By way of this small collection of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century accounts, I wish to provide readers with a general overview of documentation pertaining what Hawaiians called ‘āina (the land and living environment that sustains us) from mountains to sea. The
narratives cited below, include historical accounts—some written by native Hawaiian writers of the last century—describing the condition of the Hawaiian forests, open land and other natural resources, and ways by which people sought to protect the biocultural landscape from the impacts of introduced hoofed animals. Because of the present interests and concerns for conservation, hunting, and protection of native habitats, this paper also includes several examples of management efforts that were undertaken in the first few decades of this century.
In reviewing the following document... Link to PDF above.
Excerpt of oral history interview, February 15, 2003.
Mauna Kea – Ka Piko Kaulana o ka ‘Āina. Over the years we’ve researched in both local and national archives, and conducted many oral history interviews with kūpuna and elder kama‘āina to gather traditional-historical accounts of Mauna Kea. The writings and voices all describe wahi pana (storied and sacred places) and Hawaiian cultural attachment with the ‘āina mauna. One significant example of the spiritual-cultural significance Mauna Kea is found in the visit of Dowager Queen Emma to the summit region in 1882. The document titled “Queen_Emma_on_Mauna_Kea_1882” describes the Queens visit, and the living memory of the trip. Elder kama‘āina interviews also commemorate the event and some families still carry names connecting them with the ‘āina mauna.
I, LILIUOKALANI of Hawaii, by the Will of God, named heir-apparent on the tenth day of April, A.D. 1877, and by the Grace of God, Queen of the Hawaiian Islands on the 17thday of January, A.D. 1893, do hereby protest against the ratification of a certain treaty which so I am informed has been signed at Washington by Messrs. Hatch, Thurston and Kinney, purporting to cede those Islands to the territory and dominion of the United States. I declare such treaty to be an act of wrong towards the native and part-native people of Hawaii, an invasion of the rights of the ruling chiefs, in violation of international rights both towards my people and towards friendly nations with whom they have made treaties, the perpetuation of the fraud whereby the constitutional government was overthrown and finally an act of gross injustice to me…
…My people, about forty-thousand in number, have in no way been consulted by those, three-thousand in number, who claim the right to destroy the independence of Hawaii, My people constitute four-fifths of the legally qualified voters of Hawaii, and excluding those imported for the demands of labor, about the same proportion of the inhabitants…
Said treaty ignores not only the civic rights of my people, but further the hereditary property of their chiefs. Of the four million acres composing the territory said treaty offers to annex, one million or 915,000 acres has in no way been heretofore recognized as other than the private property of the constitutional monarch, subject to a control in no way differing from other items of a private estate…
It is proposed by said treaty to confiscate said property, technically called the Crown Lands, those legally entitled thereto, either now or in succession receiving no consideration whatever for estates their title to which has always been undisputed and which is legitimately in my name at this day… June 17, 1897… (Read full protest letter)
We conduct research in both Hawaiian and English language resources. Our work has been conducted in local, national, private and family collections to help better document the history of Hawai'i. A part of the research also includes conducting oral history interviews with elder kama'āina and others who possess first-hand knowledge of history, place, practices and beliefs. We have prepared hundreds of reports as a result of the research.
Our work has been recognized by community and public organizations, and has been the recipient of several awards over the years.
Kumu Pono Associates LLC has digitized many Hawaiian documents dating from 1820 to the 1920s. Selected digital records, including the Māhele ‘Āina, Royal Patent Grants, Boundary Commission proceedings and the American Board of Christian Foreign Missions (totaling more than 200,000 documents) have been collected. Contact us for information regarding availability.