Hawaii pt 8- Population and People

by Jim Morgan

Population. The total population of the islands in 1890 was 89,990; in 1900 it was 154,001, an increase within the decade of 71-13%; in 1910 it was 191,909. In 1908 there were about 72,000 Japanese, 18,000 Chinese, 5000 Koreans, 23,000 Portuguese, 2000 Spanish, 2000 Porto Ricans, 35,000 Hawaiians and part Hawaiians and 12,000 Teutons. Of the total for 1900 there were 61,111 Japanese, 25,767 Chinese and 233 negroes; of the same total there were 90,780 foreign-born, of whom 56,234 were natives of Japan, and 6512 were natives of Portugal. There were in all in 1900, 106,369 males (69-1%; a preponderance due to the large number of Mongolian labourers, whose wives are left in Asia) and only 47,632 females. About three-fifths of the Hawaiians and nearly all of American, British or North European descent are Protestants. Most of the Portuguese and about one-third of the native Hawaiians are Roman Catholics. The Mormons claim more than 4000 adherents, whose principal settlement is at Laie, on the north-east shore of Oahu; the first Mormon missionaries came to the islands in 1850. The population of 1910 was distributed among the several islands as follows: Oahu, 82,028; Hawaii, 55,382; Kauai and Niihau, 23,952; Kalawao, 785; and Maui, Lanai, Kahoolawe and Molokai, 29,762. The population of Honolulu district , the entire urban population of the Territory, was 22,907 in 1890, 39,306 in 1900, and 52,183 in 1910.

The aboriginal Hawaiians (sometimes called Kanakas, from a Hawaiian word kanaka, meaning ” man “) belong to the Malayo-Polynesian race; they probably settled in Hawaii in the 10th century, having formerly lived in Samoa, and possibly before that in Tahiti and the Marquesas. Their reddish-brown skin has been compared in hue to tarnished copper. Their hair is dark brown or black, straight, wavy or curly; the beard is thin, the face broad, the profile not prominent, the eyes large and expressive, the nose somewhat flattened, the lips thick, the teeth excellent in shape and of a pearly whiteness. The skull is sub-brachycephalic in type, with an index of 82-6 from living ” specimens ” and 79 from a large collection of skulls; it is never prognathous. Most of the people are of moderate stature, but the chiefs and the women of their families have been remarkable for their height, and 400 pounds was formerly not an unusual weight for one of this class. This corpulence was due not alone to over-feeding but to an almost purely vegetable diet; stoutness was a part of the ideal of feminine beauty. The superiority in physique of the nobles to the common people may have been due in part to a system of massage, the lomi-lomi; it is certainly contrary to the belief in the bad effects of inbreeding among the upper classes marriage was almost entirely between near relatives.

