« PreviousContinue »
with a view to the picturesque, or with a desire to cater to the traveler who desires to study scenic beauties from the car window, it cannot be denied that a trip on the Oahu Railroad, for instance, is an intensely interesting experience. It is more than probable that, in time, every one of the islands will be griddled by coast lines, belt railroads to be fed by tap lines to the interior.
The roads and highways of Hawaii, and especially of Oahu and the island of Hawaii and Maui, are of splendid material, and seem to have been built by expert engineers. The census of 1908 gave 259 cars imported into the islands in that year, thus showing that the automobile is in use pretty generally, as it is now estimated that there are nearly seven hundred cars in the islands, an increase of more than 100 per cent in one year. The report for 1908 gave a total investment of $525,550 in automobiles, in Honolulu
alone, and the report of the dealers in accessories showed over $100,000 in goods on hand for that year. The stages to various points of interest are commodious, and the drivers are unusually unusually expert, while the supply of saddle horses seems absolutely inexhaustible. The native Hawaiian loves, next to swimming, horseback riding, and the climate is exceeding lv inviting to the lover of equine sports -horse and man do well. Every means of getting from place to place is afforded on the islands by railroad, by stage and by the use of a saddle horse-where the road becomes a trail.
Between the islands the water transportation is in the hands of the Inter-island Steamship Company. This company owns 15 vessels, with a carrying capacity of from 52 to 300 passengers each. The accommodations are good, and the service is excellent. The traveler should know that wireless stations connect all islands.
The tourist will have more than one occasion to attend a Luau or native feast, but the feast of to-day and the feast of yesteryear is one and another thing.
I have asked Mr. Francis Hartwell, one of my friends, who visited the IIawaiian Islands nearly eighteen years ago, to supplement my story of Hawaii for the tourist with a description of a Luau in the early 90's.
"The crowning custom of the native Hawaiian is gastronomic. Floral reveleries, the dance, the cresting wave and music have part in his pleasures and pastimes, recreations and amusements, but the feast, the Luau, claims the supreme interest. It was ever so from the days when his ancestor wandered leaf-clouted along the sandy shores of these dream islands and the custom, derived from tradition, is expressed in the mental and physical cravings of these people. The Luau is the thing in native Hawaiian. It is the climax, the end, the purport of all festivities. It is a part of all ceremonies, and on the program of all celebrations. The Luau is the barbecue in tropical settings.. It is a feast elevated to the dignity of ceremonial rite and most delightful.
The pig is now the victim. It was the dog in the days of yore, not the common yelping variety, but a special species, fed upon a special diet and fattened for such occasions. With the killing of the fatted pup era I have nothing to do. It has passed with the days of the swan that graced the mahogany in the era of the brimming ale mug and wassail acclaim.
"Now the pig is the thing, and to be certain it was pure pork and that I would not be a victim to an exceptional reversion to the custom of serving the favored canine, I, in days that are gone, a guest at the feast, came to exercise vigilant inspection. The earth oven was dug to a depth of several feet, and into it was piled the dried wood. The sticks were deftly placed so as to allow for draft and escape of smoke during the burning. The pit, or oven, was lined and piled about with rough faced, jagged coral rock, which were heated to an almost crimson hue, and then the pig-surely it was pork; it grunted and it squealed-was led in to execution. The deft severance of its main blood artery, and in a few minutes his pigship's day was over. Then the servitors of the feast grasped the livid stones from the molten pit, and using them as scrapers. ground off bristles and hair from the hide of their victim with the deftness of the veteran butcher with the razor-like knife.
"In two minutes the natives had the skin
a clear and pinky hue. That the operators found discomfort in the livid stones was displayed by the frequent plunging of their hands into water to get relief from the sting of the heat. Then the pig was further submitted to a polishing from blocks of pumice stone. He was cut open and thoroughly cleaned. The porker was then placed upon the heated rock pyre, over a paddy of tea leaves about an inch thick to prevent burning, and his interior. filled with the hot stones. Potatoes and fish previously prepared by wrapping in koa leaves were piled about the roasting pork, and over it all reared a mound of tea and banana leaves.
"More heated coral rock was piled upon that, and a dressing of earth surmounted the pyre of ceremonial meats. The occasion was a holiday of import to the family of my host, and he had invited many to partake of his joy and bounty.
