Na I-a Nui O Kai / The Great Fishes of the Sea

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Na I-a Nui O Kai / The Great Fishes of the Sea

Here in Lahaina, some fishing children prepared the skiffs, the harpoon, the lines, and everything else necessary for fishing, then the fishing children sailed out to tour about at the boundaries of the calm sea. The sail of victory was drawn up and they were transported calmly by the gentle Maʻaʻa breeze. Pia depended trustingly in the  usual spot of the skiffs, but then, they saw a whale. They were happy and delighted and moved on to meet with the whale. Pia called that Kauoha should take up his fishing harpoon, to stand up and thrust the harpoon. Then Kauoha hurled the harpoon and the harpoon stuck in the oily meat of the hump. They were taken by the strength of that whale, tracking along on the water’s surface for two and a half hours before the whale died. They crept along back this way until the middle of the night, when they landed at Keawaiki at the place where the harbor lights of Lahaina now stand. Here is this, slaughtering it in town generated great anger, because of the stinky smell and stench and everyone's air was spoiled. They were given 48 hours to cut it up, and the bones and the blubber were to be taken somewhere else. As for the size of this whale, it was five fathoms in length and three fathoms in circumference and the blubber was very thick, estimated to contain twenty barrels of oil.

 

(click image for original Hawaiian text)

Ke Au Okoa, March 11, 1867
, Book: 2, Number: 47, Page: 2