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Ka Hoʻopakele ʻAna I Nā Iʻa / Saving the Fish

The pressing issues of today are often echoed in the voices of yesterday. The following article, though written nearly a century ago in the context of 1923, addresses very current social and environmental issues that continue to face the people and islands of Hawai‘i in the 21st century. It speaks to the changes in early 1920’s society and in the island’s landscape - a territory with an expanding population, a new economy, and new norms for using resources. The author, Z.P.K. Kawaikaumaiikamakaokaopua was a respected cultural expert from Napo‘opo‘o in the Kona district of Hawai‘i Island. He was one of many who used the newspapers to share and record native knowledge in light of the sweeping changes and great decline that the native population was facing. 

During the turbulent 1800’s and early 1900’s, whole families and villages were decimated by waves of influenza, measles, diarrhea, and whooping cough that were introduced into the islands. By 1900, Hawaiians numbered perhaps 40,000, and many native scholars expressed the need to document the native knowledge and traditions that were disappearing as those that held the wisdom passed away. They used the Hawaiian language newspapers as a written repository of their insights, observations, and cultural knowledge.

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PDF icon Saving the Fish
Publication Date
March 2010