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Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaiian) chanteymen

mg 08 Sep 06 - 01:29 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Sep 06 - 06:27 PM
mg 08 Sep 06 - 06:53 PM
Barry Finn 08 Sep 06 - 07:40 PM
mg 08 Sep 06 - 09:35 PM
Charley Noble 08 Sep 06 - 10:03 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Sep 06 - 10:04 PM
Chanteyranger 09 Sep 06 - 12:54 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Sep 06 - 10:09 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Sep 06 - 11:04 AM
mack/misophist 09 Sep 06 - 11:06 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Sep 06 - 02:30 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 09 Sep 06 - 03:56 PM
mg 09 Sep 06 - 03:57 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 09 Sep 06 - 04:04 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Sep 06 - 06:14 PM
GUEST,mg 09 Sep 06 - 08:34 PM
GUEST,mg 09 Sep 06 - 08:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Sep 06 - 09:28 PM
mg 09 Sep 06 - 09:41 PM
Don Firth 09 Sep 06 - 10:23 PM
Greg B 10 Sep 06 - 12:10 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Sep 06 - 12:58 AM
mg 10 Sep 06 - 03:51 PM
mg 10 Sep 06 - 05:09 PM
Charley Noble 10 Sep 06 - 05:15 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Sep 06 - 05:45 PM
mg 10 Sep 06 - 06:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Sep 06 - 08:08 PM
mg 11 Sep 06 - 01:13 PM
Barry Finn 11 Sep 06 - 01:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Sep 06 - 02:53 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Sep 06 - 08:31 PM
pattyClink 12 Sep 06 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,Rev 13 Sep 06 - 02:34 AM
mg 13 Sep 06 - 11:34 PM
GUEST,thurg 14 Sep 06 - 12:28 AM
GUEST,Tom Koppel, author of book on Kanakas 29 Jan 08 - 06:30 PM
Nick E 29 Jan 08 - 09:21 PM
Charley Noble 30 Jan 08 - 08:07 AM
GUEST,David Heller 04 May 09 - 07:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 May 09 - 08:40 PM
GUEST 04 May 09 - 11:33 PM
Barry Finn 04 May 09 - 11:39 PM
rich-joy 05 May 09 - 12:45 AM
Neil D 05 May 09 - 03:14 AM
GUEST,Tom Koppel (Author of the book KANAKA) 05 May 09 - 05:14 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 May 09 - 08:01 PM
GUEST 06 May 09 - 01:07 AM
Barry Finn 06 May 09 - 02:01 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 06 May 09 - 04:25 PM
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GUEST,David 09 May 09 - 02:37 AM
Art Thieme 09 May 09 - 11:10 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: mg
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 01:29 PM

Someone mentioned this in another thread. I would like to know more. Hawaii was part of the Hudson's Bay empire, and had strong connections to Fort Vancouver in Wasington State. They are unearthing a Kanaka village where the Hawaian endentured people lived. mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 06:27 PM

Although I have nothing directly citing Hawaiian chanteymen, there are many references to Hawaiians in the service of the fur trade, whalers and merchantmen, California hide trade, HB farms and HB construction, etc. These random notes may put some perspective on the period.
An important article on the subject is Quimby, George I., 1972, Jour. Pacific History, vol. 7, "Hawaiians in the fur trade of north-west America, 1785-1820."
Sir George Simpson, Governor-in Chief of the Hudsons Bay Company, 1847, "Narrative of a Journey Round the World during the years 1841 and 1842" wrote as follows about his trip in a boat along the Columbia River: "Our bateau carried as curious a muster of races and languages as perhaps has ever been congregated within the same compass in any part of the world. Our crew of ten men contained (an) Iroquois..., a Cree half-breed of native origin, a north Briton who understands only the Gaelic of his native hills, a Canadian... who knew French; and Sandwich Islanders who jabbered a medley of Chinook, English etc., and their own vernacular jargon...; add to this (passengers natives of the British Isles, Russia etc.) and you have the prettiest congress of nations..."
The Hudsons Bay Company records speak of the Kanaka voyageurs, whom they found more reliable than many of the French, and as good as the Metís.
Sir George speaks of the whaling ships, "Whaling ships have left San Francisco" .... have all gradually betaken themselves to the sandwich Islands." ... "The Sandwich Islands afford to the refitting whaler an ample supply of competent labour, both native and foreign, at reasonable wages." (He spoke of the population of San Francisco as "naturally indolent."

After the abandonment of the feudal system, many young Hawaiian men were left without occupation. For a short time, until joined by both American and English advisors, the "missionaries notoriously became, so far as new legislation was concerned, the real rulers of the Group." King Kamehameha II spoke English and French fluently
The Royal government, with the help of these advisors, arranged contracts for the placement of Hawaiians in employment in sea-going trades, the fur trade, sawmills, construction and farms in western America. Contracts were for a set period, and the employers were required to provide for return of the Hawaiians at the end of the contract period. In the Hawaiian Archives in Honolulu are many papers relating to these contracts. One discussed in Repts. Hawaiian Hist. Soc. was an agreement between Kekuanaoa and George Pelly (1840) to take 60 Hawaiians for service in the Columbia River, for a period of three years, "to be returned at the end of said period term on penalty of $20. each."

Fort Langley in British Columbia was constructed with Kanaka labor; they were the sawyers. The first HB sawmill, 1828, five miles upstream from Ft. Vancouver, was operated by Kanakas. By 1830, 200,000 board feet of lumber was being sent to the Islands. Salmon was salted and barrelled by Indian and Kanaka laborers, timber was cut and finished into lumber for shipment to the Hudsons Bay Store in Honolulu, etc. The farms experimented with various crops.

After the merger of HB and NW Cos. in 1821, the Kanaka labor force was a key factor in HB operations. The Indians were 'unreliable,' and French Canadian voyageurs were expensive and 'independent'. Chief factor at Ft. Vancouver, Dr. John McLaughlin, offered 10 pounds/year to islanders; by 1823, some 200 islanders were trained sailors. In addition to working as seamen on coast vessels, they built boats and worked on the canoes and York boats, and in various positions at the Forts.
Kanakas were important before the HB period; the crew of the Astor ship, 'Beaver', in 1812 consisted of five Canadians, seven Americans and twelve Kanakas.
At Fort Walla Walla, 1818, 25 Canadians, 32 Kanaka and 38 Iroquois were employed under Donald Mackenzie. The Iroquois attacked one night, but Mackenzie was saved by the Canadians and Owhyees.

The Hawaiians' 'warrior ability' also was put to use by HB to assist in pacification of local Indian tribes- the first punitive expedition was led by A. McLeod in 1828 against the Clallum Indians. In addition to the 'Owhyees', Chinooks and Iroquois were in the force.

Simpson spoke of Hawaiian women riding horses "en cavilier" on the Spanish saddle; Mexican vaqueros had trained Hawaiian cowboys ('paniolos') beginning in the 1820's after cattle introduced by Vancouver needed control, and cattle sales became important.
An important part of Hawaiian music is the result of the mixture of Hawaiians and Mexicans in the cattle trade, later reinforced by Canary Islanders, Portuguese and others.
Kanakas were employed by the Spanish in California in the hide trade (described by Dana in "Two Years Before the Mast").

