Ka Oihana Lawaia: Lawaia Puhi
LAWAIA PUHI.—O kekahi keia o na iʻa kiekie loa o ka inoa, ma ka olelo a na kupuna o kakou, a ua lilo no hoi he puni na kekahi mau alii, a o ia paha ka mea i oleloia ai "He Puhi ka iʻa, he oni ka Lani." oia hoi, he puhi ka iʻa, he puni na na Lani ʻlii. Ekolu no mahele nui o keia mea he lawaia puhi, ma ko makou wahi nei, a ina paha e like me koʻu lohe i ka lawaia puhi ana a ko Hamakua, Hawaii poe, alaila, o ke eha ia o na mahele lawaia puhi.
KA LAWAIA LAMALAMA.—O na po kaimake loa o ko makou wahi, a he mau po pouli hoi, i lawa no a hoanoano ahiahi iho, e ike aku no oe i na kukui lamalama, e kauluwela mai ana kahakai, a he like ole na ano lamalama a kela ame keia, ina noloko o Kaulu Uulu ka poe lamalama, alaila, o ka lauhako maloo ka lamalama, a ina hoi no ka pili kahakai ka poe lamalama, alaila, o ka lolo niu maloo ka lamalama, a ina hoi no koauka, alaila, o ka hauoi maloo ka lamalama, ke kamailio nei au i keia mau ano lamalama no ke au kahiko, a i keia wa hoi, he aila bipi, hipa, aila mahu a kao hoi. O ka lama lauko maloo, aole he ano maikai loa oia, he lehu nui, a he loihi ka manawa e lamalama ai, a nui no ka puhi loaa, aka, o ka aila bipi, hipa, kao, a aila mahu o lakou na aila lamalama maikai loa.
Na mea paahana, ame ka lawaia ana oia kahi mea ano nui o ka lawaia lamalama ana. O ke kakaki hao apo pahu, ame ka upena poo loihi o ka mole oia na mea paahana e loaa ai ka puhi, oiai e paa ana kou lima i ka lamalama ma ka lima hema, a o kou lima akau me ka pauku hao kakaki, a i kou manawa e ike ai oe i ka puhi, alaila, e hookokoke iho oe i ka lama i ka ilikai, a e hili iho hoi oe me ka hikiwawe ma ka hiu o ka puhi, i ka wa e pa ai ma ka hiʻu kona wahi ikaika i ka holo, alaila, e lapuu poepoe ae ana ka pua, alaila, e lalau iho no kou lima a hookomo iho no iloko o kau eke e paa ana ma kou puhaka, a ina hoi elua mea e hele pu ana, alaila, aole hoi he olelo ana oia, a ina hoi he upena poo makakahi kau e paa ana, alaila, e kioe mai no oe ma ke poo, a o ke komo koke mai la no ia iloko a lapuu ana iloko o ka upena, alaila, e holo awiwi aku no hoi i kahakai maloo a pepehi iho no hoi a make, komo ana iloko o ka eke, a o ka maikai loa no ia, aole hoi e like me ka hao kakaki, ka mokumoku, a paukuku a hauna ka puhi ke koala, a puholo hoi. O ka puhi uha, oia wale no ka puhi loaa nui ma ke kahakai o ko oukou mea kakau, a ua kele ia mau kahakai i ka hele pinepine ia i na la opiopio ia aui aku la, he puhi nui no ka uha i kahi wa ke loaa, he hookahi anana, a emi mai no hoi, a liilii loa mai no hoi. Ma na pali Koolau o makou o Maui, he mea nui, a minamina loa ia ka puhi mamua o ka wahine mare, a pela paha i lilo ai kekahi wahine maikai o ua pali Koolau la o makou i kekahi keiki ui kanaka maikai o ka uwahi kololio o Kula he hau, a oiai laua e ao ana i ka ai a ka lua, puka ae la na huaolelo kaena a laua, oiai he mau haumana laua na Kahimakaualele ke kumu ao lua kaulana o Maui. Ea! o ke kaikamahine iho la no ia la o ka waikau o Keanae. Ae! Auhea mai oe, o ke keiki iho la no ia la o ka ulei hoowali uala o Kula, ilaila, leha palula iho la ke kai o Mokuhano i ka malie. Eo no ia Maui. A o Maui no ia e ka oi. Keahi o Iao. I mea e maopopo ai ka oiaio o keia mea, he iʻa minamina nui ia ka puhi e ko Koolau poe, elua mau kamaaina nui a kaulana o Hana Ua Lani Haahaa i hele pu me aʻu i ka helu auhau i ka M. H. 1875 o Manu Kekahunaaiole, me S. W. Kunewa, mamua o ko makou haalele ana i a Hana no ua pali Koolau la, ua kamailio like mai laua iaʻu, malihini punahele no hoi oe, ke ai puhi kakou ke hiki aku i Koolau. No keaha hoi, wahi aʻu i ninau aku ai? No ka mea, he oi aku ko lakou minamina i ka puhi, mamua o ka wahine. Nu hou no ka hoi kanaka o Koolau, eia nae, i ka hiki ana o makou i ka hale o Paakuku, ua ai puhi uha maloo no makou, he puhi uha i kaulai ia a maloo, ua pulehu ia no hoi a moa, a ua olelo iho au iloko oʻu he kamaaina lokomaikai hoi ha keia. Ua kamailio ae nei au, o ka aile bipi, hipa, kao ame ka aila mahu (torch light) ka maikai loa, he oiaio keia, ke kukulu ia ka aila iloko o ke kai, ia oe e hele la imua, a pelu hou mai oe i hope, a ua hanu ae la ka puhi, alaila, e pii mau ana ka upena poo me ka puhi.
