Na Upena Lawai'a o ka Wa Kahiko a me Ka Lakou Hana Pakahi / The Fishing Nets Of Old And Their Uses

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Na Upena Lawai'a o ka Wa Kahiko a me Ka Lakou Hana Pakahi / The Fishing Nets Of Old And Their Uses

(Written by Z. P. K. Kawaikaumaiikamakaoka‘ōpua.)

Net 1. ‘Āki‘iki‘i net, or also lu‘ulu‘u net are two names for this fishing net. Most fishermen probably do not know of this type of net; or there may not even be one who does. Therefore, subscribe to the Kuokoa so as to see how this net works!

As for the nature of this net, it is similar to a basket trap for catching ʻōhua that is made with the ‘inalua vine, it is rather large in front, and then gets progressively smaller, it [seems to] blossom open.

There is a little bag at the back end of this net, and in a suitable place as you will see. Once the mouth is established there, then it should be set up, for there are many places to set it, as it is only a small net. At the mouth of the net, at the bottom, two little rocks are placed so that the net doesn't move around, thus scattering the fish.

You set up rocks on either side, just like on akule nets, deep sea fishing nets used on canoes and such. And when this is done, you should have already gone diving for sea urchins to be used as bait. This type of net is laid far shoreward in a shallow area.

You crush up the sea urchin into small bits and pieces, and then take it and deposit it.

At the place where the mouth of the net lays open, deposit the sea urchin there. Then, move aside a bit until you have distanced yourself slightly from the net so that you can clearly see the net. If there is a mound of rocks or perhaps a clump of coral, stand on it. The sea should not be deep; indeed only a fathom or less. When you are standing there watching and you see fish entering the net to eat the sea urchin which you have crushed, then dive in.

When you dive in, then all of the fish will be drawn into the net, and they will remain there in the bag. Not a single fish will escape, because both sides of the net are secured by the rocks. And as for the fish that enter into this type of net, they are all good fish: weke, pānuhunuhu, pākole, halahala, and moano. Fish of poor quality do not enter this type of net.

When this is finished, return once again to where you first stood, deposit more sea urchin, and then return to where you stood on the mound of rocks, watch, and when they enter, dive in again. It is up to you when to cease this activity. Whenever you feel that you have quite enough fish, then stop diving. Such is the reason this net is named an ‘āki‘iki‘i, or dip net, and a lu‘ulu‘u, or dive net.

This type of net is used by people who go upland to farm and, when evening falls, fetch their nets and head off. They don't say to anyone, “let‘s go fishing.”

This is a net to be used anytime one desires, and just one person is sufficient. It is unlike other nets which can be very tedious, requiring two, three, or even four [people] to catch fish. It is your writer's opinion that if this type of net is used in a spot where fish are plentiful, there will be no lack of fish.

The sea urchin is the most important thing, and once it is gotten, you may go and set the net. And then you nimbly climb up onto a rock mound or coral clump to squat.

Say, do use this type of net of the people of old! This ancient net has completely disappeared, unused because the people of today don‘t have any knowledge of it.

(To be continued.)



(click image for original Hawaiian text)

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, February 22, 1923
, Book: 62, Number: 8, Page: 4