Those looking for an unconventional source of Hawaiian history may wish to consult the new compendium titled On‘e Pu‘u. Compiled by Maui attorney Antonio V. Ramil, who wrote the exhaustive Kalai‘aina: County of Maui history book in 1984, On‘e Pu‘u is simply a spiral-bound collection of reprinted Hawaii news articles from December 1891 to the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom in January 1893. The reprinted articles–from the Daily Pacific Commercial Advertiser, The Friend and Paradise of the Pacific–provide an eclectic picture of the last days of the kingdom, and include social notices, Foreign Office notices, a listing of the late King Kalakaua’s lands that were auctioned off, political news, royal visits, obituaries and general news.
“It’s more like a collector’s item, but it’s still informative,” Ramil told me. He added that it took him a “long time–about five years” to put it all together.
“Year 1892 was the last full year of the Hawaiian Monarchy,” Ramil wrote in the compendium’s introduction. “The question led me to reading history books relating to the period… The materials in this compendium may be found informative and useful. However, they may leave the thoughtful reader with more questions than answers, which should be the motivation for further inquiry and reflection–and to polite and meaningful dialogue.”
Ramil said On‘e Pu‘u is available at the Kahului and Kihei public libraries. He also said readers could simply ask him for a copy by writing to Antonio V. Ramil, PO Box 1161, Wailuku, HI 96793.