Hawaiian oral tradition and early local informants suggest a heiau (temple,) Hale O Kapuni, existed underwater just offshore in Pelekane Bay near Kawaihae – below the Puʻu Koholā Heiau (“Hill of the Whale”) and Mailekini Heiau (below Puʻu Koholā Heiau halfway down the hill.)
Kamehameha I is said to have used this heiau, and sharks were fed here. Rocks from here may have been used to build Pu‘u-koholā heiau. (Lit., house of Kapuni (a high priest of the chief Keawe.)) (Maly)
Due to tidal actions, sediment that accumulated from runoff from the uplands and nearby construction of the Kawaihae Harbor, this submerged heiau has never been located or documented through underwater archaeology – however, folklore suggests it existed and was dedicated to the shark gods.
Theophilus Davies arrived off Kawaihae in 1859, passing in the water beneath a “sacred enclosure” about twenty yards square and formed by a massive stone fence five feet high (probably Mailekini Heiau).
A large stone formed its altar, he said, and here the bleeding victims were placed before the gods until they became offensive, when they were carried to a heap of stones in the ocean (a little to seaward of our boat) and devoured by the sharks, the supposed deities. (NPS)
The presence of Hale-o-Kapuni is well known to local inhabitants: “When the tide was real low, big boulders use [sic] to come out, and it’s all build [sic] up of big boulders see, so you know it’s man made.”
“And around the side area is all deep and it’s anywhere’s [sic] from low water mark 5 feet. About 8, 9 feet when high water mark. … It was built under water purposely…. “ (Doi, NPS)
An informant pointed out to Marion Kelly the location of the heiau structure, now covered by silt washed off the coral stockpile area nearby.
Anthropologist Lloyd Soehren stated that, as children, older residents of the area remembered seeing the heiau rising about two feet above the water.
One person remembered a channel leading into a larger area within the temple where the bodies were placed for the sharks. (NPS)
Per Pukui, ʻaumākua are family or personal gods, deified ancestors who might assume the shape of the animal, plant or other feature they represent.
Here, at Hale O Kapuni, it is believed that the heiau was dedicated to sharks. “The shark was perhaps the most universally worshipped of all the aumakuas, and, strange to say, was regarded as peculiarly the friend and protector of all his faithful worshippers.” (Emerson)
“Each several locality along the coast of the islands had its special patron shark, whose name, history, place of abode, and appearance, were well known to all frequenters of that coast. Each of these sharks, too, had its kahu [keeper,] who was responsible for its care and worship”. (Emerson)
“Some of the chiefs under Kamehameha, such as Alapaʻi-malo-iki and Ka-uhi-wawae-ono, were murdering chiefs who did not keep the law against killing men, but went out with their men to catch people for shark bait.” (Kamakau)
Pōhaku o Alapaʻi ku palupalu mano, “the rock of the chief named Alapaʻi of the one who puts the human shark bait out,” originally stood in the shade of a large kiawe tree on the shore below Mailekini Heiau. (NPS)
One early account said that King Kamehameha sat there while his staff compiled the tally of the latest fishing expeditions, and that somewhere near the stone might have been the spot of Keōua’s death.
Apple states that although referred to as Kamehameha’s Chair, the rock is by local tradition more closely associated with one of Kamehameha’s staff chiefs named Alapaʻi Kupalupalu Mano who liked to use human flesh for shark bait and watched from this point as sharks entered Hale-o-Kapuni to devour the food offerings put out for them. (NPS)
Apple notes that catching sharks was a sport indulged in by high chiefs and conjectured that perhaps the animals were conditioned to rotten flesh in the offshore temple so that they could be enticed with it into the deeper water and easily noosed.
Today, this area is known to be frequented by sharks. In the early morning hours, you can usually see the sharks plying the waters just offshore, near where the heiau is believed to be located.
“The history of the Lincoln Wreckers Athletic Association dates back to the summer of 1926, when plans were made to organize barefoot football teams to participate in a new league founded by the late educator Ernest B DeSilva.”
“At its first organizational meeting, held under a mango tree (since removed) near where the present Lincoln Park Pavilion now stands, it selected Bill Serrao, a junior high school carpentry teacher as the club’s first president.”
“Membership to the club and team was generated from the Lincoln Park area and also included the peripheral neighborhoods of Kukuau, Mauka Ponahawai and makai toward Mooheau Park.”
