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Beginning in 1935, the U.S. sent over 130 young, mostly Native Hawaiian men to “colonize” the uninhabited Pacific Remote Islands in an effort to claim them for the United States. In this 1936 photo, nine Hawaiian men prepare to leave on the Itasca, fourth expedition. Back row (l-r): Luther Waiwaiole, Henry Ohumukini, William Yomes, Solomon Kalama, and James Carroll. Front row (l-r): Henry Mahikoa, Alexander Kahapea, George Kahanu, Sr., and Joseph Kim. – Photo: Courtesy of the Kahanu ʻOhana

Na Noelle M.K.Y. Kahanu | Unuhi ʻia e Manakō Tanaka

Mai ka makahiki 1935 a i ka makahiki 1942, ua kō nō kekahi hana i ʻike ʻole ʻia e ka nui o ʻAmelika Huipūʻia. Ua noho akula hoʻi he 130 mau kānaka a ʻoi, he mau kānaka maoli ka nui hoʻi, ma ke ʻano he “panalāʻau” ma nā mokupuni ʻo Howland, ʻo Baker, ʻo Jarvis, ʻo Enderbury, a ʻo Canton no kekahi mau mahina.

I loko o ia mau makahiki he ʻehiku, ua kūkala ʻia e ka Pelekikena Franklin D. Roosevelt o ia wā, ka naʻi ʻana o ʻAmelika Huipūʻia ma luna o ia mau mokupuni, ua nalowale honua ʻo Amelia Earhart i kona huli ʻana i ka mokupuni ʻo Howland, ua hiki akula ke Kaua Honua ʻElua i nā ʻaekai o ia mau mokupuni, a ua hala ʻekolu mau Hawaiʻi ʻōpio.

Ma lalo o ka inoa ʻo Hui Panalāʻau, ke waiho mālie nei ka ʻike no nā hana a me nā mōlia o ia mau kānaka ma nā waihona like ʻole o ko kākou ʻāina a me nā hale waihona nui kaumokuʻāina.

Ma loko o ia mau miliona palapala ma ka Waihona O Ke Aupuni i College Park, Melelana, he 15 mau pahu e hōʻike ana i ia papahana huna loa. ʻO ia nā palapala e hōʻike ana i ka moʻolelo o nā kāne ʻōpio, he mau kānaka maoli ka nui, i koi ʻia e ke aupuni pekelala e noho ma kekahi mau mokupuni i noho ʻole ʻia ma ka Pākīpika Pōʻai Waena Honua ma mua o ka hoʻomaka ʻana o ke Kaua Honua ʻElua.

Photo: Native Hawaiians laying claim to Baker Island
Laying claim to Baker Island on behalf of the United States on June 18, 1936. The Hawaiian “colonists” are, starting second from the left, Abraham Pi‘ianai‘a and Kenneth Bell. Fifth from the left is William Kaina (holding the sign) and on the far right is Edward Young.- Photo: Courtesy of Bishop Museum Archives

I loko o kekahi memo huna i ka makahiki 1935, ua kākau ke Poʻo ʻAmelika o ka Air Commerce i ke Kākauʻōlelo ʻAmelika o ka ʻOihana Kālepa me ka ʻōlelo: “Ke kauleo nei ka ʻOihana Moku i ka hiki ʻole ke hoʻohana i nā lālā o ka ʻOihana Moku i mea e noho ai ma nā mokupuni ʻo Baker, [ʻo Howland], a ʻo Jarvis. No laila, ke hāpai ʻia nei nā ʻŌiwi Hawaiʻi no ia hana.”

A hala he hoʻokahi mahina a ʻoi iki aʻe, i kekahi leka huna, ua ʻōlelo ka Luna Kauoha Kiaʻi Kai a ʻAkimalala Hope hoʻi ʻo H.G. Hamlet, “he mikiona, e hoʻouna ai i kekahi mau kānaka a me kekahi mau mea [i nā mokupuni] i ʻāpono ʻia mai nei e ka Pelekikena o ʻAmelika Huipūʻia.”

