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A Fascination with Tarzan.

Cover Image: Masthead of Ka Nupepa Kuokoa published on December 20, 1918.

Aloha Nūhou Monday!

Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Tarzan of the Apes” was first serialized in a magazine in 1912. Five years later, it was being translated and serialized in Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, appearing as “He Moolelo no Tazana, a i ole, Ka Hiena o na Ululaau Anoano o na Kapakai o Aferika” [A Story of Tarzan, or the Hyena of the Solitary Forests of the Shores of Africa].

The first story which appeared on November 30, 1917 was immediately followed by the second, and the third, and the fourth story. And finally, the fifth story in the series ran in the Kuokoa, ane came to a conclusion on October 8, 1920.

Not only were the stories running in the Kuokoa, but beginning in 1918, the books are adapted into movies and began playing in Hawaiʻi theaters. There was actual participation by the readership of the newspapers. “Hooheno no Tazana,” a mele attributed to S. A. S. of Hilo is printed in 1918. It seems to be a variation of “Tasana,” composed by Elizabeth Kuahuia and performed by Genoa Keawe.

Image: “Hooheno no Tazana.” Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, December 20, 1918, p. 3.

Affection for Tarzan.

Famous is Tarzan,
Of muscular powerful arms;
Taken away by the enemy,
To live in an unfamilar land;
There is but one important thing, your beloved,
Your rose-blossom sweetheart of England;
Taken away by the albatross,
The seafaring bird of the ocean.
You take measure of the evil deeds,
The deeds of the dastardly one;
You face alone,
The deserted lonely plain.
Tarzan has no fear,
The snaring hand of the lariat;
He glides over the ocean
Coming ashore once more upon his homeland.
Let the refrain be told,
Our love goes out to Tarzan.

Affectionately S. A. S.

Image: TONIGHT, 7:45/THIS IS THE LAST SHOWING. COME AND SEE/Matinee This Friday and Tomorrow, 2:45, at Liberty Theater/The Hyena of the African Jungle and the One Whose/Story is Being Published in the Kuokoa Newspaper./Entry: 20 and 35 Cents. Reserved seating, 55 Cents./Box Office Open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Telephone 3937/Charlie Chaplin/in/”A Dog’s Life”/A Movie Filled with/Excitement./TARZAN/of the APES

“MA KEIA PO, HORA 7:45,” Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, January 1, 1919, p. 2.

Image: BIJOU THEATER/Beginning this Sunday Night at 7:40/THE STORY OF TARZAN/This is the New Picture of the Last Chapters of the/Story of TARZAN OF THE APES/From the Book Written by Edgar Rice Burroughs/The ROMANCE of TARZAN/Filled with excitement, splendor and Beautifully Wild Scenes, were the pictures taken, which millions of people have waited months for. They were filled with Delight./The exciting story of the Wild Man, the Jungle and the Palace./Entry: 15, 25, and 35 Cents. Reserved seating, 55 Cents.

“HALEKEAKA BIJOU,” Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, April 25, 1919, p. 2.

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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