“Surnames of people who formed the nucleus of this young club were: Yoneda, Fukuda, Oda, Saiki, Hori, Kunieda, Hiraoka, Omonaka, Okamoto, Kuratsu, Saito, Jinbo, Yokoyama, Hayashi, Shiigi, Nakaji, Tanaka, Suzuki, Segawa, Hirai, Kawachi, Hayakawa, Kohashi. Henry, Makaio, Serrao, Penavaroff and others.”
“There were four divisions in the league; the 125-pound, the 110-pound, the 100-pound and the main 150-pound senior divisions. The latter team was coached by former Honolulu resident John Melim. In its first year of competition, the Lincoln Wreckers won three out of the four division titles, with the senior team eventually going on to win six consecutive titles.”
“The early Lincoln Wreckers organization was well-rounded in that it was involved in almost every sporting activity, and welcomed and included young children both boys and girls into their programs.” (Hawaii Tribune Herald, May 11, 1986)
Fast forward from the 1926 beginning of the Lincoln Wreckers to 1949 … a new ‘fast food’ is invented, and “the boys invented the name.”
Loco Moco – “Loco means crazy. Moco has no meaning – just a made-up word to rhyme with loco.” (Nancy Inouye – who with husband Richard ran the Lincoln Grill across from the Central Fire Station in Hilo, Hawaii Tribune Herald, September 23, 1981)
As described by former ‘Wrecker’ Rudy Legaspi [former County Clerk], “[O]ne day we asked Nancy to cook us something inexpensive, but filling and nutritious.”
“It’s a simple folk dish – a big scoop of rice, a hamburger patty and an over easy fried egg – doused liberally with thick gravy.” (HTH September 23, 1981)
“Legaspi thinks George Okimoto, whose nickname was ‘Crazy,’ was the first Wrecker to ask for the dish, and, therefore, was honored with the name of the dish.”
“‘We had a band, called the Lincoln Wreckers Babes – it was a dance band. John Farias played in it [Farias is a former Director of Agriculture for the State and held other positions in the County].
While they, “smoked a lot of cigarettes” and “drank beer”, “Most Lincoln Wreckers were making good grades at Hilo High School. Despite their busy extracurricular activities. Most of them have become successful businessmen or government officials”. (HTH, September 23, 1981)
“Lincoln Grill opened six days a week. ‘when we closed, Nancy says, ‘the boys went to other places to eat. They told other places what to put into make a loco moco. That’s how it got spread around.” (HTH September 23, 1981)
“Through the years the loco moco has been accepted by most parts of the state and has become, perhaps, the second most popular folk dish, nest only to saimin in Hawaii.”
“And, loco mocos also have gone through a variety of changes. … Instead of a regular bowl, most fast-food restaurants serve loco mocos in a Styrofoam container. Instead of meat patties hand made right in the kitchen, as Nancy and Richard did, restaurants have turned to machines for efficiency and economy.”
Lincoln Grill closed its doors in 1964, “but their lowly loco moco has become one of the most popular dishes to come out of Hawaii’s melting pot.” (HTH, September 23, 1981)
In 1819, Kalanimōkū was the first Hawaiian Chief to be formally baptized a Catholic, aboard the French ship Uranie.
“The captain and the clergyman asked Young what Ka-lani-moku’s rank was, and upon being told that he was the chief counselor (kuhina nui) and a wise, kind, and careful man, they baptized him into the Catholic Church” (Kamakau). Shortly thereafter, Boki, Kalanimoku’s brother (and Governor of Oʻahu) was baptized.
It wasn’t until July 7, 1827, however, that the pioneer French Catholic mission arrived in Honolulu. It consisted of three priests of the Order of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary; Father Alexis Bachelot, Abraham Armand and Patrick Short. They were supported by a half dozen other Frenchmen.
The Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and of the Perpetual Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar is a Roman Catholic religious institute of brothers, priests and nuns. (The letters following their names, SS.CC., are the Latin initials for Sacrorum Cordium, “of the Sacred Hearts”.)
Their first mass was celebrated a week later on Bastille Day, July 14, and a baptism was given on November 30, to a child of Don Francisco de Paula Marin.
The American Congregationalists encouraged a policy preventing the establishment of a Catholic presence in Hawaiʻi. Catholic priests were forcibly expelled from the Islands in 1831.
In 1837, two other Catholic priests arrived. However the Hawaiian government forced them back onto a ship. American, British and French officials in Hawaii intervened and persuaded the king to allow the priests to return to shore.
