Leslie, Fred Kaimalino (with Weston Leslie)
The following is an excerpt from He Wahi Mo‘olelo no nā Ke‘ei ma Kona Hema, a collection of traditions, historical accounts and kama‘āina recollections of Ke‘ei, South Kona, Hawai‘i. It is used with the permission of Kepā Maly, Cultural Historian and Resources Specialist.
The excerpt has been edited by Ka‘iwakīloumoku for typographical errors only; the orthography is presented exactly as it is found in He Wahi Mo‘olelo no nā Ke‘ei ma Kona Hema.
Fred Kaimalino Leslie was born at Nāpo‘opo‘o in 1918. His immediate family (Leslie, Gaspar, and Kamakau) has lived at Nāpo‘opo‘o for generations, and his late wife’s family (Lanui Kaneao and Kua) was the last native Hawaiian family to reside on the Ka‘awaloa Flats, where he also lived for a while in the 1930s. From the days of his youth, kupuna Leslie traveled the land (mauka-makai), and fished the ocean of Kona with his elders. Indeed, he has lived his life as a fisherman. He is an excellent story teller, and in his interview, he shares many accounts of travel between the Ke‘ei-Pu‘uohau region (both on land and by sea). He still makes ‘ōpelu nets, and describes many customs and practices associated with native fishing techniques.
This interview was conducted as a part of a study prepared at the request of the State of Hawai‘i – Nā Ala Hele Program (Maly 2001 - KPA HiAla40-061501), and the narratives are given verbatim—as released. During the interview, kupuna Leslie shared detailed descriptions of fishing customs; the importance of features on the inland landscape to locating fisheries (ko‘a); travel along native trails and historic roadways; traditional practices associated with land use; and of several areas where heiau, ilina, and other important features occur. Kupuna Leslie’s nephews, Gene and Weston Leslie initiated the contact, and Weston facilitated arrangements for the interview. Kupuna Leslie gave his release of the interview on May 2, 2001.
KM: Uncle may I please ask you what is your full name and when were you born?
FL: I was born September 10, 1918.
KM: ‘Ae. A blessing . . . strong. Your full name?
FL: [chuckling] Fred—my Hawaiian name is Kaimalino—Leslie.
KM: Fred Kaimalino Leslie, beautiful.
FL: Yes. That’s what I used to go by, the Hawaiians that were in the village at that time, they all knew me as Kaimalino.
FL: I used to go spear uhu, I used to give ’em. Sometimes I would go just for . . . some of the Hawaiians those days when you go down, you walking on the road. They tell, "ē hele mai, ‘ai!" They call you come eat. When I go inisde there they no more nothing only salt and poi.
KM: ‘Ae, that’s how, yeah?
FL: That’s all they get for eat.
KM: So you go lawai‘a, and then you go share with them?
FL: I go get fish for them, I give ’em. I go spear fish, I give ’em.
KM: Maika‘i. Where were you born?
FL: Down at Nāpo‘opo‘o.
KM: ‘Ae. Who was your mama?
FL: My mama was Joanna Gaspar.
FL: Henry Andrew Leslie.
KM: What did your papa do?
FL: He used to be fisherman and he used to take care the landing at Nāpo‘opo‘o, he was what they call a wharf manager.
KM: That’s Henry?
KM: Was papa hapa Hawai‘i or was he pure haole?
FL: He was Hawaiian and haole.
KM: Mama was?
FL: She was part Hawaiian, some of the family was from Kaua‘i, the Fredenburg family. According to the archives, I went one time to try trace the family. He [Fredenburg] was from New York, he was a skilled . . . you know for build things. In fact he built that you know the sugar plantation in Koloa?
FL: He’s the one that build ’um.
KM: And then mama’s maiden name was Gaspar also?
KM: I have an old map here of the Nāpo‘opo‘o area. This is Register Map 1595, the map was surveyed in the 1890s.
FL: Ohh! Walter Wall, yeah.
KM: Kanakanui originally surveyed the map in 1892. This is the Nāpo‘opo‘o kind of vicinity and in fact I think if we look down here. This is the road, here’s the road come down, here’s Nāpo‘opo‘o wharf right here.
KM: You folks were down this place yeah, Kau‘i? Is that right were you folks down here or were you?
FL: We were more close to the . . . [pauses]
KM: Right by the landing?
FL: About maybe a hundred fifty yards from the landing.
KM: On the makai side of the old road?
KM: You were on the ocean, kahakai?
KM: I see there’s some of these names, because these are the old names, maybe it doesn’t have quite your family name in here. I see Kanepa‘ahana, Lono, Cummings. Cummings had the store I guess, the little store that used to be right by the old wharf over there.
FL: Yes, yes.
KM: Were you by the store area?
FL: On this side of the store.
KM: North of the store.
FL: Not very far.
KM: What did you do when you were growing up as a child, a young guy?
FL: Well, I mostly go to school.
KM: You had to go school. You went Nāpo‘opo‘o school?
KM: And then you went Konawaena or pau?
FL: Konawaena, I went until I was in eighth grade and I quit school. Those days was hard time, plus the Depression years. Then I started go fishing.
KM: Hmm. I hear you folks were famous fishermen, your ‘ohana?
FL: Yes, we were flag line fishing, that is what you call long line.
KM: Long line . . . and so you started going kahakai, you go ‘au‘au, you go dive fish like you said you go for uhu like that?
FL: Yes, spear. Those days we got to learn, that’s our living. We were not that bad, we were young kids yet, when we like fish, we just go get ’em.
KM: Yes, you knew?
FL: The elderly people, had the Ka‘ohu family, they were in their eighties some of them ninety, maybe over. That’s what I used to do, go spear and . . .
KM: Maika‘i, so you aloha the kūpuna, yeah?
KM: You would go out and like you said they call you, "Hele mai ‘ai" and you go, they get pa‘akai . . .
FL: No more, only poi and salt.
KM: Did you folks used to make salt down here, somewhere?
FL: Yes, I’ve known of people going along the beach down Ka‘awaloa side.
KM: On to the Ka‘awaloa flat side?
FL: Yes, on the flat outside by the lighthouse there.
FL: And they get the kind poho pa‘akai, and that’s where we go get our salt.
KM: I guess certain time of the year they would go when the ocean . . .
FL: When rough. When real rough, the water go on top and go inside all this poho, eh.
FL: Then the sun evaporates take the water away and just leaves the salt. Talk about good salt, that’s the best . . . that’s the winner!
KM: I’m going to pull out this Ka‘awaloa map.
FL: I’ve lived in that area for several years.
KM: Oh yeah.
WL: Aunty Annie’s from there too.
FL: Yes, my wife is from there . . .
Group: [discusses Ka‘awaloa vicinity]
KM: . . . Did you hear what the name, Pali-kapu-o-Keōua, what does that mean?
FL: I would say . . . you mean the interpretation?
FL: Pali-kapu . . . pali means cliff, I would say a forbidden cliff.
KM: ‘Ae. For Keōua . . .
FL: The translation . . . Keōua’s-forbidden-cliff.
KM: ‘Ae, cuase he was an old chief, yeah?
KM: They say Keōua was the father of Kamehameha, I think.
KM: Did you hear the name Manuahi?
FL: No. Where is that, over here too?
KM: They said it’s over here also, Manuahi. Maybe the older name before Palikapu . . .
FL: Probably some chief or something.
KM: ‘Ae. How about Nāpo‘opo‘o?
FL: Nāpo‘opo‘o, I would say . . . I would interpret it as a place . . . depressed [gestures with hands—a hollow area].
FL: It’s sunken . . . po‘opo‘o means like that.
KM: ‘Ae, hollow like . . .
FL: Would fit the description because Nāpo‘opo‘o is.
KM: A hollow like, interesting . . . The kūpuna na‘auao . . .
FL: I know one spot up here, if you talk about beautiful. Get one turn in the road and the guy that told me about this place you remember Earl Glass, he used to stay right up here.
WL: The neighbor.
FL: He told me that’s a beautiful spot. So one day I went with him. I say, "Hey you show me that beautiful spot." He said, "here right here." We jump over the guard rail and then walked out . . . oh you look right down at Nāpo‘opo‘o, the curve, beautiful.
KM: Must be beautiful.
FL: Now they talk about view points and all that . . . what you see at Keauhou is nothing. You try look at that . . . oh perfect down. That house somebody building one house, one haole building one house now. He’s going to look right down, I said . . . gee, that’s the best sight I’ve ever seen. But the land is going . . . these haoles buying everything up.
KM: Got to take care yeah?
KM: That’s why we have to talk with the kama‘āina, with the kūpuna so that for historic preservation, to try and balance. Because change happens . . .
FL: Yes, you cannot stop.
KM: It’s important to take care like you said . . .
KM: [pointing out sites on Register Map No. 1281] . . . Now, this road here past Puhina-o-Lono comes up and then the old Alanui Aupuni that you were saying crosses the pali. That’s the one you come down on the pali on top of Palikapu? The old road . . .
