nation. By means of the newspapers the natives are kept fully informed about their own affairs, and receive considerable knowledge of the great far-off world beyond the sea. That the papers and postal system have been of great potency and utility to them is sufficiently apparent.
Whoever wishes for a delightful and instructive journey will do well to visit these islands. They are only seven days' sail from San Francisco in a first-class steamer, and across an ocean which is rarely troubled with storms. He will find scenery as beautiful as any in the world and as novel as it is beautiful. He will find charming society among his own people residing there, and unbounded hospitality. If he is philosophically disposed he will find many instructive subjects for his contemplation. If, without forgetting for a moment the splendor of the civilization in which he has been reared, he can rise above its prejudices, and if he is able to study men and human society from a relative rather than an arbitrary standpoint, and judge them according to the fundamental principles of human nature, he will find his own humanities greatly enlarged and he will be much instructed and benefited.
VIII. Also the following paper prepared by hon. sanford b. dole and read before the hawaiian historical society december 5, 1892.
[Papers of the Hawaiian Historical Society No. 3.]
Evolution of Hawaiian Land Tenures
[Read before the Hawaiian Historical Society, December 5, 1892, by the Hon. Sanford B. Dole.]
When the Hawaiian pilgrim fathers first landed on the lonely coast of Hawaii from their long and exhausting ocean voyage in their canoes decked with mats and rigged with mat sails, it was for them a new departure in government and social and industrial economy. Their past, with its myths of origin, its legends of struggling and wandering, its faiths and customs, and rites aud ceremonies, its lessons of victory and defeat, its successes over nature, was still their present authority and paramount influence, as they feebly began a new social enterprise upon the desolate yet grand and beautiful shores of their new inheritance.
Their past still held them through its venerable sanctions, and yet they were free in the freedom of a new and unoccupied land to add to its accumulations and to improve on its lessons.
We may imagine that the remnant of the freight of their storm-worn canoes included a few household idols, a live pig or two, some emaciated chickens, a surviving bread-fruit plant, kou, and other seeds.
There were women as well as men in the company; the little children had succumbed to the hardships of the voyage which was undertaken to escape the indignities and confiscations incident to the status of a defeated party in tribal warfare.
These people, lean and half-famished, gladly and with fresh courage took possession of their new world. As soon as they recovered their strength they built a heiau* and sacrificed to their gods.
After a little exploration they settled in a deep valley sheltered by steep cliffs and watered by an abundant stream of clear water, abounding in fish and shrimps. At the mouth of the gorge was the sea, where
there were shellfish, crabs, and a variety of fish. Fruits of various kinds flourished on the hillsides, some of which they were acquainted with, while others were new to them. They found varieties of the kapa* plant, and understanding the process of making its bark into cloth, they restored their wardrobes which had for the most part disappeared in the vicissitudes of the voyage. They also discovered the taro† growing wild in mountain streams, which they hailed as an old friend, feeling that now their satisfaction with their new home was complete. The cultivation of this was begun at once as a field or dryland crop, as had been the practice in the home land, but as time went on and some crops failed for want of rain, irrigation was used, until at length, it may have been generations after, the present method of cultivating the crop in permanent patches of standing water became established. This result was greatly favored by the abundance of running water, which was a feature of the country.
Children were born and grew up and intermarried, and the colony grew and prospered. Exploring parties went out from time to time, and other watered valleys were found, and bays and reefs rich in fishing resources. As the community began to crowd the limited area of the valley which was their first resting place, one and another of these newly discovered and favored localities was settled, generally by a family consisting of the parents and grown-up boys and girls. And now and then new companies of exiles from the southern islands found their weary way over the ocean, bringing, perhaps, later customs and adding new gods to the Hawaiian pantheon.
So Hawaii was gradually populated, and when its best localities were occupied, Maui began to be colonized, and then its adjacent islands, until the whole group was stocked with people.
There may have been a few chiefs in the pioneer company who largely directed the affairs of the colony, and whose descendants furnished chiefs for the growing demands of the branch colonies. Among the new arrivals also from the outside world were occasional chiefs, who were hospitably welcomed and accredited as such, and accorded corresponding position and influence.
It is also probable that in the very early period when chiefs were scarce the head men of some of the settlements which had branched off from the parent colony acquired the rank of chiefs, from the importance of their positions and the influence which their authority over the lands of their respective settlements naturally gave them. Such acquired rank descended to their children, in some cases doubtless with an increase of dignity due to marriages with women of chief rank; and so some new families of chiefs, originating from the common people or makaainanas,‡ were established.
This early period of Hawaiian history for a number of generations was a time of industrial enterprise and peaceful and prosperous growth. There was no occasion for fighting, for there was land and water enough for all and every one was busily employed. It was the golden age of Hawaii. There were taboos§ indeed, but only religious ones. No chief was powerful enough yet to proclaim taboos for political purposes, nor had the necessities for political taboos yet arisen. The arts prospered; the Hawaiian canoe developed; the manufacture of kapa flourished and made progress in the direction of variety of fabric and its esthetic finish and decoration; royal garments of birds' feathers were manufactured;
|*Kapa—native cloth.||‡Makaainanas—common people.|
|†Taro—arnm esculentum.||§Taboo—repressive enactment.|