Tombstones at the Ewa Plantation Cemetery

This is an update on the Ewa plantation cemetery that I had written about in June (Hawaii Sugar Plantation)

Where are the graves? Only one lonely memorial.

When I first went to the plantation graveyard, grass grew so high that I could not see the tombstones. I thought they had all been removed. I could only think of all the hard work, trials and tribulations that these immigrants suffered to only end up forgotten.

Then a few months back while having breakfast at the Zippy’s restaurant across from the graveyard I got a pleasant surprise.

My friend and I were gabbing away as we walked to the car. I hadn’t even given the graveyard a second thought until we drove out of the parking lot that faced the cemetery. I was shocked. All the graveyard had been clipped and cleaned.

There are headstones as early as 1896 and the graveyard has been registered with the State Historical Society. But there has been nobody that is responsible for the care and upkeep of it. Too bad with all the money that was made  harvesting sugar, the big cats could not find it in their deep pockets to provide for a perpetual care for those people who worked themselves to the bone, ended up with permanently bent backs and suffered  abuse   and ended there days here to be lost in a blanket of weeds and just a whisper in the wind.

But someone has taken it upon his or her self to do something about the condition. And these are the results of what I saw that day.

This is the same memorial after the cemetery had been cared for. I was so surprised at all of the graves around it.

I even found signs of visitors. I was elated to see that some of these people were not forgotten

These were the graves that surrounded the one with the flowers.

Look at the dates on this marker. It speaks volumes as to what this mother must have suffered. I wonder if she was one of the many women who had to work and give birth in the field. I imagine her with a little bundle wrapped and slung over her back as she stayed hunched over working in the unbearable heat to line some fat cats pocket. She truly sacrificed. This was a beautiful tomb stone that was erected by what must have been a very loving family.

I’m not sure what was going on here but I would like to think that someone came to share a bottle and conversation with the person buried here.

This soul received a beautiful orchid lei.

And this was my favorite marker. I don’t know who it belonged to but it fits perfectly into this sad setting.

If you would like to read more about this area here is a very interesting site to go to. It is a request for money to help preserve the Plantation area. It is full of the history of those times and is very informative.

Ewa Historical Society

Part 4 of The Waipahu Plantation Village

The Portuguese Arrive

It’s Halloween evening. You’ve been scaring people all night and your tired. You take a break to sit on the front porch of this house. It was once the house of a Portuguese family who worked on one of the sugar Plantations.

The Portuguese were the luckier of the plantation workers. They were considered white. On the island of Maderia there was a blight that was destroying the vinyards so many farmers took the opportunity to come to Hawaii. Unlike many of the other nationalities that immigrated to work on the plantations the portuguese were allowed to bring their families with them.

Because they were of the lighter race many of them were chosen to be lunas or foremen. It was not unusual for these lunas to use whips and physical force on the laborers. But this was not true of all. But it gives you an idea of what it was like to work from 6:00 AM to to 4:30 PM.

Upon newly arriving many of the different nationalities lived in crowded and unsanitary conditions. The houses that you see here were not what they would have arrived to. It was over time that the workers were able to improve their surroundings.

Living Room of the Portuguese Home 

Many of the Homes Had Some Type of Religious Shrine in Their Living Rooms

Kitchen in the Portuguese Home

Outside Oven

The portuguese were famous for their breads. And many of them after leaving the plantations started up their own bakeries. Most famous of the breads, we call Portuguese sweet bread or Pao Doce. Here is a wonderful website that has the recipe for the bread if you would like to try.
My kids are part Portuguese and I remember my mother in law saying that they would bake the bread with an egg in the middle. I’ve never seen that. In fact the Portuguese sweet bread you get now days has no comparison with that of the past generations.
Getting back to the front porch. My friend, who was sitting and resting, sees a little girl in a white dress walking along the dark path by herself. She called out to the child. Where is your mother? You shouldn’t be out by yourself. The little girl looked at her and skipped off.
Later that evening when all the scary cast came together and all the visitors to the “Haunted Plantation” had headed home, stories were told. One story was about the portuguese house. ” A child had died in the home” someone had said. The description of the child was given as she was often seen.
My friend said, “I saw that Child.”

Did she?

Anyway if you would like to read more about the Portuguese in Hawaii here is a site you can check out.
And if you would like to find out more about the Halloween Haunted Plantation here is their website.

Waipahu Sugar Plantation Village

 This particular series is from another blog I have and thought that those of you who have not seen it would enjoy reading about the Plantation Village

Part 1 of The Waipahu Plantation Village

The clock says 10 AM. I’ve got till 1:30 before picking up my grandson at school. Last minute I decide to tour the Plantation Village fifteen minutes from my house. My car winds down the short curvy road and descends into the parking lot. I head for the office to pay for the tour.

As she hands me my ticket, the woman at the desk takes me to a small curtained area and turns on a TV and puts in a video that’s she suggest I watch before I take my tour.