In 1849, the Advertiser (Honolulu) reported that Rev. S. C. Damon visited Kanaka diggings in California, where 75 Sandwich Islanders were searching for gold.

Some of the Hawaiians stayed, and small settlements developed in British Columbia, Washington State and elsewhere. There are articles about Hawaiians who settled in New England when they were a part of the sea-faring trade.
Not all stories had happy endings; in 1903 an article in the Rept. Minister of Foreign Affairs describes the plight of indigent Hawaiians in Utah.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: mg
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 06:53 PM

There are two towns I know of around here with Hawaian names: Aloha Oregon and Kalama Washington. The Hawaians at one time (I think it needs another I or two) were the most numerous employees, if indeed they could be called that as their arrangements were between the king and HB, if I heard correctly of the HB fort in Vancouver. They canooed up to Kalama at least and they were also pile drivers. I can't figure out how that was done. Many of them stayed in the area. mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Barry Finn
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 07:40 PM

Great thread & thanks Q & mg, very interesting. More, more, more, please.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: mg
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 09:35 PM

I suggest going on the Fort Vancouver web site. I presume there is one. It is a fantastic place, and an archeological site of great importance. mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 10:03 PM

Q-

You've done it again, raising the level of understanding to a new level.

Thanks!

And thanks to you, mg, for raising the question.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 10:04 PM

The term 'indentured' as applied to the Hawaiians needs definition. Contracts between the Royal government and contractors were for short periods, usually 3 years. Wages were specified. The contract could be renewed, but depended upon agreement by the contractor, the Hawaiian government and the Hawaiian involved.
Some left before the contract was completed, but most fulfilled the contract- the money was not fully paid until then.
The labor could be extremely hard (e. g. the hide trade in California) but generally no worse than it was for others in the sea-trades, lumbering and carpenter work, as voyageurs, etc.

The jobs in America were looked upon as extremely desirable. In the 1840's it was almost a stampede. Kanekoa (the governor on Maui) wrote to his (Hawaiian) Ministry of the Interior worrying about the numbers going to California. The Ministry advised Kanekoa to limit the amount, or the island of Maui would be deserted. In 1849, the harbormaser reported 359 native Hawaiians had left as seamen, 8 for service west of the Rockies, and 8 for farms in California. In 1853, 448 men left Maui.

Hard to find but readable on the sea trades are Dodge, E. S., "New England and the South Seas," Harvard Univ.;
Stackpole, "The Sea Hunters," (rare); H. W. Bradley, "The American Frontier in Hawaii, The Pioneers, 1789-1843," Stanford Press.
Best are the various journals- Jour. Pacific History, Reports of the Hawaiian Historical Society, etc.
Well worth visits are the Hawaii State Archives, Iolani Palace Grounds, Honolulu.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 12:54 AM

I hope guest Rev sees this. He's on the road, but I'll tell him about this thread when I see him this weekend. His doctoral dissertation is on musical contacts between 19th-century whalers and Pacific Islanders.

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 10:09 AM

A recent and readable book by Tom Koppel, 1995, "Kanaka, the Untold Story of Hawaiian Pioneers in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest," was published by Whitecap Books. The book (paperback) has photographs and stories of the settlers, whom Koppel mostly characterizes as "gutsy survivors." The bibliography is good.

The number that came over will never be known; many came on their own, without contract, or hired on ships calling at the islands and in need of crewmen.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 11:04 AM

Kanaka sailors were affected by the U. S. Civil War. The Confederate ship 'Shenandoah' attacked Union whaling ships in the north Pacific and captured and burned them. The crews were given their choice of joining the 'Shenandoah' or being marooned. In 1865, about fifty Kanaka crewmen so captured were returned to the Islands by the ship's captain, who reported that he was "rather partial to Hawaiians." Reported in the "Friend" (Honolulu), Sept. 1, 1865 and repeated from a thesis by K. Duncan in "Kanaka," by Koppel.

In 1778, the Hawaiian population was estimated at 300,000. By 1823, disease had reduced the population to 134,750. As one measure to stem the decline, "the Hawaiian government responded by limiting recruitment to the ports of Honolulu (Oahu) and Lahaina (Maui), by requiring the consent of each island's governor, and by demanding individual Hawaiians present their passports. Vessels violating these rules were subject to a fine of four hundred dollars. In a separate measure, the Hawaiian government levied a tax on Kanakas who were leaving families behind to ensure that they were properly supported." Other measures were added at the time of the California Gold Rush. "By 1860, an astonishing twelve percent of Hawaiian males over the age of eighteen had left the Islands." Tom Koppel.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: mack/misophist
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 11:06 AM

There also seem to have been Hawaiians wandering around California's gold country. Kanaka Creek was called that because a group of Kanaka men had a placer mining operation there. At least that's what the book says.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 02:30 PM

As mentioned in a post above, in 1849, 75 Kanakas were found by Rev. Damon at one diggings in the California gold fields and there were others.
A brief summary on "Kanaka Colonies in California," R, H. Dillon, Pacific Historical Review, v. 24, touches on the subject.
One group of 24 Kanaka miners was reported at Indian Creek, El Dorado Co., and 40 at La Grange.

Many of the Hawaiians returned home because of oppressive laws imposed in Oregon and California. Thurston, the first Oregon delegate to Congress, said that Canakers, or Sandwich Islanders, "are a race, too, that we do not desire to settle in Oregon." Land was offered free to settlers, but members of the Hudsons Bay Co. and the Puget Sound Agricultural Company were barred. In 1849, some Hawaiians in Oregon Terr. applied for American citizenship in order to vote, but were denied on racial grounds.
A tax was instituted for Sandwich Islanders.
In California, the California Senate passed a resolution to bar "Chinese of Kanaka carpenters, masons or blacksmiths..."
In the gold fields, the Kanakas had no protection from thieves and claim-jumpers except what they themselves could provide.
(Blacks were barred from giving evidence against whites and escaped slaves could be returned to their owners. Islanders and others came under these oppressive regulations).

In the meantime, the Hudsons Bay Company was being forced out of Fort Vancouver. The U. S. Army had requested, and received, permission to establish a post near the Fort to quell disturbances between Indians and white settlers. The lands of the Company were encroached upon and occupied. The last of the Kanakas to go was the teacher/minister Kanaka William, whose house was burned down by U. S. soldiers in 1860. The Company withdrew to its Post in Fort Victoria.
The story is told by Yvonne Kearns Klan, in "Kanaka William," The Beaver, Spring, 1979.
Also see Janice K. Duncan, "Minority Without a Champion: Kanakas on the Pacific Coast," Oregon Historical Society, 14, 1972.   

Enough history- can anything be added to answer mg's original post???