A laila he 5,000 mau mile kaʻawale mai ia wahi aku, i ka waihona o ke Kula ʻo Kamehameha i Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, aia nō he 2 mau kapuaʻi a ʻoi o ka hoʻokaʻaʻike, nā nūpepa kula, nā puke hoʻomanaʻo haumāna, a me nā palapala ʻē aʻe e hōʻike ana i ke kumu i ʻumeʻume ʻia ai kekahi kula kūʻokoʻa no nā keiki Hawaiʻi i kēia papahana hoʻopanalāʻau.

Penei kekahi leka i ke kahu waiwai o ke Kula ʻo Kamehameha ʻo Albert F. Judd na H.A. Meyer, he kāpena pūʻali koa: “Ma o kou alu like ʻana, ua hiki iā mākou ke hoʻopaʻa i nā Hawaiʻi no kēia huakaʻi mai loko mai o ke Kula ʻo Kamehameha no nā Keiki Kāne. Ua lawe ʻia ʻeono mau haumāna puka ma ka huakaʻi mua. Me ka hui pū ʻana o nā pūʻali koa, ua waiho ʻia ma nā hui ma nā mokupuni he ʻekolu…ua hoʻokō maikaʻi ia mau kāne i ka hana. ʻAʻohe oʻu, a ʻaʻole hoʻi o nā hoa hana oʻu, wahi hoʻohalahala i kā lākou hana. No ko lākou kūpaʻa, eia au ke hoʻomaikaʻi nui aku nei iā lākou.”

I loko o nā makahiki ʻehiku ma hope mai, ua hoʻouna ʻia ma ʻō aku o 50 mau panalāʻau i nā Mokupuni Pōʻai Waena Honua i hele a i ʻole i puka hoʻi mai Ke Kula ʻo Kamehameha.

Aia ma kai aku o ke kahua kula o Ke Kula ʻo Kamehameha ma Kapālama ka Hale Hōʻikeʻike ʻo Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Aia ma loko o ia waihona nā puke kiʻi, nā kiʻi 100 a ʻoi, nā kiʻiʻoniʻoni, nā palapala, a ʻo ka mea nui loa paha, nā puke moʻolelo a nā panalāʻau i palapala ʻia ai nā mea a lākou i ʻike ai.

ʻO kekahi o nā panalāʻau Hawaiʻi mua, ʻo ia ka haumāna puka o Ke Kula ʻo Kamehameha ʻo ia hoʻi ʻo Abraham Piʻianaiʻa, nāna i kākau: “He mau maka haʻohaʻo ko mākou i ka nānā hope ʻana i ka moku i noho ai mākou no nā lā he ʻelima i hala iho nei. Ua nānā mālie aku mākou no kekahi wā, a laila ua nānā mai kekahi i kekahi ma ke ʻano he hapa kaumaha a ma ke ʻano he hapa hauʻoli pū kekahi. Ua kaumaha i ka mamao ʻana aku o ka mea i pili ai mākou i ke ao, i ko mākou mau home a i nā hoa aloha hoʻi, akā ua hauʻoli naʻe i ka waiho mehameha ʻia o mākou ma kēia mokupuni liʻiliʻi me ka manaʻolana nui e lilo ana ia wahi i mea koʻikoʻi i kekahi wā.” (Puke Moʻolelo Mokupuni ʻo Baker, Iune 18, 1936.)

Photo: Film Cannisters
Rare and fragile Hui Panalāʻau film reels from Bishop Museum awaiting digitization at ʻUluʻulu: The Henry Kuʻualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi, UH West Oʻahu. – Photo: Courtesy of ʻUluʻUlu

Aia ma loko o ka ʻōnaehana o ke Kulanui o Hawaiʻi he ʻekolu mau waihona me ka ʻike e pili ana i ka Papahana Hoʻopanalāʻau Mokupuni Pōʻai Waena Honua: ʻO ka waihona o ka hale waihona puke o Ke Kulanui o Hawaiʻi kekahi i loaʻa nā palapala ʻāina, nā palapala a me nā atikala i paʻi ʻia ma nā nūpepa kūloko a me nā makasina hoʻi e hōʻike ana i ka moʻolelo ʻehiku makahiki o ka papahana, me ka loaʻa pū o kā ka Pelekikena Roosevelt kūkala ʻana i nā mokupuni no ʻAmelika; ʻO ka waihona kiʻiʻoniʻoni ʻo ʻUluʻulu kekahi, aia ma laila nā kiʻiʻoniʻoni 16 milimika o nā panalāʻau e noho ana ma nā mokupuni i ka makahiki 1935; A ʻo ke Kikowaena Moʻolelo Haʻi Waha kekahi, aia ma laila he palapala ʻana o 300 mau ʻaoʻao a ʻoi o nā nīnauele o nā panalāʻau he ʻewalu i ʻoki leo ʻia i ka makahiki 2006, pau pū me nā kāne ʻelua hope i hoʻopakele ʻia mai nā mokupuni aku i ka makahiki 1942.

