SEVEN ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEWS WITH CAROLINE KULIAIKANUʻUKAPU WILCOX DELIMA FARIAS
A Forthcoming Project
This series of oral history interviews with Caroline Kuliaikanuʻukapu Wilcox DeLima Farias was conducted in Hawaiʻi between 1992 and 1993. The following list of interviews and excerpts from the introduction and are a precursor to publishing both the transcripts of the interviews, as well as the recordings themselves. The print and audio editions of this book will offer different supporting content. While both provide short summaries prior to each interview, the print edition has an index for each. In addition, the print edition and the Companion Guidebook to the audio edition provide: tables of contents; brief summaries for pronouncing the Hawaiian language; annotated glossaries; and, master indexes for all seven of the interviews. As the audio edition will not have page numbers, its master index will indicate which sections of the book contain indexed terms. Also, the audio book will offer one feature not included in the print version—notes I recorded when Carol joined my husband, (John Burrows-Johnson) and me on a trip to Mount Haleakalā in May of 1993.
Interview I, Oct. 30, 1992 Hawaiian Quilting in the Maui Wilcox Family
Interview II A, May 5, 1993 Trinity Episcopal Church by-the-Sea
Interview II B, May 5, 1993 On the Grounds of the Koa House
Interview III May 26, 1993 From Maui to Oʻahu
Interview IV A, May 27, 1993 John Hanalei DeLima and Life After Marriage
Interview IV B, May 27, 1993 Hawaiian Quilting and Other Handicrafts
Interview V A, July 28, 1993 Johanna (Pāpaka-) Niʻau Wilcox
Interview V B, July 28, 1993 Frances ʻUlualoha Wilcox DeLima
Interview VI, Aug. 5, 1993 Holidays in ʻUlupalakua
Interview VII A, Nov. 24, 1993 Pāʻina
Interview VII B, Nov. 24, 1993 Planning for the Future
A LIFE WELL LIVED
These interviews are observations on childhood, family, and events that reflect the inner spirit of the interviewee, who lived from 1923 to 2001. Caroline Kuliaikanuʻukapu Wilcox DeLima Farias was a descendant of Hawaiian aliʻi and a grandniece of Robert W. K. Wilcox, a leader of the unsuccessful 1895 Hawaiian royalist rebellion that strove to restore Queen Liliʻiuokalani to the throne of a sovereign Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. My knowledge of the facts of Carol’s life rests on our many conversations during the years of our friendship, as well as her family records and the seven interviews that comprise this book. The recordings of most of our conversations were conducted in a sitting room filled with antique koa furniture, heirloom furnishings, books, and photographs. Usually clad in a shortee or floor-length mu`umu`u, Auntie Carol’s enthusiasm for life was demonstrated in her animated dialogue with the many people she greeted. The warmth of her voice was punctuated by frequent nods and a jangling of bracelets made of carved wood, jade, or gold engraved with distinctive Hawaiian lettering.
* Please note that the indications of endnotes changed format in the transfer from the manuscript...sorry.
EXCERPTS FROM THE INTRODUCTION...
Caroline Kuliaikanuʻukapu Wilcox DeLima Farias
Education is highly prized in Hawaiʻi [i] and one of the highlights of Carol’s childhood was attending ʻUlupalakua Elementary School.[ii] While appreciating all aspects of her education, Carol especially enjoyed participating in theatrical performances directed by principal Edwin Tanner.[iii] Unfortunately, there was only an elementary school in Carol’s area of Maui. Unless a teenager had relatives with whom to live in the larger cities of Maui, or in Honolulu, schooling usually stopped at eighth grade. This was particularly true for girls, since further education was deemed more vital for boys. Despite her desires, Carol was not enabled to attend high school when she graduated from eighth grade. Instead, she accepted a position to care for the home and son of Edwin Tanner and his wife, who were moving to Kula, Maui. She later worked for staff members of the Kula Sanitarium. Her last job on Maui was serving as a cook for Foster and Lei Robinson (of the family that owns the island of Ni'ihau).