The Rev. William Ellis, an early English missionary, described the natives as follows: ” The inhabitants of these islands are, considered physically, amongst the finest races in the Pacific, bearing the strongest resemblance to the New Zealanders in stature, and in their well-developed muscular limbs. The tattooing of their bodies is less artistic than that of the New Zealanders,
and much more limited than among some of the other islanders. They are also more hardy and industrious than those living nearer the equator. This in all probability arises from their salubrious climate, and the comparative sterility of their soil rendering them dependent upon the cultivation of the ground for the yam, the arum, and the sweet potato, their chief articles
of food. Though, like all undisciplined races, the Sandwich Islanders [Hawaiians] have proved deficient in firm and steady perseverance, they manifest considerable intellectual capability. Their moral character, when first visited by Europeans, was not superior to that of other islanders; and excepting when improved and preserved by the influence of Christianity, it has suffered much from the vices of intemperance and licentiousness introduced by foreigners. Polygamy prevailed among the chiefs and rulers, and women were subject to all the humiliations of the tabu system, which subjected them to many privations, and kept them socially in a condition of inferiority to the other sex. Infanticide was practised to some extent, the children destroyed being chiefly females. Though less superstitious than the
Tahitians, the idolatry of the Sandwich Islanders was equally barbarous and sanguinary, as, in addition to the chief objects of worship included in the mythology of the other islands, the supernatural beings supposed to reside in the volcanoes and direct the action of subterranean fires rendered the gods objects of peculiar terror. Human sacrifices were slain on several occasions, and vast offerings presented to the spirits supposed to preside over the volcanoes, especially during the periods of actual eruptions. The requisitions of their idolatry were severe and its rites cruel and bloody. Grotesque and repulsive wooden figures, animals and the bones of chiefs were the objects of
worship. Human sacrifices were offered whenever a temple was to be dedicated, or a chief was sick, or a war was to be undertaken; and these occasions were frequent. The apprehensions of the people with regard to a future state were undefined, but fearful. The lower orders expected to be slowly devoured by evil spirits, or to dwell with the gods in burning mountains. The several trades, such as that of fisherman, the tiller of the ground, and the builder of canoes and houses, had each their presiding deities. Household gods were also kept, which the natives worshipped in their habitations. One merciful provision, however, had existed from time immemorial, and that was [the puuhonuas] sacred inclosures, places of refuge, into which those who fled in time of war, or from any violent pursuer,
might enter and be safe. To violate their sanctity was one of the greatest crimes of which a man could be guilty.” The native religion was an admixture of idolatry and hero-worship, of some ethical but little moral force. The king was war chief, priest and god in ‘one, and the shocking licence at the death of a king was probably due to the feeling that all law or restraint was annulled
by the death of the king incarnate law. The mythic and religious legends of the people were preserved in chants, handed down from generation to generation; and in like poetic form was kept the knowledge of the people of botany, medicine and other sciences. Name-songs, written at the birth of a chief, gave his genealogy and the deeds of his ancestors; dirges and love-songs were common. These were without rhyme or rhythm, but had alliteration and a parallelism resembling Hebrew poetry. Drums, gourd and bamboo flutes,and a kind of guitar, were known before Cook’s day.

When the islands first became known to Europeans, the Hawaiian family was in a stage including both polyandry and polygyny, and, according to Morgan, older than either: two or more brothers, with their wives, or two or more sisters
with their husbands, cohabited with seeming promiscuity. This system called punalua (a word which in the modern vernacular means merely ” dear friend “) was first brought to the attention of ethnologists in 1871 by Lewis H. Morgan (who was incorrect in many of his premises) and was made the basis
of his second stage, the punaluan, in the evolution of the family. These conditions did not last long after the coming of the missionaries. Descent was more commonly traced through the female line. As regard cannibalism, it appears that the heart and liver of the human victims offered in the temples were eaten as a religious rite, and that the same parts of any prominent warrior slain in battle were devoured by the victor chiefs, who believed that they would thereby inherit the valour of the dead man. Under taboo as late as 1819 women were to be put to death if they ate bananas, cocoa-nuts, pork, turtles or certain fish. In the days of idolatry the only dress worn by the men was a narrow strip of cloth wound around the loins and passed between the legs. Women wore a short petticoat made of kapa cloth (already referred to), which reached from the waist to the knee. But now the common class of men wear a shirt and trousers; the better class are attired in the European fashion. The women are clad in the holoka, a loose white or coloured garment .with sleeves, reaching from the neck to the feet. A coloured handkerchief is twisted around the head or a straw hat is worn. Both sexes delight in adorning themselves with garlands (Ids) of flowers and necklaces of coloured seeds. The Hawaiians are a good-tempered, light-hearted and pleasure-loving race. They have many games and sports, including boxing, wrestling (both in and out of water), hill-sliding, spear-throwing, and a game of bowls played with
stone discs. Both sexes are passionately fond of riding. They delight to be in the water and swim with remarkable skill and ease. In the exciting sport of surf-riding, which always astonishes strangers, they balance themselves lying, kneeling or standing on a small board which is carried landwards on the curling crest of a great roller. All games were accompanied by gambling. Dances, especially the indecent hula, ” danse du ventre,” were favourite entertainments.