One of the priests expelled in 1837 was Rev. Louis Désiré Maigret. Born September 14, 1804 in Maille, France, at the age of 24, Maigret was ordained to the priesthood as a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary on September 23, 1828.
“Governor Kekūanāoʻa, in charge of harbor traffic and of immigration, questions the new arrivals. The English consul vouches for Columban Murphy, and he is allowed to land.”
“Maigret, however, must stay on board and is to sail away at the first opportunity. And, together with Maigret, Kekūanāoʻa plans to get rid of another undesirable, the patient Father Bachelot, who, as it happens, is not only a priest but a very sick man.” (Charlot)
On June 17, 1839, King Kamehameha III issued the Edict of Toleration permitting religious freedom for Catholics.
Maigret sailed to Pohnpei in Micronesia to set up a mission there; he was the first missionary they had seen. He later departed for Valparaiso (Chile.)
However, when the Vicar Apostolic of Oriental Oceania was lost at sea, Father Maigret was appointed the first Vicar Apostolic of the Sandwich Islands (now the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu.) They sought to expand the Catholic presence.
At the end of the year 1840, Maigret jots down this balance sheet: Vicariate of Oceania: Catholics: 3,000; Heretics: 30,000 and Unbelievers: 100,000. (Charlot)
Maigret oversaw the construction of what would become his most lasting legacy, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, still standing and in use in downtown Honolulu.
Maigret was officially ordained as a Bishop on November 28, 1847.
Maigret divided Oʻahu into missionary districts. Shortly after, the Windward coast of Oʻahu was dotted with chapels. The Sacred Hearts Father’s College of Ahuimanu was founded by the Catholic mission on the Windward side of Oʻahu in 1846.
“Outside the city, at Ahuimanu, Maigret has now a country retreat that he refers to by the Hawaiian word māla. It is a combination garden, orchard and kitchen garden. Nuhou describes it, “The venerable bishop has built his own vineyard and planted his own orchard …”
“His retreat in the mountain, his ‘garden in the air’ as he terms it, is a pleasant and profitable sight … with a small stone-walled cottage about fifteen feet by ten.” When the pressure of events allows it, Maigret takes refuge there.” (Charlot)
Although the College of Ahuimanu flourished, as apparently reported by the Bishop in 1865, “The college and the schools are doing well. But as the number of pupils is continually on the increase, it has become necessary to enlarge the college. First we have added a story and a top floor with an attic; then we have been obliged to construct a new building. And yet we are lacking room.”
One of its students, Damien (born as Jozef de Veuster,) arrived in Hawaiʻi on March 9, 1864, at the time a 24-year-old choirboy. Determined to become a priest, he had the remainder of the schooling at the College of Ahuimanu.
Bishop Maigret ordained Father Damien de Veuster at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, on May 21, 1864; in 1873, Maigret assigned him to Molokaʻi. Damien spent the rest of his life in Hawaiʻi. In 2009, Father Damien was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI.
The College of Ahuimanu changed locations and also changed its name a couple of times. In 1881, it was renamed “College of St. Louis” in honor of Bishop Maigret’s patron Saint, Louis IX. It was the forerunner for Chaminade College and St Louis High School.
Bishop Maigret died on June 11, 1882, after 42 years of service in Hawaiʻi, 35 of those years as a Bishop. He is buried in a crypt below the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace.
Thanksgiving is a major holiday celebrated in the United States, with origins dating back centuries to Colonial times.
The faith of celebrating a harvest of plenty was a dramatic event in early Colonial America, since food supplies were far from dependable. Years of massive starvation were as common as times of plenty.
Although Native Americans were known to have harvest celebrations for centuries, if not millennia, before arrival of Europeans, the quintessence of Thanksgiving in all regions was a joint celebration of colonists and indigenous peoples, sharing the bounty of autumn and their common survival.
The site and date of origin of Thanksgiving are matters of great dispute, with regional claims being made by widely disparate locations in North America. The chief claims are: Saint Augustine, Florida – 1565; Baffin Island, Canada – 1578; Jamestown, Virginia – 1619 and Plymouth, Massachusetts – 1621.
Na-Huihui-O-Makaliʻi, “Cluster of Little Eyes” (Makaliʻi) (a faint group of blue-white stars) marks the shoulder of the Taurus (Bull) constellation. Though small and dipper-shaped, it is not the Little Dipper. (Makaliʻi is also known as the Pleiades; its common name is the Seven Sisters.)