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 03:56 PM

MG I hope you find this interesting.http://www.nps.gov/archive/fova/clr/clrt.htm


Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: mg
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 03:57 PM

IF you live in the Portland Or area, they used to have a Hawaian Christmas celebration reenactment at the Fort Vancouver. It was wonderful. DOn't know if they still have it. If you live near Portland/Vancouver WA be sure and go there and ask about it. I'd like to make a trip shortly. I wouldn't have heard about this connection if I hadn't been living just a few blocks from the Fort a few years ago. And I would love to see Vancouver WA, a lovely town, renamed FOrt Vancouver to distinguish from Vancouver BC. mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 04:04 PM

This is a Jpg of the actual Kanaka village, it was quite a large community from all accounts.
http://www.nps.gov/archive/fova/clr/images/fig2-10.jpg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 06:14 PM

Thanks for the images. I haven't looked at that website.

A note in Koppel reports these population figures, from HBCA B.239/I/16 and B.239/g/85, reported by O. O. Winther, "The British in Oregon Country," Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Oct. 1967:
1846- the total number of Hawaiians serving south of the 49th parallel was 152, including one teacher, one cooper, one woodcutter, one sawyer, two shepherds, one middleman (foreman) and 145 laborers (four among ship crews). The rest of the employees consisted of 40 Englishmen, 74 Scots (mostly from the Orkney, Shetland and Hebrides Is.), one Frenchman, ten Canadians (Br. origin), 70 Canadians of French origin, 11 Iroquois Indians and 42 natives of Rupert's Land, most of them half-breeds.
HBC employment records show that from the late 1830s through 1850, Kanakas received the same wages as whites, half-breeds or Iroquois employed at the same labor. The Willamette Valley sawmill employed 18 laborers, 15 of them Kanakas, receiving 17 or 27 pounds annually, depending on years of service.

Translation of part of a Mangarevan farewell chant (from Buck, "Vikings of the Pacific").

Hoist up the sails with the two crossed sprits,
The two-sprit sails that will bear us afar.
Steer the course of the ship to a far distant land,
Sail down the tide with the wind astern.

The Polynesians have many stories, legends and genealogies which exist in different forms which do not always agree, hence the following verse from the Tuamotus:

Correct is the explanation, wrong is the lore,
Correct is the lore, wrong is the explanation.
Correct, correct is the lore,
Ah no!
It is wrong, it is wrong- alas!

J. F. Stimson translated some of the myths, and with them a few of the songs and poetry of the Polynesians. Several bulletins of the B. P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, contain some of them. See especially Bulletins 127 and 148 authored by him. The following personal chant by Kahu-koka is from New Zealand:

Now do I direct the bow of my canoe
To the opening whence arises the sun god,
Tama-nui-te-ra, Great-son-of-the-sun.
Let me not deviate from the course
But sail direct to the land, the Homeland.

Blow, blow, O Tawhiri-matea, God of the Winds!
Arouse thy westerly wind to waft us direct
By the sea road to the Homeland, to Hawaiki.

Close, close thine eye that looks to the south,
That thy southerly wind may sleep.
Allow us to sail over the Sea of Maui,
And impede us not on our course.

She stirs, she moves, she sails!
Ah, now shall speed Tane-kaha,
The gallant canoe of Kahu-koka,
Back to the bays of Hawaiki-nui,
And so to Home.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 08:34 PM

http://www.columbian.com/history/kanaka1.cfm


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 08:42 PM

http://www.nps.gov/archive/fova/history.htm from the Ft. Vancouver site...here I will cut and paste

One interesting thing if you read far enough down...I had heard or read this somewhere before..that the mysterious disease that wiped out so many Native American populations..before Lewis and Clark and before the possibility of tained blankets...was not smallpox but malaria....mg

......

Fort Vancouver, by the time it was established in 1825, was entering an ancient industry, a system of trading goods for furs that has been practiced at least since the Norse crossed the Atlantic almost a thousand years ago. For several hundred years, the furs were prized as insulating additions to clothing or as sleeping blankets. Eventually, the European market realized the potential of the soft underhair of beaver fur, which made some of the finest felt for manufacturing "beaver hats", durable men's hats that became an expensive and coveted commodity. So popular were these hats by the early seventeenth century, they became family heirlooms passed intergenerationally. The demand for beaver furs increased exponentially for many decades, and forced trapping companies to continually expand their territories. What had begun and thrived in the Eastern portions of Canada eventually spread westward, covering most of the northern part of the continent: an enormous swath from the coast, around Hudson's Bay in the Canadian Shield, through the Athabasca drainage, across the Rocky Mountains, and eventually vertically along the Pacific Coast. This range provided the winter cold that developed thick coats on the fur-bearing animals, and the waterways that served both as habitat for the animals and as transportation avenues for the trappers.

The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) was a London-based fur trading company, which had been granted a royal charter in 1670 that gave it exclusive British trapping rights over all the lands that drained into Hudson's Bay. It's North American headquarters were at York Factory, on the edge of the bay itself, and this placement coupled with the enforced monopoly provided a relatively secure, successful enterprise. In 1821 the Hudson's Bay Company was forced into a coalition with the North West Company, its closest rival in the beginnings of a self-destructive trapping and trading competition. This merger produced an almost unstoppable force that within a few years had spread the HBC to the Pacific Coast.

In 1825, when Fort Vancouver was first established, Great Britain and the United States were still vying for control over the areas west of the Rocky Mountains. Political jurisdiction was uncertain, and the HBC had moved quickly to take advantage of the potentially fur-rich lands from American competitors, including John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company. Though both countries maintained a presence there, their ambivalence about ending a system of joint occupation reflected their doubts about profit realizations. This uncertain status was to continue for many years, and to haunt any long-term plans the HBC made for their posts in the area. At the time Dr. John McLoughlin (who would become the first Chief Factor, or head of Fort Vancouver) came to the Pacific Northwest, his headquarters were at Fort George at the mouth of the Columbia River, legally an American post as well as being on the south side of the Columbia River, a vulnerable land claim in a political climate which rumoured the Columbia would be the southern boundary of British territory. McLoughlin's first assignment, as administrator of the area, was to select the site, on the north side of the river, for a new headquarters.

The headquarters would oversee the immense Columbia Department of the HBC, and control an area of 700,000 square miles (1,800,000 square kilometers) that stretched from Russian Alaska to Mexican California, and from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The posts in this area were difficult to reach, by either of two options: sailing from London around Cape Horn, then to the Columbia via the Hawaiian Islands, or the yearly brigade overland from York Factory which crossed by a combination of canoe and snowshoe or horse, a journey over 2,000 miles that took three months. The two major concerns when choosing a location, then, were ease of shipping and agricultural potential. George Simpson, the Governor for the Company's North American operations, had long supported an agricultural scheme that would enhance the self-sufficiency of the posts and decrease the cost of importing food and related products.

The new site was on the north bank of the Columbia, slightly upstream from the mouth of the Willamette River on the opposite side. The fort itself, after an initial, arduous four years on a nearby bluff, would be built on a plain with easy access to the water, but just beyond the flood plain. The surrounding environment was broad areas of prairie and trees, sloping upward to dense fir forests; it was known as Jolie Prairie or Belle Vue Point because of its intense natural beauty. McLoughlin's superiors were well pleased with the choice, not only for its situation, but most importantly for its rich pasture and amenable climate.

