Hawai’i, Hukilau

Speaker is from Honolulu, HI; he is a 60-year-old Asian man with an eighth-grade education. The interview took place in 1967 by DARE’s founder and former chief editor, Frederic G. Cassidy.

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CASSIDY: Uh, I hear that there’s a Hawaiian custom of something called a hukilau.

INFORMANT: Hukilau, hukilau is, uh, they have a rope, end of the rope they have a net there.

CASSIDY: Mm-hmm.

INFORMANT: They surround it, a certain place, and they drag the net.

CASSIDY: They surround it. You mean they carry the net out?

INFORMANT: Carry it, yeah, uh, huh.

CASSIDY: Uh, how do they, i-,  is there something to keep the net floating?

INFORMANT: Yeah, sometimes those, uh, floaters, uh, floating. Some leave a [leader] in the bottom and they drag it, the netting.

CASSIDY: What do the floats, what are the floats made of?

INFORMANT: The float made of those, uh, some coco- coconut, uh, dried coconut, I guess.

CASSIDY: Oh, dried coconut. {[That’s a good one, circle that.]

SECOND INFORMANT: Oh yes,} mm-hmm.

CASSIDY: Uh, and that floats the top of the net?

INFORMANT: Top of the net.

CASSIDY: Now the word lau means “leaf” doesn’t it?

INFORMANT: Hukilau, lau’s yah, yah lau’s “leaf.”

CASSIDY: Alright, well now the, the, where did the “leaf” come in in this hukilau?

INFORMANT: Hukilau—the leaves, you know, these on at the top, top of your rope, so the, there, when they pull, the fish are gonna not jump over the rope.

CASSIDY: The ropes, the, the, uh, the leaves keep the fish from jumping over? Do they scare them {or what?

INFORMANT: Scare them, they scare them away. So they want to go on in the water, see. When [xx] go on in the water there. They would go to the net. They have a pocket on the net.

CASSIDY: They have a pocket on the net. And the bottom of the net then—

INFORMANT: Bottom of the net they have a pocket.

CASSIDY: Mm-hmm. It, a lot of them must have some kind of sinks to make it sink.

INFORMANT: Sinks, uh, lead, they have a lead.

CASSIDY: Oh, they have lead on it, I see. Then, uh, uh, somebody goes out and puts the net [out] around.

INFORMANT: Yeah, there’re two of them, the boat—

CASSIDY: With the boat.

INFORMANT: —and the two boats that goes out, [xx] all around.

CASSIDY: And then, uh, who pulls it in?

INFORMANT: Well, they have a lot of guy—uh, on the shores about forty, fifty guys there pull that rope up.

CASSIDY: Ah, and, uh, they must have a pretty big school of fish there.

INFORMANT: Yeah, once in a while they have a nice school, school, right.

CASSIDY: And then, uh, they pull them all in, and the fish don’t, are scared to jump out so they {get caught.

INFORMANT: No, they all end up, uh, on the net. They, they get caught in the net.

CASSIDY: I suppose the top of the net comes in sooner than the bottom so they, if they do try to go out they’re in that pocket.

INFORMANT: Yeah, they have a big one, uh, you know about six or seven guys swimming on it, around the net to, to watching how the fish going.

CASSIDY: Oh, I see.

INFORMANT: Then, uh, cha-, chasing at the hole.

CASSIDY: Uh huh, well, about how much fish do they get out of a good haul of those?

INFORMANT: Once I saw a [xx]—they caught about, about a ton I guess of those, uh, akule. Oh, they were nice [xx].

CASSIDY: What’s akule?

INFORMANT: Mmm, akule—some kinda, you know, the [Polynese] call akule akule.  [Japanese] call it [hajiji?]