Available now - unframed black and white Hawaiian prints of the early surfers of the Outrigger Canoe Club, Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head, mainly in the 1920 and 1930's. These prints are taken from very old, original photographs - the quality is not as good as modern photos, but only adds to their authenticity and character. There are also some cards (with envelopes) that have black and white prints from the early days of surfing in Waikiki with photos of the Duke, the Outrigger Canoe Club, Tom Blake and the Kahanamoku brothers.
Hawaii is a true melting pot of various races. Before the start of the 1800s the islands were composed largely of original Hawaiians. Later in that century plantation workers were brought in from other countries - China, Portugal, Japan, Korea and The Philippines. Over the years intermarriage was common and led to the extreme diversity of the local inhabitants. The wearing of the Aloha or Hawaiian shirt is a "unifying symbol of the aloha spirit, a major theme in Hawaii representing goodwill within a diverse community" - see the Art of The Aloha Shirt, by Browne & Arthur, from which much of this information is taken. The Hawaiian shirt is currently the premier textile export of the Hawaii manufacturing industry. They are also manufactured in many other countries such as China and Indonesia. Traditionally they have a left hand breast pocket with the pattern on the shirt carrying continuously over the pocket and also traditionally the buttons are made from coconut shell. The traditional Hawaiian clothing designs began on garments made of kapa - fabric made from the bark of the mulberry tree, which, with a lot of work eventually became a fine soft fabric. There was a wide range of beautiful colours and patterns. This art died out in the late 1800s, well before the first Hawaiian (Aloha) shirts were manufactured.
The 'tapa' patterns that can be seen on shirts from the middle of the last century were actually taken from Samoan tapa. It was also made from the mulberry tree bark, but was very different to that of Hawaii. Samoan tapa was still being made and exported to Hawaii when the making of Hawaiian kapa had long since ceased. Shirts arrived in Hawaii with the arrival of Westerners - sailors, traders and missionaries and later with American businessmen - and the influence of the many Asian immigrants led to a further development in styles and fabrics. Many of the floral and more brightly coloured Hawaiian shirts were inspired by early Tahitian prints which are still standards. In Hawaii aloha shirts are considered formal wear in business and government, usually worn with business trousers, in place of the Western suit. Obviously this is much more suitable for the Hawaiian climate. The subtle (inside out) printed Hawaiian shirts are often worn by the locals where the tourists will mostly opt for the brighter Hawaiian shirts which are also the type more commonly exported to other countries. Some are pictures from the past with old Hawaiian scenes and flowers from the early to mid-twentieth century. The Aloha or Hawaiian shirt is a symbol of the aloha spirit.
Book Review from the May/June 06 Issue of Australian Longboarding:
"The Eddie book is obviously about the famous Hawaiian surfer Eddie Aikau. He tragically died trying to save his fellow sailors on the Hokule'a, a huge ocean-going catamaran retracing the earliest of oceanic voyages This book relates that tale and also contains other amazing stories about the man who stood as lifeguard at Waimea Bay for so many years, and "took on it's fiercest waves".
Eddie Would Go is a comprehensive story of Eddie Aikau, a Hawaiian hero, written by Stuart Holmes Coleman. "This is the only biography of one of Hawaii's greatest heroes. Eddie Aikau was a humble man who was larger than life. As a surfer, he rode the biggest waves in the world; as a lifeguard he saved hundreds of lives from the North Shore's treacherous waters; and as a proud Hawaiian, he sacrificed his life to save his fellow sialors aboard the voyaging canoe Hokulele'a ..........it also tells the story of modern Hawaii and Eddie's role in the Hawaiian Renaissance during the 1970s. The book is based on numerous interviews with family and friends, along with Hawaii's leading watermen and scholars, and Coleman weaves together their memories in an exciting and informative story. By exploring his legendary life and legacy, this book will show why Eddie has become such an enduring icon in Hawaii and the surfing world." Each year, if the surf is big enough, a contest is held in Hawaii for big surf riders, in his memory.
The Duke book is about another even more legendary Hawaiian, Duke Kahanamoku, and is a must for any surfer's library. Although a very small book (14 x 16 cm), every left-hand page carries an amazing photo of the man or his times. The biography is written by Sandra Kimberley Hall, an Australian who was taught to swim by the Duke when she was just five years old, and as she writes, " ... had the privilege to know the Kahanomoku family all my life". It's a wonderful read."
This is a beautiful little book with a foreword by Wilmer C. Morris who the Duke also taught to swim when he was five years old and who says "this world celebrity remained true to his old-fashioned upbringing and the values learned in his youth. He was always hones and humble, modestly aware of his impact on people. At his core he was Hawaiian". He describes him as a magnificent Polynesian, a natural leader and the ultimate authority when conflicts arose on Waikiki Beach. His 20 years of Olympic competition put Hawaii on the map. This book is an interesting story of the Duke's life, Hawaiian history with photos of Hawaiian royalty, the Duke, Hawaii in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the boys fro the Outrigger Canoe Club, Waikiki, Diamond Head and more. His influence has spread around the world of surfing and surfers - his name lives on.