Lawai'a Mahiai Ame Kalepa Hookahi No Ia Kino / Fishermen, Farmers, and Peddlers Are Of One Body

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Lawai'a Mahiai Ame Kalepa Hookahi No Ia Kino / Fishermen, Farmers, and Peddlers Are Of One Body

(Written by J. K. Mokumaia)

When the traveling ʻanae move out of the lagoon and if they settle at Waikīkī, then the experts that were mentioned in previous issues will catch them.  If they travel far beyond, so then they will settle at Maunalua and be caught by the famous lad of that place, that being Bill Muumuu, the boxer of Maukelana.  After residing there for a few days, they return on the route they took and they may settle at Kaihupalaai, Puʻuloa, and then they go into the ʻEwa regions. There they gain a new name, they are called cliff ʻanae, the reason being, the conditions of the fish are changed by the stream branches. 

You are probably puzzled dear reader, here are the attributes of the traveling ʻanae. Its scales have a fine shimmer and its body is not plump upon observance, but full bodied in the net. When you catch it, once it ceases its squirming, then the slime of the fish excretes and it becomes white, similar to the horse that bucks about here and there until the sweat begins to flow, and it becomes white.  That is just like this traveling ʻanae, and this author is an eye witness, having worked upon their route. You would see a lot of sea foam like washing soap because you could see the nature of these fish; it simply swims, just like a real race horse, and that is the nature of the traveling ʻanae, until it goes back to its condition as the cliff ʻanae. This author is accustomed to the names of this fish and where to catch it.  ʻEwa was renowned in those days, but these days that are pushing along, that fish isn’t remembered, and neither is the place to catch it nor the attributes of the cliff ʻanae.  Its body looks plump, like a pond-raised fish. Its scales are quite dark and there is red on its gills when you examine it on both sides.  On its mouth it is somewhat red from constantly eating seaweed.  It is like the girl who is cared for by her grandparents, when examined she is nicely plump, with bright eyes and red cheeks and the hips are nice and ample making it hard for you to think, such is this fish the cliff ʻanae. Its tail spreads out nicely from the flank, so it looks more like a pond-cultivated fish.  So, O reader, those who were accustomed to this fish and where it was caught would never miss seeing it, because those areas were renowned then, but these days that are pushing forward, it has greatly changed. 

There are big buildings and it's a large city, and the place where sewage and trash is kept is right in the middle of that area, so it all looks bad, and not only there, but also where the author resides this has occurred in the days past.  Keʻehi,the salt water area connected to Moanalua, was famous and from here came the delectable pua ʻamaʻama.  The reader will probably be surprised by this name and so it is appropriate that it be explained.  This pua ʻamaʻama and the kōhāhā or ʻamaʻama liʻiliʻi, they are the similar to the traveling ʻanae and the cliff ʻanae, but upon reaching this salt water area of Keʻehi it changes.  The reason it changes is that when the traveling ʻanae stops over at Kaihupalaai, half of them will then enter the boundaries of ʻEwa and the other half will go into Kumumauu, then when they assemble again into Heʻu the entrance path changes to the bay of Kalihi. There they have found a place to reside and spawn, then they return up to Keʻehi and into Moanalua as well. 

Living at the shore of these places when you looked out the numbers were indeed great.  When you got them they would be hung to dry at all the homes of these places.  Along the shores of Keʻehi, no one would get them until they were fully developed, and that was probably around 5 inches. 