KM: Evidently the trail . . .
FL: Get one trail go down.
KM: Zig . . . comes off the top of the pali? Down?
KM: And then does it come out behind the heiau down here . . . Hikiau or something or?
FL: Yes. [thinking] You remember the coffee mill down Nāpo‘opo‘o?
FL: The coffee mill . . . right behind the coffee mill that road used to come out.
KM: Ah . . .
FL: Had one road coming down and you know where uncle Bobby’s house?
WL: Going up the kula, the road?
FL: The one down Nāpo‘opo‘o?
FL: Bobby’s house . . . had one gate over there. You go up that gate, right up to behind the coffee mill and then you get that trail go up the side of the pali.
KM: Did that come out by Manuel’s house, DeGouveia? The old Kealakekua Post Office or different road?
FL: [thinking] Ah . . . Gouveia’s house.
KM: Was more mauka?
FL: Gouveia’s house goes more down [gestures to north].
KM: More over . . . oh.
FL: Gouveia used to work for Greenwell.
KM: That’s right, Manuel DeGouveia.
FL: Yes, Manuel DeGouveia [chuckling].
KM: What they say is the old road comes on top of the pali. Here’s Pali-kapu-Keōua . . . come on top the pali come somewhere out here and then cut down, yeah? Was there a trail that came out by this old fishpond? You know the fishpond down by Hikiau?
FL: Yes, yes, had one trail come down there. That’s the same one that comes down.
KM: Cuts over to Bobby’s house to Lopaka’s house your cousin?
KM: Because see this here Henrique’s . . . this is his place right here [Grant 6345]. Bobby mā.
FL: Yes, Henrique’s that’s where.
KM: Ah . . . okay.
FL: I remember Henrique’s, he sold the place to my uncle Bob. Bobby get two house, one across the road and one more.
WL: Oh, was Henrique’s place, that?
KM: Yes, the one makai was Henrique’s.
WL: Near the ocean, that one?
KM: Henry Enrique’s was that the one with the canoes too, like that. Did he do canoeing or something?
FL: That’s Frank that, Frank Henriques . . .
Group: [discuss trail and Alanui Aupuni routes running north]
KM: . . . Now, your wahine was Annie Lanui?
KM: Was Kaneao?
FL: Kaneao, yes . . . K-a-n-e-a-o, Kaneao.
KM: Oh, Kaneao. Old family down here, they lived down here all . . .
FL: Yes, that’s the last family that was living in Ka‘awaloa.
KM: When did they leave Ka‘awaloa?
FL: [thinking] In about . . . just before the war.
KM: Just before ’41 about.
FL: Yes, they went mauka up a little past the junction.
WL: Old man Johnny Medeiros used to stay down there too?
FL: Johnny Medeiros, when the mother died they came . . . that’s when I was living over there Ka‘awaloa my wife and I. All those kids used to come . . .
WL: Uncle, how you guys get you poi coming across Nāpo‘opo‘o?
WL: Put the flag up and then paddle over across the bay?
KM: For real . . .
WL: The white flag up.
KM: At Nāpo‘opo‘o landing, they hoist up one flag you knew had poi.
FL: Then we go over get the poi.
KM: You paddle the canoe?
FL: Yes. I had one canoe I used to use over there. Those days was all [gestures paddling a canoe].
KM: Hoe, hoe, hoe ka wa‘a. That’s why you strong yet too, even though you smoked you said, but because you out lawai‘a, you paddle canoe . . . the lungs strong ’eh.
FL: I used to paddle, man I paddle all over. I used to go down to the ‘ahi ko‘a, down Keauhou, all paddle.
KM: For real, wow!
FL: Early in the morning, I go.
KM: And you said one last thing here . . . Ka‘awaloa by the lighthouse side has the poho, pa‘akai?
FL: Still there.
KM: That’s where you folks would go make salt?
KM: That’s important. Now, did you folks go to the mountain also to plant or did someone else plant and you stayed makai?
FL: No, we never did.
KM: You folks were fisherman?
FL: Fishermen, yeah.
KM: This is a little hard because it’s the scale but the map . . . here’s Kealakekua, Nāpo‘opo‘o Landing. You would go fish various places all along here?
FL: All along here, yeah.
KM: Even you said the ko‘a ‘ahi at Keauhou? You go that far out? [pointing out various locations on register Map No. 1281]
FL: Yes. By Red Hill, even Red Hill there.
KM: Yes, so here’s Pu‘uohau right, Red Hill?
FL: This ʻahi ko‘a is over here someplace.
KM: This is Keawekāheka, this is Ka‘awaloa, here’s Keauhou here.
KM: When you would go out to the ko‘a . . . how far out is the ko‘a ‘ahi, mile or more or less?
FL: I would think about a mile and a half somewheres around there.
KM: Did you have certain points on the land that you would mark?
FL: Mark, yes we got landmark by what triangulation.
KM: Yes. What kind of areas? If I can ask, becuase it’s important so that you know sometimes now, when the bulldozer come pau . . . they even move the landmarks.
FL: Oh yes, that’s what our problem is now.
KM: How come it’s a problem?
FL: Well, you take before Red Hill ko‘a . . .
KM: ‘Ae, ma‘ane‘i, here’s Pu‘uohau.
FL: They had a name one was ‘Umi. ‘Umi was where if the current go strong Kohala. And in fishing [gestures motion with hands] the fish is always work against the current. I used to wonder why might be easier to catch small fish because the small fish going against the current. Cannot fish so fast, then the big fish catch ’em and eat ’em. I figure that’s why and another theory is by working against the current the small fish going be carried by the current right.
[The ‘Umi Ko‘a and associated land markers mentioned above by uncle, were also described in the 1930s by Nāpo‘opo‘o historian Kalokuokamaile (Kelsey & Kekahuna notes).]
And they say if you was one ‘ahi you work against that. Your meal going come to you.
KM: That’s right, come to your mouth you no need work as hard [chuckling]
FL: You no need bust your [ ] for ’em.
FL: It figures.
KM: The Kohala current, come down from Kohala?
FL: Yes, if strong Kohala . . . especially if the thing pull to Maui. Maui is an angle . . .
KM: Yes . . . angle out.
FL: They going in at an angle and that’s the ko‘a they call ‘Umi.
KM: ‘Umi, in front of Pu‘uohau?
FL: This way of Pu‘uohau.
KM: Kealakekua side of Pu‘uohau?
KM: You said about a mile or something out like that?
FL: About a mile and a half.
FL: That’s only about seventy fathoms.
KM: For ‘ahi?
FL: For ‘ahi.
KM: Oh, maika‘i.
FL: But now if they going put that law and you cannot fish . . . what the Hawaiians cannot go catch, ‘ahi? [ ], I going whether they like it or not.
KM: Yes, because that’s your practice. That’s your traditional way.
KM: And you learned this ko‘a from your kūkū, from your papa mā?
FL: Yes, passed down. They get guys on that committee that don’t know nothing!
KM: On the committee?
FL: They don’t know nothing!
WL: Get ‘Umi get Kana‘a [as pronounced] . . .
FL: Kanāhāhā. [See also Kalokuokamaile’s description of the Kanāhāhā Ko‘a on page 310 of the main study.]
KM: ’Cause Kanāhāhā that’s way one pu‘u on top Hualālai side too?
KM: You triangulate with that pu‘u?
FL: No, not really our best mark was down Keauhou used to get one banyan bush, and then you traingulate ’um . . . You put the banyan bus right on one sand hole and you let ’em up and that’s triangulation this way. Then down this way you can use Nāpo‘opo‘o’s different house on that lighthouse point.
KM: You get that far out where you can see the banyan at Keauhou?
FL: Where the line intersect is it.
FL: That’s triangulation.
KM: And you got to know your land.
FL: Yes, you got to know what house.
WL: What area.
KM: Had pu‘u that they used or sections in the forest?
FL: They get all kinds of markers. On the mountain get one bush, that’s my marker and the bush square you know. You know the Kona Hospital, the square bush you put ’em right on Kona Hospital.
KM: Ah . . . and then you out.
FL: You cannot miss you can see it just stand out.
KM: And what kind fish you get from your ko‘a?
FL: Kaka line.
KM: For kāhala or?
FL: Kāhala, ‘ula‘ula . . .
KM: ‘Ae, amazing! Do you have a special name for your ko‘a for your forest way up there?
KM: You just know ’em.
FL: Yes, as soon I go, I look I know.
KM: You know you’re home.
FL: And I can pinpoint that buggah hundred ten fathoms, boom every spot I hit ’em!
KM: Amazing, yeah.
FL: Good mark.
WL: [chuckling] That’s the kind mark we losing ’em.
WL: All these kind marks, from development.
FL: Then what came in, the development came in they cut the bush down. That’s our old mark, it’s gone, we got to get different mark now. Even the old mark no more the banyan tree, the sand hole . . . that’s part of the golf course now.
KM: Ah . . . Keauhou side . . .