Even at the time when they were first known to Europeans, they had stone and lava hatchets, shark’s-tooth knives, hard- wood spades, kapa cloth or paper, mats, fans, fish-hooks and nets, woven baskets, &c., and they had introduced a rough sort of irrigation of the inland country with long canals from highlands to plains. They derived their sustenance chiefly from pork and fish (both fresh and dried), from seaweed (limu), and from the kalo (Colocasia antiquorum, var. esculenta), the banana, sweet potato, yam, bread-fruit and cocoa-nut. From the root of the kalo is made the national dish called poi; after having been baked and well beaten on a board with a stone pestle it is made into a paste with water and then allowed to ferment for a few days, when it is ready to be eaten. One of the table delicacies of former days was a particular breed of dog which was fed exclusively on poi before it was killed, cooked and served. Like other South Sea Islanders they made an intoxicating drink, awa or kava, from the roots of the Macropiper latifolium or Piper methyslicum; in early times this could be drunk only by nobles and priests. The native dwellings are constructed of wood, or occasionally are huts thatched with grass at the sides and top. What little cooking is undertaken among the poorer natives is usually done outside. The oven consists of a hole in the ground in which a fire is lighted and stones made hot; and the fire having been removed, the food is wrapped up in leaves and placed in the hole beside the hot stones and covered up until ready; or else, as is now more common, the cooking is done in an old kerosene-oil can over a fire.

The Hawaiian language is a member of the widely-diffused Malayo-Polynesian group and closely resembles the dialect of the Marquesas; Hawaiians and New Zealanders, although occupying the most remote regions north and south at which the race has been found, can understand each other without much difficulty. Various unsuccessful attempts have been made to prove the language Aryan in its origin. It is soft and harmonious, being highly vocalic in structure. Every syllable is open, ending in a vowel sound, and short sentences may be constructed wholly of vocalic sounds. The only consonants are k, I, m, n and p, which with the gently aspirated h, the five vowels, and the vocalic w, make up all the letters in use. The letters r and / have been discarded in favour of I and k, as expressing more accurately the native pronunciation, so’ that, for example, taro, the former name of the Colocasia plant, is now kalo. The language was not reduced to a written form until after the arrival of the missionaries. A Hawaiian spelling book was printed in 1822; in 1834 two newspapers were founded; and in 1839 the first translation of the Bible was published.

In spite of moral and material progress indeed largely because of changes in their food, clothing, dwellings and of other ” advantages ” of civilization the race is probably dying out. Captain Cook estimated the number of natives at 400,000, probably an over-estimate; in 1823 the American missionaries estimated their number at 142,000; the census of 1832 showed the population to be 130,313; the census of 1878 proved that the number of natives was no more than 44,088. In 1890 they numbered 34,436; in 1900, 29,834, a decrease of 4602 or 13-3% within the decade. To account for this it is said that the blood of the race has become poisoned by the introduction of foreign diseases. The women are much less numerous than the men; and the married ones have few children at the most; two out of three have none. Moreover, the mothers appear to have little maternal instinct and neglect their offspring. It is, however, thought by some that these causes are now diminishing in force, and that the ” fittest ” of the race may survive. The part-Hawaiians, the offspring of intermarriage between Hawaiian women and men of other races, increased from 3420 in 1878 to 6186 in 1890 and 7835 in 1900.