Photo: Elvin Mattson, Dickey Whaley and Joseph Keliʻihananui
(L-R) Elvin Mattson, Dickey Whaley and Joseph Keliʻihananui a few months before the Dec. 8, 1941, Japanese air attack on Howland Island that killed Whaley and Keliʻihananui. – Photo: Courtesy of the Mattson ʻOhana

Ua ʻike maka kēia mau kāne ʻelua i ka hopena kaumaha loa o ka papahana – he mau Hawaiʻi ʻōpio, ʻo Joseph Keliʻihananui lāua ʻo Richard Whaley, ua hoʻomake ʻia ma ka mokupuni ʻo Howland i ka pākaha mai ka lewa i ka lā ma hope o ka hoʻopahū ʻia ʻana o Puʻuloa i ka makahiki 1941. No ko lākou mōlia ʻana i kākau ai ʻo Harold L. Ickes, ke Kākauʻōlelo o ka Department of the Interior i nā ʻohana me ka ʻōlelo, “i loko nō o kou kūmākena ʻana he nā mai paha ka naʻau i ka hala ʻana o kou kaikunāne i kona wā e lawelawe ana i kona aupuni.”

A ʻo ka hope, aia i loko o nā waihona o ka Mokuʻāina ʻo Hawaiʻi ma kahi o 70 mau kiʻi a me nā palapala ʻē aʻe e hōʻike ana i ke kākoʻo ʻia o ka papahana e ke Kelikoli ʻo Hawaiʻi.

Ua ʻike ʻia ma nā kiʻi o ka makahiki 1937 ka hoʻouna ʻia ʻana o Harry Kaʻōnohi Stewart ka mea kūkulu hale o ke kelikoli (koʻu kupuna kāne kuakahi hoʻi) i mea e kōkua aku ai i ke kūkulu ʻana i mau hale hou no nā panalāʻau. He 20 mau makahiki ma hope mai, ua kakaha ʻia ma nā palapala hoʻohui o kekahi hui nona ka inoa ʻo “Hui Panalaau” i hoʻohui ʻia “i mea e mālama ai a e hoʻomau ai nō hoʻi i ka pilina o nā kānaka i komo i ka hana ma ka hoʻopanalāʻau ʻana i nā Mokupuni Pōʻai Waena Honua…a i mea e hoʻohanohano ai i nā mea i hala i loko o kā lākou hana no ʻAmelika Huipūʻia ma ke ʻano he panalāʻau ma nā Mokupuni Pōʻai Waena Honua o ka Pākīpika.”

Photo: Tractor used to haul water drums and supplies to the camp on Howland Island
A tractor is used to haul water drums and supplies to the camp on Howland Island. The Pacific Equatorial Islands do not support human habitation as the islands have no freshwater
sources. – Photo: Courtesy of Pearl Harbor National Archives

ʻAʻole kēia he moʻolelo i hala wale aku a i waiho mehameha ʻia ma nā waihona. Ua hoʻōla hou ʻia ma ka hōʻikeʻike a ka Hale Hōʻikeʻike ʻo Bīhopa i ka makahiki 2002, “Hui Panalāʻau: Hawaiian Colonists, American Citizens” a i ke kiʻiʻoniʻoni o ka makahiki 2010 ʻo Under a Jarvis Moon.

A laila, ua ʻimi ʻia ka hoʻomaopopo ʻana o ka ʻAhaʻōlelo, a i ka makahiki 2015, i holo lōkahi aku ai ma ka ʻAha Kenekoa ka ʻōlelo hoʻoholo ʻo ia hoʻi ʻo S.Res.109: “he ʻōlelo hoʻoholo a hoʻomaopopo e hoʻohanohano ana i nā ʻōpio wiwoʻole no Hawaiʻi mai i kākoʻo iā ʻAmelika Huipūʻia i ka hoʻopanalāʻau ʻana i ka ʻāina ma nā Mokupuni Pōʻai Waena Honua.”