Group: [speaking of burials in the Kealakekua Pali, and previously proposed development]
KM: So when they wanted to build a golf course on top there what did you think?
FL: Got to say, no way!
KM: No way, eh.
FL: I say, "You got to respect people."
KM: Yes, you got to.
FL: They treating ’em just like animal you know . . .
[Speaking of transitions in land tenure and residency—consolidation of ownership under a few large land owners.]
. . . Those days they grab all the land. Nāpo‘opo‘o, you look Greenwells. You know where the park stay now, where the guys selling stuff, all Hawaiians owned that land. They die off . . . Greenwell claim ’em. Now all Greenwells.
KM: Here’s some names this Nawaiehu, this is by where your sister Momi lives, Nawaiehu. Papaula, do you remember . . . this old man Papaula used to be the school teacher in the 1800s. Maybe your grandmother’s time like that, famous name, Papaula, Kauhi, has Kaha, Kaikua‘ana . . . but this was all just what you said though was all native Hawaiian families, kuleana, before.
FL: Yes, that’s right.
KM: Like here this Palau come this side Kahauloa that was Mona, do you remember Mona, she married Kahele, Kapule, Mona?
FL: Yes, Mona.
KM: That was her tūtū’s place I guess over there.
FL: Where is that?
KM: Right here . . . here’s you know Kahauloa . . .
KM: Yes, Kapahukapu, Manini they call now.
FL: Manini beach, yeah.
KM: Kapahukapu that’s the old name.
FL: Yes, I know that place as Kapahukapu.
FL: You know how that name came Manini?
FL: Way back this Julian Yates them . . . I remember he had one boy Jackie. They used to go around and like name the different places. They don’t know the names . . . [slaps his hands] we call ’em Manini Beach! That’s how he told me how the name Manini Beach. I tell ’em hey . . . those Hawaiians they had all kinds of name.
KM: All, every place, yeah. Is it important to preserve place names?
FL: Oh yes, at least you know . . .
KM: ’Cause it’s history.
FL: Yes, that’s history, yeah.
KM: That’s right, landmark.
FL: They should follow those names. Don’t go off, if you don’t know the name they give ’em one name, that’s not right.
KM: Yes. And you look at some of these name beautiful Palemanō all these different kinds . . . Ke‘omo you know beautiful names.
FL: Yes . . . [pointing to location on map] This was all grass.
KM: On the pali?
FL: All Greenwell’s land.
KM: You know on the trails like that when you would, how come you walked over to Pu‘uohau . . . as far as Pu‘uohau?
FL: I was living at Ka‘awaloa.
KM: So you like to go holoholo?
FL: We used to go hook maiko, you know the process when they take the ink bag from the squid.
KM: From the he‘e, ‘ala‘ala?
FL: The he‘e yeah, the ‘ala‘ala. You make bait.
FL: You mix ’em, that’s a secret.
KM: Put on your hook?
FL: Yes, you take little bit you put ’em on the hook.
KM: You going share your secret?
KM: Your secret mix?
FL: I know [chuckling] . . .
KM: You put ‘ala‘ala?
FL: Sometime the maiko like ’em smelly certain time certain time they like ’em kind of burned.
KM: Different season kind?
FL: Yes. Certain time, they eat . . . what kind limu they eating . . . even use kerosene.
KM: Yes, I heard pearl oil yeah?
FL: Yes . . . hair oil, pomade . . . all kind stuff.
KM: You would go all the way from Ka‘awaloa? Walk feet?
FL: I walk, yeah, with a pū‘olo. Over there good for maiko that.
KM: Where by Pu‘uohau?
FL: Yes, over here, Nāwāwā, all over there good maiko place.
KM: And what you folks gather limu someplace here?
FL: Yes, get papa limu outside here. Out Keawekāheka . . .
KM: Keawekāheka . . . yes.
FL: Yes, get one papa limu over there. By the kind, what you call the papa now [shaking his head] . . . The Hawaiians before they used to take care. The limu kohu the worse enemy is another limu, the limu kala.
KM: She grow over everything?
FL: She smother, yeah. The Hawaiians when they see the limu kala growing they take ’em out.
FL: Yes, take ’em out, but now nobody do that.
KM: That’s right, so what the limu kohu all . . .?
FL: No more limu now, you go over there all take over, you see the big ball.
KM: Was that the way you were taught you go you take care?
FL: You take care, yeah.
KM: And what you can take everything today pau no need worry or what?
FL: Well, now days there’s nothing to take.
WL: Take what you need.
KM: Yes, so before days your tūtū told you?
FL: Yes, if you see limu kala growing you take ’em out . . . leave only the . . .
KM: Good limu.
FL: You can go harvest the limu, then you wait a couple of months, you ready for another harvest ’cause the papa is well taken care.
KM: Always clean.
FL: Ke‘ei get one papa over there, nobody take care till now.
KM: That’s amazing you know. Not only did they take care of the fish or the ponds or go up mauka to the māla‘ai, but even the papa limu they go clean ’em.
FL: To the Hawaiians limu was medicine.
WL: [gestures] You pinch ’em.
KM: You pinch instead? Rather than huki the root, otherwise you take the root what?
FL: You take your finger nail you dig ’em out of the base.
KM: Limu were used for medicines also?
FL: Yes, a good source of iodine.
WL: ‘Ahi poke any kind poke.
FL: That’s for the liver and all, Hawaiians knew that.
WL: Kukui inamona together.
KM: Amazing, wonderful story.
FL: I remember our kid days when you get lā‘au ho‘onāhā.
FL: You had for clean you out . . . just like castor oil. Soon as we feel upset stomach, our kūpuna tell us hey go get the kaliko . . .
KM: ‘Ae, ‘ae.
FL: Kaliko . . . we know Judge Kaliko? "No, no, the plant."
KM: [chuckling] You thought was the judge.
FL: Then they tell you, show you this you take five, six you boil ’em you drink the water. No take long you going clean out.
KM: Holo, clean ho‘oma‘ema‘e.
FL: Clean you up, yeah.
WL: He used to make lauhala hat too . . .
KM: You ulana too?
FL: My kid days, I used to weave.
KM: Where did you lauhala come from?
FL: Those days was Depression years and that’s how we get our poi. The Japanese, Higashi . . .
KM: Higashi come down?
FL: He come down.
FL: My mama tell . . . half a dollar poi, those days half a dollar we get a big bag.
FL: Half a dollar one big bag.
KM: And how the bag last all week?
FL: Those days no more plastic, get bag they sew.
KM: Rice bag?
FL: Rice bag, they make poi bag. You empty ’em you clean ’em wash ’em out dry ’em . . .
KM: She go home?
FL: Wait when Higashi come again you give ’em back his bag he give you new bag again, that’s how we live. [chuckling]
FL: And then I used to watch my mother weave. I was going Nāpo‘opo‘o school that time. "Mama, show me how for weave." "Okay, you like learn?" I say "Yes I like learn." She show me how to strip the lauhala, how to take the kūkū out. I go with her go all different places, go get lauhala.
KM: She’d go to all different places?
KM: Kahakai or little bit mauka?
FL: Most, below the mill down here had one big lauhala grove, and down Nāpo‘opo‘o had.
KM: Makai side?
FL: Yes, by the Kalawina church?
FL: Was the side down, and you go inside there oh plenty lauhala we used to go climb the tree with a lou and come down.
KM: You hook, pull down?
FL: Pull with the hook.
KM: How [sic] nice kind length lauhala?
FL: Yes, long.
KM: More like your stretch of your arm?
FL: Long . . . then you cut the head.
KM: The hi‘u, po‘o?
FL: They get it with the crank.
KM: The wili, roller. [chuckling]
KM: Did you folks used to whiten too or no need, just white in the sun?
FL: No, just natural after that they used to dye ’em and boil ’em. I remember they used to use the kind haole soap for the washer.
FL: They boil the water.
FL: Borax, yeah . . . boil ’em and then they dry ’em come white, nice kind.
KM: Kind of like loulu cause when the loulu come white.
FL: Yes . . . and that was the life, I used to weave.
KM: You uluna pāpale?
FL: The only thing I never catch on hard, complicated, is the pā. Get all kind names you know the different process . . . I know had maka, was when you put ’em on the lona, the block.
KM: ‘Ae, the block.
FL: Put ’em on the block then at first you weave the on top the pā.
KM: The piko, the pā, all different kind yeah, like you said.
FL: Yes, and you gotta run ’em on the sewing machine for lock ’em.
KM: Yes, for lock the piece.
FL: Then you gotta cross one go over, you cross one . . . complicated.
KM: I bet some of those pā was unique to a family if you saw the pā . . .
FL: Yes, that’s the secret the pā on top.
WL: Some kind of meaning for the family.
KM: If you see that pā you know, "oh so and so went weave."
FL: The lady used to teach where I used to work up Yano Hall, she died already. Junior Siriaco’s wife Luka. That wahine get some mind . . . she know all the pā of the different families.