The Hudson's Bay Company, drawing on their years of experience in Eastern Canada, was ambitious to create and maintain a monopoly, overcoming its competitors before they had gotten enough of a toehold to draw upon the financial reserves of the Company. The HBC was accused of practicing a "fur desert" policy in many areas within their territory, especially around the Snake River; its trappers were instructed to bring in the highest possible number of furs, ignoring sustainable practices which were incorporated elsewhere, in order to leave no animals for the American companies trapping in the same area. Many creative trading practices were used when American ships were in the vicinity of to maintain favored status with the Natives bringing in furs to trade. This highly ambitious scheme, to immediately outcompete all others, led the Company to establish an immense network throughout the region, eventually utilizing two dozen posts, six ships, and about 600 male employees during peak seasons. Fort Vancouver was the administrative headquarters and the principal supply deport for this entire system, as well as the collection point for furs being shipped to London.



Fort Vancouver grew to become a center of intense activity and influence. Every year two supply ships (or frequently only one) would arrive with British goods for trade or internal use, and goods and raw materials from the Hawaiian Islands such as coral for mortar manufacture. Each summer after the cold season had been spent trapping, incredible amounts of furs would come in, both from organized employee brigades and from freelance European and Native trappers. As the desire for and possibilities of increased self-sufficiency grew, so did the site's industries and practices. The agricultural enterprise expanded to cover almost 30 miles along the Columbia River and 10 miles north from the riverbank, and included grazing areas, large-scale cropping, ornamental gardens, and orchards, employing more persons than any other activity at the fort. Sawmills, gristmills, and dairies were built, both for materials for use at the fort and its subsidiary posts, and to produce a surplus to trade in the Hawaiian Islands and supply the Russian-American Company. Many trades flourished at the post, including blacksmithing, carpentry, cooperage, and baking, expanding the physical size of the post as they did the amount of goods that could be internally supplied. A riverside complex developed on the bank of the Columbia, directly south of the employee village; here were areas for shipbuilding, a salmon store, tanneries, and a hospital built during the peak of malaria epidemics. As the post became more of a permanent presence, a separate church and schoolhouses were added.

Historically the fur trade, as an industry, offered opportunities to a wide range of peoples with varying degrees of ties to organized companies. The economic attraction could be great, but the trade also provided a route for those who wanted to be far from home, whether pushed by wanderlust - the fur trade was a glamorous occupation to those who were not members and this life of adventure called many an unsuspecting young man - or escaping from trouble, usually in the form of unpaid debts. Sometimes multiple generations of families joined the trade, for occupations are limited when one is raised in the land of frontier posts and sporadic communication.

Some of the officers of the Hudson's Bay Company were English or Scottish, but British persons were actually a minority at most fur trading posts, as were Europeans in general. The largest percentage of the officers and employees were from the lands in Lower Canada, a region comparable to the boundaries of modern Québec. The trappers that hailed from this area, of French and sometimes Scottish heritage, were known as voyageurs, short and muscular men who were considered to be ideally physically-suited to the long hours in the canoes or on portage, times when the canoes were carried between waterways. Quite literally the backbone of the trade, these voyageurs were a very visible presence both out on brigade and at the forts when they returned for the annual encampment. Their chosen occupation was not a comfortable one - their rough appearance was said to reflect their lifestyle - but they often widely proclaimed their love for it. They had their own customs and code of honor above and beyond the expectations of the Company, which were reinforced by group camaraderie. Recognizable by colorful handwoven sashes and an inexhaustable supply of chansons, paddling songs to keep rhythm and to help time fly, voyageurs formed the strong transportation system of the companies, moving freight and personnel across the continent.

Company policy concerning Native groups was variable for many years; the HBC had realized from the beginning that peaceful and sustained relations with Natives were required for successful and secure trading networks, and had attempted to keep to fair trading practices and as little interference in tribal affairs as possible. A stickier question was that of European-Native alliances, which became more frequent as the amount of posts and territory increased. Official Company opinion was divided long after the alliances had become a standard practice in the field, and this is reflected in the contradictory policies, both outwardly stated and more covert, that existed. As the Company realized the benefits of Native wives for their employees, they began to support the practice of marriage au façon du pays, or "in the fashion of the country". However, the company policy for many years was to send retiring men back to Eastern Canada, not allowing settlement which could compete with the supply of furs. The overall result was that most employees, whether officers or those of the lower ranks, took wives that were fully or partly Native, with varying degrees of commitment. Some men took multiple wives or attempted to abandon their families when they left the trade and went back east; the Company often enforced the responsibilities of the marriage and required exiting employees to provide financially for their families. Others formed faithful, lifetime unions that survived transfers and retirement from the Company; after the Company relented the forced transportation of employees back East, it became quite common for a couple to settle in suitable areas near posts or Native reservations.

Native women seemed to adapt to the lifestyle of the voyageurs more readily than British women, and beyond providing companionship, they brought irreplaceable skills and knowledge that helped to ensure their husbands survival. They provided familial alliance with their tribe for the husband, a commodity not to be underestimated in the competitive and dangerous areas in which they trapped. While on brigade, the wives and children of voyageurs cleaned and tanned skins removed from the traps, repaired clothing and mocassins, harvested and cooked food, and sometimes hunted or protected the camp with their husband's musket. They were as integral to the success of the brigade as were the voyageurs themselves. Native wives provided similar domestic and economic benefits to husbands of higher rank, or those that chose to stay at the post for other work.

As the amount of fur trade marriages increased, they created a syncretic culture known as Métis, a population of mixed heritage that became one of the largest in the fur trade. Some of the children of these unions joined their mother's tribe, others followed the occupations of their fathers, becoming voyageurs, clerks, or other junior officers, or wives of Company employees.

A site of the magnitude of Fort Vancouver, and one that offered economic opportunities not just in trade but in its needs for manpower as well, attracted a diversity of people like no other site. As was true for the trade overall, British men were a minority at this site, though there were some from England, Scotland, Ireland, and the Orkney and Shetland Islands. Sometimes they came from further afield: at different times the site hosted a Frenchman, a Portuguese, and three shipwrecked Japanese sailors that had been rescued from the Makah Indians. Much of the population of Fort Vancouver was from regions of Canada; the primary language at Fort Vancouver was Canadian French. In addition to the local Chinookan-speaking population, representatives from many Native tribes came with the fur trade routes and congregated around the post for trade, employment, and security. As malaria epidemics worsened, they came for medical care and surety of burial. The Catholic Church Records of baptisms, marriages, and burials, one of the primary documents for interpreting the historic population of the fort site, records Natives from the following tribes:

Cascades, Clallam, Klickitat, Spokane,
Californian, Cowlitz, Mowatwos, Tillamook,
Carrier, Grande Dalles, Nisqually, Tsnoomus,
Chaudieres, Iroquois, Rogue, Umpqua,
Chehalis, Kalapuya, Shasta, Walla Walla,
Chinook, Kholtl, Snohomish

In addition to these groups, during the 1840s about 40% of the site's laborers were Hawaiian. As the English vessels stopped in the Sandwich Islands, now the Hawaiian Islands, to take on stores of food, water, and goods like rum and coral, Natives were offered (or sometimes forced into) short-term, renewable contracts with the Company; they boarded ship (in fact, they gained a reputation as skillful aboard because, unlike most sailors of the day, they could swim) and joined the workforce at Fort Vancouver. The employee village, just southwest of the stockaded fort proper, came to be known as Kanaka Village because of the large population of Hawaiians residing there, though it was home to all the diverse employees of the Company.

