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    Chapter LXVIII

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    Chapter 72
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    While I was in Honolulu I witnessed the ceremonious funeral of the King's
    sister, her Royal Highness the Princess Victoria. According to the royal
    custom, the remains had lain in state at the palace thirty days, watched
    day and night by a guard of honor. And during all that time a great
    multitude of natives from the several islands had kept the palace grounds
    well crowded and had made the place a pandemonium every night with their
    howlings and wailings, beating of tom-toms and dancing of the (at other
    times) forbidden "hula-hula" by half-clad maidens to the music of songs
    of questionable decency chanted in honor of the deceased. The printed
    programme of the funeral procession interested me at the time; and after
    what I have just said of Hawaiian grandiloquence in the matter of
    "playing empire," I am persuaded that a perusal of it may interest the

    After reading the long list of dignitaries, etc., and remembering
    the sparseness of the population, one is almost inclined to wonder
    where the material for that portion of the procession devoted to
    "Hawaiian Population Generally" is going to be procured:

    Royal School. Kawaiahao School. Roman Catholic School. Maemae School.
    Honolulu Fire Department.
    Mechanics' Benefit Union.
    Attending Physicians.
    Knonohikis (Superintendents) of the Crown Lands, Konohikis of the Private
    Lands of His Majesty Konohikis of the Private Lands of Her late Royal
    Governor of Oahu and Staff.
    Hulumanu (Military Company).
    Household Troops.
    The Prince of Hawaii's Own (Military Company).
    The King's household servants.
    Servants of Her late Royal Highness.
    Protestant Clergy. The Clergy of the Roman Catholic Church.
    His Lordship Louis Maigret, The Right Rev. Bishop of Arathea, Vicar-
    Apostolic of the Hawaiian Islands.
    The Clergy of the Hawaiian Reformed Catholic Church.
    His Lordship the Right Rev. Bishop of Honolulu.
    Her Majesty Queen Emma's Carriage.
    His Majesty's Staff.
    Carriage of Her late Royal Highness.
    Carriage of Her Majesty the Queen Dowager.
    The King's Chancellor.
    Cabinet Ministers.
    His Excellency the Minister Resident of the United States.
    H. B. M's Commissioner.
    H. B. M's Acting Commissioner.
    Judges of Supreme Court.
    Privy Councillors.
    Members of Legislative Assembly.
    Consular Corps.
    Circuit Judges.
    Clerks of Government Departments.
    Members of the Bar.
    Collector General, Custom-house Officers and Officers of the Customs.
    Marshal and Sheriffs of the different Islands.
    King's Yeomanry.
    Foreign Residents.
    Ahahui Kaahumanu.
    Hawaiian Population Generally.
    Hawaiian Cavalry.
    Police Force.

    I resume my journal at the point where the procession arrived at the
    royal mausoleum:

    As the procession filed through the gate, the military deployed
    handsomely to the right and left and formed an avenue through which
    the long column of mourners passed to the tomb. The coffin was
    borne through the door of the mausoleum, followed by the King and
    his chiefs, the great officers of the kingdom, foreign Consuls,
    Embassadors and distinguished guests (Burlingame and General Van
    Valkenburgh). Several of the kahilis were then fastened to a frame-
    work in front of the tomb, there to remain until they decay and fall
    to pieces, or, forestalling this, until another scion of royalty
    dies. At this point of the proceedings the multitude set up such a
    heart-broken wailing as I hope never to hear again.