FL: She tell me the certain family this, certain family all this . . . that’s the part to me . . . that’s the only thing I never learn.
KM: But you was smart for the kohe for the brow and everything, hiki.
FL: The rest hiki and all . . . get hi‘i and the last one is when you bend ’em outside the brim.
KM: You pelu?
FL: Pelu, yeah and then you go back. Mama used to make the pā and she pass ’em to me [chuckling].
KM: Maika‘i. Do you remember, did your mama have a name for that pā?
FL: I guess so. See, was passed down from her mother to her.
FL: Yes, all the girls in the family, in the Gaspar family, all know how to weave. Yes, that family was all . . . everyone, too good. My aunty Annie the one used to stay down Nāpo‘opo‘o she was the one that really enjoyed the weaving. She used to make hat and sell ’em all to the mainland, all over the place.
KM: Amazing! And before, hat not big money, yeah?
KM: All that work, yeah?
FL: Higashi come down here we got five, six, ten hats for one bag poi. The Japanese come rich [chuckling]. And the Hawaiian got to get their poi you know.
KM: That’s how, need the poi . . . You ma‘a, you go all over, but you folks, like you said, were fisher people so you didn’t have māla‘ai. You would exchange or something between people or?
FL: Those days we used to like Higashi poi, we used to exchange . . . my mother used to make the hats and we exchange for poi.
KM: How about your ‘ōpelu, like now [pointing to the net on the table], this is one ‘upena for ‘ōpelu you making now?
KM: Amazing, eighty-three years old you kā ‘upena yet.
FL: My eyes good.
KM: Maika‘i, oh . . .
FL: Good eyes.
KM: Mahalo ke Akua.
FL: I go check my eyes . . . my eyes twenty-twenty. Only this eye when get cataract you see the big . . . I had the cataract taken out.
KM: Wonderful, amazing see get some good modern day stuff.
KM: Some pilau, but some good. You kā ‘upena, how big is your?
FL: This one is one big net.
KM: About how deep would this net be?
FL: This net going end up being about six fathoms.
KM: Wow . . . and the ‘eke down to the bottom?
FL: This is the ‘eke.
KM: And the top how you make your ‘apo, what did you make the ‘apo with when you were young?
FL: We used the ‘ūlei stick.
KM: ‘Ūlei stick, oh. Where did you get your ‘ūlei from?
FL: We go down Manukā.
KM: You folks go holoholo all the way out Manukā?
FL: We go over there and you gotta join each one.
KM: About how long was each paukū, each section like?
FL: About like this [gestures length].
KM: Four feet or so?
FL: Then you got to notch ’em and make one pū‘ali they call it. [gestures, the notches interlocking]
KM: Yes, pū‘ali so she bite in.
FL: So you can tie and you cross and you skip every opposite side . . . so they bend against each other.
KM: Logical . . .
FL: Make ’em round.
KM: You go out in the canoe . . . it’s open straight out?
KM: Can you describe how you go ‘ōpelu fishing?
FL: Well, ‘ōpelu has . . . this is what I found out later had this guy used to come and he was what you call . . . I’ll call him fish scientist. He studied the marine animal and fish, whatever. According to him this ‘ōpelu ko‘a . . . actually the ‘ōpelu feed on plankton and small minute shrimp. He said where you get a heavy concentration of this plankton you going see ‘ōpelu. That’s the idea of ‘ōpelu ko‘a, plenty plankton, you going get ‘ōpelu feed on ’em. And he told me how you make one plankton net.
FL: You know the small mosquito net . . . you make one net and you throw ’em overboard and you drag ’em, you drag ’em then you pull ’em up you check. He said sometimes you got to use magnifying glass for see ’em. Then he say when you get the heaviest concentration going get ‘ōpelu.
KM: But you, you folks already knew where your ko‘a were, you didn’t need a scientist to come. What was your bait, did you go out hānai sometime and not fish?
FL: Actually, yes. Later on the old-timers used to tell me certain time of the year, usually after January, February one of those months. Hardly any ‘ōpelu, I don’t know why. But I guess that’s the month that not too many plankton. The old-timers used to tell me they go, they go hānai, they go feed. And they say when the time for feed you better not go out with one net, he said they turn your canoe over.
KM: Oh yeah, so just like kapu.
FL: Yes, it’s a no play thing you know, they’re serious. He said they catch you with one net they turn the . . . [chuckling] canoe over.
KM: What did you feed them?
FL: Mostly taro those days. Pumpkin you can use pumpkin.
FL: Pumpkin, taro you grate ’em.
WL: Avocado, pear.
FL: Pear afterwards, avocado we used to use avocado. I guess you can use anything.
KM: You folks, there’s so much pilikia now cause some people go out they make hauna, yeah pilau kind.
FL: You know actually I don’t believe in that theory ’cause common sense tell you where you get small fish in the school they going see big fish come around. Just like you see one nice wahine you going see plenty bulls around [chuckling].
KM: The kumū [chuckling].
FL: Yes. They say . . . they go put chop-chop, they make hauna the big fish come in . . . not true. I’ve known times where during our time fishing when the ‘ōpelu get scarce. The ko‘a that we use chop-chop get the most ‘ōpelu. I don’t know why. They say oh I don’t know . . . the Hawaiians believe that you use chop-chop, me I believe plenty ‘ōpelu you going get ‘ahi, you going get swordfish.
FL: I’ve seen swordfish, I’ve seen ‘ahi in fact one swordfish went right through my net, took one side.
KM: ‘Auwē, in your ‘ōpelu net?
FL: Yes, went right through one side out the other side. One other time one ‘ahi went inside my net he went follow the ‘ōpelu.
KM: Uncle, some of the kūpuna, the old lawai‘a, they told me "if you feed pilau to your fish though . . . stink kind bait you going eat that too," right?
KM: So that’s why you folks you used kalo you said. Did you use ‘uala some?
FL: Can be used, yeah.
KM: And then later pea like that?
KM: You would go out, what kind of depth for your ‘ōpelu?
FL: ‘Ōpelu usually not more than twenty fathoms, they kind of inside.
KM: You drop your net and how . . . how did you go out, can you describe when you go out your canoe?
FL: Well, you make sure you have your net you put ’em on the canoe and you go out to these different ko‘a and you throw the palu you feed.
FL: Then they come, sometimes what they call ka‘awili the long line of school of ‘ōpelu.
FL: Ka‘awili, they call that, some guys different way that they . . . you know the ka‘awili is one, then what they call holo papa you see ’em down just like one shelf and they all moving.
KM: Together . . .
FL: That’s holo papa. That’s the buggah usually eat the palu, they come for the bait. Sometimes the ka‘awili they only stay over there they no . . . I think they eating plankton maybe.
WL: Or waiting till the current change.
KM: Yes. You go . . . do you have pakā you drop down?
FL: Yes, we have one rag . . . kind of.
FL: [takes piece of paper and folds it down in manner used for fishing] Not a really square kind of offset and one lead in the center then you put the palu inside you fold the corner on and then you throw. You throw ’em down so far and you shake ’em, you jerk ’em and the thing spill out.
KM: Open up. And so the ‘ōpelu all come?
FL: They all go for the palu.
KM: You know you go out Kekaha. Ka‘ūpūlehu side they put lepo inside also with the ‘ōpae ‘ula.
FL: Yes, that’s how they use the red ‘ōpae, and it’s a special way. To get the ‘ōpae, they go in the pond . . . And the secret of that ‘ōpae is how to get ’em, how to catch ’em. If you go in the day they all in the cracks, and the Hawaiians knew that in the night they float.
FL: What they call lana . . . ‘ōpae lana . . . that’s the name of the ‘ōpae, lana to float. You go in the night they all on the surface, you scoop.
KM: Yes, smart.
FL: That’s how they catch ’em.
KM: You folks here didn’t use ‘ōpae?
FL: No, we used the palu.
KM: The palu, and you no need use lepo to shadow?
FL: No need.
KM: No need.
FL: You see the trick is if you get about three those small red shrimp we throw ’em in the ka‘a‘ai. Ka‘a‘ai is the one that feeds. You throw ’em in the ka‘a‘ai, the three, four ‘ōpae then you get one handful mud you throw ’em inside, fold ’em in and throw. You see the idea is no put too many ‘ōpae . . . because hard to get. The lepo like you said, the mud, you going see all, just like [gestures opening out].
KM: Spread out?
FL: Then the ‘ōpelu going inside that lepo, go look for that three shrimp. You no grab one whole hand shrimp . . . [chuckling] No take long, you going get no more.
KM: [chuckling] Yes, yes.
FL: That’s the trick.
KM: So in other words the lepo?
FL: The lepo is for camouflage make ’em go find.
KM: So when you huki ‘upena they no see ’em?
FL: Right, two purpose. When you throw net, when you kūkulu, when you put the palu in the center of the net . . . You this ‘ōpelu net get the rings coming up.
KM: ‘Ae. Like three or four . . .
FL: When you ka‘a‘ai right in the center you shake ’em, the mud going . . .