My source about those days is the renowned man, that being the honorable Mahelona Sr. His residence was at Puʻuhale, the fishpond of Kaʻihikapu at the sea of Keʻehi and he was associated with that pond as it was for him to care for it as those seas belonged to royalty, the chiefess Pauahi.  So, if it came from the fish pond, as I have just said, 5 inches or less, it would be fat and delicious to eat, tasty.  That fishpond was well-known in those days.  Two canoes would be filled when these fish were brought in.  The reader may be puzzled that the pua ʻamaʻama were taken, I will tell you the facts.  As for the large ʻamaʻama when you catch them its size is as big as the thigh of a three year old baby, and it was strictly prohibited to kill them because that was the parent fish.  Also prohibited was setting nets in the pond.  If one desired fish, when the tide rose it was by the point of a fishhook and strainer one would get them.  When I saw these places, they were filled with the pua ʻamaʻama.  If you placed a stone of 10 pounds in weight, it will float upon the fish and that is where you can take fish until your desires as satisfied.  This author knows for he has worked as a merchant, selling them, and then returned to reside at this pond.  Apologies, the pen has gone outside of the line, but it his made this better. 

Upon catching these pua ʻamaʻama on the sea of Keʻehi, they look nice and plump, with a bit of red on the gills, the scales are quite shiny.  It was a well known fish in those days from that area, and that was also true of the awaaua, which was delicious.  When you encountered a school of fish, the canoes would fill up.  It is rare to obtain the large ʻamaʻama types in the horror of these pipes that bring in all sorts of sewage, and as time progresses so too do those things change.  So, let us return again to the traveling ʻanae.  

Upon returning to the place it first stopped at Kahana, then it moves on to the Koʻolau sections and if not caught by some fishermen of those areas, they settle at Kailua near Oneawa.  Then, while they stop there, a few days will pass, and when they disappear, it's in those days that the small pua ʻamaʻama will be seen along the shores. When the kohala move in, all these fish will be seen in the market, as it's just a short season in those areas, but the cliff ʻanae will continue to move at the places mentioned above.

While observing the nature of the schooling of the fish that stopped first at Kahana, you see this is indeed true and it was customary then and up until this time, and the akule is one of the fish that is similar to the traveling ʻanae, but there is no other name that refers to the akule. There may be one in that is rather romanticized and called poetic, “the akule that resides in the deep,” this is a fish that follows a regular course.  If it first stops at Kahana then passing Hauʻula and it stays at Lāʻie. It remains for a while, then it goes to Waimea, doesn't stop at Waialua but goes on to school at Waiʻanae, and that is the explanation of Keonipili in those days.  The stench rose at the beaches when they're encircled with the nets, and then it was in barrels that they were brought in on the train, but before that it was brought in upon a whaleboat. Sometimes it would be done after two weeks and if they passed then they would school at Kualakai, and life would be brought to that area, Aaalona, and if not there they would go to the akule pen of Puʻuloa.  This pen was renowned in those days.  If the akule entered, none would get out or go over the pen that was covered over by the ocean.  So, the fish were often brought in from that pen, then a few weeks passed and they moved again to Kalihi at Kahakaʻaulana and if they were schooling, then Waikīkī would be where they would stop. If they were not seen by those experts, then they were caught by the boxer of Maukelana, for the last place they would school is at Maunalua.  Among all of these fish that have been described when you consider it, all places near the shore have benefitted, for I've seen it with my own eyes and have worked to sell them to those who would buy.  The hahalalu is rather similar to the akule in nature but if they are rising first at Kahana, then they will split onto two paths.  One will go along the Koʻolau districts, and the other half will go along the Waiʻanae side. So, when when they come together, it's confusion, for all those of Kailua enter, and there's an abundance of fish during those days being sold at the market.  It was hard  to watch, for the horses would carry them, but one matter was that the children had good health.  Nowadays the fast cars carry them and in the blink of an eye in Waiʻanae, they're at the market with the fish in good condition.  So, among these three fish you will see, O reader, the nature of those days.  If the movement of the akule was done, then we had that poetry, “the akule resides in the deep,” then the deep water fisherman were the ones who caught them.  They would catch a few forties, as that was when fish came up for those lads of Puʻukolo and Kakaʻako, so these experts understood very well how to get them. 

(To be continued. ) 


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Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, April 30, 1925
, Book: 64, Number: 18, Page: 5