The common languages were either Canadian French or Chinook Jargon, a trade language based on Chinook but incorporating elements from English, French, and Hawaiian. In the early years of the fort, English was used infrequently, with visiting missionaries or the remnants of unsuccessful American fur trading ventures.

The HBC, from the earliest days, had supported the existence of a diverse workforce, one of the beliefs being that the lack of a common language would prevent mutiny or organized demands. Whether or not this held true in the later years, as the workforce diversified even further through intermarriage and the use of jargon spread, the challenges of administering over, and keeping the peace between, such different groups in this region remained. Dr. John McLoughlin, the Chief Factor of Fort Vancouver and in practice the head of the entire Columbia Department, ruled over this conglomeration for almost twenty years. His administrative style was characterized as just and firm, but occasionally given to outbursts of temper when aroused. The Company's dual system was described as: respect the natives, treat them fairly, and make no effort to change their beliefs or way of life; but respond with vigor if they harmed property or personnel.

Though in practice this policy seems idealistic, it formed the foundation on which the Company entered and settled new territories, and on which they based their treatment of trading partners. The employees, on the other hand, were under stricter expectations of behavior and were treated according to their rank in the Company. Fort Vancouver, as were most of the fur trading posts, was characterized by an extreme class system, separated spatially as well as socially. Non-European ethnicities, for the most part, were in the lower ranks of both prestige and pay, and lived in the employee village. British or Canadian men, usually with Métisse wives, had officer positions with substantially greater salaries and lived inside the fort palisade with higher levels of comfort and material goods. However, added to this description is the fact that the class system, at least for the non-laborer (a group that includes the higher ranks, such as Chief Factor or Chief Trader, and the lower ranks like clerks and apprentice clerks) in the fur trade, was more fluid than those of Europe, or even eastern North America. The trade offered advancement opportunities to a wide variety of men, and secondarily to their wives, based more on work ethic and applied skills than ethnicity.

The Fort Vancouver system, including not only the employees and free traders but also the surrounding population of Native groups, existed in relative stability during most of the tenure of the Hudson's Bay Company. As stated before, initially minimal European settlement was allowed in the surrounding areas, and McLoughlin's policies, in the absence of formal government, were legally binding for British subjects. The challenge to the Company's monopoly, both economic and over the physical lands, came from an unexpected quarter: American settlers, not fur traders. Although the "Bostonmen" had only nominal success in fur trading within the Columbia Department, they had returned to the States with tantalizing descriptions of the areas west of the Rocky Mountains, especially the rich agricultural lands of the Willamette Valley. American immigration, finally fueled by the emotions of Manifest Destiny, started as a trickle that grew exponentially each year as word spread of the possibilities and new routes were opened. Since the land claim question was still not decided, McLoughlin and his Company could not legally stop the influx of immigrants; as Fort Vancouver was the original terminus of the Oregon Trail, the immigrants arrived at the fort, usually in dire need of supplies. McLoughlin, acting as his company's representative but many months away from instructions by his superiors, was faced with an economic and moral dilemma: for the sake of the fur trade he could not encourage American settlement, nor did he feel he could he refuse the immigrants support in the form of food, medical supplies, and other essentials. At the same time, McLoughlin saw one possibility of salvaging his Company's monopoly, and that was by bringing the settlers into the trade, taking in their agricultural and livestock harvests and supplying them with goods. The result was a compromise where McLoughlin helped the settlers materially, often on shaky credit, while striving to maintain the influence and control that the HBC had previously enjoyed. The settlers responded in a similarly confused way: many praised his aid and personal morality, others spread unsubstantiated tales of McLoughlin's anti-immigration tactics. Whatever their reaction to McLoughlin personally, all wanted the power of the Company diminished, if not completely gone, and Fort Vancouver was the prime symbol of the continued British presence.

In 1846 the land claim question was at long last settled by the governments of Great Britain and the United States, setting the boundary at the 49th parallel, but leaving the Straits of Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound, and the Columbia River as freely accessible to both nations. British subjects were to retain former land claims, most important to French-Canadian settlers in the Willamette Valley and to McLoughlin himself who claimed the town of Oregon City, including those lands under the claim of the Puget's Sound Agricultural Company, a subsidiary of the Hudson's Bay Company which helped to supply the contract with the Russian-American Company. However, things were not as secure as the boundary treaty may have implied. In 1849 the U.S. Army established the post of Columbia (later Vancouver) Barracks, just up the slope from Fort Vancouver. As the fort's trade declined, American immigrants grew to outnumber French-Canadian settlers in the Willamette Valley, and British political power waned with the creation of a Provisional Government for the Oregon Country, the army rented buildings and stores in Kanaka Village from the HBC. For a decade all groups coexisted in the village and the environs of the fort. In 1860 the Company, which had transferred its headquarters to Fort Victoria in 1849, decided to abandon Fort Vancouver and the Hudson's Bay Company presence moved north.

Fort Vancouver's intense effect on regional history and population is reflected in its status as a national historic site. The staff today, 175 years after its founding, are dedicated to sharing the histories and legacies of its peoples.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 09:28 PM

Just got around to reading the material in the link provided by Dave and the one provided by mg.
Some of the information is incorrect, i. e. French being the major language at Fort Vancouver, the Kanakas being forced into contracts with HB (so many wanted the employment that the Hawaiian government tried in many ways to limit the numbers leaving), etc.

It is true that the Kanakas had their own locality at the Fort (so did the half-breeds and the Indian employees). Socially, class and racial distinctions were observed by the English and Scots factors and managers throughout much of HB history, although they did provide good wages for the times, and in western Canada provided land for their many half-breed (in Canada, the term is Metís for European plus Indian or, in some writings, if the mixture is Scots-Indian, 'country') official and unofficial employees.
The story of 'country' wives and the Metís is a 'whole nother story', which would add a further, and very complicated digression, to the material here. There are many volumes devoted to this peculiar aspect of western Canadian culture. In Alberta, there are Metís lands similar to the Indian reservations for those Indian-French mixed race citizens who have not assimilated.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: mg
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 09:41 PM

to further digress, there were several Metis on the Lewis and Clark expedition and I think they included fiddle players. mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 10:23 PM

My great-grandfather, Robert Firth (stern looking sucker!), was from Orkney, and like a lot of Orkneymen, hired on with the Hudson's Bay Company around 1850. He was sent by Chief Factor James Douglas at Fort Victoria to survey and assess San Juan Island for raising sheep. Charles Griffin was put in charge of the Belle Vue Farm sheep ranch on San Juan Island. My great-grandfather replaced Griffin in 1861, leased the land from the Hudson's Bay Company, and eventually gained ownership. He raised nine children there, one of whom was my grandfather, Robert Firth Jr. My father, also named Robert Firth, was born on San Juan Island. I have cousins all over the islands.

