Concerns of the Day in Hawaiʻi
and the World at Large

Cover Image: Masthead of Lahui Hawaii published on June 22, 1901.

Aloha Nūhou Monday!

Dear Reader, Hawaiian language newspapers were used to talk about the concerns of the day. Many of the topics are relevant for us in the present.

The following is an editorial encouraging Hawaiians to farm taro in response to the scarcity of poi. Lahui Hawaii was a weekly that ran from January 28, 1899 to December 27, 1902. It is not yet available online.

Image: “E Mahi Kalo.” Lahui Hawaii, June 22, 1901, p. 4.

Farm Taro.

When looking at the situation by which we Hawaiians are supplied with poi, there is no indication that the price of our staple food will go down. It is very clear that if the years continue like those past and we keep relying upon the Chinese to supply poi, it is obvious that poi prices will soar and we will no longer be able to eat it.

Due to the good rise in the price of rice, the lands once used to raise taro are now used to raise rice. And should we continue to obtain good prices for rice, then a majority of the Chinese will abandon farming taro and they will all take up rice farming. The price of taro will rise inordinately and subsequently poi prices will similarly rise.

We therefore believe that Hawaiians should begin taro farming and become prosperous. It is clear when looking at the state of the land today, that the price of poi will certainly continue to go up for a long time to come. And should a Hawaiian or other person take to this occupation, his efforts will not fail to reap good fortune.

That man will bring bring prosperity to himself, and he will supply those in need with poi at fair cost. Therefore we say to you, O Hawaiians, take up the occupation of taro farming and you will obtain great benefits.

(Lahui Hawaii, June 22, 1901, p. 4)

Image: Plowing rice field with water buffalo; Heʻeia, Oʻahu. Bishop Museum Archives. SP 215889.

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact Archives@BishopMuseum.org

Image: Taro fields in Windward Oʻahu. ca. 1930. Photo by Kodak Hawaii, Bishop Museum Archives. SP 34949.

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact Archives@BishopMuseum.org

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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