FL: Kind of make ’em hard for see. The ‘ōpelu go in the mud, he no can see the net coming up around him by the time he know he stay in the net.
KM: Too good yeah . . .
FL: That’s the idea of the mud.
KM: Did you folks do that here, or you no need?
KM: Only your palu enough?
FL: The Kailua people did ’em.
KM: Kailua, yes. You folks what, you drop the net down, you ku‘u the ‘upena?
FL: Yes, you ku‘u.
KM: And then you throw the pakā?
FL: Then you feed.
KM: And what the fish just stay there and you can pull the net up they no run away?
FL: Well, they’re eating.
KM: So they nanea so much eating they don’t . . .
FL: They eating, but they get what they call the school boy, the buggah’s been through the mill they know how to run away.
KM: Yes, the ‘au‘a like.
FL: ‘Au‘a, that’s what they call ’um, the ‘au‘a . . . that’s what we call school boy they graduate.
KM: School boy he graduate already, graduated from the first net.
FL: He sees the net, he comes straight up.
WL: That’s the one tell you where the fish stay.
KM: Yes, that’s right so you no like bother the ‘au‘a maybe.
FL: That’s the one teach the new fellow how to eat.
WL: Yes, he teach ’em how to eat.
FL: He teach ’em.
KM: Too good.
FL: That's why you go to the ko‘a, you bang the paddle . . . bang, bang.
KM: On the side of the canoe?
FL: You see the first one come that’s the school boy, ‘au‘a.
KM: Because you trained him already, time to eat.
FL: They going train the other one.
KM: That’s why you go out hānai sometimes and no fish?
KM: So you bang the side of the canoe with the paddle?
FL: And the old-timers they no like catch the ‘au‘a.
KM: Ah . . . too good.
KM: You make your ‘apo, you still would go get ‘ūlei you lash ’em together. You go out it’s straight on the canoe?
KM: When you get to the ko‘a you ‘apo.
FL: Yes. Then you throw.
WL: You throw one in, and one under the canoe, one away.
FL: The head . . . you poke one inside the ring and then you squeeze ’em then you squeeze the other ring over [gestures with hands a ring being drawn over the two ends of the ‘apo, locking them together as one].
KM: Oh, so you would make rings by that time . . . too good.
FL: One small ring and one big ring. First you throw the ‘eke, and it goes down, then you throw the body down, the last going be the stick.
FL: Take the stick and the fisherman in front the other guy behind. You tell ’um one, two . . . throw on number three. One, two, throw the outside stick, poke ’um under the canoe, the inside one. You poke ’em under the canoe and you poke ’um in the small ring then you squeeze the two together. You squeeze the big ring over, and you let ’um go.
KM: And she go down. So you drop ’em down?
FL: Drop ’em down to about maybe seven fathoms.
WL: If you rush, not patient, the thing broke.
FL: Broke, yeah! How many time that happen. You know, plenty people get all excited, go! Broke the stick.
KM: ‘Auwē no ho‘i, so pau you go home.
FL: Then we make ’em out of iron.
KM: Ah, so forget the ‘ūlei make iron kind now?
FL: Iron kind.
FL: Plastic now.
KM: Plastic, you mean the p-v-c kind, pipe now?
WL: Fiber glass.
FL: Fiber glass.
WL: Before those days, was real strict. The ‘ōpelu, when you feed time, everybody had their turn to feed.
FL: Yes, we take turn no, no buck ass.
KM: ‘Ae. So was there a main lawai‘a nui out for you folks here?
FL: They say according to the old-timers, usually the village get one what you call the head fisherman. He decide when to fish, and when they go out they get agreement, they call one another. How you doing, I get three or four ka‘au easy, then they . . . [gestures, pulling up the net and returns to shore]
KM: Who was the lawai‘a nui for you folks?
FL: Actually, by our time we never had.
KM: Oh was pau . . . but people still aloha?
WL: The fish, two, three weeks, you got to feed before you go get ’um.
FL: Yes, yes.
KM: That’s how you trained them though, yeah? So then you tap the side of the canoe?
FL: You bang the paddle.
KM: Bang the paddle and they already knew, come, yeah?
FL: Yes. I remember going with . . . when pau shcool we go home. We go down by the beach we watch the canoes. And I ask if they need ka‘a‘ai man . . . The ka‘a‘ai man, he is the one feed. He said, "Yes come, go out."
KM: Hmm, you go holoholo.
FL: You even go help them carry the canoe, they give you ‘ōpelu.
KM: ‘Ae, hāpai wa‘a.
FL: Hāpai wa‘a.
KM: So whoever would come, kōkua.
KM: They māhele i‘a.
WL: They give you ‘ōpelu.
KM: How nice yeah. When everyone kōkua.
FL: Yes. Now you go, ala!
WL: They look at Washington [dollars].
FL: Before the old-timers, when their time for feed, they feed alone and no fool around, they’re serious.
KM: This is wonderful though, maika‘i kou no‘ono‘o, ho‘omana‘o ‘oe.
FL: That’s right . . .
Group: [discusses changes on land, and impacts on fisheries]
FL: . . . You see, the early days the Nāpo‘opo‘o here, we used to get mean floods you know.
FL: You know the coffee mill down here?
FL: It almost got inundated with water.
KM: You’re kidding so big ua, mauka, kahe ka wai?
FL: The ranches mauka . . . that’s the Greenwell ranch up here. One section there, what they did they went bulldoze. They had the bulldozers up in the mountain.
KM: Way mauka?
FL: Nobody knew, they were bulldozing up there, same thing . . . after that one of nephews you know, Butchy, he was working with the ranch. I used to go hunt pig with him up there.
FL: Up Kealakekua Ranch. Then when I went up there with him I look . . . [shaking his head]
KM: Ahuwale, everything open up?
FL: This is where the flood came from.
KM: So, this was after the war then time?
FL: Oh yes.
KM: So way after the war time.
FL: When I went up there I said, this is where the water was coming from. They were doing exactly what they did down . . . [thinking—points north]
KM: When Hōkūkano went bulldoze.
KM: You open up the land, the water just going flow when rain.
FL: You see what hold the land together is the roots. You get roots, trees you take that away and you get one big rain that’s what going be. Everything going . . . up here bare rock you can see the base rock.
KM: What happens when the mud all wash into your old ko‘a, your fisheries?
FL: What happens?
WL: Run away.
FL: Then no more.
KM: The fish no can, live . . . Oh mahalo nui i kou lokomaika‘i.
FL: I respect those days.
KM: You got to respect the old times, yeah?
FL: Sure. But now what they doing, look over here, they caught ’em already. Now they finally admit.
KM: Yes . . . Hey uncle, you made me think, did you folks have a shark out here that used to help you folks do you remember ever hearing about one shark?
FL: Yes, the Hawaiians used to call him Ka‘ilipulapula.
KM: Ka‘ilipulapula . . . ohh!
FL: It’s not a superstitious thing, what they called that, is a whale shark.
FL: You can swim with ’um, he not going bite you. ’Cause why they call ’em whale shark? You know the whale, whale is a big thing. Get big mouth and all that but the throat you no can put your fist inside, you no can ram your fist in the throat. They only eat small things, plankton . . .
KM: Hmm. So Ka‘ilipulapula?
FL: That’s the one spotted . . .
KM: That’s the shark for this place?
FL: The scientific name is Grampus.
KM: Oh you na‘auao. This Ka‘ilipulapula was the shark for you folks?
FL: Yes, the Hawaiians say thats kū‘ula like, our fish god.
WL: Sometimes, I’m out there fishing, it comes by me.
KM: You see that fish?
FL: That’s true you know.
WL: Come by my boat.
FL: You see that shark come the school ‘ōpelu follow. They follow the bugga, for protection, I guess.
WL: Rub the back under the boat.
FL: Yes, he come rub the back, some guys they scared they think the buggah going attack, but I tell you . . .
KM: Big eh, maybe 30-something feet?
FL: Yes. I don’t know we have one boat about twenty-seven feet long, grandpa’s small boat, and the buggah was longer [chuckling] than the boat.
FL: He go under there rub his back.
WL: [chuckling] Itchy, the back.
KM: Did you ever hear, did the kūpuna ever go kahe clean the shark or feed it?
FL: My father-in-law used to tell me he used to . . . first he was scared then he said his father told him, "No that shark not going bother you." The old man Lou. He said when they do that that thing, the coral Hawaiians call ’um ‘āko‘ako‘a. The ‘āko‘ako‘a grow on the back, the thing irritates ’um. And that’s the time he come he rub his back on the canoe. So when he sees that, he poke ’um with the paddle broke the ‘āko‘ako‘a, take ’um off. He going like that.
KM: That’s right.
FL: And then my father-in-law said "Yes, the more you poke, the more he like come."
KM: Just like one ‘īlio, how the dog like come, you know, you scratch the back.
FL: Yes. I’ve seen that . . . Grandpa and I used to chase aku on his small boat. We used what you call the makau pā, made out of pearl.