(2). KA LAWAIA HAAWA PUHI.—O ka puhi liilii oilo ka puhi nui iloko o na pohaku manae ae o kahi o ko oukou mea kakau, alaila, me ka niau he iniha ka loa, ua hana ia na poo a oi, a mawaena konu e paa ai ke aho, a o ke okuhekuhe (ouhune) oia ka maunu, a he mea lealea loa keia no na la kamalii, o ka mea oi no hoi o ka laki, he lawa ke koi o ka puhi oilo, hoi mai kaa paakai a pulehu koala aku, he ono mai hoi kau.
(3). KA LAWAIA MAKAU.—Ma kahi pili i kuanalu o ko makou kai kohola, he nui na lua puhi, o ka paka, uha, leiahala na puhi nui ma ia mau alualua, me ka io bipi, a maunu e ae paha e lawaia ai, e loaa ana ekolu, a eha puhi a ka mea hookahi, a o ka puhi paka, oia ka puhi oi o ka momona ma ko makou kai kohola, oia paha ka mea i oleloia e kahiko, o ka puhi o ke ale, ahu ka olo.
(4). KA LAWAIA PUHI INIINIKI.—O keia paha ka lawaia puhi kaulana o ke ala ulili o Hamakua, Hawaii, aʻu i lohe ai, oia lohe kaʻu e hoomanao ae nei, ke pololei hoi. O na kane me na wahine no hoi, o ua ala ulili la, iho no hoi paha i kahakai o ua mau pali kuhoho la, hulihuli aama no hoi a nui, a i ole ia, maunu e ae no paha, elike me ka hee pali o ua aina la, alaila, haihai ae no hoi i ka iwi o ka aama, a hookomo iho ma na manamanalima elima, alaila, hookoelo aku no hoi i ka lima i ka pohaku paala o ua kahakai la, alaila, e pipii mai ana ka puhi laumilo liilii. elike no hoi me ka laumilo liilii o ko makou wahi, alaila, i ka manawa e komo mai ai ke poo iloko o na manamanalima elima ua paa lakou apau, alaila, ina ka he wahine ka poe lawaia puhi, hoopili ae la ka i ke poo o ka puhi i ka ai, nahunahu ia ae la paha e ka puhi, ia hoi ana aku, aole ka e huhu na kane, oiai he puhi iniiniki ka olelo ana, pela io paha, a ina e halawai ae ana me ka puhi kapa, pehea iho la ia? Manao no paha auanei kane na ka puhi iniiniki no i wawalu ka a-i. Ea, aohe malama i pau i ka ilio, wahi a kahiko. O keia ka moolelo o ka lawaia puhi ana ma Hamakua, Hawaii, i loaa mai i ko oukou mea kakau, mai a S. W. Nailiili, kahi loio kahiko o koʻu one hanau nei, i noho kamaaina ma Hawaii a puni, no kanaha makahiki i aui ae, mamuli no o ka lawelawe loio i ka wa laikini ole, a ma Hilo nae kona wahi i noho ai a kupa, a paa i ka halepaahao no kahi mikamina liilii. (Aole i pau.)
Translated by Mrs. Mary Kawena Pukui
The Smithsonian Institution National Anthropological Archives: Mary Kawena Pukui collection #37 Fish and Fishing.
EEL FISHING.—This was a much esteemed "fish" according to the saying of our ancestors and some of the chiefs became extremely fond of them. Perhaps that is why this saying came to be, "The eel is the fish that moves heavenward," that is, the eel is the fish of which the chiefs are fond. There were three ways in which eels were caught here in our place and I have heard of another way employed by those of Hawaiʻi, making four ways.
TORCH FISHING.—At our place, the nights in which the tide is low are also dark nights. As soon as it is dusk, you can see the torches, red and flaming on the beach, some differing from others. If the torch fisher came from inland of Kaulu Uulu, (between high and low land), the torch was made of dried sugar cane leaves but if they were from the places near the beach, the fibers of a dried coconut stump was used, and if from the uplands, dried hauoi. I am speaking now of the torches used in olden times. Nowadays, oil from beef, mutton and goat fat and kerosine oil is used. The torch made of dried sugar cane leaves is not very good, it produced too much ashes. It burned a long time and many were the eels caught but beef, mutton and goat fat and kerosine oil made very good torches.
