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A 125-Year-Old Message Just As Important Today Than Ever

Cover Image: Masthead of Ke Aloha Aina, published on February 18, 1899.

Dear Reader,
125 years ago today, the Women’s Hawaiian Relief Society prepared a big lūʻau at the Kapiʻolani Maternity Home for the benefit of those who were poverty stricken in the city of Honolulu. This article was a voice of encouragement calling out to those who were able, to help this cause.

Image: “E Alu ka Pule ia Hakalau.,” Ke Aloha Aina, February 18, 1899, p. 2

Let’s Join in Prayer for Hakalau.1

Unite As One.

Put aside stinginess and selfishness – Rise, O You of the Kūkalahale rain.2

We have recently shown the intent of a number of true Hawaiian mothers who have had aloha enter in their hearts for impoverished natives in the city who are genuinely without the necessities of life. The women are preparing a great lūʻau for the benefit of these destitute people, and these open-hearted Hawaiian mothers are eager to take all of the responsibilities of this work in their own hands.

And being this is an endeavor that will benefit the people, and being that we [the newspaper] are a spokesperson for the people, our conscious has urged us to encourage all those who live in the city of Honolulu to rise up and join together with one heart, and be united; for it is said that is how the strength is stirred up allowing us to triumph over the indolent speech of those who push back against fine endeavors.

And being that this is for the good and benefit of those of Honolulu facing adversity and destitution and are in need, these mothers of our people are rising up. This is not a matter for those of the other islands, or we would be able to depend on this outside help, and that is what some people think, that it is those people who will supply what is lacking for this big lūʻau that the Women’s Hawaiian Relief Society is putting on.

This is not the case at all, because it is here within the very heart of this city that these troubled families who are being cared for by the Society—every week and every month—live and gather together. It would be inappropriate for us to rely upon those from the outside to help.

Therefore, O Friends of the same womb, it is imperative that we all rise up together and assist along with the mothers in taking up these labors of love for our own good. Those who have aloha will assist with what they have and it will not be done through taxation. Send your donations to the residence of the Society’s president, Mrs. Kulamanu Allen, should it perhaps be hand-crafted items, such as plaited hats, fans, small and large mats, handbags and every manner of thing that you can help with.

And if it is food, such as pork, chicken, turkey, seaweed, limpets, shrimp, eggs, sweet potato, coconut, and other things, take it to the residence of Miss Lucy K. Peabody, the one chosen to manage the food items.

It is not due to the distance from the destitute of Honolulu that leaves the other islands without a means to help this effort, along with the people over the two Koʻolau, but let us all join together in this good deed for the sake of our fellows of our very own people. However when assistance arrives from those outside of the city, the help from those outsiders should be sent to the president of that effort, being that there are many well-to-do haole women in the city that truly love our people, who will pitch in with the efforts of this Society to be held on the grounds of the Kapiʻolani Maternity Home on Saturday, March 4, 1899.

So rise, those of the Kūkalahale rain, because this is for your benefit, and not for the benefit of others.

1An ʻōlelo noʻeau used when unite effort is desired. See ʻōlelo noʻeau #115 from Mary Kawena Pukui’s ʻŌlelo Noʻeau: Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings.

2Name of a famous rain and wind of Honolulu.

Image: Carte de visite portrait of Mrs. S. C. [Kulamanu] Allen, Boston, Massachussetts, ca. 1860(s?). Photo by Roberts Brothers, Bishop Museum Archives. Q 222673 

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact  

The ʻAhahui Hawaiʻi Manawaleʻa was formed on September 6, 1895 in response to a cholera outbreak. The names of the original members of this Women’s Hawaiian Relief Society were:

President: Mrs. Kulamanu Allen.

Vice President: Mrs. Kekaaniau Pratt.

Treasurer: Mrs. Emalia Makapolena [Emalia Macfarlane].

Secretary: Mrs. Emma M. Nakuina.

Directors: Mrs. Kuaihelani Campbell, Mrs. Mele Mooheau, Mrs. Ululani Haalelea.

Kahuila Wilikoki [Wilcox], Mrs. Kaumana Wilimana [Widemann], Mrs. Hana Kaniau Evans, Mrs. Kaikilani Graham, Mrs. Kaili Freeth, Mrs. Kiki Lui, Mrs. Kamakee Fairchild, Mrs. Mele Kaaka [Mary Carter], Mrs. Numana, Mrs. Minnie Aldrich, Mrs. Lilia Rikeke Auld [Lily Richards Auld], Mrs. Kikilia Arnold [Cecilia Arnold], Mrs. Kauwaki Jaeger, Mrs. Mele Poka [Mary Foster], Miss Kapahukui Beckley, and Miss Olie Widemann.

This post is part of He Aupuni Palapala: Preserving and Digitizing the Hawaiian Language Newspapers, a partnership between Bishop Museum and Awaiaulu with assistance from Kamehameha Schools. Mahalo nui loa to Hawaii Tourism Authority for their support. Learn more about this project here.

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