The Cultivation of the Wauti Plant…

The wauti plant, of which the greater part of the cloth on this side of the island is made, is cultivated with much care in their gardens of sugar-cane, plantain, and whole plantations are sometimes devoted exclusively to its growth. Slips about a foot long are planted nearly two feet apart, in long rows, four or six feet asunder. Two or three shoots rise from most of the slips, and grow till they are six or twelve feet high, according to the richness of the soil, or the kind of cloth for which they are intended. Any small branches that may sprout out from the side of the long shoot, are carefully plucked off, and sometimes the bud at the top of the plant is pulled out, to cause an increase in its size. Occasionally they are two years growing, and seldom reach the size at which they are fit for use, in less than twelve or even eighteen months, when they are cut off near the ground, the old roots being left, to produce shoots another year. The bark, when stripped off and rolled up, as described above, is left several days; when, on being unrolled, it appears quite flat. The outer bark is then taken off, generally by scraping it with a large shell, and the inner bark, of which the cloth is made, is occasionally laid in water, to extract the resinous substances it may contain. Each piece of bark is then taken singly, and laid across a piece of wood, twelve or eighteen feet long, six inches square, smooth on the top, but having a groove on the underside, and is beaten with a square mallet of hard heavy wood, about a foot in length, and two inches wide; three sides are carved in grooves or ribs, the other into squares, in order that one mallet may answer for the different kinds of cloth they are accustomed to make. When they have beaten the bark till it is spread out nine inches or a foot wide, it is either dried and reserved for future use, or wrapped up in leaves, laid by for a day or two, and then beaten out afresh till the required extent and texture are produced. (Ellis)

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 (These are excerpts from a book by William Ellis that has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.)

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The Manner of Preparing Wauti Bark for Native Hawaiian Cloth…

For several days past we have observed many of the people bringing home from their plantations bundles of young wauti, (a variety of the morus papyrifera,) from which we infer that this is the season for cloth-making in this part of the island. This morning, the 17th, we perceived Keoua, the governor’s wife, and her female attendants, with about forty other women, under the pleasant shade of a beautiful clump of cordia or kou trees, employed in stripping off the bark from bundles of wauti sticks, for the purpose of making it into cloth. The sticks were generally from six to ten feet long, and about an inch in diameter at the thickest end. They first cut the bark, the whole length of the stick, with a sharp serrated shell, and having carefully peeled it off, rolled it into small coils, the inner bark being outside. In this state it is left some time, to make it flat and smooth. Keoua not only worked herself, but appeared to take the superintendence of the whole party. Whenever a fine piece of bark was found, it was shewn to her, and put aside to be manufactured into wairiirii, or some other particular cloth. With lively chat and cheerful song, they appeared to beguile the hours of labour until noon, when having finished their work, they repaired to their dwellings. (Ellis)

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 (These are excerpts from a book by William Ellis that has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.)

We Estimate the Height of Mouna Huararai…

In the morning of the 16th, Messrs. Goodrich and Harwood endeavoured to ascertain the height of Mouna Huararai, by means of two observations at the extremity of a base line of 2230 feet. They made the height of the mountain to be 7822 feet; but their quadrant being an inferior one, we thought the height of the mountain greater than that given above, though it is never covered with snow.

The accounts the natives gave us of the roads we were to travel, and the effects the short journeys already made had produced on our shoes, convinced us that those we had brought with us would be worn out before we had proceeded even half way round the island. We therefore provided a substitute, by pro- curing a tough bull’s hide from the governor’s store- house, and making ourselves rude sandals; which we afterwards found very serviceable, as they enabled us to travel over large tracts of lava with much more expedition and comfort than we could possibly have done without them. (Ellis)

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 (These are excerpts from a book by William Ellis that has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.)

April 1, 2018 is Easter Sunday in the United States…

Many churches hold special services on Easter Sunday, which celebrate the Jesus Christ’s resurrection after his crucifixion. Many people also decorate eggs. These can be hard boiled eggs that can be eaten later, but may also be model eggs made of plastic, chocolate, candy or other materials. It is also common to organize Easter egg hunts. Eggs of some form are hidden, supposedly by a rabbit or hare. People, especially children, then search for them. In some areas, Easter egg hunts are a popular way for local businesses to promote themselves or may even be organized by churches.

In Pagan times, many groups of people organized spring festivals. Many of these celebrated the re-birth of nature, the return the land to fertility and the birth of many young animals. These are the origins of the Easter eggs that we still hunt for and eat.

In Christian times, the spring began to be associated with Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. The crucifixion is remembered on Good Friday and the resurrection is remembered on Easter Sunday. The idea of the resurrection joined with the ideas of re-birth in Pagan beliefs.

Easter Sunday is not a federal holiday but a number of stores are closed in many parts of the US and if they are open, they may have limited trading hours. In some cities, public transit systems usually run their regular Sunday schedule, but it is best to check with the local transport authorities if any changes will be implemented during Easter Sunday.

