Accounts of Queen Emma’s Trip to Mauna Kea Recorded in Interviews with James Kahalelaumamane Lindsey.

At a meeting of the Mauna Kea Advisory Committee (MKAC; December 1998), Larry Kauanoe Kimura provided a copy of a tape recording with portions of two interviews he had conducted with elder members of his family. In the course of the MKAC meeting, Kepa Maly was asked to provide the committee members with an overview of the documentation recorded as a part of the then ongoing interview process. Among the accounts discussed, were those associated with Queen Emma’s visit to Mauna Kea and Waiʻau (as pronounced) in 1882, and the source of the family name, Kahalelaumamane. In sharing the interviews conducted in 1966 and 1967, Larry Kimura provided readers with further details about family attachments to Mauna Kea, and of the events surrounding Queen Emma’s visit to Mauna Kea and Waiau. It was also from the interview with James Kahalelaumamane Lindsey, that the term “Ka piko kaulana o ka ʻāina” (The famous summit of the land), as an expression of love for Mauna Kea was recorded.

Excerpts from the two historic interviews follow, with a detailed account of the Queen’s visit to Mauna Kea in 1882.

James Kahalelaumamane Lindsey

October 24, 1966

JKL: These are the children [of William Miller Seymour and Kaluna Ha’alo’u Ka’inapau-Lindsey]-Tom; Keane; Emma; Keoki, and then me, James Kahalelaumamane Lindsey [Oct. 5,1882 to Oct. 8, 1972]. About this Hawaiian name Kahalelaumamane—Queen Emma came to Waimea and stayed with Sam Parker, the family of John Parker them. Queen Emma wanted to ascend to the top of Mauna Kea, to go and see Wai’au [as pronounced]. John Parker called my father, William Lindsey, can you take this visitor to see Wai’au, Mauna Kea? My father said “yes.” At that time, there was very much mist, fine rain fall. You don’t know where the trail, there was no true trail to that place. Go up the cliff, steep, steep. Going up zigzag. Well, it came about time to make ready to stop for the night. My father said, “We’ll sleep for the night.” They were up Kemole, they made a big, big fire from the twigs and branches, and slept. It was warm, it wasn’t cold with that fire. They got up early in the morning, the people made ready, and my father got the horses ready. They finished breakfast and continued their ascent to the top of Mauna Kea. By ten ‘o clock, they reached top, [slaps his hands] “Piko kaulana o ka ‘aina” [The famous summit of the land]. One is wearied in traveling to Wai’au, “Ka wai kaulana o ka ‘aina” [The famous water (lake) of the land]. [voice filled with emotion] Queen Emma ascended to this place. Many of the people born in Waimea, have not seen Wai’au, have not ascended the summit of Mauna Kea. No, it’s too hard to climb, and they don’t know how they are going to get up there when the mist descends. You stay on the mountain for many days, and then you die. It’s cold eh! Some people say, maybe we should go to the mountain, “Ahh, we don’t want to go, it’s too cold.” But my father and me, he took them and they returned in good condition.

So they [Queen Emma’s party] returned to Mana, not Waimea. They returned to Mana. They stayed at Mana. John Parker was very grateful to my father, and gave him some money. Later on, my father told me-l was pretty big already, and adept at riding horse” I want you to go to Pu’u Kau so you can see the trail that goes to the mountain. If I should die, there would be no people who could take the visitors.” My older brothers, they only knew the lowlands, half of the mountain, but not on top. So the visitors will get into trouble. The pilot (guide) has to be smart.

So later, Mr. Carter called my father, “Can you take these haole visitors to the top, Wai’au?” My papa said “Yes.” To get to the top of that place, Wai’au, in my father’s thoughts, “You got to ride a horse that is swift, tough, strong, you can’t take a weak horse. Cannot! A fat horse, cannot, it’ll die.” So my father told Mr. Carter, “Any time you get people who want to go, let me know one week ahead of time. Give me a week to work the horses.” Some times, four, five, six people, or more. Like when Queen Emma them went up, I think there were twelve. There was a lot of work for my papa and the workers. And he had to look for the horse that could go up, it’s hard for the horse to go up. There was much work.

So this time, there were five foreigners. I went behind, my father looked about for the nature of the mountain. And at about the 10,000 foot elevation, there are many hills. Yeah, many, many hills. All pu’u, all over, the same, when you look, and then, when mist settles, this pu’u looks like that pu’u [chuckles]. I don’t know if we’re on the right road. Me, I’d go all around. But my father, no, you got to … don’t go below. Us, we’re going here, the path is here on this pu’u. Otherwise these visitors are going to have trouble. There’s not enough to eat, we only brought lunch. From Waimea, we go and sleep at Kemole, then, we get up early in the morning and go up. Then we get by Waiki’i. .. there were many times that my papa went by Waiki’i side. And from Keanakolu you can too. And from Humu’ula, also. But the Waimea way, Kemoleway, the ascent isn’t too good, it’s very steep.

But at this time, there had been a house made below Wai’au. About six miles, it had a name …

LK: Hale Pohaku?

JKL: That’s it!. .. By about ten ‘o clock, you can see the sugar plantations at Hila and Hamakua, Honoka’a. You can see Ka’O side. When you get on top, the piko of Mauna Kea. Piko kaulana o ka ‘aina. Yeah, that’s what they say …

LK: How about your name, Ka-hale-lau-mamane?

JKL: Yeah.

LK: How did you get that name?

JKL: About that. Well, that time before, when Queen Emma went to the mountain, Wai’au, she told my father that she wanted my mother to go as well. My father told her, she was pregnant, pregnant with me [chuckles]. But she wanted a woman to accompany her. So she asked Mrs. Davis, a big shot, before. But these women, same thing, these two women were pregnant, and could not go to Wai’au. So [afterwards] Queen Emma told my father, “If a son is born, name him Ka-hale-lau-mamane.” [chuckles] And she told my father, tell Mrs. Davis, “If you have a son, name him Wai’au. Because Wai’au is where we are going.” But Wai’au is the one that died first, though we were born at about the same time. October. Wai’au died about ten or fifteen years ago, now.

LK: What is the meaning of that name Ka-hale-lau-mamane?

JKL: Ka-hale-lau-mamane. Well, there was a lot of mamane at this place you went up. Mauna Kea, that’s only the tree, bush mamane. When you look today, mamane. They broke the mamane branch, and made a house. You can go hide underneath, and you don’t get wet. Yeah. So I have given that name to one of my grandchildren … Carry on the name so that it won’t be lost. .. [end of recording]

Kepa Maly

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