Traditionally, the rising of Makaliʻi at sunset following the new moon (about the middle of October) marked the beginning of a four-month Makahiki season in ancient Hawaiʻi (a sign of the change of the season to winter.)
In Hawaiʻi, the Makahiki is a form of the “first fruits” festivals common to many cultures throughout the world. It is similar in timing and purpose to Thanksgiving, Oktoberfest and other harvest celebrations.
Something similar was observed throughout Polynesia, but it was in pre-contact Hawaiʻi that the festival. Makahiki was celebrated during a designated period of time following the harvesting season.
As the year’s harvest was gathered, tributes in the form of goods and produce were given to the chiefs from November through December.
It’s not clear when the first western Thanksgiving feast was held in Hawaiʻi, but from all apparent possibilities, the first recorded one took place in Honolulu and was held among the families of the American missionaries from New England.
According to the reported entry in Lowell Smith’s journal on December 6, 1838: “This day has been observed by us missionaries and people of Honolulu as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God. Something new for this nation.”
“The people turned out pretty well and they dined in small groups and in a few instances in large groups. We missionaries all dined at Dr. Judd’s and supped at Brother Bingham’s. … An interesting day; seemed like old times – Thanksgiving in the United States.”
A January 1, 1841 reference by Laura Fish Judd, Sketches of Life in Honolulu states: “There were twenty-five adults and thirty-two children of the station in Honolulu, and a proposition to unite in appropriate religious exercises and a Thanksgiving dinner, met with unanimous approval. …”
“Each lady was to furnish such dishes as suited her taste and convenience, while the table arrangements were the portion of one individual. … At three o’clock we had donned our best apparel, and sat down at the long table to enjoy a double feast.”
The first Thanksgiving Proclamation in Hawaiʻi appears to have been issued on November 23, 1849, and set the 31st day of December as a date of Thanksgiving. This appeared in ‘The Friend’ on December 1, 1849.
The following, under the signature of King Kamehameha III, named the 31st of December as a day of public thanks. The Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1849 read, in part:
“In accordance with the laws of this Kingdom, and the excellent usage of Christian Nations, it has pleased his Majesty, in council, to appoint the Thirty-first day of December, next, as a day of public thanksgiving to God, for His unnumbered mercies and blessings to this nation; and …”
“… people of every class are respectfully requested to assemble in their several houses of worship on that day, to render united praise to the Father of nations, and to implore His favor in time to come, upon all who dwell upon these shores, as individuals, as families, and as a nation.” (Signed at the Palace. Honolulu, November, 23, 1849.)
“It will be seen by Royal Proclamation that Monday, the 31st of December has been appointed by His Majesty in Council as a day of Thanksgiving. We are glad to see this time-honored custom introduced into this Kingdom.”
As noted in an 1850 edition of The Friend, “Among the many good imports into this Kingdom, we rejoice that on the last day of 1849 a National Thanksgiving made its appearance. His Majesty, Kamehameha, could not have made an appointment that would call up in the minds of Americans in his dominions, more pleasing and time hallowed associations.”
“Thanksgiving is a season as fondly cherished and observed by the descendants of the Pilgrims, as Christmas is by people of the ‘old countries.’ To be sure, Thanksgiving on the 31st of December when that occurs on Monday, rather shocks our ideas of the festival, which we have always been accustomed to celebrate on Thursday, and that Thursday ordinarily the last of November …”
“… but not supposing it possible for the King to err, we would merely express the wish that his ministers will consult their almanac next year before making the appointment. This is however, of minor importance — we come to matters of graver moment. …”
“Under the general direction of the Rev. Mr. Armstrong, Minister of Public Instruction, all the Protestant Schools in Honolulu were assembled at ten o’clock at the stone church [Kawaiaha‘o].”
“It was a pleasant spectacle, on a most charming Monday morning to witness group after group of neatly dressed children wending their way to the place of gathering, conducted by their respective teachers.”
“Soon after the audience was seated, His Majesty, the Queen, the Premier, the Minister of Foreign Relations, and others, took their seats upon the platform.” [A program of singing, chants and public addresses was described in the record.] (The Friend, January 4, 1850)
The celebratory day of Thanksgiving changed over time. On December 26, 1941 President Roosevelt signed into law a bill making the date of Thanksgiving a matter of federal law, fixing the day as the fourth Thursday of November.
Here is a link to information on the First Thanksgiving: