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

You are here

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

Fishing, Farming, and Peddling Are of One Body

(Continued)

Written by J. K. Mokumaia

So, O Nation, let us examine the distress of these waters that flow into the shore lines that have just been described. If there is a pineapple cannery at Waiʻalae or at Maunalua, I am declaring before you, O reader, the fish will die just as they have at the shore lines of Kalihi.  If there is a pineapple cannery at Pūpūkea, Waialua and that acidic pineapple water is made to flow into the ocean, I am telling you, O reader, from the shorelines of the Kaʻena point until both Lāʻies and into Kahana, a stench will dwell on the shores of those beaches because, the draw of the tides will transmit the acidic water and it will continue to travel about until finding the place that this pen is writing about and my dear shore line of Moanalua as well as Mokuaeʻo. And something not seen before is the death of the urchins and the lobsters, and the red uhu washing onto the beaches, something not being monitored by this little Portuguese officer who came to confront the author about hahalalū, saying that he has in fact seen these announcements and that they are not true since there are plenty of hahalalū in the market.  Actually this little Portuguese officer has some capability in reading Hawaiian, but if someone hears him read aloud, the Hawaiian who was read to probably won’t understand the sentences that were published by this author. So the first time the voice of that little Portuguese officer grew very loud while driving in his car I paid no heed to him nor did I question him, because I had a job at that time and the passengers were coming to board my vehicle and then a lady asked me, “Is that man calling you, o Mokumaiʻa?” and his car had stopped.  The only thing I said to the good lady was "That is the Portuguese officer watching the fishermen." “Auē, so that’s what it is, Mokumaiʻa? I've become an old lady. I have lived on my land and have many grandchildren, but now it turns out they are monitoring the ʻopihi fishing and the amount of time you can do it, five pounds of ʻopihi and you have three hours to fish." 

"There is much to be amazed at regarding these tasks as seen in my publications; I am really happy to meet you. Where are you from?” “I am from Kohala, and yes it really is a joy.” "This is the second person who mentioned this good news, folks from Kohala who went to fish for ʻopihi and the officer told them that only five pounds were allowed per trip. Then when these men went night fishing they were told this type of fishing was forbidden.  So, listen up, O Kohala, you have many candidates for Senator and Representative, that you have sent here, and it was before their very eyes that these laws were created. For that reason the voice of this little officer has grown greater, by whom our ribs are to be snagged, to be a pain in the side when you meet with him."  

"I have great regard and gratitude for our meeting."

When I returned and stood once more at my grounds, I saw that he was inside the market.  When I went there and saw him standing at a table, I passed by without looking at him. Instead, as I passed I was side-eyeing him and when I stood before another table I saw the baby pāʻāʻā, the hahalalū.  I was looking at the fish and I asked the chinaman for an ʻūʻū and I saw him approach like the Czar of Russia and he stood by my side because I knew what he was thinking, he wanted to ask about it, about the baby hahalalū. So, O reader, look upon this with discretion, as this is for your benefit, a benefit provided by the law, where all things are released from restrictions because you are a native of Hawaiʻi, born here in Hawaiʻi and have also become a citizen of America, therefore the reader must comprehend the opinions written, so that these truths may be beneficial.  There were a few obstacles when I met with him, he said that my publication was not correct because there were many hahalalū that were being sold at the market and I told this little Portuguese officer, “Do you know what you are telling me?” “O, I know what I am telling you, Mokumaiʻa.”

May the populace see that a man of foreign lands has become one who teaches the people who were born upon their own land, so that they learn the nature of that birth land which he is saying has hahalalū, and I told him, “You are mistaken and so are your people who created this law because your words have been taken and reflected upon and we say that they should not be heeded. I want to teach you that the hahalalū has different type of body, this fish is a baby akule pāʻāʻā and the baby hahalalū is small, about three inches in length.  Where did you learn about the nature of the fish of these seas? You have become a nuisance to the Hawaiian people because you have taken to words that are not correct.  The same happened with the manini, yet you folks and the Haole have consumed the manini.” Quickly, the little Portuguese officer left me while the Chinese fish sellers noted the volume of my voice which accused the officer of having done these things, and he left before my message for him was done.

But, O populace, this is a big question to consider since the people that we have chosen did not mention that they would make these laws about the nets and the fishes that would be restricted. Therefore, I have undertaken to clarify my thoughts about these fish that have recently been restricted by the power of this, and this is how it censures. If appropriate to consider faulting those who helped pass this amazing law, then this opinion article that has been placed in the Kūʻokoʻa has been seen, and it has been printed and become law, and a department has been created for that field, along with a main director, called a Professor, to monitor fish and their breeding. 

On the morning of this past Thursday, the 27th of August one of the native born sons of the land and a famous orator of these current days, who knew all things upon these islands joined in, namely the Honorable and esteemed Hon. Lorrin. A. Thurston, because one of the members of the fish commission contested my publications in the Kūʻokoʻa about the hahalalū fish, since that fish is being sold in the markets. He therefore wanted to meet with me and ask directly if in fact my publication was factual since he just had found out that my publications about baby fish have been running for a long time.  I affirmed that these opinions have been published for a long time in the Kūʻokoʻa and that I knew the one who was slandering was that Portuguese officer so that his words would be believed.  When Thurston asked me about the hahalalū fish, its size and length, I told him there are two types of hahalalū.