I ia wā, ua ʻōlelo mai ʻo Kauka Kauanoe Kamanā, ke poʻokula o ke Kula ʻo Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu Iki, “Hoʻoulu ʻia nā haumāna i ka hoʻomaopopo ʻana i nā kānaka i like hoʻi ko lākou mau makahiki i ka moʻolelo o ke au hala. Ma ka holo ʻana o kēia ʻōlelo hoʻoholo e hoʻohanohano ana i nā kānaka hoʻopanalāʻau Hawaiʻi ʻōiwi o nā mokupuni Pākīpika i ke Kaua Honua II, he pilina paʻa a he haʻaheo ko nā haumāna a kākou.”

Ua minamina naʻe ia ʻōlelo hoʻoholo ʻoiai he kākaʻikahi nā kāne o ka Hui Panalāʻau e ola ana i ia wā. Hala ʻelua mau makahiki, i ka makahiki 2017 hoʻi, a ua hala koʻu kupuna kāne ʻo George Kahanu Makua a ʻo ia ka hope loa o ia mau kāne wiwoʻole i hoʻopanalāʻau mua i ka Mahele Pōʻai Waena Honua o ka Pākīpika.

I kēia manawa ke kūkulu ʻia aku nei kekahi hōʻiliʻilina kikohoʻe paʻa pūnaewele nona kēia mau moʻolelo kahiko i hiki ke huli ʻia. Ma lalo o ka inoa ʻo “The Hui Panalāʻau Digital Collection,” ke alakaʻi ʻia nei ia hana e ka Pacific American Foundation me ke kālā mai ka Institute of Museum and Library Services.

“He mea koʻikoi ka papahana Hui Panalāʻau i ka moʻolelo kūloko a kūwaho hoʻi i mea e hoʻomaopopo ai i ke ʻano ʻāpiki o ia mea he pikoʻu Hawaiʻi me ona mana e pili pū ana ma ke ao politika, keu hoʻi i ke au o ke kelikoli ʻo Hawaiʻi [1900-1959],” wahi a ka mea hoʻopaʻa moʻolelo ʻo Kauka Davianna Pōmaikaʻi McGregor.

Ma ke ʻano he lālā o ka kime pāhana o ka Hōʻiliʻilina Kikohoʻe o ka Hui Panalāʻau, nui koʻu manaʻolana i ka hōʻike ʻana aku i kēia kumu waiwai kaiaulu e puka ana i ka hopena o kēia makahiki. ʻAʻole kākou e poina, a e mau ana ka moʻolelo no nā hanauna e hiki mai ana.

Ua ʻimi pū ʻo Obama mā me Biden mā pū kekahi i ka hoʻohanohano ʻana i ka Hui Panalāʻau ma o kā lākou mau hana e hoʻokumu ʻia ai ka Remote Islands Marine National Monument (2014) a me kona hoʻākea ʻia ʻana i National Marine Sanctuary (2023). Ua kapa hou ʻia hoʻi nā mokupuni ma nā inoa Hawaiʻi: ʻo Jarvis ʻo ia nō ʻo Paukeaho, ʻo Howland ʻo ia nō ʻo Ulukou, a ʻo Baker ʻo ia nō ʻo Puakaʻilima.

Nui nā kānaka e manaʻo ana i ia mau mokupuni he mau kahua kūlohelohe maikaʻi i pono ai ka hoʻomalu hou aku.

Noʻu iho nō naʻe, he ʻāina ia i hoʻohana mau ʻia ai nā kānaka ʻōiwi, ma ke ʻano he limahana paʻa ʻaelike o nā ʻoihana kūkae manu a kūkae ʻōpeʻapeʻa o ʻAmelika i nā makahiki 1880 hope, a laila i mea e hoʻopaʻa ai i nā pono ʻoihana mokulele kālepa a pēlā pū ka hana naʻi aupuni o nā makahiki 1930, a ma hope mai hoʻi no ke kiaʻi pūʻali koa ʻana iā ʻAmelika Huipūʻia a me ka hoʻoulu ʻāina ma nā makahiki 1940.