"In course of the hours the light that shone from every eye signaled the wellbaked feast was due. The native chefs arose and deftly removed the leaves and earth, releasing the savory odor of the roasted porker. The potatoes and fish were removed, and the victim placed in smoking glory on a mat of tea leaves. As if by magic the roast was torn bone from bone, and piled in appetizing mass of convenient size for the guests
to handle. There was raw fish, the favorite relish of the native, the ever present poi, and from the jugs were poured copious libations of okolehau. As it was evening, the older guests partook of awa, of opiate effect, and they had scarcely eaten of their share when, like the lotus votaries, were in the land where roast pork abides upon the hoof and potatoes and yams grow cooked for ready use. There was dancing by the dusky belles and beaux to the thrumming of the rhythmic though melancholy strains of the race by the orchestra playing on the ukudele.
"It was jollity and gayety, but decorous, and the pig-yea, I affirm it was-was good.
content has overtaken the land. The volcano is still, and the heroes are gone to their accounting.
Another race has come forward, just as the conquerors have come in the past, from far Kahiki, Samoa. This is a race of another color, and it is the follower of Captain Cook and the Spanish navigators and the others. And, in the succeeding struggles, the Hawaiian gradually takes the place of a philosophical onlooker-a complacent observer of the agitations of his energetic successor. The white man invites people from the Orient and the Occident, and truly as the poet sings, Hawaii becomes a sort of prize for "all who would share her mother-love."
In the song of Mr. Philip Henry Dodge, "The First Aloha," we have the idea in rhyme:
"When Hawaii lay an infant
In its ocean mother's care, All the family of Nature.
Longed that mother-love to share.
"Hark! the mother caught its murmur, Wrapt in her sweet sea tone, Passes "Aloha" to the breezes,
Echoed it from zone to zone.
"Come ye to Hawaii's cradle,
Learning there the meaning sweet; Hear the kind Aloha whispered,
With it one another greet.
"How it stirs the heart in home-land, How it draws from distant scenes! All the blessings one can wish thee,
That is what Aloha means."
Truly, the newcomer comes soon to love the land and the people, and the very air seems to be filled with the virus of hospitality and kindliness. And so it comes to pass that they do greet one another with Aloha, and to the Caucasian as to the brown man it has come to mean the same thing. "All the blessings one can wish thee, that is what Aloha means."
It was Stoddard who told me of it first, and then, when I experienced the unusual, I made a mental apology to the poet who lilted lays of the lazy latitudes.
fabled Kahiki, in their war canoes, they sought a land that was even fairer than theirs, and found it; and when they reached the islands of the mid-Pacific sea they praised the Gods of the winds and the gods of the waters in loud acclaim, and they beat the great drums and sang. Then they sent word for more to come and share with them the blessings of the new land, and each race, in its conquest of the mid-sea isles, stretches back over the eddying waters its beckoning hands and sings Alohas to the dear ones far away, calling, ever calling
total population of the mid-sea group being estimated at about 165,000.
About 65,000 are native and about 100,000 are foreign born. There are only about 15,000 Caucasians in the islands, and the rest of the population is composed of about 60,000 Japanese and a mixed race, composed of half-breed Porto Ricans, Portuguese, Chinese and a few negroes. Of the latter, at the time of the last census, there were only 233 in the whole group.
There is one thing that should always be remembered about the Hawaiians. They were not what might be termed un
The island of Oahu on which Honolulu is situated has the largest population of any in the group, but Hawaii, which is by far the larger island, is a close racing second, and it is dependent on development whether this big and fertile island does not outstrip all the others in population, as it already does in production. There are now estimated to be in the neighborhood of 60,000 people in Oahu, and Hawaii is estimated at 50,000, while Maui has about 25,000 and Kauai about 20,000 souls. The
civilized at any time in their history, since known to the white man. They were, in a measure, barbarians, it is true, but, even at the time of Captain Cook's coming, they had the customs of a civilized people, and furthermore they at no time have shown any of the signs of being a wantonly dirty, wicked or malicious people as many of the people of Africa and Asia. As an evidence of their goodness of character, it is pointed out that their language contains no word which is the equivalent of what