Ka Moolelo Oiaio o Ko John Kaelemakule Ola Ana-Helu 9 / The True Story of John Kaelemakule's Life-Number 9

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Ka Moolelo Oiaio o Ko John Kaelemakule Ola Ana-Helu 9 / The True Story of John Kaelemakule's Life-Number 9

Recorded by him for the benefit of the readership of the Hoku

Number 9

The last portion of my story ran on until the point that described my activities when I was one who had to seek the means for a good living for myself and my beloved wife. Therefore, at this point the descriptions of my youth while I was living with my patient parents will cease. 

In this section of the story, you readers of the Hoku will see how I came into all sorts of occupations in search of a means of living. It’s not at all like when I lived with my parents, leading a difficult, poor lifestyle.

It will fulfill those fine words that are shown in the great book.

“By the sweat of your brow will you gain yours, and it will continue throughout all days of your life.”

Therefore, I delved into all sorts of occupations, progressing along with the times. The first occupation I took on was fishing, as it was the occupation I always knew from working with my caretaker while I was quite young. He constantly taught me this beneficial occupation of the people of old, that being fishing in shallow waters as well as fishing in the ocean depths. 

Before I get too far in, I request the reader of this autobiography please excuse me for discussing traits of the fishing trade, as it may not be something that you readers of the Hoku desire. However, please keep the beneficial. As for the worthless, you should set it aside.  Fishing in shallow waters is something that everyone can do, and the same goes for fishing in the deep oceans.   

In this time it’s as if there are no young people who are willing to fish. Instead, clerical jobs, where one sets a pen on one's ear, are the jobs the children of these times desire. That’s because these are clean jobs that are not criticized by the young lovelies of the land. However, in my days, fishing was the most successful occupation, and it was preferred by the people of old of the Kona districts.

The Fishing Trade, from the times of old of our land, is an occupation greatly regarded by our beloved aliʻi of the olden times, and it was a favored trade to be taught by parents to their children. There was farming on the land, and there was fishing in the ocean. Those were the main occupations in the old times of our ancestors.  These trades were “highly desired” by parents with daughters, as those were the occupations beneficial for a woman residing with her husband in those old days of our Hawaiʻi.

I am bringing this occupation forth for discussion at this point in my story, with the notion that aspects I discuss in this section of my personal account will stir up some favor for this trade that our Elders highly regarded in the past days of the land. 

I am going to talk about deep ocean fishing, as that is one of the kinds of fishing that my caretaker Kaʻaikaula taught to me and included me in at the times for such fishing.  

Some of the prominent fishing of the days of my youth that was done by the fishermen of Kekaha that will not be forgotten by my family were aku casting, ʻahi casting, and net fishing as well. Those are the types of fishing that were rather dominant in those days when I began to work this trade since those were the types of fishing that brought sustenance to the lives of the families of Kekaha. From the fish caught in those prominent types of fishing in those days one acquired food, or perhaps clothing, or necessary equipment to carry out these important fishing styles. These types of fishing were performed at the ʻōpelu fishing grounds or just beyond those grounds, and as for the aku casting and the ʻahi casting, those would be done in the places inhabited by those types of fish.  However, the greatest fishing area for these types of fish I have just described is the famous fishing grounds of Kekaha that is known by the name Haleʻōhiʻu.

In my explanations of these types of fishing for the kinds of fish that I am discussing, some of my explanations may not be similar to what other expert fisherman might think about these famous types of fishing on our land.

I will be excused for that, however, as I will describe the way that I performed them. These fishing practices are my own, in my autobiography, and these endeavors are related to those younger days of my life.  I will divide the discussions for these prominent fishing customs of our land.

Aku Casting

Some of the fishing styles of the aku casting customs utilized an aku lure, and such an aku lure would be shaped from pearl shell [pāpaua] of the ocean; this was done by aku casters from long ago on this land.

There are four types of aku lure, and thus they had four names given by the old fishermen of Hawaiʻi, from our elders. Here are the most common names of the aku lures, “Ka pā-hī-aku KEA”, and “HAU.” Both of them are white but the difference between the two is this: The white of the “kea” lure is shiny while the white of the “hau” lure is dull.

The “KAAPE [KĀʻOPE]” lure has a yellow body, and the fourth of the lures I referenced is the “Mūheʻe, lure,” and that is a lure that rather resembles the cuttlefish of the ocean. These are the common names of the aku lures of the people of old, and from these four names, they are once again divided into more aku lures names.

To be continued



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Ka Hoku o Hawaii, November 13, 1928
, Book: 22, Number: 24, Page: 3