedingly grand and beautiful, with zigzag mule-paths up the slopes. Far in the distance, amid its shadows, fell a ribbon-like cascade, said to be two thousand four hundred feet high; behind it lay mountains with their summits resting in the clouds. A village with its pretty church nestled in a grove of cocoa-nuts on the beach. After this the precipices grew lower and lower, until finally the scene changed to undulating hills, and a rain storm notified us that we were approaching Hilo. We reached that place about ten o'clock at night, and landed through the surf; that is, the little boat stopped about fifty feet from the shore, and a man waded out and took grandma in his arms; but there being a little delay in getting ashore, the wave rolled in upon her and gave her quite a wetting. When the man came back, and said, "Come, come," I started immediately. The surf roared in the darkness, and I was afraid, but was very soon set down safely on the shore. Dr. Wetmore met us on the beach, and escorted us in the rain to Mrs. Coan's house. Mr. Coan was away upon a tour; but they sent a messenger after him, and he returned home on Saturday.

Hilo is celebrated for its heavy rains, and I should think also for its gigantic spiders. I was afraid of them, though it is said they are harmless unless molested.

Sabbath we passed in the usual manner. Grandpa addressed the native congregation in the morning, and told them of his visit to the Holy Land. They seemed delighted to see one who had looked upon Jerusalem, and walked by the shores of Gennesaret.

There is the supper-bell; so we must wait until to-morrow for another story.

Kaawaloa

MY little flock of listeners were sure to get their work done punctually by four o'clock, thus fulfilling their part of the bargain, and used laughingly to talk about their travels, making believe that they were journeying, as I told them what I saw and had passed through.

On Saturday, April 4, Mr. Paris, grandpa, and I, started off on a long ride, to visit Hoonaunau, the city of refuge, a place to which people could flee, if they had committed any crime, or displeased any chief, and be protected by the priests. This was in old pagan times; they are not used for that purpose now.

"Aunty," asked Carrie, "didn't they have such cities in Old Testament times?"

Yes, dear, they did. You may get your Bible and turn to Numbers xxxv: vi. and read the passage to us.

"And among the cities which ye shall give unto the Levites, there shall be six cities for refuge, which ye shall appoint for the man-slayer, that he may flee thither."

It seems singular that this heathen people should have a custom like that sanctioned by God through Moses in the Old Testament days; but so it was. This city of refuge was a "heiau," or heathen temple. It has a massive stone wall varying from six to ten feet in hight, and as many feet in thickness, inclosing a large space of ground, and having, of course, no roof. The sea washes its base on one side. Here we saw a rock, under which Kaahumanu, the favorite wife of the great conqueror Kamehameha I., is said to have hid herself when her royal husband was angry with her. It is called by her name.

"Did the king have more than one wife?" asked Harry.

Yes, almost every chief had several, if he could afford it. But now that they are a Christianized people it is different.

We stood on the altar where human sacrifices had been offered. It was hard to believe that such a quiet place was ever used for so dreadful a purpose.

We saw a flat rock, on which one of the great chiefs was said to have rested while his subjects were fishing. The native story is, that the chief was so tall that his feet hung over one end, and his head the other. The stone was fourteen feet long!

"Aunty," said little Alice, "it wasn't a true story; was it?"

No, Alice; but probably he was a very tall man.

We passed over the battle-field of Kaei, the scene of the last great fight on Hawaii, which placed the island under the rule of Kamehameha II.

About half a mile beyond the City of Refuge is a high bluff, over which are solid lava falls, looking just like a waterfall, only black. They are hundreds of feet broad and more than a hundred feet high. You can walk between the bluff and the fall, and look up a hundred feet. We went into a cave, which is an eighth of a mile deep, leading to the sea. It probably was once a channel through which a lava stream flowed into the ocean.

Coming back we rode into the village of Kealakekua, and went to the spot where Captain Cook was worshiped, and had sacrifices offered to him. Just think how wicked it was in him to allow those poor ignorant natives to believe he was a god, and to receive offerings and sacrifices as such! It must have been very displeasing in the sight of God to have a man brought up in a Christian land do such a thing. It was only a little while after, across the bay in sight of that very place, that he lost his life. We saw two cocoa-nut trees with their trunks perforated by cannon-balls which were fired from Cook's ship.