KM: ‘Ae, the mother of pearl, pā.
FL: The mother of pearl the plate.
KM: You folks used to make your own?
FL: Yes, I get some under the house someplace.
KM: Wow . . . uncle take care of those make sure that someone who will appreciate it. I don’t know if your nephew or somebody or otherwise nalowale, pau.
FL: Yes, I used to make ’em . . .
KM: Please that’s important . . . and what you make olonā you tie ’em.
FL: Tie ’em with the hook. But the old timers used to use the bone hook eh. The shin bone [gestures down to his leg].
KM: From the shin bone . . . the barb.
FL: The Hawaiian said, "you get the kind leg no more hair . . ." oh they like that.
KM: Lucky me!
FL: The bone strong. Some of them they ask ’em "if you go make I can have your shin bone for make hook?"
KM: When ʻohana, not bad, maybe ʻohana the kūpuna like help.
WL: Too good.
KM: Amazing . . . so good, you still made pā like that?
FL: I know how to make the pā.
KM: You go out you used to go out for aku?
FL: Yes, used to go out and chase school aku. I’ve seen the Grampus, the whale shark, I see what the aku used to chase the pīhā, like minnow. They all group up like one tight ball and then I see this Grampus, we pass I look gee, "grandpa look the shark." Grandpa he look he tell me, "Oh that’s old Ka‘ilipulapula, he going eat fish" [smiling]. The buggah he go down he stand on his tail in the water, he stand like this [gestures with arm, the shark standing up on the surface of the water], he come up and the pīhā all spinning, scared the aku. The ball spinning, and the buggah he come up and open his mouth . . . [chuckling] The buggahs come all one time.
KM: Get ’em all one time?
FL: He get ’em and all the scales coming out from the gill. I stop the boat, I watch, I see all the gills. Sparkle, eh? That damn buggah went stand up. [chuckling]
KM: She come straight up, amazing . . . kūpaianaha!
FL: Hoo, the mouth big you know . . . you see white.
KM: That is amazing . . . [end of Side B, tape 1; begin Side A, tape 2]
WL: Too good no.
FL: The buggah with the mouth, you can jump inside . . . the mouth bigger than the icebox.
KM: More than six feet across, more big.
FL: Yes . . . he scoop the whole school. Interesting . . . I remember that year, I never see so much pīhā . . .
KM: Interesting, yeah.
FL: [speaking to Weston] You remember the year the fire fish they call that, that year the thing went we used to see ’em outside, we go flag line look like one reef.
WL: When the volcano erupt.
FL: Look like one reef.
KM: What you call that fish, ‘alalauā?
FL: ‘Alalauā, that’s baby ‘āweoweo.
KM: Yes, that’s the one?
FL: No, this one is I don’t know just like one hage [the Japanese name for the fish].
WL: When the volcano erupt, come.
KM: What color is that fish?
WL: Gray, yellow, black.
FL: Yellow dots. When you go look ’em outside there just like one reef floating.
KM: Amazing . . .
WL: All make in the water.
FL: Millions. Then they die off, no more nothing to eat I guess. Then I remember me and daddy them, we go by the ‘ōpelu ko‘a, all by the ‘ōpelu ko‘a, they come pile up on the shore. By the wharf, there, loaded!
KM: You folks had ‘ō‘io out here too? You go for ‘ō‘io?
FL: ‘Ō‘io used to be our raw fish, oh that’s a winner.
KM: That’s what I heard . . . Leslie family famous.
WL: Awa, ‘ō‘io, still yet, in the bay.
FL: With onion.
KM: ‘Ae, inamona, pa‘akai little limu.
FL: That and poi ’nough.
KM: Lawa yeah . . . good, when you can off the ‘āina you go make pa‘akai you get your i‘a.
KM: Someone come, ‘ohana come bring pa‘i ‘ai.
FL: Come from the mountain, bring taro.
WL: I was telling you about Nāpo‘opo‘o you know where the mud pond stay.
WL: They get all the alā rock, they when set in that pond way before, daddy was talking about.
FL: Yes, that’s why, when you go in the pond, guys say you go inside you going sink down . . . no, the inside all alā stone. All set. Had one old lady, Masuhara . . . old lady she all kuapu‘u, she go inside with a . . . [thinking]
KM: Kāē‘ē, net go?
FL: Yes, the kind pole net.
KM: Get ‘ōpae?
FL: I remember I go inside there I ask the old lady, I pity her she small, old.
KM: Was she Hawaiian or pure Japanese?
FL: Japanese . . . Akira Masuhara that’s the mother. They had one house inside there, then. That’s during the flood time, the flood when take the house and throw ’em in the ‘ōpae pond.
KM: Aloha. Do you remember the name of the ‘ōpae pond?
FL: I don’t know the name but I knew the heiau, Hikiau. In fact one time we was working for the county we went restore that thing.
KM: You did restore it?
KM: What is your mana‘o, you know uncle like these trails or like the heiau. Is it okay for people to travel the trails if they respect, do you think or should?
FL: Sure, if they respect but no go around and take things over there and what.
KM: Yes, so just like the heiau or something if they take care, clean up . . . for like you, when kama‘āina that’s good, yeah?
FL: Yes. After all the human being, that’s not an animal.
KM: Yes, yes.
FL: In a sense it is an animal but we educated not like one . . .
KM: Supposed to be educated [chuckles].
FL: Supposed to be [chuckles].
KM: Some, they no treat people nice . . . so that’s the thing you know as we’re looking at this we’re trying to figure out for the historic preservation with the trails and things here. If it’s okay for people to use the trail but they need to be smart. They can’t just go ‘auwana anywhere, touch anything?
FL: Yes, sure you know.
WL: Take care.
KM: Yes, mālama, aloha.
FL: Take care.
WL: Don’t destroy . . .
KM: May I ask you, did you ever go out Ki‘ilae side?
FL: Ki‘ilae . . . where?
KM: Past Hōnaunau.
FL: Oh yeah, by the pali?
KM: Yes, Alahaka you remember Alahaka?
FL: Alahaka, yeah.
KM: You used to go up there?
FL: Yes, I used to go down throw net down the one you go down by McCandless ranch . . . had reef over there.
KM: Ki‘ilae, Kauleolī, Ho‘okena . . .
FL: Yes, the next reef, what that?
KM: Oh, Kalahiki. How you go walk feet all the way?
FL: There’s a trail going down.
KM: You would drive mauka road and then walk down?
FL: Go down the trail . . .
KM: . . . You know Hikiau and the pond you were talking about?
KM: If we come back look at this map here. This is the Nāpo‘opo‘o and what, look who’s name is here, lalua. He had this in the Māhele his original land before, was over here. This lalua just like Awahua them, these families spread out all over this ‘āina.
WL: The kind the chanting lady before?
KM: Oh, ‘Iolani Luahine . . . you look here, here’s Luahine over here, and see ‘Iolani, her papa was Makekau.
FL: Makekau, yeah.
KM: Here’s Makekau’s place right here, Simmerson is above the road. Makekau just below here that’s how they got the ‘āina.
FL: You know something, now you mentioned these things going on. From what I understand the Great Māhele was which Kamehameha, the third?
KM: Three, yes you’re right.
FL: Kamehameha the third . . . that’s when he went divide that land among the people.
FL: Now, you know the one grandpa went rap horns with, the Bishop Estate, my dad believed that Bishop Estate stole this land.
KM: What ‘āina?
FL: Then I remember way back, Cushingham used to the bank manager.
KM: That’s right, that’s why was pilikia.
FL: Cushingham, he had another Japanese guy he was the land . . . taking care the leases and all that. I remember distinctly had one family down by . . . you know where Andrade had one house down by Keawaiki.
FL: They used to call that place.
KM: Where is that, what land is that?
WL: The wife was a school teacher, Vredenburg.
FL: Had one family over there . . . Vredenburg sold the land to Andrade I guess, or he sold the lease. But Vredenburg was leasing the land from Bishop Estate. On that land way back when I was small boy, I was about five years old. I remember had one family, Hea . . . H-e-a. Originally, they from Waimea. Had kind a . . . you know the kind haole stay among the Hawaiians . . . Parker. I think he related to the Parker that own the Parker Ranch.
KM: Sam Parker mā.
FL: Later became Smart, I don’t know where the Smart came.
KM: Parker because the wahine married Smart, that’s why.
FL: That’s how Smart?
FL: He came smart! [chuckling]
FL: Anyway, that guy came down here . . . kicked them out of the land. I remember till this day seeing that lady crying putting all her stuff in the kind. You know the old people used to get this woven basket like.
FL: ‘Eke . . . supposed to be made in China those things.
KM: That old kind, Chinese kind . . . rattan?
FL: Poor thing, she cried, and then he kicked ’em out. They actually stole the land. Now that land was deeded over to Kanele, one Hawaiian by the name of Kanele.
KM: Oh right here ma‘ane‘i here’s Kanele right here.
