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Hōʻala Hou ʻia Ana

Cover Image: Masthead of Ka Nupepa Kuokoa published on August 2, 1862.

Dear Reader,

Over 150 years ago, on July 18, 1862, the Lahaina community endured tragic loss due to a fire that claimed the historic Lahainaluna Seminary in the middle of the night. Residents were evacuated, and valuable records, educational materials, and personal belongings were lost. Appeals for funds to repair the ravages of the fire were published in the English and Hawaiian language newspapers of the day, including one by G. W. Lilikalani in the August 2, 1862 issue of Ka Nupepa Kuokoa. He implores, “I am very hopeful that we all will assist, and that we will not refuse.… Let us not neglect our duty to do good.” Lahainaluna was eventually rebuilt and thankfully still stands today, now as Lahainaluna High School.

Today, we grieve with and for our loved ones in Lahaina in the face of this great tragedy, offering hope, unity, and unwavering trust in better days to come. These sentiments are those of our kūpuna—aloha that withstands the test of time, made evident in the following kanikau, a Hawaiian lament, commemorating the beloved beacon of Hawaiian knowledge.

E hoʻāla hou ʻia ana, a ʻoi aku ē ka nani.

It shall rise anew, with yet more magnificence.

Image: “Lahainaluna.” Engraving of Lahainaluna School; Maui, Hawaiʻi. Drawn by Bailey, [Engraved by Kepohoni], Bishop Museum Archives. SP 32693

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact, Bishop Museum Archives.

Image: “He kanikau no Lahainaluna.” Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, August 2, 1862, p. 1.

A Lament for Lahainaluna.


O Finest of the Hawaiian Nation:–

Greetings to you:–

With proud thoughts and flowing tears, while gazing at the walls of our parent (Alma Mater) destroyed by the fire, we compose this song of lamentation for it, with much aloha. It is presented here below, so fellow Lahainaluna may see and their love well up for their Alma Mater.

  1. A lament, an expression of love,
    For you, O Lahainaluna,
    Already lost,
    At the break of dawn.

  2. We walked about,
    It was not found,
    Lost to the enemy,
    Bringing end to the glory.

  3. There will be no end,
    To the glory of the school,
    It shall rise anew,
    With yet more magnificence.

  4. You are beloved,
    By our multitudes,
    No more of late,
    Is Hawaiʻi’s rose blossom.

  5. Hear ye,
    All parents,
    If there’s tragedy,
    Don’t look away,

  6. Hear ye,
    From Hawaii of Keawe,
    To Kauaʻi of Mano.

  7. Your help is needed,
    For this great tragedy,
    May Hawaiʻi join together,
    With other nations.

  8. Here we are,
    In the midst of adversity,
    Barely escaping with our lives,
    From within the flames.

  9. The books are destroyed,
    All of the arithmetic books,
    One is regrettable,
    The Holy Bible.

  10. The instruments of intellect,
    Claimed by the fire,
    Electricity as well,
    Causing erroneous theories.

  11. We have love,
    For the call of the bell,
    That calming sound,
    At the arrival of the day.

  12. It no longer sounds,
    Every evening,
    And morning,
    And the worship days of the Sabbath.

  13. Beloved is the bell,
    Crying out softly,
    Within the red-hot,
    Of the blaze of the flames.

  14. That was the very last,
    Of its ringing,
    Moving on,
    Upon the path of no return.

  15. We live on,
    With grief and sorrow,
    Not only us,
    But the instructors as well.

  16. You are indeed loved,
    The parent of ours,
    Who taught us knowledge,
    Enlightening Hawaiʻi.

  17. News of yours has been heard,
    By all nations,
    All the way to Fatuhiva,
    The pagan lands.

  18. Give thanks to God,
    Jehovah Sabaoth,
    For sparing,
    Our lives.

  19. For you, aloha,
    O Elder brothers,
    From the first class,
    Until ours.

  20. Sending love,
    To our instructors,
    Who remained,
    While the school burned.

  21. Beloved is Kaukaweli,
    In the shade of the kukui grove,
    In the lush verdure,
    Alas! A pity!!
    Alas! Woe are we!!

John A. Puniwai & John W. Naolulo.
Lahainaluna, Maui, July 24, 1862.

Image: Kukui grove with horse at stream; Hawaiʻi. Photo by H. L. Chase, Bishop Museum Archives. SP 209221

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact, Bishop Museum Archives.

Image: Blank certificate of graduation from Lahainaluna School of an unknown date, with an illustration of the primary school building and items of educational importance; Hawaiʻi. Photo by David Franzen, Bishop Museum Archives. QM 205681

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact, Bishop Museum Archives.

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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