There were Kanakas on San Juan Island, employed by the Hudson's Bay Company and various locals, and I understand that both Griffin and my great-grandfather relied on them heavily, finding them to be generally reliable, hard workers.

Amazon lists a book entitled Kanaka : The Untold Story of Hawaiian Pioneers in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, by Tom Koppel, HERE, but it appears to be out of print. Maybe a local library could track it down through library loan. Looks like it might be promising.

Some info about the Belle Vue Farm HERE. The article describes my great-grandfather as "a shepherd," but according to other sources, he was considerably more than that implies. I have several books on the history of the San Juan Islands in which my great-grandfather is mentioned prominently, and a park ranger at American Camp informed me that he was head of the whole shebang there for a number of years before the Hudson's Bay Company pulled out after Kaiser Wilhelm I drew the line and gave the San Juan Islands to the United States, ending the infamous "Pig War" (a nine year "war," with English troops garrisoned on the north end of the island and American troops on the south end. The only casualty in the war as the pig).

Incidentally, Stilly River Sage (Maggie Dwyer, John Dwyer's daughter) was a park ranger at English Camp during the Eighties (1980s, that is) and arranged for a bunch of us to come up one weekend and sing for the tourists.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Greg B
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 12:10 AM

Here's one for ya: Here in Bucks County PA, there's a town called
Uhlerstown. "So what?" you ask.

Well...the former name of the town was--- Hawaii! The town
is right on the Delaware canal, and was home to one of the
more prominent builders of canal boats.

If that ain't the fodder for wild speculation about the canaller
from between Easton and Philly who came up with that name, I
don't know what is.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 12:58 AM

Whew!
"Kanaka" by Tom Koppel, used by me for some of the material I quoted, and also recommended by Don Firth, was printed in Canada in 1995 by Whitecap Books and never reprinted, hence has become a collector's item, as I just found out. Three copies listed by Amazon.ca start at $66.70 Can. and one dealer is asking $161.00 Canadian or about $140 U. S.
I also checked abebooks.com and found 3 copies, from US$47.64 to US$59.95. The selling price when it was issued was US$10.95. Maybe I should put my copy away and not use it!

The story told by Don Firth about the establishment of the Belle Vue Sheep Farm is told in some detail by Tom Koppel in "Kanaka."

The famous "pig war" eventually unfolded on San Juan Island, culminating in the awarding of the Island to the United States in 1872 as described by Don.
An incident with the sheep almost started the war some years earlier. As Koppel tells it: "... a Washington Territory sheriff named Barnes was sent ... to seize some of the HBC's sheep (which the Americans claimed had been brought to the island illegally, without customs being paid) and to auction off others to cover taxes .... When Barnes and his men were leaving there was a whoop from the hill and Griffin, together with some twenty Kanakas brandishing knives, were seen charging down toward them. But Barnes men drew their revolvers, so Griffin and the Kanakas beat a hasty retreat." Koppel drew his information in part from David Richardson, 1971, "Pig War Islands," Orca Publishing.

There was another HB post named Victoria in Alberta, Victoria Settlement on the North Saskatchewan River. It later became the village of Pakan. For several years, we had one of the 'river lots' surveyed by HB for their Metís employees, on which one of the habitations built by a Metís employee still stands. It and the chief factor's house of the post are the two oldest houses in Alberta still on their original sites. My interest in the Kanakas arose from this as well as trips to the Islands and visits to the Hawaiian Archives. No Kanakas are mentioned on the Victoria Settlement census that I copied at the Glenbow Archives in Calgary, although they probably crewed on the HB steamer and other boats on the River.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: mg
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 03:51 PM

I have a little song emerging in my brain about them. Nothing fancy...a cross between Groundhog and Barrett's Privateers and perhaps Dance Boatman Dance, although I don't know that song. mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: mg
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 05:09 PM

Here are the words...

Sing Kanaka sing

Sing Kanaka sing
What joy your music brings
Sing for us as loud as you can
Maybe you'll be our shantey man
Sing Kanaka sing

Dance Kanaka dance
The Metis men will give you a chance
They're the ones that can play the fiddle
Up one end and down the middle
Dance Kanaka dance

Climb Kanaka climb
Go up there one more time
In the winter here you'll damn near freeze
When you go to top those cedar trees
Climb Kanaka climb

Dive Kanaka dive
How many piles can you drive
Dive right down to the river bed
While the water flows right over your head
Dive Kanaka dive

Paddle Kanaka paddle
We're halfway to Seattle
We'll soon be reaching Cowlitz Landing
The portage there can be demanding
Paddle Kanaka paddle

Speak Kanaka speak
You've been here over a week
You don't need a teacher or a book
The language here is called Chinook
Speak Kanaka speak

Pray Kanaka pray
That the fever won't take you away
Pray for the babies you left by the sea
In several years you'll be set free
Pray Kanaka pray

Sing Kanaka sing
What joy your music brings
Sing for us as loud as you can
Maybe you'll be our shantey man
Sing Kanaka sing


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 05:15 PM

mg-

Good work!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 05:45 PM

Very good!
One verse (4) struck me because of an incident mentioned in Koppel. The Kanakas at one gold rush site were diving in the water to bring up gold-bearing sands. The other miners took exception because they were not divers and had to dig.
I doubt that the Kanakas dove to drive piles. I think that this is imagination on someones part. But apparently there were witnesses to them diving for gold sands at the diggings.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: mg
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 06:13 PM

I don't know of course but this is what I heard at Fort Vancouver in some historical presentation.... mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 08:08 PM

I believe I pointed out several inaccuracies in the Fort Vancouver Historical Site information, much of which is anecdotal without cited evidence. The statement about Kanakas driving piles underwater is one of them.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: mg
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 01:13 PM

But how do we know? And how did all those piles get put up? There are so many in all the rivers. mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Barry Finn
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 01:30 PM

While living on Maui years ago a woman brought me to a man made pool high up in the hills of Luna Lahaina to go awimming (Luna=above, Lahaina=place of the mercyless sun). It was maybe like a football field but 1/2 to 1/3 the size. It was like a built up (or above ground) swimming pool, I can't remember how high but like a small levee wall surounding it. Maybe you could call it piles of dirt where up country folks went diving. It was plenty deep enough to swim in but I don't think it really was for deep diving though.
When I think of deep diving in Hawaiian terms I think of the Hawaiians that free dive for black coral around 100' or so, give or take a bit.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 02:53 PM

Techniques of pile driving have been known from ancient times. An old easily set-up manual type consists of a triangular frame on which a weight (ram) is lifted by hand and dropped with force on the pile. Materials are simple and would be found aboard any ship or site with lumber. Any ship's carpenter could build one. The ram, if dropped any distance or into water, would have had rods or a casing as guides.