At that time, Carol was studying hula with Ida K. Kapohakimohewa who was a public schoolteacher and a mele composer.[iv] When public performances brought attention to Carol’s dancing, the Robinsons’ connections in the entertainment industry[v] yielded the chance for her to perform in Honolulu. Soon Carol was a featured dancer of hulaʻawana at the live shows of Hawaii Calls,[vi] a weekly radio program that was broadcast from the Moana Hotel on Waikīkī Beach. Audiences of locals and tourists enjoyed the vibrantly staged show highlighting hula and instrumental and vocal Hawaiian music, as well as appearances by well-known international entertainers. Carol’s specialty performances included “I’d like to see Some More of Samoa.” [vii] Of its continuing popularity, she commented that the song’s lyrics reflected herself with the words, “hair so black hanging down her back.”
Carol was dancing when the radio program aired as usual in the early evening of December 6, 1941—the day before the onset of World War II that began with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and other parts of Oʻahu. Carol was not able to return home to Maui for some time because of the interruptions in inter-island transportation. During the war, she worked at a cafeteria at the Pearl Harbor Shipyard under the direction of Lt. Commander William Herbert Abbey. Despite having been a professional entertainer for several years, Carol commented on feeling shy about serving meals to such a large volume of servicemen. Commander Abbey often hired her, and other local entertainers, to perform when ships arrived at U. S. Naval Station Pearl Harbor. [viii] These sources of income allowed her to send hundreds of dollars to her mother each month...
FROM THE INTRODUCTION'S BIOGRAPHIES OF THE WILCOX SISTERS...
Johanna (Pāpaka-) Niʻau[i] Wilcox [1898-1974] A Wilcox Sister; Carol's second cousin
Carol described her Auntie Johanna (also known as Koana) as a tough little Hawaiian kid with a hard face and large nose. Despite her rough appearance and loud baritone voice, Carol said she was very sweet. As a child, Johanna attended Kīhei Elementary School. From 1910 to 1914, she attended Kamehameha School for Girls in Honolulu, where she was forbidden to speak Hawaiian. Johanna next attended Punahou Academy on a working scholarship, with participation in their glee club being her only non-academic activity. Following her 1917 graduation,[ii]She joined the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), a unit of the U.S. Naval Reserve and served as a Yeomanette at Pearl Harbor for two years.[iii]The secretarial and administrative skills she obtained in that position served as the foundation of her subsequent 43-year career in government. Her work included positions with agencies of the Territory of Hawai`i, the U. S. Military Government in Hawai`i during the Second World War, and later, the Transportation Departments of the Territory and then the State of Hawai'i. [iv]
Johanna is noted for becoming the first woman to register to vote in the Territory of Hawaiʻi on August 30, 1920, when suffrage was granted to the women of the United States. The timing of this act of the U.S. Congress allowed women to vote in that year’s presidential election. She sometimes described her first venture into politics as an advertising ploy. Late at night on the twenty-ninth of August, a reporter from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser newspaper escorted Johanna from her Waikīkī apartment to the old City Hall. At fifteen minutes after midnight, she was sworn in as the first woman voter in the Territory. To encourage the participation of other women, the event was given front-page coverage in publications throughout the Islands.[v]
FROM THE ANNOTATED GLOSSARY...
Halstead, John Joseph, Capt. [1808-1887] — Captain Halstead was the maternal great-grandfather of the Wilcox Sisters. Born in New York, he trained as a doctor before becoming a whaler. He arrived in Lahaina, Maui, (then the capital of the Kingdom of Hawai'i) aboard the ship the Abigail in 1838. He quickly earned the affection and respect of the Hawaiian people who called him Johnnie Li'ili'i (little). The personable and multi-talented man became a respected carpenter, craftsman, and merchant in the Islands. After accepting a long-term contract as a carpenter to King Kamehameha III, he built the Hale Piula Palace and a church in Lahaina, as well as furnishings for the King and government. His personal business initially centered on a cabinet wareroom in Lahaina. In addition to furniture ranging from a cradle and letter box to tables, cabinets, bureaus, and coffins (often in the Empire style), he offered his customers lumber, clothing and hardware. After a short period of time, he converted his wareroom into the Hawaiian Hotel, an elegant destination for ships’ captains that featured a bowling saloon and billiard tables. At the start of the California goldrush, he moved into farming, especially potatoes which grew well on the slopes of Mt. Haleakalā and could be sold for exorbitant prices to miners in California. Capt. Halstead also designed and built homes for the elite families of Maui, including the famous Koa House in the seaside village of Kalepolepo Maui (now incorporated into Kīhei). In addition to the massive structure serving as his family home, the mercantile store on its ground floor met the provisioning needs of visiting whaling ships.
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