    The soldiers fired three volleys of musketry--the wailing being
    previously silenced to permit of the guns being heard. His Highness
    Prince William, in a showy military uniform (the "true prince," this--
    scion of the house over-thrown by the present dynasty--he was formerly
    betrothed to the Princess but was not allowed to marry her), stood guard
    and paced back and forth within the door. The privileged few who
    followed the coffin into the mausoleum remained sometime, but the King
    soon came out and stood in the door and near one side of it. A stranger
    could have guessed his rank (although he was so simply and
    unpretentiously dressed) by the profound deference paid him by all
    persons in his vicinity; by seeing his high officers receive his quiet
    orders and suggestions with bowed and uncovered heads; and by observing
    how careful those persons who came out of the mausoleum were to avoid
    "crowding" him (although there was room enough in the doorway for a wagon
    to pass, for that matter); how respectfully they edged out sideways,
    scraping their backs against the wall and always presenting a front view
    of their persons to his Majesty, and never putting their hats on until
    they were well out of the royal presence.

    He was dressed entirely in black--dress-coat and silk hat--and looked
    rather democratic in the midst of the showy uniforms about him. On his
    breast he wore a large gold star, which was half hidden by the lapel of
    his coat. He remained at the door a half hour, and occasionally gave an
    order to the men who were erecting the kahilis [Ranks of long-handled
    mops made of gaudy feathers--sacred to royalty. They are stuck in the
    ground around the tomb and left there.] before the tomb. He had the
    good taste to make one of them substitute black crape for the ordinary
    hempen rope he was about to tie one of them to the frame-work with.
    Finally he entered his carriage and drove away, and the populace shortly
    began to drop into his wake. While he was in view there was but one man
    who attracted more attention than himself, and that was Harris (the
    Yankee Prime Minister). This feeble personage had crape enough around
    his hat to express the grief of an entire nation, and as usual he
    neglected no opportunity of making himself conspicuous and exciting the
    admiration of the simple Kanakas. Oh! noble ambition of this modern

    It is interesting to contrast the funeral ceremonies of the Princess
    Victoria with those of her noted ancestor Kamehameha the Conqueror, who
    died fifty years ago--in 1819, the year before the first missionaries

    "On the 8th of May, 1819, at the age of sixty-six, he died, as he
    had lived, in the faith of his country. It was his misfortune not
    to have come in contact with men who could have rightly influenced
    his religious aspirations. Judged by his advantages and compared
    with the most eminent of his countrymen he may be justly styled not
    only great, but good. To this day his memory warms the heart and
    elevates the national feelings of Hawaiians. They are proud of
    their old warrior King; they love his name; his deeds form their
    historical age; and an enthusiasm everywhere prevails, shared even
    by foreigners who knew his worth, that constitutes the firmest
    pillar of the throne of his dynasty.

    "In lieu of human victims (the custom of that age), a sacrifice of
    three hundred dogs attended his obsequies--no mean holocaust when
    their national value and the estimation in which they were held are
    considered. The bones of Kamehameha, after being kept for a while,
    were so carefully concealed that all knowledge of their final
    resting place is now lost. There was a proverb current among the
    common people that the bones of a cruel King could not be hid; they
    made fish-hooks and arrows of them, upon which, in using them, they
    vented their abhorrence of his memory in bitter execrations."

    The account of the circumstances of his death, as written by the native
    historians, is full of minute detail, but there is scarcely a line of it
    which does not mention or illustrate some by-gone custom of the country.
    In this respect it is the most comprehensive document I have yet met
    with. I will quote it entire:

    "When Kamehameha was dangerously sick, and the priests were unable
    to cure him, they said: 'Be of good courage and build a house for
    the god' (his own private god or idol), that thou mayest recover.'
    The chiefs corroborated this advice of the priests, and a place of
    worship was prepared for Kukailimoku, and consecrated in the
    evening. They proposed also to the King, with a view to prolong his
    life, that human victims should be sacrificed to his deity; upon
    which the greater part of the people absconded through fear of
    death, and concealed themselves in hiding places till the tabu [Tabu
    (pronounced tah-boo,) means prohibition (we have borrowed it,) or
    sacred. The tabu was sometimes permanent, sometimes temporary; and
    the person or thing placed under tabu was for the time being sacred
    to the purpose for which it was set apart. In the above case the
    victims selected under the tabu would be sacred to the sacrifice]
    in which destruction impended, was past. It is doubtful whether
    Kamehameha approved of the plan of the chiefs and priests to
    sacrifice men, as he was known to say, 'The men are sacred for the
    King;' meaning that they were for the service of his successor.
    This information was derived from Liholiho, his son.