The next day we attended the native church at Kealakekua, and saw their manner of collecting monthly concert money. One or two deacons, or "lunas" as they call them, sit at a table in front of the pulpit, and the people bring up their gifts. Three old men had no money, and brought, respectively, a broom, some dried fish, and two fowls. The fowls amused me very much. They had their feet tied together, and occasionallyfluttered their wings and clucked during the sermon. One of the hens, I have since learned, was of Japanese breed. All her feathers curled up the wrong way, making her look as if she had been out in a gale of wind.

Monday we rode down to Kaawaloa, stood on the rock where Cook fell, gathered some coral where his boat rested, and walked over the stones where he led the king when endeavoring to take him as a hostage.

"What did they want him for?" asked Harry.

The natives had stolen a boat from Captain Cook, and the latter was taking their king to the ship to keep him there until the boat should be brought back. The natives could not bring the boat back, because they had already broken it up to get the iron in it; and they were not willing their king should be taken away. So one of the chiefs seized Cook roughly by the shoulder, and held him so painfully that he cried out. The people said, "Can a god groan? Is a god afraid?" Their belief that he was a god was broken, and he was immediately killed. We went into the king's house, which is still standing, and saw some beautiful matting lining the walls, taking the place of our house paper. It was woven in figures. We sat down on a board, and drank some young cocoa-nut milk from trees which existed in Captain Cook's time, and now shade the spot. Near the shore is a dead trunk of a tree about three feet high, on which several plates of copper, inscribed to the memory of Captain Cook, have been nailed by officers of British men-of-war. Not a very sumptuous monument this! On one side of the road, about half a mile above the beach, is a pillar of wood erected on a heap of rough lava. On this is a small plate, bearing this inscription:—

In Memory
OF
CAPTAIN JAMES COOK, R. N.,
WHO DISCOVERED THESE ISLANDS,
IN
THE YEAR OF OUR LORD
1778,
THIS HUMBLE MONUMENT IS ERECTED BY
HIS FELLOW COUNTRYMEN, IN
THE YEAR OF OUR LORD
1825.

Captain Cook named the group of islands from his patron, the Earl of Sandwich. The natives always call them Hawaiian Islands, or as they say, "Hawaii Nei!"

This portion of Hawaii is the orange district, and we had delicious oranges every day. It seemed sometimes as if the fruit, after peeling, would drop to pieces in our hands, from very juiciness.

"Oh, how I wish I had some!" said Harry.

This is a bread-fruit country too. We didn't learn to love that fruit. We sometimes had it baked for dinner. I think it is never eaten uncooked. The tree is fine-looking; its leaves are large, and of a very brilliant green. The fruit is round, has a rough outside, and to me seemed rather mealy and tasteless.

"How large is it?" asked Carrie.

About the size of a cantelope-melon.

We tasted here, too, the root of the ti [te] plant. It was baked, and when sent in it was still hot. It looked like brown-bread, only finer grained, and when shaved off in slices had a very sweet and not unpleasant taste. Many of the natives are quite fond of it. The plant has a small trunk four or five feet high, surmounted with a tuft of leaves resembling corn-leaves. In various parts of the islands, when there is a scarcity of food, the natives eat the root of the fern-tree, baked. It reminded me in appearance of tobacco, was tasteless, and uninviting in its looks; but I saw native men cut off great slices of it, which they ate as if they liked it. But as I told you before, their favorite food is poi, and, with a good supply of that and raw fish, a native is as happy as a plenty of good food can make him.

We saw here for the first time enormous cockroaches. They came out after a rain, and were very annoying, as all large bugs are that can fly or run fast. One night I killed seven in my room. If I left one dead on the floor overnight, in the morning it would be surrounded by hundreds of small brown ants. It was really very interesting to watch the little creatures. They would saw off a leg, or a part of one, then several of them would drag it away to their hiding-place; and, piecemeal, they would, if given time, carry off the cockroach, leaving not a particle. Now there is a lesson for you, children.