FL: Kanele, I don’t know what he was a high chief or something.
KM: So the ahupua‘a of Kahauloa.
FL: That’s ahupua‘a land you know, nothing to those . . . yes Kahauloa.
KM: That’s why see this Māhele award, 204 . . . Kanele. Right across from where Kapule, Palau mā were . . . Mona’s grandpa them, right across there you see.
FL: Anyway . . .
KM: So they lost that ‘āina?
FL: I remember my dad arguing with Cushingham . . . my dad said, "You guys stole that damn land, that land get Māhele Award to Kanele. That’s Kamehameha the third dividing his land with the people." And why he give ’em to certain people, because Kanele used to be in charge of the ahupua‘a.
KM: Konohiki like, he manage, oversee?
FL: Yes, he get one guy and he do the collection of the taxes and all of that for the King, so the king gave him this land.
KM: Was pilau time.
FL: And then Cushingham tells my dad, "Oh that was possessed by the Government from not paying taxes." Now if that’s so, somewhere got to be record right.
KM: You would think so.
FL: If the Government is on the up and up somewhere got to be a record. Good excuse on his part, yeah. But where is the record for say it was possessed for non-payment of taxes. They just plain stole the land that’s all. This Japanese, kick ’e off . . .
KM: Vredenburg was living there too for a while?
FL: Yes, Vredenburg.
KM: That’s Vredenburg.
FL: I don’t know which Vredenburg . . . from Ka‘ū, that Vredenburg [Ernest].
KM: Oh, amazing. Hoo, you remember so much.
FL: Yes, I don’t know . . . I try. [chuckles]
KM: Mahalo . . . [pauses] Plenty of the families here have lost their lands, I guess?
FL: Plenty, plenty.
KM: I see here’s your old school Nāpo‘opo‘o School and just a little more mauka was the church Kahikolu?
FL: Yes, Nāpo‘opo‘o School I remember seeing the . . . you know those days they used to make the building out of coral.
KM: Oh yeah, mortar.
FL: They cook ’em. They kālua that thing in the imu.
FL: And the coral as a certain degree melt and they plaster the stones with the coral.
KM: And that’s how the old schoolhouse was?
FL: Yes, it’s still there I remember the frame, the window all the opening. My mother used to go down there when we were kids she tell me, "This used to be our school." We used to go over there pick lauhala, and she tell me, "this was our school." I ask here, "Mama how many kids used to go school?" She said those days, "Only about thirty. The whole school was thirty kids."
KM: And below Kahikolu, that’s Moku‘ōhai the old battle field? Did you?
FL: Kahikolu . . .
KM: Is that right Moku‘ōhai?
FL: Moku‘ōhai is more over.
KM: More over.
FL: That’s south, that’s around Kīpū. Get one road, you know the road going down where the well is? There’s a well. There was a road going down that was the Moku‘ōhai road you can walk ’em, a trail you know.
FL: The Moku‘ōhai trail, that’s a battle field, Ke‘ei battle field.
WL: You know, has one foundation, one high wall and get one opening over there get one big turtle the Hawaiians made.
KM: Just like a stone turtle.
WL: The hump of the back, the legs, the tail and then get some house pads, with the medicine kind rocks. Nice clean round top, hollow in the top, and then get the piko rock, the Hawaiian kind. And the kū‘ula rock, the āholehole . . .
FL: The fish come, yeah.
WL: Still there.
FL: I get one stone, you try look at this stone [goes to get a stone] . . . I showed him this stone as soon as he look he tell me "polishing stone." Then he tell me where you get this? It just caught my eye, down at Nāpo‘opo‘o. You can see where the finger rest, and then they use it for polishing the canoes. What a hard life no, you think, now we go with the sandpaper . . .
KM: And electric too.
FL: I tell you one story about you know the old man Moku‘ōhai?
FL: He was one kālai wa‘a, he make canoes. So this haole guy came one time. He went stop by Shimizu’s store they had this shop right across the road. He see this guy struggling. He go over there introduce himself. This guy was one woodworker from the mainland. He said what you doing? Making canoe, all hand power [gestures using a ko‘i, adze or chisel]. The guy, he got interested he stayed there watch he never say nothing. Then he pau, finally he left he went to the hotel. Bumbye, before he left Moku‘ōhai tell ’em his address, he went back to the mainland he sent him all the tools, all electric.
FL: The kind for inside, half round . . . oh the old man go with the chisel . . .
KM: This was Charlie, Charlie Moku‘ōhai?
FL: Charlie, people go over there he tell us the story, he told me the story. I tell that’s one good haole I can tell you.
Group: [all chuckling]
FL: Should be more of that type. He said he send me all the tools.
KM: Hmm. That’s amazing. Uncle, mahalo so much . . .
FL: . . . You know the olden days, I remember and you don’t see that now. Certain days, usually summer months, on a Saturday they used to plan and down Nāpo‘opo‘o village, had this family Ka‘io, Louie Ka‘io, I remember him. He had this special net and we used to go, and they made this ‘eke and two wings open the ‘upena ku‘u, what you call cross net. They drop the bag and they had this . . . what you call the kind tree on the lava? [thinking]
FL: ‘Ōhi‘a . . . they call ’em lehua but actually the wood is ‘ōhi‘a in some part of the Hawaiian Islands ‘ōhi‘a that’s tomatoes.
KM: That’s right they call ’em tomatoes. They were making this and the ‘eke you said was maybe . . .
FL: Get ‘ōhi‘a stick holding ’em open, and on top, ‘īkoi. The ‘īkoi is hau, they shape ’em into floaters. When you get this . . . the bottom you put those days they used to use stone for led.
KM: Pōhaku for led.
FL: For hold the bottom down.
FL: Had this kind heavy, something like this and they notch ’em, put a notch in ’em.
KM: That’s right.
FL: That hold the bottom down and on top the ‘īkoi, the ‘īkoi like float. When you look inside oh nice open. The pā was the kind . . . and they no dye the net they leave ’em white cause when the fish see ’em they keep away. You like ’em do that so then you keep ’em together, then you can chase ’em. They go certain spot and this guy we used to call Humakū, Ship Humakū. He used to be the head fisherman. He go all this what you call ku‘una.
FL: Ku‘una mean the where you going put your net.
KM: Set ’em down.
FL: They go there take care the coral so no hihia. If the coral in the way, they broke ’em they kill ’em that’s the ku‘una.
KM: That’s the net set place.
FL: They put it in then us we go and then we chase ’em.
KM: Paipai . . .
FL: We chase paipai and then some guys in a canoe with a long stick with a pipe on the end when you hit the pipe down sound like spear, metal hoo, they take off . . . and they go in one pile when they come by the net the ‘eke they stall. From behind they dive off the canoe when the one guy give the signal, go . . . we dive off the canoe when you go way down you make whoa, that kind noise. The fish take off all inside the ‘eke. You make that kind noise, whoa!
KM: What kind of fish?
FL: All kind, maiko, uhu, everthing inside there.
KM: And the ‘eke was about?
FL: Big buggah, big like this room [about 30 feet across].
KM: You said had wings out on the side?
FL: Had wings out.
KM: Did you close the net or?
FL: No, when they set the net in front of the ‘eke get this just like one flap.
FL: When we chase the fish in, when the fish is inside the ‘eke already, we take this flap and we . . .
KM: Close ’em?
FL: And that flap is lead so we throw ’em over the mouth, lock ’em over the net, where the ‘īkoi come across. And then they go they take the outside, the pā, the net. Take ’em out, get that and then they bring the ‘eke out.
KM: About how dep was the ‘eke you think?
FL: I think about the length of this room.
KM: As much as 30 feet then.
FL: And about half that size in width.
KM: Maybe about fifteen feet wide.
FL: About that.
KM: Amazing, wow! That’s a unique style of fishing.
FL: And the fish we catch.
KM: Who was the head fisherman you said?
FL: Ship we used to call him Ship Humakū.
FL: Humakū, yeah.
FL: Hawaiian, and a good fisherman that buggah, good net fishing throw net any kind.
KM: Every Saturday you folks would go down certain times?
FL: Not every Saturday, come the summer months.
KM: Ah . . . were there seasons, were there certain times in the moon too or?
FL: I don’t know why, but I know was summer months.
KM: Summer months.
FL: We used to go . . . where the canoe goes we catch ’em, we had one big canoe. You remember Kaliko, Judge Moku, he had one big canoe, fill ’em up full.
KM: How you folks would always share?
FL: The amazing thing is you wait couple of months, you go again the fish there, no take long they repopulate. Why, I wouldn’t know.
KM: May I ask you though, when you folks were fishing was it only you folks? People from different places wouldn’t come down to fish and take?
FL: No, was mostly the village people.
KM: So, was mostly the village people.
FL: Some people from more mauka, the Hawaiians mahi‘ai . . .
KM: ‘Ae. But see they must have traded, kuapo, when you exchange things like that but they were of this land.
KM: Someone from say, Kailua maybe, wouldn’t come fish your place?