ʻO Paul Phillips, ʻo ia nō ka panalāʻau hope i haʻalele ai i nā mokupuni i ka makahiki 1942, wahi āna, “Manaʻolana au e ola au e ʻike hoʻi i ka lā e hoʻohanohano pono ʻia ai ka Hui Panalāʻau.” No Paul, koʻu kupuna kāne, a me nā kāne a pau o ka Hui Panalāʻau, ua hala ia hoʻomaopopo a hoʻohanohano ʻana, akā nō naʻe, no nā pua i koe, ʻaʻole pono pēlā.

No kēia mau hana ʻelua, ʻo ia hoʻi ka hōʻiliʻilina pūnaewele a me ka hoʻomalu PRI, he 90 mau makahiki ma hope o ka hoʻokumu ʻia ʻana o kēia papahana hoʻopanalāʻau huna, he kōkua hoʻi e hoʻomanaʻo aʻe iā lākou, i kā lākou mau hana, a me ka mōlia nui. He mea ia e hoʻoulu ai iā kākou e ʻimi i ia mea he pono – ʻo ke ola pono a me ka hoʻoponopono no ko kākou kaiaulu Hui Panalāʻau.

Ko ‘Amelika Kuko Hewa i nā Mokupuni Auwaea o ka Pākīpika

Mai nā makahiki 1935 – 1942, ua hoʻokolonaio ‘ia nā Mokupuni Auwaea o ka Pākīpika e ka Hui Panalāʻau. ʻAʻohe wai ko ua mau mokupuni nei – ʻaʻohe luawai, kākaʻikahi pānoanoa ka ua no laila, ʻaʻohe kahawai kekahi – no laila he mau mokupuni noho ʻole ʻia e ke kanaka.

I ka loaʻa ʻana mai o ke guano, ʻo ia hoʻi ke kūkae manu, ma ka lepo honua o ia mau mokupuni, huli maila nā maka o nā ʻāina nui koloniala ma ka Pākīpika i ua mau mokupuni nei. ‘O ia mea he guano, ʻo ia ke kūkae manu me ke kūkae ʻōpeʻapeʻa i hoʻohana nui ʻia no ke kīpulu ʻoiai nui ka naikokene, ka posapahate, a me ka potasiuma i loko. I nā makahiki 1840, ua hele ā koʻikoʻi loa ke kūkae manu; he kumu ia e loaʻa ai ka potasiuma nikelake, ʻo ia hoʻi ka saltpeter no ka hana ʻana i ka pauka kī pū.

Ua kāʻili ʻo ʻAmelika Hui Pū ʻia i nā mokupuni ʻo Baker, Howland, a me Jarvis i nā makahiki 1850 ma lalo o ke Kānāwai Mokupuni Kūkae Manu o ka makahiki 1856 i mea e ʻeli ai i ke kūkae manu. I ke uhalu ʻia ʻana o ke kūkae manu, kāʻili ko Beretania i ia mau mokupuni mai ka makahiki 1886 a i ka makahiki 1934, a lilo ia mau mokupuni i Panalāʻau Beretania Aʻe Moana.

Ulu hou aʻe ko ‘Amelika Hui Pū ʻia hoi no ia mau mokupuni i nā makahiki 1930 no ka pae ʻana o nā mokulele pūʻali koa a me ka ʻoihana mokulele i ka wā e hiki mai ana, a no laila, ua pono ka hoʻonoho ʻia ʻana o ia mau mokupuni e nā kānaka ʻAmelika i mea e koi ai i ia mau mokupuni. ʻO ia ka hana i hoʻokumu ʻia ai ka papahana hoʻokolonaio.

I kēia mau lā, hoʻomaka akula kekahi mau hana e mālama i ia wahi ʻoiai he wahi i noho ʻia e nā kini lehulehu koʻa, nā manu o kai, nā iʻa, nā holoholona, a pēlā wale aku. Makemake ʻo ʻAmelika Hui Pū ʻia e hoʻomalu i ia wahi ma o ke kuhikuhi ʻia ʻana ma lalo o ke kānāwai, he wahi kīpuka nā Mokupuni Auwaea o ka Pākīpika.