Perhaps you have something to do. It may seem like a mountain, as you look at it; but if you work diligently, doing perhaps only a little at a time, it will grow less and less until it is all done; and as you look back upon it, you will be astonished to think how easily you have done it.

The Volcano

"NOW, aunty, what are we to see to-day, and where are we to go?" asked Willie, as we assembled in the sitting-room.

We'll go to the volcano to-day, Willie, I answered.

Tuesday morning, we started on our first real horseback journey. The party numbered seven,—three elderly people and four younger ones. Two of our friends escorted us a few miles on our way, and then, as it began to rain, they turned back. I could think of nothing but a party of gipsies, as we rode out of Mr. Coan's yard. You would have laughed to see our fitting out. Grandpa had on rubber overalls, a long rubber coat, and a drab felt hat tied upon his head. I doubt if you would have known him. Grandma wore a dark riding-skirt, an oil-cloth cape over her shoulders, and a felt hat, decidedly slouchy, trimmed with green ribbon. I had on an old drab skirt, my water-proof cloak, and a venerable straw hat trimmed with green, with a blue barege veil falling from its brim. The rest were dressed in similar style. We rode in single file, and the road was so bad, if road it could be called, that we advanced barely two miles an hour. Every few minutes we had to go up or down some steep place, or through mud nearly a foot deep. Swamps and streams alternated with our short hills. At length we came to a wood of tropical luxuriance, where the road was just a mule-path, the branches often meeting before our faces, so that we had to raise our hands to part them. It rained as it always does here. While we young people were venturing on a short canter, my saddle turned completely, and I landed on my feet in an oozy place, fortunately unhurt. A few miles short of the half-way house,—miles are not measured by feelings there,—my horse gave out. For some time he had walked lame in all his feet, and at last refused to go at all. One of the young gentlemen lent me his horse, and led mine. We reached the half-way house about five o'clock, wet through. This was a native house, the occupants of which at once turned out, bag and baggage, the latter consisting, however, of only a few calabashes and pillows, and removed into a smaller hut. We found our house neatly laid with mats, and looking comparatively inviting. The firebrands had been carried out, leaving only the coals in the center of the floor, surrounded by stones to protect the matting. The house was of thatched sides and altogether looked very much like the native houses we saw on the Isthmus.

We made a temporary curtain of a blanket, put on dry clothes, hanging our wet ones up to dry; then laid a table-cloth on the matting, and from buckets and calabashes brought out our dinner. Our service was of tin; but we made a hearty meal, sitting Turk fashion on the mat. After our dinner and tea together, the natives came in, and we had prayers. Mr. Coan read a few verses in English and then in the native language, which was followed by two prayers, one in English, the other in Hawaiian, by the head of the family. We then lay down to sleep; but cockroaches, fleas, and a strong cup of tea drove slumber from our eyelids, and there was more sighing than sleep. The men who brought our calabashes walked or dog-trotted it all the way barefooted, and got on faster than we did. The calabashes are fastened one at each end of a pole four or five feet long, and the bearers don't seem to mind the weight, balancing them easily on their shoulders and carrying them safely. We never missed the smallest article, and nothing was injured by jarring.

We mounted our horses the next morning with good courage, though it was dubious weather, and we had a long ride before us. After a while, we young folks headed the procession and cantered when we could, which was seldom, as a great deal of the way was like riding in the bed of a brook. It had rained so much that a puddle of water was met every few feet. Part of our way was through a beautiful growth of gigantic ferns, mingled with other trees. The ferns were of a beautiful species, growing twenty or more feet high, and crowned with waving feathery branches. Other trees had their bark almost hidden by velvety moss or tiny ferns.

We arrived at the volcano house wet and tired, about three o'clock, but were much comforted by the cleanly appearance of the house, so nicely matted were the floors, with a raised place for sleeping. Outside, under a roof like a veranda, was a blazing fire, and it was needed for drying our clothes, and sending warmth through our chilled limbs.