The Ciy Hall of Amsterdam, built on the Dam, is supported on 15569 piles. It is estimated that rams were lifted more than 500,000 times. A sketch of a 17th century manual pile driver is found at this web site: www.ihchh.com/en/company/history

A simple pile driver could be set up by any carpenter (and Kanakas became skilled at the trade of carpenter). The ram may be a metal block, even a stone, but probably a simple cylindrical ram would have been available.

Kanakas could have built the pile driver (if the parts were not readily available on the HB or other ship, and would have performed the labor. Diving would be involved only to check out the bottom and perhaps initial placement, but the actual pile driving would be done by the pile-driving gang and their 'machine'.

This reminds me, the donkey engine was invented in 1881 (and first used in 1884 in Skagit Co., Washington).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 08:31 PM

Lahaina Luna school (Ka Leo Luna) was the first school west of the Rocky Mountains.
Many children from the pioneer west received their secondary education there before going to the eastern States for their college education. A sea voyage to Maui was much quicker and safer than crossing the plains. The school was opened in 1831 and had a big celebration this year for its 175th anniversary.
In 1849 it was taken over by the Hawaiian government and was opened to non-Hawaiians. The first printing press in Hawai'i (still preserved at Lahaina Luna) was set up there in the 1830's and the first maps of the Islands were printed there. These and the first books are printed in Hawaiian.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: pattyClink
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 12:07 PM

If you have time, read "Two years Before the Mast" because there is a great section in it about the author spending a season in California working and living with Kanaka men, processing hides.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: GUEST,Rev
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 02:34 AM

Yes, pattyClink, Dana's Two Years Before the Mast" is the source of the best account of a Kanaka chanteyman, on a Euro-American ship. Known as Mahanna, he is described as singing with a "wild sort of note" that often breaks into a falsetto.

Also it should be mentioned that the laborers at Sutter's Fort on the Sacramento River, which was ground zero for the Gold Rush, were kanakas. Sutter himself even had a Kanaka wife.

Yes, it's a little known aspect of American history that the West Coast was largely settled and "tamed" by Hawaiians.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: mg
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 11:34 PM

I just met a fur trapper who lives in Vancouver WA yesterday. He is a fount of historical knowledge. He drives a UPS-type truck..the new yellow ones...He also does a lot of archiving work. I could probably contact him if anyone was interested. I know his father is a trapper as well..it might be the family trade. mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: GUEST,thurg
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 12:28 AM

Here's a peripherally-related anecdote. In I, Nuligak - autobiography of an Inuit hunter/trapper/trader ca 1890-1930 - Nuligak talks about one particularly hard winter - very cold and little game - he was wandering down the MacKenzie River valley, close to starvation when he met up with, if I remember correctly, three men, a white man, an Indian and - a Fijian. They, like him, were hunting and trapping, but fortunately had a little more food - Nuligak gives no further explanation of the presence of the Fijian. I was surprised that he would even know the term Fijian, and far more bewildered than he apparently by the presence of the Fijian in that remote northern spot. A year or two later, I came across an article in The Beaver about South Sea Islanders working for the HBC in the Vancouver area, and it was mentioned that a few parted company with the Company to try their hand at trapping and trading independently.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: GUEST,Tom Koppel, author of book on Kanakas
Date: 29 Jan 08 - 06:30 PM

Greetings,

I just stumbled upon this old thread. One post said that my book,
Kanaka: The Untold Story of Hawaiian Pioneers in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest (1995) was out of print, and now only available used at outrageous prices.

Not quite true. There was so much interest that I had it reprinted (same printing company, same quality) and now offer it directly to anyone interested for $ 20 plus postage. And I am happy to sign and dedicate it, too. Just let me know. Email me at koppel@saltspring.com

Aloha,
Tom Koppel


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Nick E
Date: 29 Jan 08 - 09:21 PM

wow...mucat continues to amaze


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 08:07 AM

Tom-

Thanks for checking in.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: GUEST,David Heller
Date: 04 May 09 - 07:52 PM

Great thread, thanks so much for all this information. I stumbled across the subject of Kanaka in California doing a little research on the infamous John Sutter. The information posted here has filled in some details of the logic of his travel record. It is known that he left for Hawaii from Oregon, and that he made some economic connections there to develop California. He left the Sandwich Islands with ten Kanaka (eight men and two women) and came to California in 1839 via a stop at Sitka, Alaska. After getting his land grants, his expedition sailed up the Sacramento and was greeted by a large group of Natives intent upon discouraging his progress. One historian feels that the prescence of long-haired, dark-skinned, tattooed Kanaka with Sutter helped him make friends with the Indians. That and his judicious and "magical" use of his cannons. The story goes that rather than train his cannon on those he wanted as friends, he shot his cannons out the opposite side and made trees "disappear"--impressive magic!
He had a horde of indigenous slaves that he apparently treated somewhere between awfully and slightly better than the missions. There is a description of his private army of Miwok and Nisanan and Hawaiians dressed in Russian military uniforms marching to his German commands. Now there is a movie scene I would love to see!
The gold rush stole everything he had built, but at one point he responds to everyone heading to the hills for gold by assembling his mining group of 100 Natives and 50 Kanaka. Easy access to alcohol derails the venture, and he retreated back to his land. An 1850 census shows at least 50 Kanaka living at Kanaka Flats, near the town of Jacksonville. The people of Jacksonvilled noted that the Kanaka often arrived with Indian wives Kanaka. This thread cites a report of 75 Kanaka seen at one diggings. Elswhere it is noted that Kanaka very quietly set up one of the first town in El Dorado County, having first come to California working the ships that plied the hide and tallow trade, later to form communities and farm in the foothills. Kenao was the name of a village in El Dorado county named after one of their leaders. There is even a lost mine story named Kanaka Jack.
I would like to know the maximum number of Kanaka at Sutter's Mill at one time, but I think that I am safe in saying that his "Little Helvetia" hosted a lot of Kanaka/local native family making. There is an ethnographer's thesis here.
Thanks so much for this thread compilation, I have learned so much, and hope I have filled in some of the story of the Kanaka in California.
All of this could be obtained through a yahoo search, or links by request.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 May 09 - 08:40 PM

With the end of kapu (1815-20), when the old Hawaiian social system broke down, many young men were left without a position in the society. The crown (Hawaiian government) let contracts on employment of these men. Although the contracts were for specified periods, some did not return; others merely boarded ships that needed crews and are not included in written contracts or other records of their departure.
The archives in Honolulu have some of the records on the contracted Hawaiians.