    "After this, his sickness increased to such a degree that he had not
    strength to turn himself in his bed. When another season,
    consecrated for worship at the new temple (heiau) arrived, he said
    to his son, Liholiho, 'Go thou and make supplication to thy god; I
    am not able to go, and will offer my prayers at home.' When his
    devotions to his feathered god, Kukailimoku, were concluded, a
    certain religiously disposed individual, who had a bird god,
    suggested to the King that through its influence his sickness might
    be removed. The name of this god was Pua; its body was made of a
    bird, now eaten by the Hawaiians, and called in their language alae.
    Kamehameha was willing that a trial should be made, and two houses
    were constructed to facilitate the experiment; but while dwelling in
    them he became so very weak as not to receive food. After lying
    there three days, his wives, children and chiefs, perceiving that he
    was very low, returned him to his own house. In the evening he was
    carried to the eating house, where he took a little food in his
    mouth which he did not swallow; also a cup of water. The chiefs
    requested him to give them his counsel; but he made no reply, and
    was carried back to the dwelling house; but when near midnight--ten
    o'clock, perhaps--he was carried again to the place to eat; but, as
    before, he merely tasted of what was presented to him. Then
    Kaikioewa addressed him thus: 'Here we all are, your younger
    brethren, your son Liholiho and your foreigner; impart to us your
    dying charge, that Liholiho and Kaahumanu may hear.' Then Kamehameha
    inquired, 'What do you say?' Kaikioewa repeated, 'Your counsels for

    "He then said, 'Move on in my good way and--.' He could proceed no
    further. The foreigner, Mr. Young, embraced and kissed him.
    Hoapili also embraced him, whispering something in his ear, after
    which he was taken back to the house. About twelve he was carried
    once more to the house for eating, into which his head entered,
    while his body was in the dwelling house immediately adjoining. It
    should be remarked that this frequent carrying of a sick chief from
    one house to another resulted from the tabu system, then in force.
    There were at that time six houses (huts) connected with an
    establishment--one was for worship, one for the men to eat in, an
    eating house for the women, a house to sleep in, a house in which to
    manufacture kapa (native cloth) and one where, at certain intervals,
    the women might dwell in seclusion.

    "The sick was once more taken to his house, when he expired; this
    was at two o'clock, a circumstance from which Leleiohoku derived his
    name. As he breathed his last, Kalaimoku came to the eating house
    to order those in it to go out. There were two aged persons thus
    directed to depart; one went, the other remained on account of love
    to the King, by whom he had formerly been kindly sustained. The
    children also were sent away. Then Kalaimoku came to the house, and
    the chiefs had a consultation. One of them spoke thus: 'This is my
    thought--we will eat him raw. [This sounds suspicious, in view of
    the fact that all Sandwich Island historians, white and black,
    protest that cannibalism never existed in the islands. However,
    since they only proposed to "eat him raw" we "won't count that".
    But it would certainly have been cannibalism if they had cooked
    him.--M. T.] Kaahumanu (one of the dead King's widows) replied,
    'Perhaps his body is not at our disposal; that is more properly with
    his successor. Our part in him--his breath--has departed; his
    remains will be disposed of by Liholiho.'

    "After this conversation the body was taken into the consecrated
    house for the performance of the proper rites by the priest and the
    new King. The name of this ceremony is uko; and when the sacred hog
    was baked the priest offered it to the dead body, and it became a
    god, the King at the same time repeating the customary prayers.

    "Then the priest, addressing himself to the King and chiefs, said:
    'I will now make known to you the rules to be observed respecting
    persons to be sacrificed on the burial of this body. If you obtain
    one man before the corpse is removed, one will be sufficient; but
    after it leaves this house four will be required. If delayed until
    we carry the corpse to the grave there must be ten; but after it is
    deposited in the grave there must be fifteen. To-morrow morning
    there will be a tabu, and, if the sacrifice be delayed until that
    time, forty men must die.'

