University of Hawaii at Manoa Library

Home: The Annexation Of Hawaii: A Collection Of Document



hawnpac@hawaii.edu
(808) 956-8264

Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

[ Previous Page ] -- [ View PDF ] -- [ View in MS Word ] -- [ Next Page ]

              HAWAIIAN   ISLANDS.	775

rupted forms, exalted much of the higher elements of character; hence a good degree of civilization 
became possible under these religions. This was also true of the earlier Brahminism of the Vedas. There is 
strong evidence that these religions were all corruptions from an original Monotheism, retaining something 
of that earlier religions recognition of the righteousness and benevolence of the Heaven-Father, the 
Dyaus-Pitar, Zeus-Pater, or Jupiter of the Aryan races. It is most noticeable how, from debased races, these 
nations imported successively the worship of evil gods - the Baals, Molochs, Astartes, Kalis, gods of lust, 
cruelty, falsehood, debauchery. These fastened as parasites upon the earlier and cleaner Polytheisms, and so 
corroded and poisoned the social and political life of those great nations.
Whether, as Fornander maintains, any traces of an ancient monotheism can be discerned in the Polynesian 
Pantheon, may be considered doubtful. It is certain, however, that the prevailing characteristics attributed 
to even the highest gods, such as Fornander's Trinity of Ku, Kane, and Kanaloa, were wretchedly evil and 
unclean. There are not merely strong tendencies to animalism and cruelty, with frequent lapses into crimes 
of lust and revenge, such as disfigure Greek mythology. These gods of the Hawaiians become absolute 
embodiments of bestiality and malignity, like Moloch and other gods of the Canaanites.
The impure and malignant essence of Hawaiian deities is visibly embodied in their images. In contrast to 
the personal beauty of the Greek gods, the aim and the effort of the carver is to depict an extreme of 
malignity and sensuality. The lineaments are made as revolting and horrific as the artist can combine them 
from vicious types of animal savagery, such as the shark or the boar. The first impression is a just one, that a 
people who worshiped such deities as these images represent could not be otherwise than profoundly 
perverted in their ethical sentiments.
The various legends of the chief gods abound in attributes of the most excessive bestiality. They are 
generally incapable of being printed without extensive expurgation. A loathsome filthiness is not mere 
incident, but forma the groundwork of character, not merely of the great hog-god Kamapuaa, but even of the 
more humanlike Ku and Kane of the chief Trinity.
The moral ideas of the worshipers of such gods could not fail to suffer extreme perversion. Justice and purity 
were in contempt. Cruelty and lust 'were exalted into religion. The late Matthew Arnold, eliminating 
personality from the idea of the God of Christendom, defined Deity as "The stream of tendency in the 
universe that makes for righteousness." If we could eliminate these horrific personalities from the Hawaiian 
Pantheon, we might well count the ideal residuum to stand for the stream of tendency that makes for all 
wickedness. It was an embodied diabolism.
As a shaping force upon character, and a moving force upon conduct, this diabolic religion takes its 
energy from sorcery. Sorcery brings these evil gods down as living active powers interposing in all 
circumstances of life. By the arts of the kahunas the people wore hold, and, to a considerable extent, are still 
held, in habitual fear of these powerful gods and their subordinate demons. Their lives are continually 
threatened by them. Every internal sense of illness is the deadly touch, sensibly felt, of a god. So the 
people were held in abject slavery to their gods, and to the priests who could influence them. Slaves to 
such unclean beings, they tend to be like them; their moral sentiments are overturned; evil becomes good 
and good evil. Lewdness, prostitution, indecency, drunkenness, being god-like, are exalted into virtues. 
Recent practical illustrations of this are not lacking.
One of the foul florescences of the great poison tree of idolatry is the hula. This is most intimately 
connected with the whole system, and forms an essential part of 'its services, just as sacred music does of 
Christian worship. The hula dances are habitually idolatrous in practice, having their special patron gods, 
whom the dancers invoke and worship. The chief posturings and movements of the hulas are pantomimes of 
unnameable lewdness, illustrated and varied with elaborate art, and accompanied with chants of unspeakable 
foulness of diction and description. This is the sacred music of idolatry, its opera and its drama. The 
multitudes of men, women, and children who throng to these royal hula operas there drink in the heathen 
ethics of social life in unmitigated directness and grossness, made sensational with vivid pantomime of 
beastliness, and embellished with foul wit and jest in song, extolling and dramatizing impurity. Against 
such schooling, it must be a powerful civilizing force that can make head and redeem any Hawaiian homes 
from becoming brothels.
(7) Wifeless Chinese.-This is an evil of recent growth, which acts most perniciously upon the social life of 
Hawaiians. There are some 20,000 Chinamen of the lowest class, without their women, distributed 
throughout the islands in close contact with the natives, and in many districts outnumbering the Hawaiian 
males. The effect is necessarily very destructive to the purity of native families, although not more so than 
the presence of a similar number of unmarried whites would be. There is no doubt but that many native 
households in all parts of the country are Maintained in comparative affluence by the intimacy of Chinese 
with their females.

Return to Top

Terms of Use  |  UH Mānoa  |  UH System  |  Ask Us
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Library  |  2550 McCarthy Mall  |  Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 USA
808-956-7214 (Reference)  |  808-956-7203 (Circulation)  |  808-956-7205 (Administration)
808-956-5968 (fax)  |  library@hawaii.edu