“The baby hahalalū is about two to three inches in length and the baby akule pāʻāʻā hahalalū is five or six inches in length, and then there is the akule which is seven and eight inches or more in length, and it is from the mouth to the tail fin that you will measure these inches. I am familiar with these fish, and was taught how to use these fish and the nature of the names of these fish that are called hahalalū.” He was greatly surprised and he said to me, “I will write the names of these fish and their nature from the beginning until they are large.” So, when I saw that he had the truth, I told Thurston, “That which you are disseminating is not entirely true.” Then he asked where it was incorrect and I told him “While I am building my remarks about the fish, since we’re on the subject, I will tell you Thurston, not many people know, perhaps no one here in Honolulu knows about that problem. You know Thurston, you are accustomed to these shorelines with only white sand.  The only thing you see from Kakaʻako to Waikīkī and beyond into Waiʻalae and Maunalua, when you look you’ll only see white.  When you go you will see sand and you will see the fish swimming about, and on the pitted reef the manini dwells since the pit for the fish to live in is large.  Now I tell you, Thurston, the reason that the fish are dwindling in these shores is the filth that is being discarded outside of Kālia, the same filth that is being carried everywhere by the tide and comes back in again on the shores.  The proof now is that the nooks of the reef are filled with filth from Moanalua to Maunalua because, here is the certain proof, if you go amongst these shore lines now you will see two feet of that filth, and you can see, O Thurston, the filth from the scows that has been been taken and dumped just outside of Kālia. So the lobsters and other fish that were common are no longer present at these shore lines.”  Thurston finally understood these problems and he spoke a lot about dredging the filth and taking it into the dark ocean depths, and when he understood how much filth there was on the shorelines then he finally said, “Mokumaiʻa, I want you to write to me.” And I told him, “Allow my thoughts to be published in the Kūʻokoʻa.” He kindly acquiesced, “I want you, Mokumaiʻa, to continue to write the true things and good things.” My response to him was, “All of my thoughts will be proofread by Solomon Hanohano,” and he gave me his thanks, then I spoke again, “A law was created where poison will not be used nor will gun powder, but the tricky thing is, O Thurston, the acidic water from the pineapple canneries have caused many deaths of fish from Kalihi to Moanalua, so please note this problem Thurston as this problem of acidic water is much greater than the gun powder because it is constantly carried by the rising and falling tides. He was shocked at what I had observed, “So, you will see that these areas of need will be published and you should do what you know is correct.” I gave him my thanks for his cooperation, and I was rather surprised that his insights and mine had not been at all the same, and that he so graciously agreed, saying “Your ideas are extensive, and they support the greater good and oppose those who do wrong.” So, my dear reader, take note of the opinions of a man who is filled with deep knowledge and who is searching for the right, then when he finds it, he finds something worth fighting for.    

In returning my editorial to the actual line, I would like to present something that I saw with my own eyes as I was deeply in reflection about the boldness of this law that bans you from taking and selling, yet other nationalities are seeking their own profit at pier 16.  I saw a mosquito net of about 100 feet long, so I stood and watched the sewing and patching of some Japanese and I told them "this net kapu for hanahana fish."  So they said that kiʻi net will catch nehu and ʻiao to be used for bait for larger fish.  My dear people from all around this Territory, make note of this outrage: you have been banned from hanging and drying until grass baskets have been filled to make some money, maybe four or five dollars; but this bait has been allowed for the Japanese, and that is why the gossip is that the fish are depleted by the Japanese and the Filipinos.  The tricky thing is that it’s used for bait to catch larger fish. On the tables you have kalo paʻa that goes rotten because you don't have a small dish filled with dried nehu. Five cents, and there are great amounts of poi that are delicious that these wise people are turning their backs on, this necessity that you so need, O Hawaiians, which the Senators noted at the beginning of this law that was proposed by the Honorable Senator H. Rice of Maui.  How does the reverend father not see these problems? Because when you think about it the thoughts of these wise people have been led astray by great feasts and people who desire only their pensions, and the problems of the people are not considered.  Raising the wages is the main thing they care about. The greater good of the people is cast aside. So a great fund is gained for those people known as Professors who have graduated from the high schools, where came the honorable one from Kona who knew nothing about these new problems of the people so raised the taxes again, thus leaving those who honored them without anything.  It is boasted that the words of the professors and scientists is heeded more than those who have strived and who truly know what will allow the people to thrive. Look at the work of the professors by whom the mosquito fish was brought in and instead of eating the mosquito, it now eats small fish and I no longer see the baby ʻoʻopu nākea and the ʻōkuhekuhe, ʻoʻopu, goldfish, ʻōpae, and if you look at the shore line you see gathering what you think are baby ʻamaʻama, and yet it is that fish, and like the wise people say, "What you see is what you get." Dear honorable one of the Kona districts and honored members of the 5th district who don’t know this author who are asking about this net query.  When you want ballots, then you come and shake hands. But I return to you, O voter, to look fearlessly and be alert for the man who is independent and without fear, so that we can go and work for the greater good of the people and not just for one person.  

 

(To Be Continued)

 

(click image for original Hawaiian text)

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, September 3, 1925
, Book: 64, Number: 36, Page: 5