Honolulu’s 1908 Christmas Eve

Christmas eve in Honolulu in 1908 is similar to today’s: last-minute shopping, church services, and parties. The Hawaiian Star captured these scenes and more in “Christmas Well Kept.”

“Christmas Well Kept”
Hawaiian star, December 26, 1908, Page 6

Presentation in LIS 693 — Resources in Hawaiian & Pacific Librarianship

Hawaiian specialist librarian Dore Minatodani presented about Chronicling America to a library science class, LIS 693 — Resources in Hawaiian & Pacific Librarianship, on Thursday, September 11. She explained to fourteen students about how to do research in historic and modern Hawaii newspapers and gave examples of how to search in Chronicling America.

Pacific specialist librarians Stuart Dawrs and Eleanor Kleiber are teaching this class in the Library and Information Science Program, University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Stu said, “We think the [Hawaii Digital Newspaper Project] is an excellent addition to the tools available for researching 19th and early 20th century news coverage related to Hawaii and the Pacific.”

The Development of Hotels in Waikiki

What images do you usually conjure up when you think of Waikiki? Hotels? Tourists? Retail businesses? It wasn’t always a tourist mecca. In fact, before the 1800s, Waikiki was a marshland where Native Hawaiians raised taro and fish, and Hawaiian royalty surfed the waves at the beach.

As the number of visitors to Hawaii increased in the 1880s, hotels were opening and Waikiki, and Waikiki became a place for visitors. Hawaii newspapers provide an insight to the development of Waikiki. Read more about it in the “The Development of Hotels in Waikiki.”

The Numbing Awa

The awa can definitely numb a person. Kuhao, a “professional awa-chewer,” was so numbed by the awa (kava) that he didn’t feel pain when Kaapana bit his nose off at a hula show. Only after Kuhao’s wife said, “Papa, you’ve got no nose!” did Kuhao realized what happened. Read more about what happened to his nose in “How Kuhao Lost His Nose.”

Finders, Keepers? Do Hawaiian Artifacts Belong in a Museum?

Does an ancient Hawaiian artifact belong in a museum?

Obviously, steamer purser Jim Davis thought so. He found a 150-year-old stone awa bowl where a native hut used to stand in Kona. Davis planned to offer the bowl to Bishop Museum, which did not have one made of stone.

Read more about it in “Curio Comes from Kona.”

A Screaming Infant

Would you expect a screaming infant to attract the attention of police and firefighters? Somebody thought the infant’s scream sounded like somebody was yelling “fire.” Read the article “Screaming Infant Roused the Town.”

Billboards in Hawaii?

Is Hawaii better off without billboards?

In 1912, a group of women thought so and vowed to protect Hawaii’s natural beauty. When they patronized a store, they left this note:

“I will not buy anything advertised on billboards as long as I can find a substitute, or a last resort, go without.”

This was the start of The Outdoor Circle. It would fight against billboards in Hawaii for the next fifteen years.

In 1927, a billboard ban became law. Thus, billboards are banned from Hawaii today.

Read more about beginning of The Outdoor Circle’s fight in “Women Open War on Billboards.”

The Floating Island of Happiness

Tired of dealing with life? Interested in living on the floating island of happiness, or the “Island of Peace?”

Kahuna Kaauamoku told Hawaiians in Hana, Maui, to prepare for the floating island. So the twenty-six Hawaiians decorated her house with ti leaves and pua hala, prayed, danced, and chanted. Around the kahuna’s house, they built a spirit fence and placed their belongings, including animals, tools, kitchen stoves, and food.

Would the floating island come and bring salvation to the believers? Or was Kahuna Kaauamo just a “wise guy who can pull the wool over other folks’ eyes?” Read more about it in “Floating Islanders of Hana Postpone Happy Land.”