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,1752'8&7,21 On November 1, 2005, I received a call from Sea Engineering, Inc., a coastal and ocean engineering firm based at Makai Research Pier in Waimānalo. They asked me if I would be willing to do an ocean recreation assessment for them in Waikīkī. Sea Engineering explained that the owners of the Sheraton Waikīkī Hotel were considering a beach restoration project in front of their property, and they had asked Sea Engineering to do an environmental impact statement. My contribution to the EIS would be to identify the ocean recreation users in that area of Waikīkī, conduct interviews with them, and determine if the project would have any impacts on their activities. I was two months away from retiring from the Honolulu Fire Department after a thirty-three-year career as a firefighter, and Sea Engineering’s project was the type of consulting work I had planned to do in my retirement. I accepted their offer. My first step in shoreline assessments is to review the existing literature for information on the area, which helps to determine what activities occurred historically at the project site. I went first to Bishop Museum Press’s Sites of Oahu, by Elspeth Sterling and Catherine Summers, which, although it was published in 1962, is still one of the best historical reference books for the island of O‘ahu. I was surprised to find there was no information at all on Waikīkī. In their foreword the authors offered this brief explanation: “No information is given for Waikīkī or makai of Beretānia Street because this area should be the subject of a separate study.” Sterling and Summers unfortunately never got around to the separate study. From years of personal research on Hawai‘i’s beaches, including Waikīkī, I knew that the Hawaiian name for Gray’s Beach, the small pocket of sand in the study area, was Kawehewehe, so I decided to try another avenue for information, a website called Ho‘olaupa‘i. In 2001, Dwayne Steele, Oswald Stender,andPuakeaNogelmeierstartedaprojecttoscanmorethanahundred ,1752'8&7,21  years of historic Hawaiian-language newspapers. Named Ho‘olaupa‘i, or “to multiply or increase,” as in knowledge of Hawaiian culture, the pilot project was funded by Richard Dwayne “Nākila” Steele, a noted philanthropist who, after his retirement from Grace Pacific Corporation in 1989, dedicated the rest of his life to the perpetuation of Hawaiian culture. He sponsored Hawaiian-language books, commissioned the production and recording of Hawaiian musicians, assisted with the founding of two public charter schools in Kekaha, Kaua‘i, for native-speaking Hawaiian children of the Ni‘ihau community, and spearheaded the funding to digitize the Hawaiianlanguage newspapers. Ho‘olaupa‘i is now a joint project of Awaiaulu Inc. and Bishop Museum in collaboration with Alu Like Inc., Hale Kuamo‘o, and Kamehameha Press. Its website is, or it can be found online using the keyword “nupepa,” which is “newspaper” (nūpepa) in Hawaiian. Ho‘olaupa‘i has a “search” feature, so anyone can search this invaluable online archive of Hawaiian history and language. To date, approximately 10 percent of the Hawaiian-language newspapers from 1834 to 1948 are searchable. I went to the Ho‘olaupa‘i site, typed “Kawehewehe” into the search feature, and was amazed at the number of entries that came up. As I read through them, I discovered that Kawehewehe was not only the name of a beach, but also the name of a coconut grove, a surf site, a spring, and a small community. I did more searches on other Waikīkī place names, including surf sites, and quickly realized that the Hawaiian-language newspapers are a wealth of invaluable historical information. I decided to collect as much information as I could about traditional Hawaiian surfing and especially its connection to Waikīkī, and that was the beginning of Hawaiian Surfing: Traditions from the Past. The vast collection of literature on surfing began with the journals of Captain James Cook on his voyage to Hawai‘i, which spanned his arrival in 1778 and his return to the islands in 1779. Cook’s journals were followed by the writings of other explorers, missionaries, travelers, magazine writers, newspaper writers, authors, and historians. During the twentieth century, surf historians scoured every source of information they could find to describe the earliest days of the sport, the days prior to 1900 when Hawaiians still surfed exactly as they had for hundreds of years before the impact of Western...


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