Being supplied with the tools of fishery is important for torch fishing. An iron barrel hoop and a net with a deep bag are means of catching eels. While the torch is held in the left hand, a piece of an iron hoop is held in the right. As soon as you catch sight of an eel lower the torch to the surface of the sea and strike quickly at the tail of the eel. When its tail is struck all its strength is gone and it coils itself up. Pick up with your hand and put it in a bag slung over the shoulder. If two persons go together then there isn't anything to worry about. If there is a bag net with meshes of a fingers width, scoop the eel up head first and there it would lie curled up in the net. Run as fast as you can to a dry place on the beach and there kill it. Put it in the bag. This way is much better than using the piece of iron hoop, as it cuts, bruises and makes the eel have a fishy odor when broiled or boiled. The uha variety of eel is the commonest on the beach where your writer lives, and I’ve traversed these beaches often in bygone days when I was young. Sometimes large sized uha eels were caught, a fathom or less in length down to very small ones. On the hilly Koolau side of Maui the eel was much liked and held in greater esteem than a wife. Perhaps that is why a certain beautiful woman of that hilly Koolau land of ours, became the wife of a handsome man of wind blown, smokey, dew drenched Kaula. They were learning to [sic] art of lua fighting at the time and were pupils of Kahimakaualele, Maui’s lua master. They uttered these boastful words, "Say! This is the maiden of the eternal springs of Keanae." "So! Where are you? Listen! Here is the lad that is like the ulei stick, stirring up the sweet potatoes of Kulu. There one glances at the dark, greenish color of the sea of Nokuhano in the calm. Maui is winner . . [.] Maui is the greatest, like the fires of Iao." To prove that the eel was much esteemed by the people of Koolau, there were two well known natives of Hana of the low skies that went with me to count the taxes of Hana in the year 1875. They were Manu Kekahu-naaiole and S. W. Kunewa. Before we left Hana for the Cliffs of Koolau they said to me repeatedly, "If you are a favorite guest, we shall eat some eels when we get there." "Why so?" I asked. "Because they esteem their eels more than they do their wives." "How strangely the men of Koolau behave." When we reached the house of Paakuku we ate some dried uha eel. It was an eel well dried and broiled. I thought to myself, "What a generous host this is." I said before that beef fat, mutton fat, goat fat and kerosine oil were the best. This is the truth. The oil dripped into the sea as you went forward and when you turned back, the eel had smelled the drippings and up will come the bag net with the eels.
HAAWA FISHING FOR EELS.—The young and small eels are found in great numbers among the rocks on the west side of our writer’s place. Take a coconut stem (niau) an inch in length, sharpen the ends, tie a line to the center and bait it with a okuhekuhe (ohune) fish. This was a sport much enjoyed in childhood and one felt himself very lucky when he had a string of young eels (oilo). It was taken home, worked with salt and broiled. It was very good eating.
FISHING FOR EELS WITH A HOOK.—At the end of the reef beyond our shallow seas are many eel holes. The paka, uha and leiahala varieties are the most found in these holes. Beef and other kinds of bait are used in fishing and each fisherman can catch three or four. The paka eel is the fattest found in our shallow sea. Perhaps that is why our ancients said, "The eel of the billows, have hanging pouched of fat."
INIINIKI EEL FISHING.—This the best liked method of eel fishing of the steep cliff trails of Hamakua, Hawaiʻi, of which I have heard. I recall now of what I have heard, whether it is the truth. The men and women of the cliff bound land, go down these steep precipices to the beaches. They seek a quantity of aama crabs or other kinds of bait such as the small squids that cling to the rocks (hee pali) of that place. Put some bait between the five fingers, then move the hand to and fro among the smooth pebbles. The small laumilo eels appear, very much like the the laumilo eels of our own place, and when their heads come up between the five fingers and are held fast. If those who are catching eels are women, they placed the heads of the eels against their necks so that they will be bitten. When they got home, their husbands did not become angry because they said that they had been doing iniiniki fishing for eels. Perhaps so, but if they had encountered kapa eels, how would that be? Maybe their husbands believe that the small eels caught by iniiniki, scratched up their necks. Say, "one who is on the watch, never gets his property stolen by the dogs," said the ancient. This the tale of eel fishing at Hamakua, a Hawaiian which your writer received from S. W. Nailiili, the old lawyer of this, my birthplace. He lived and became acquainted with the whole of Hawaiʻi for forty years since he had practiced before there were any licenses. He lived in Hilo and was very well acquainted with the place. He went to prison for petty pilfering.