    "Then the high priest, Hewahewa, inquired of the chiefs, 'Where
    shall be the residence of King Liholiho?' They replied, 'Where,
    indeed? You, of all men, ought to know.' Then the priest observed,
    'There are two suitable places; one is Kau, the other is Kohala.'
    The chiefs preferred the latter, as it was more thickly inhabited.
    The priest added, 'These are proper places for the King's residence;
    but he must not remain in Kona, for it is polluted.' This was
    agreed to. It was now break of day. As he was being carried to the
    place of burial the people perceived that their King was dead, and
    they wailed. When the corpse was removed from the house to the
    tomb, a distance of one chain, the procession was met by a certain
    man who was ardently attached to the deceased. He leaped upon the
    chiefs who were carrying the King's body; he desired to die with him
    on account of his love. The chiefs drove him away. He persisted in
    making numerous attempts, which were unavailing. Kalaimoka also had
    it in his heart to die with him, but was prevented by Hookio.

    "The morning following Kamehameha's death, Liholiho and his train
    departed for Kohala, according to the suggestions of the priest, to
    avoid the defilement occasioned by the dead. At this time if a
    chief died the land was polluted, and the heirs sought a residence
    in another part of the country until the corpse was dissected and
    the bones tied in a bundle, which being done, the season of
    defilement terminated. If the deceased were not a chief, the house
    only was defiled which became pure again on the burial of the body.
    Such were the laws on this subject.

    "On the morning on which Liholiho sailed in his canoe for Kohala,
    the chiefs and people mourned after their manner on occasion of a
    chief's death, conducting themselves like madmen and like beasts.
    Their conduct was such as to forbid description; The priests, also,
    put into action the sorcery apparatus, that the person who had
    prayed the King to death might die; for it was not believed that
    Kamehameha's departure was the effect either of sickness or old age.
    When the sorcerers set up by their fire-places sticks with a strip
    of kapa flying at the top, the chief Keeaumoku, Kaahumaun's brother,
    came in a state of intoxication and broke the flag-staff of the
    sorcerers, from which it was inferred that Kaahumanu and her friends
    had been instrumental in the King's death. On this account they
    were subjected to abuse."

    You have the contrast, now, and a strange one it is. This great Queen,
    Kaahumanu, who was "subjected to abuse" during the frightful orgies that
    followed the King's death, in accordance with ancient custom, afterward
    became a devout Christian and a steadfast and powerful friend of the

    Dogs were, and still are, reared and fattened for food, by the natives--
    hence the reference to their value in one of the above paragraphs.

    Forty years ago it was the custom in the Islands to suspend all law for a
    certain number of days after the death of a royal personage; and then a
    saturnalia ensued which one may picture to himself after a fashion, but
    not in the full horror of the reality. The people shaved their heads,
    knocked out a tooth or two, plucked out an eye sometimes, cut, bruised,
    mutilated or burned their flesh, got drunk, burned each other's huts,
    maimed or murdered one another according to the caprice of the moment,
    and both sexes gave themselves up to brutal and unbridled licentiousness.

    And after it all, came a torpor from which the nation slowly emerged
    bewildered and dazed, as if from a hideous half-remembered nightmare.
    They were not the salt of the earth, those "gentle children of the sun."

    The natives still keep up an old custom of theirs which cannot be
    comforting to an invalid. When they think a sick friend is going to die,
    a couple of dozen neighbors surround his hut and keep up a deafening
    wailing night and day till he either dies or gets well. No doubt this
    arrangement has helped many a subject to a shroud before his appointed

    They surround a hut and wail in the same heart-broken way when its
    occupant returns from a journey. This is their dismal idea of a welcome.
    A very little of it would go a great way with most of us.
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