KM: That’s why cause the guy who watching right . . . they knew when the fish come strong again, not like now you get everybody come they go launch boat your place from Hilo. And you know pau, everybody fish.
FL: And those days, I remember ‘ōpelu fishing we used to go, go out feed, then usually we get about five canoes out there feeding then one guy would yell, "Pehea ʻoe, how you making out?" The guys say maybe about three ka‘au eating and they ask the other guy how are you, how are you . . . okay and they say "Okay we all ku‘u." I throw my net, you throw, everybody throw their net. One time they pull, pau they go home.
KM: Pau, so you know waste.
FL: Today, they go with ice they bang that ko‘a all day so wipe out.
KM: Wipe out . . .
FL: That’s the result, wipe out. That’s the difference, one pull they go home.
KM: They say ‘ānunu.
FL: ‘Ānunu. Yes that’s the word, only thing ‘ānunu, greedy.
KM: They greedy, because they take everything and they no think and then next week they go down the next land, then the next just like your ‘ōpihi or what. Pau, everything wipe out.
FL: Gone now gone.
KM: Before you folks could go out Ka‘awaloa anywhere go get ‘ōpihi like that.
FL: Before we used to go you know when you get lū‘au, we used to go down this place Pōhakupuka, that stone coming out of the water. And the amazing thing about that stone, the water go right out of the bay until about five hundred yards from shore right outside there ninety fathoms.
FL: How the hell did that stone come there.
KM: Maybe was one old pali before, extending out, left that stack . . .
FL: There’s got to be some definition. And the ‘ōpihi, you walk on the ‘ōpihi. When we get lū‘au, somebody get married, we used to go down there. You pound the ‘ōpihi all day . . .
KM: Is that Kolo side?
FL: This side of Miloli‘i, you know where the place they call Pāpā?
KM: Yes, Pāpā.
FL: Right down there. Miloli‘i used to be the same thing, Miloli‘i was noted for their ‘ōpelu.
KM: Now the fishermen all messed up because they come in over there, they say the guys come in with chop-chop or make dog, pilau kind they spoil the ko‘a because they would only go with the pala‘ai like that or stuff.
FL: There used to be only palu.
KM: Then they poison their ko‘a.
WL: Chop-chop to me is a good palu.
KM: As long as clean but if you go to someone’s koa and they don’t use that then you going change their ko‘a.
WL: There you go.
KM: And that’s when the pilikia. ’Cause if the kama‘āina only fish certain way, you come throw something else in the fish not going for the kama‘āina.
FL: I remember the Kailua people used to come down by . . . you know Nāwāwā . . .
FL: We used to call ’em ‘ōpelu house, had one lonely house by itself and we used to catch ‘ōpelu over there.
KM: On the south side of Nāwāwā or the Kailua side?
FL: On the south side.
KM: On the south side of Nāwāwā.
FL: That’s why we used to call ’em ‘ōpelu house.
KM: ‘Ōpelu house.
WL: ‘Ōpelu ko‘a, that.
FL: That’s where we used to catch ’em and bait for long line, go get our bait. In fact there are ko‘a all around, some that we don’t know of. And the old timers tell me outside in Ka‘awaloa right outside the monument used to be the great ko‘a over there, ‘ōpelu. Today, no more ‘ōpelu over there. You see along here along the pali all ‘ōpelu.
WL: Uncle Fred, Antone Grace?
FL: Antone Grace, Smoky. We used to call him Smoky.
KM: He was over here too?
FL: He was one canoe builder, that old man.
KM: Antone Lono Grace.
FL: Antone Grace. He had one son, Ako, that’s the carver. That Antone I knew him from one baby. He used to go up the mountain with the tūtū. The tūtū used to make canoe for people.
KM: Kālai wa‘a.
FL: Used to go up Greenwell ranch and he kālai wa‘a, what they call the dug out, rough, and they bring ’em down from the mountain. Those days they used to drag em with a horse. They just carve ’um crude. Going be roughed up, that’s why. So they rough ’em out.
KM: They drag ’em only?
FL: They drag ’em down.
KM: Did you hear sometime they go up mountain they chant first or they call when they go down?
FL: That old man, they had what you call kahuna kālai wa‘a, that’s the high priest for canoe building. He chant and he get offering.
KM: Antone’s daughter is your age, Hannah.
FL: Hannah, yeah.
KM: She married Kawa‘auhau and then marry Acia.
FL: She was down City of Refuge one time. I happened to go down there she recognize me, "Hey!" Talk story with me. I tell, "ai no ‘oe!" She talk Hawaiian . . .
KM: ‘Ae, oh mahalo . . .
FL: I was lucky when I was a little boy, my mother and the neighbor they converse all in Hawaiian and I stay over there listening. [chuckling]
FL: Mama, what that word mean? She tell me, and I ask, then gradually I learn and now somebody talk Hawaiian I know exactly what they say.
KM: ‘Ae . . . Mahalo nui. I’m so thankful, mahalo to your nephew for helping us meet. It’s important that we talk story.
FL: Yes, good.
KM: Otherwise, nalowale.
FL: Good to talk to somebody like you come like this.
KM: Mahalo, you enjoy those maps . . . Just like the name, Kanele, you going see all these families.
FL: Yes, that was Kahauloa, the whole ahupua‘a . . . [asks that recorder be turned off—describes period of Cushingham and Bishop Estate land acquisition and events during World War II]
WL: [Asked uncle to tell story about his father, helping the families of the region.]
FL: . . . My dad he was like that, he used to help ’em and the Hawaiian and he get land trouble he try help ’em, and one day . . . ’Cause the people down the village they were poor people. I’ve known him to go buy their coffin, put them on his truck, take them up to the place where they going bury. He used to do all that, I don’t know how many guys he used to buy. Morihara Store, that used to be the one used to sell the coffin. That’s the only store used to sell the coffin.
KM: Morihara right mauka, Hōnaunau one?
FL: Hōnaunau junction. That’s the only way you can buy coffin before. He used to go over there he order coffin.
KM: Your papa would help the families like that?
KM: That’s what your nephew was telling me before that your grandpa them. Nui ke aloha . . .
KM: And like you said these people poor, but they aloha.
FL: Talk Hawaiian oh cracker jack, talk Hawaiian. Go get ’um [chuckling].
KM: Your father? But he was part-Hawaiian too.
FL: My mother was the same way, she used to give me the can stuff, my dad used to catch the Humu‘ula go all the way Honolulu those days used to be one place up Honolulu called Piggly Wiggly. He used to go up there he used to buy canned stuff by the boxes, ship ’em up on the Humu‘ula right to Nāpo‘opo‘o landing. We had one box, the size of this room loaded with can stuff. And my mother used to give me, "You take this to Leialoha, whoever [chuckling]. Give ’em all the canned goods . . . He was like that . . .
WL: Too good.
KM: So the ‘ohana take care.
FL: Yes, good heart. And fish we surround akule every house we had one ka‘au, one ka‘au is forty akule. Every house, he mark ’em he get ’em all listed. That used to be our job take the akule go give this guy, give this guy, give . . . every time he surround he give everybody.
KM: That’s amazing, like you said even before so when you were in the Cannon Company [Army]. It’s just like your papa and mama. You follow their nature, you take care.
FL: They come to me for advice.
KM: That’s amazing nui ke aloha.
FL: [Uncle had described how he used to write letters for a man from South Kona who’d been in the army, so that he could stay in touch with his wife; and when the woman learned that he had been the writer she cried and thanked him . . .] That’s what we’re here for, to help one another, not destroy one another.
KM: Yes. Uncle, earlier [while the tape was off], you brought up the thing about the graves like that in people’s property. In the old days I understand that the kūpuna mā when they live ‘āina they bury right there plenty of them.
FL: Right on the land.
KM: You know when you get place where old families used to live you got to expect probably get ilina, grave over there, yeah?
KM: ’Cause that’s the style.
FL: I went work for one haole one time for take care his plants. He was one doctor, a rich buggah. I study this, I look and I know what they used to call kahua, where they bury. I look at how the stones was set, I tell, "Hey doc you get one graveyard your place." He asked me can you show it to me? And the haole he no go look his land he just buy ’em.
FL: I wen’ show ’em, this one Hawaiian grave, get one body under here.
KM: You went show him?
FL: I show the guy . . . he tell me, what shall I do? I tell ’em nothing but . . . don’t desecrate ’em. Don’t run bulldozer, dig ’em up, throw the bones around like that . . . Just respect them, respect the place.
KM: That was the old style yeah?
KM: You bury around house where they live.
FL: I told him just the thought of . . . how would you feel if you had a grave over here. Would you like somebody fooling around with your bones and stuff like that. He tell, "Hell no!" I tell, there you are, treat ’em the same. Oh, raining outside.
KM: Ola ka ‘āina . . .
FL: Yes. So that's all it takes, just respect . . .
KM: . . . Mahalo nui! That’s why I come talk with the kūpuna . . . [end of interview]