Echoing Guest David Heller, there are many stories to be told; we will never know them all.
The Gold Rush country attracted Hawaiians who were not contracted there; some left Hudsons Bay Company (or had already left them), some joined who had stayed on with the cattle industry, and still others either jumped ship or worked passage there. It will be difficult to get accurate estimates of numbers; much of what we 'know' has been passed on verbally or as brief notes in journals.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: GUEST
Date: 04 May 09 - 11:33 PM

Thank Q.
I am so excited to have found this link on the Sutter Kanakas...
www.oha.org/pdf/kwo04/0406/15.pdf found on page 16 of a yahoo search for kanaka indians in california... a very different version of his settling where he did is presented there with his Kanakas playing even more of an important role, and no confrontation with his cannons (that sounded like bullshistory)! This writer has done his research.
One reference claims Sutter had Kanaka wives, including a gift from the Kind of Hawaii. He seems to have had a good working relationship with his Kanakas, and acknowledged that he could not have made it without them.

A Hawaiians in the Fur trade timeline states 'Bolduc claims there are 500 Hawaiians on the Northwest Coast' around 1842-4.

As Q so rightly states, we will never know the whole story but it is fun sharing some of the many details.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaian) chanteymen
From: Barry Finn
Date: 04 May 09 - 11:39 PM

"Kind of Hawaii"

Any explanation of what this referes to. Sounds like a "HapaHaoli" slang.

"That's not the kind, bra"!

Barry


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaiian) chanteymen
From: rich-joy
Date: 05 May 09 - 12:45 AM

Kanakas were also part of Australia's history, from about 1860 - particularly in Queensland, as labour for the sugar cane industry.
Hawaiians were apparently in the minority though, with more people from Melanesia (mainly the Solomon's and Vanuatu), and Polynesia & Micronesia (mainly Samoa, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Loyalty Islands) and who became known as Pacific Islanders or South Sea Islanders.   Though "blackbirding" (or kidnapping) was a common practice in the early years, thereafter "indentured labour" became the system. Some were more "slaves", though it seems that some were not.

A number of Wikipedia pages on these various terms, make interesting reading ....

Cheers,
R-J

PS        of course, the popular shanty "John Kanaka-naka, Too-ri-ay" also springs to mind ....


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaiian) chanteymen
From: Neil D
Date: 05 May 09 - 03:14 AM

I think he meant King of Hawaii. I've been a fan of history since 1st grade.(The 1st book I ever read all by myself was a biography.) What always amazes me is how much history I learn on Mudcat, and not just music history. I hadn't known about the place Hawaiians had in the early history of the Pacific regions of North America. So thanks to all you historians, amateur or otherwise, who contribute to this and similar threads.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaiian) chanteymen
From: GUEST,Tom Koppel (Author of the book KANAKA)
Date: 05 May 09 - 05:14 AM

For those who have followed the history of Hawaiians on the Northwest Coast, here is another great source of information, both general and about specific individuals with their family names.

My book, KANAKA, was an affordable, non-academic look at the migration of Hawaiians to what is now the US Pacific Northwest and Canada's province of British Columbia. Although officially "out of print," I have copies that I am happy to sign, dedicate and sell for $ 20 plus postage. koppel@saltspring.com

However, now there is also a very well-researched and scholarly book about the Kanaka experiece and history on the Northwest Coast. The title is Leaving Paradise: Indigenous Hawaiians in the Pacific Northwest, 1787-1896, written by Jean Barman and Bruce McIntyre Watson, and published by U. of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, 2006. The main text (by Jean Barman, now retired, Prof. from the U. of British Columbia) is an authoritative and detailed account of the migration and settlement of Hawaiians in the Northwest. The appendix, by Bruce Matson, gives a capsule account of the careers of every individual Hawaiian known to have come to Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, including when they came, where they served (at forts and outposts), when they married (often after leaving the fur trade) etc.

I highly reccommend this book by Barman and Watson. If you do not want to buy a copy (it's a bit expensive), see if you can borrow it though a library.

Tom Koppel


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaiian) chanteymen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 May 09 - 08:01 PM

The Barman and Watson also is out in paperback, c. $25.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaiian) chanteymen
From: GUEST
Date: 06 May 09 - 01:07 AM

Thank you gentleman for pouncing gently upon my king!/kind typo.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaiian) chanteymen
From: Barry Finn
Date: 06 May 09 - 02:01 AM

& my thanks too Neil. "King" makes far more sense than "kind" which in the Hawaiaan slang (not pidgin) can cover a multitude of meanings

Mahalo

Barry


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaiian) chanteymen
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 06 May 09 - 04:25 PM

I only enter this note because I recall that Bob Shane who, along his Kingston Trio partner, Dave Guard, grew up in Hawaii and was educated at Punahou. Bob is still living in Phoenix, with some health issues, but still musically involved. I wonder if he has seen any of this...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaiian) chanteymen
From: GUEST,David
Date: 07 May 09 - 01:24 AM

For the sake of historical accuracy...where Sutter got his seeds was unknown, but it is clear from this 1846 first-hand report that he wasn't known for his "kind":
""I saw near the fort a small patch of hemp, which had been sown as an experiment, in the spring, and had not been irrigated. I never saw a ranker growth of hemp in Kentucky""
http://boitano.net/column/?cat=3
There is historical record of the Spanish picking up hemp grown by slaves at the Missions in Southern California in the early 1800's.

Lest I further fray this thread....
Kanaka gold miners were the first to find nuggets at Kanaka Creek in 1850 in the Alleghany mining district of California starting a huge rush to that area. A Kanaka made the nugget discovery that started the rush to the Downieville area. The story goes that a nugget fell out of a trout caught by the Kanaka as he prepared or cooked it for the Downie party. Two of the Kings sons came to mine gold in California, Prince Lot and Prince Alexander.
A female commentator from the mid 1800's describes the sound of the voices of all the nationalities heard during a day at a mining camp.'The liquid sweetness of the Kanaka'is how she described the music of the Kanaka language.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaiian) chanteymen
From: GUEST,David
Date: 09 May 09 - 02:37 AM

Here is a description of a Maidu Hula Group keeping their traditions going :
"The astounding Hui O Ke Ao Malamalama Dancers from Shingle Springs Rancheria dazzled the audience in the late afternoon. Formed in 1997 by Rick "Kupapalani" Adams, the dance group members consist of descendants from Sacramento Valley Natives and Hawaiians who come over in the 1800's. There are now 27 family members and associates, most between the ages of 4 and 18, dancing with the group. Shingle Springs Rancheria is a Nisenan Maidu community with deep Hawaiian roots, and located as it is in the middle of a luxury housing development, is a social, cultural and geographic marvel. Hui O Ke Ao Malamalama proved that you don't have to come from Hawaii to do the hula and have the aloha spirit, it's in the genes!' http://www.turtletrack.org/Issues03/Co09062003/CO_09062003_Maidu_Hawaii.htm


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Kanaka (Hawaiian) chanteymen
From: Art Thieme
Date: 09 May 09 - 11:10 PM

...and I was just today listening to a great concert by Pete Seeger that I have on tape---February 1979 at the P.A.C. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He did the chanty "John Kanaka-naka John" with an unnamed female singer. It was a fine rendition. (I would even say that it was an extraordinary rendition, but that means something completely different now!)

What an extraordinary thread you folks have made here. Thanks so much.

Art Thieme


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