The pressing demand for labour created by the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 with the United States led to great changes in the population of the Hawaiian Islands. It became the policy of the government to assist immigrants from different countries.¬† In 1877 arrangements were made for the importation of Portuguese families from the Azores and Madeira, and during the next ten years about 7000 of these people were brought to the islands; in 1906-1907 there was a second immigration from the Azores and Madeira of 1325 people. In 1900 the total number of Portuguese in the islands, including those born there, was not far from 1 6,000, about 2400 of whom were employed in sugar plantations. They have shown themselves to be industrious, thrifty and law-abiding. In 1907 2201 Spanish immigrants from the sugar district about Malaga arrived in Hawaii, and about the same number of Portuguese immigrated in the same year. The Board of Immigration, using funds contributed by planters, was very active in its efforts to encourage the immigration of suitable labourers, but the general immigration law of 1907 prohibited the securing of such immigration through contributions from corporations. Persistent efforts have also been made to introduce Polynesian islanders, as being of a cognate race with the Hawaiians, but the results have been wholly unsatisfactory. About 2000, mainly from the Gilbert Islands, were brought in at the expense of the government between 1878 and 1884; but they did not give satisfaction either as labourers or as citizens, and most of them have been returned to their homes. There never existed any treaty or labour convention between Hawaii and China. In early days a limited number of Chinese settled in the islands, intermarried with the natives and by their industry and economy generally prospered. About 750 of them were naturalized under the monarchy. The first importation of Chinese labourers was in 1852. In 1878 the number of Chinese had risen to 5916. During the next few years there was such a steady influx of Chinese free immigrants that in the spring of 1881 the Hawaiian government sent a despatch to the governor of Hong Kong to stop this invasion. Again, in April 1883, it was suddenly renewed, and within twenty days five steamers arrived from Hong Kong bringing 2253 Chinese passengers, followed the next month by noo more, with the news that several thousand more were ready to embark. Accordingly, the Hawaiian government sent another despatch to the governor of Hong Kong, refusing to permit any further immigration of male Chinese from that port. Various regulations restricting Chinese immigration were enacted from time to time, until in 1886 the landing of any Chinese passenger without a passport was prohibited. The number of Chinese in the islands had then risen to 21,000. The consent of the Japanese government to the immigration of its subjects to Hawaii was obtained with difficulty in 1884, and in 1886 a labour convention was ratified. Subsequently the increase of the Japanese element in the population was rapid. It rose from 1 16 in 1884 to 12,360 in 1890 and 24,400 in 1896. Most of these were recruited from the lowest classes in Japan. Unlike the Chinese, they show no inclination to intermarry with the Hawaiians. The effect of making Hawaii a Territory of the United States was to put an end to all assisted immigration, of whatever race, and to exclude all Chinese labourers. No Chinese labourer is allowed to enter any other Territory of the Union from Hawaii; and the act of Congress of the 26th of February 1885, ” to prohibit the importation and migration of foreigners and aliens under contract or agreement to perform labour in the United States, its Territories and the District of Columbia,” and the amending and supplementary acts, are extended to it. But in the treaty of 1894 between the United States and Japan there is nothing to limit the free immigration of Japanese ; and several companies have been formed to promote it. The system of contract labour, which was abolished by the act of Congress in 1900, and under which labourers had been restrained from leaving their work before the end of the contract term, concerned few labourers except the Japanese. Various methods of co-operation or profit-sharing are in successful operation on some plantations.

An interesting sociological problem is raised by the presence of the large Asiatic element in the population. The Japanese and Koreans, and in less measure the Chinese, act as domestic servants, work under white contractors on irrigating ditches and reservoirs, do most of the plantation labour and compete successfully with whites and native islanders in all save skilled urban occupations, such as printing and the manufacture of machinery. The ‘ Yellow Peril ” is considered less dangerous in Hawaii than formerly, although
it was used as a political cry in the campaign for American annexation. No success met the apparently well-meaning efforts of the Central Japanese League which was organized in November and December 1903 to promote the observance of law and order by the Japanese in the islands, who assumed a too independent attitude and felt themselves free from governmental control whether Japanese or American; indeed, after the League had been in operation for a year or more, it almost seemed that it contributed to industrial disorders among the Japanese. At about the same time Japanese immigration to Hawaii fell off upon the opening of now fields for colonization by the Russo-Japanese War, and Korean immigration was promoted by employers on the islands. From the first of January 1903 to the 3Oth of June 1905 Japanese immigrants numbered 18,027; Koreans 7388 (four Koreans to every ten Japanese); but in the last twelve months of this same period there were 4733 Koreans to 5941 Japanese (eight Koreans to every ten Japanese). Another fact which is possibly contributing to the solution of the problem is that the Japanese are leaving the islands in large numbers as compared with the Koreans. The Japanese leaving Hawaii between the I4th of June 1900 and the jist of December 1905 numbered 42,313, o: 4284 more than the number of Japanese immigrants arriving during the same period. The corresponding figures for Koreans during the same period are as follows: number leaving between the I4th of June 1900 and the 3lst of December 1905, 721, or 6673 less than the Korean immigrants for the same period. The acceleration of the departure of the Japanese is shown by the fact that in the eighteen months (July 1904 to January 1906) occurred 19,114 of the 42,313 departures in the sixty-six months from July 1900 to January 1906.’ After 1906, owing to restrictions by the Japanese government, immigration to Hawaii greatly decreased. At the same time the number of departures was decreasing rapidly. The change in the character of the immigration of Japanese is shown by the fact that in the fiscal year 1906-1907 the ratio of female immigrants to males was as I to 8, in the fiscal year 1907-1908 it was as I to 2, and in the latter year, of 4593 births in the Territory, 2445 were Japanese.