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We Attend Another Native Dance…

About four o’clock in the afternoon, another party of musicians and dancers, followed by multitudes of people, took their station nearly on the spot occupied yesterday by those from Kaʻū. The musicians, seven in number, seated themselves on the sand; a curiously carved drum, made by hollowing out a solid piece of wood, and covering the top with shark’s skin, was placed before each, which they beat with the palm or fingers of their right hand. A neat little drum, made of the shell of a large cocoa-nut, was also fixed on the knee, by the side of the large drum, and beat with a small stick held in the left hand. When the musicians had arranged themselves in a line, across the beach, and a bustling man, who appeared to be master of the ceremonies, had, with a large branch of a cocoa-nut tree, cleared a circle of considerable extent, two interesting little children, (a boy and a girl,) apparently about nine years of age, came forward, habited in the dancing costume of the country, with garlands of flowers on their heads, wreaths around their necks, bracelets on their wrists, and buskins on their ankles. When they had reached the centre of the ring, they commenced their dance to the music of the drums; cantilating, alternately with the musicians, a song in honor of, some ancient of Hawaii.

The governor of the island was present, accompanied, as it is customary for every chieftain of distinction to be on public occasions, by a retinue of favorite chiefs and attendants. Having almost entirely laid aside the native costume, and adopted that of the foreigners who visit the islands, he appeared on this occasion in a light European dress, and sat on a Canton-made arm chair, opposite the dancers, during the whole exhibition. A servant, with a light kihei of painted native cloth thrown over his shoulder, stood behind his chair, holding a highly polished spittoon, made of the beautifully brown wood of the cordia in one hand, and in the other a handsome kahiri, an elastic rod, three or four feet long, having the shining feathers of the tropic-bird tastefully fastened round the upper end, with which he fanned away the flies from the person of his master. The beach was crowded with spectators, and the exhibition kept up with Great Spirit, till the overspreading shades of evening put an end to their mirth, and afforded a respite to the poor children, whose little limbs must have been very much fatigued by two hours of constant exercise.

A messenger now invited us to sup with the governor, and we soon after joined him and his friends around his hospitable board. Our repast was not accompanied by the gladsome sound of “harp in hall” or “aged minstrel’s flowing lay,” yet it was enlivened by an interesting youthful bard, twelve or fourteen years of age, who was seated on the ground in the large room in which we were assembled, and who, during the supper, sung, in a monotonous but pleasing strain, the deeds of former chiefs, ancestors of our host. His fingers swept no “classic lyre,” but beat, in a manner responsive to his song, a rustic little drum, formed of a calabash, beautifully stained, and covered at the head with a piece of shark skin. The governor and his friends were evidently pleased with his lay, and the youth seemed repaid by their approbation. (Ellis)

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 (These are excerpts from a book by William Ellis that has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.)

We Receive Aid From the Governor of Hawaii…

The plan of our tour being thus arranged, we were anxious to receive the aid of the governor in the execution of it. Mr. Thurston and I were therefore chosen to wait upon him in the afternoon, to make him acquainted with our wishes, and solicit his assistance for their accomplishment. In the afternoon we waited on the governor, according to appointment; made him acquainted with our arrangements, and solicited the accommodation of a boat, or canoe, to carry our baggage, and a man acquainted with the island, to act as guide, and to procure provisions, offering him, at the same time, any remuneration he might require for such assistance. After inquiring what baggage we intended to take, and how long we expected to be absent from Kairua, he generously offered to send a canoe as far as it could go with safety, and also to furnish a guide for the whole tour without any recompense whatever. He recommended that we should take a few articles for barter, as, occasionally, we might perhaps be obliged to purchase our food, or hire men to carry our baggage. After thanking him for his kindness, we returned. (Ellis)

Discover all of the history and lore of the Big Island at Botanical World…

Botanical World Adventures                          Gardens, Waterfalls & Maze

31-240 Old Mamalahoa Highway                   Open daily – 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Hakalau, Hawaii 96710                                    Visited us in the Past?

Mile Marker 16 on Highway 19                       Write a review

 

For 24/7 Online Reservations Book your tour HERE

Or call: 808-963-5427 or Toll Free: 888-947-4753

Visit us at BotanicalWorld.com

 

 (These are excerpts from a book by William Ellis that has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.)

We Receive Aid From the Governor of Hawaii…

The plan of our tour being thus arranged, we were anxious to receive the aid of the governor in the execution of it. Mr. Thurston and I were therefore chosen to wait upon him in the afternoon, to make him acquainted with our wishes, and solicit his assistance for their accomplishment. In the afternoon we waited on the governor, according to appointment; made him acquainted with our arrangements, and solicited the accommodation of a boat, or canoe, to carry our baggage, and a man acquainted with the island, to act as guide, and to procure provisions, offering him, at the same time, any remuneration he might require for such assistance. After inquiring what baggage we intended to take, and how long we expected to be absent from Kairua, he generously offered to send a canoe as far as it could go with safety, and also to furnish a guide for the whole tour without any recompense whatever. He recommended that we should take a few articles for barter, as, occasionally, we might perhaps be obliged to purchase our food, or hire men to carry our baggage. After thanking him for his kindness, we returned. (Ellis)

Discover all of the history and lore of the Big Island at Botanical World…

Botanical World Adventures                          Gardens, Waterfalls & Maze

31-240 Old Mamalahoa Highway                   Open daily – 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Hakalau, Hawaii 96710                                    Visited us in the Past?

Mile Marker 16 on Highway 19                       Write a review

 

For 24/7 Online Reservations Book your tour HERE

Or call: 808-963-5427 or Toll Free: 888-947-4753

Visit us at BotanicalWorld.com

 

 (These are excerpts from a book by William Ellis that has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.)