We ladies retired behind our curtain, and soon appeared in complete Bloomer costume. We set our table in more civilized style, having a rough board whereon to lay our cloth, while benches saved the necessity of our sitting again in Turk fashion. We rested better than the previous night, rousing ourselves once in a while from our lowly matted couch to gaze through the mist at the light from the crater, which looked like an enormous fire.

About nine the next morning, we took our winding way to the edge of the bluff, commanding a fine view of the crater; and there it lay before us, a huge, blackened, fire-desolated gulf! Steam issued from fissures in various parts, while a dense rolling volume marked the place of the really burning lake: We ladies, in our Bloomer dresses,—for it isn't safe to wear long skirts,—started down the precipice. At some of the steep places, our gentlemen tied ropes to the shrubs, and, with jumping and careful walking, we were soon down upon the lava floor.

"How did it feel to walk on the lava, aunty?" said Willie.

It seemed like walking on a snow-crust. Once in a while a foot would sink through, and this at first alarmed us; but we soon got used to it. There were many deep fissures in the lava, from some of which issued steam; these we used to jump over.

"How wide were they?" asked Harry.

The Volcano of Kilauea.—Page 92.The Volcano of Kilauea

One or two feet wide; and no one knows how deep. Mr. Coan seemed to think that forty feet below us might be liquid lava. The lava had flowed in countless shapes and ways. Sometimes it had hardened in circles, or parts of a circle, or it was all crumbled and broken. This last they call a-a [ah-ah]. Often a piece of the thin crust cracked under our footsteps, and turning it over, there would be upon the under surface all the colors of the rainbow.

After a walk of two and a half miles, we came to what is called the "blow hole," where steam rushes out with great force and a loud report, like many factory pipes. It seemed as if some angry goddess dwelt below, whom we had insulted by coming into her domains, and that she was belching out her fierce anger, and vowing vengeance.

But the final wonder was when the fiery gulf came into view. It must have been half a mile square, and was about fifty feet below the level of where we stood. It was boiling up all over its lead-colored surface. Toward the center, it would blacken over, and the blacker it grew, the more intently we watched, until finally it rose in a huge dome thousands of tons in weight, red and fiery, and fell as suddenly. It was so hot, that we had to cover our faces or turn away. There were several red-hot fountains in various parts of the lake, throwing up jets of lava. One was near a shallow cave, from the edges of which, the lava hung in beautiful flame-colored stalactites.

"What are stalactites ?" asked little Alice.

An icicle is a stalactite of frozen water; these were of lava, shaped just like large icicles.

All the while, the lake was boiling up in some places, and wrinkling and folding over at the edges. It was a terrible and exciting sight. One of the party would shout, "There, there, the boiler is going to throw up now!" and as it rose into the air, a grand chorus of "There!" would announce the end of that discharge. It is impossible to describe to you the grandeur of the scene. It is one of God's most wonderful works. We felt weak and powerless before it.

We took our lunch on the shore of this fiery lake, and afterwards spent an hour in gathering specimens of the different kinds of lava.

Not far from the lake is a peak of lava which is called the "Gothic Cathedral" from its shape. Some of the party passed by a block looking like a lion. There were huge fields of "a-a" where the lava was thrown up into rough heaps, as if some one had tried to knead up blocks a foot square, and given it up as a bad job. We walked nearly six miles in the crater, going and coming, which will give you an idea of its size. It is nine miles in circumference. Our young gentlemen we left behind, as they had discovered a new cave where they could see many valuable specimens. When we reached the house, we were wet and tired; for it rained while we were in the crater, and we had to change our clothes. We ladies saw the yellow sulphur beds in the distance, but were too weary to visit them.

During our absence, the native men had gathered a quantity of ohelo berries, resembling cranberries, but tasting like blueberries, not so sweet perhaps, but like them seedless; they were very nice with sugar, so we added them to our bill of fare. Remind me of those berries to-morrow, and I'll tell you a story about them.

Now for supper.