Joyous New Year

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Read this article in ʻOlelo Hawaiʻi

Here, below, is a letter that was published in Ka Nupepa Ka Oiaio (28 Dec., 1894) by someone by the name of A.K. Mika, a native of Kōloa, Kauaʻi. This man is none other than Akoni (Samuel) Mika, the hula master interviewed and recorded by Helen Roberts at his home in Keaukaha, Hilo.

In 1934, he arrived in Honolulu to record movies at Lālani Village, a famous place near the Catholic church of St. Augustine By the Sea. George Mossman founded Lālani Village to showcase Hawaiian culture to tourists. A ka Lae o Koʻokoʻolau was a hula that Akoni Mika filmed along with other dances. He was 68 at the time.

In his letter, Mika addressed the editors of Ka Nupepa Ka Oiaio, one of whom was John Bush. Akoni Mika was familiar with him as Bush was governor of Kauaʻi at the time Mika was growing up in Kōloa. At the time that Bush was the Minister of the Interior, he urged Kalākaua to invite the Portuguese to immigrate to work on the sugar plantations.

Shortly after the overthrow of the constitutional monarchy of Liliʻuokalani by traitorous rebels, Bush was imprisoned in the “foreignerʻs castle” (prison) at Iwilei along with Kalanianaʻole, Nāwahī, and other patriots. After that his desire to engage in politics diminished and was almost extinguished.

Here is Mika’s letter with the addition of macrons and glottal stops for today’s readers. Capital letters for a few words were preserved as well as the old use of ʻliʻi for aliʻi:

“Greetings from Kōloa, Kauaʻi. I am expressing the greetings of the common citizens of Kōloa District and their gratitude to you fearless leaders of the Hawaiian people; for the two of you having beaten back the Honor bestowed on you by the mischievous deeds of the enemy of the Queen who loves her people and who loves the land.

“The two of you show the world your strength in protecting against and opposing misdeeds, and preventing the absconding of the true rights of the monarchy and the peaceful lifestyle and happiness of the Hawaiian people under her [Liliʻuokalani] rule.

“Like his [Jesus] first coming, so too will the heavenly ones care for you two and he will rescue you from the dangers of the enemy of the shaded breadfruit groves of Lele (Lāhaina).

We are sending you two editors greetings of a Happy Christmas and Joyous New Year.

“A. K. Mika”