The clock is ticking and I’m getting cold sitting in the air-conditioned area. Since I am familiar with what the tape is talking about I decide to take a look around the museum before the tour guide takes us out to the houses.

As I leave the video area the guide approaches me and we join the other tourist waiting to take the tour. I’m happy as he enters the museum as I was afraid I would not have time to see it after we finished our tour.

But as it turned out we were given a lecture on the order in which the immigrants came to Hawaii. Now I have nothing against that, it was just that the clock was ticking and I was not sure we would make it to the village itself before I had to leave as we stayed in the museum for half an hour.

I snapped these photos of the clothing that the sugar workers wore into the fields as the lecture went on

Perhaps these are a container for water and a lunch pail. The guide didn’t know as he started to lead us out of the museum and I didn’t have time to read any signs

I had to make the choice take photos or listen as we were moving out of the museum. I snapped photos as we quickly exited out.

The fabrics for these gowns worn in the 1920’s were quite beautiful. I thought that the immigrants that worked in the fields had no money because it all went to the company store. So I’m not sure if these were actually worn by the immigrant brides. I didn’t have time to look at the information on the gowns.

Detail on one of the gowns

Chinese immigrants who would soon be working in the sugar cane fields

A Chinese Immigrant family

Then there were the Hawaiians who were taken from their lands only to become laborers for the sugarcane growers who managed to take over.

The Hawaiians were once superb agriculturist. Captain Cook was impressed with how large and healthy their plants grew. When the plantations sprang up they told the Hawaiians that they needed to learn the American farmers way of growing food as they thought the Hawaiians were ignorant barbarians. Aside from being fabulous farmers, Hawaiians had the highest literacy rate in the world during the 1800’s. Far from being barbarians.

So after almost an hour we finely leave the museum and head out to the village. I’m finely going to see the insides of the houses.

To be continued. We head out into the light.

If you would like to get information on the Village here is the site address

Taro Festival Part Three

Martha Stewart Does Not Have A Monopoly On A “Good Thing”

I had been in a hurry to get to the festival that morning. I quickly had a cup of coffee and off I drove. If this was a true festival I knew there would be lots of food to buy so I wasn’t going to waste time eating breakfast.

The very first thing that they offered were, free samples of Poi. Of course. What would a Taro Festival be without poi? I picked up a sample and was tempted to just stay there and eat each one but not wanting to look like a glutton I moved on.

Poi Samples

As I started to move through the crowd I noticed a tent full of plants. I can’t help but check out plants where ever I go. I love gardening but lately with taking care of the new puppy all my plants are suffering as I have not even been able to water them. But I could not help myself so I went over to the tent to see what their offerings were.

Indigenous plant of Hawaii

It was filled with indigenous plants of Hawaii. I was delighted. I have been reading about the state trying to encourage planting Hawaiian plants as they are much better for the environment and grow well, of course, in our weather conditions. I’ve slowly been adding them to the garden but they can be quite expensive so I have not bought to many of them.

But here at this festival they were quite reasonable. So I picked up a few stocks of sugar cane. This is quite a weedy looking plant when full grown but I thought it would look nice as  a nice tall grass if I can find the right spot in the garden. Of course my garden is so overgrown there never is the right spot. But none the less I was optimistic.

Sugar Cane

I also picked up a Hilieʻe or Hawaiian White Plumbago commonly know as White Lead-wort. I was ecstatic when the plant seller offered me a free Hawaiian Ginger plant too. So this was turning out to be a great morning. I asked her to hold on to the plants until I was finished walking around. She secured them in the back of her tent and off I went. Here is a site to go to if you would like to see what the White Plumbago looks like Native Plants Hawaii – Viewing Plant : Plumbago zeylanica.

Of course their were the loose flowers being sold. The orchids are always my favorite to photograph.Red Ginger and Yellow Heliconia (I think)


A variety of Orchids

I just thought these eggplant were colorful so I took a photo of them

After taking in all the flowers I found a food booth. I chose the fresh Ono (fish) otherwise known as Wahoo. The fish was fried in a cornmeal batter. It was accompanied by a very good salad with homemade Pesto dressing.

These were the choice of Lunch plates. I chose the fried fish w/ brown rice ( in the middle)

After I picked up my plate lunch I went and sat under the entertainment tent. Usually I don’t like to go where ever music is playing in a public place. It seems that  the groups always compensate for whatever they are lacking in talent by turning up the speakers to loud.

But this group, called Kupaʻaina, were such a pleasant, well blending  and entertaining group. They sang many of the old Hawaiian songs that I enjoy. It was a wonderful way to enjoy a meal.

Kupaʻaina My lunch time entertainment

I had been at the festival for almost four hours. Reluctently I had to start to head home. My daughter had given me the morning off from taking care of the puppy. But as they say all good things must come to an end. I picked up my plants and started to head back to the car.

Yes, I must say that  my morning had definitely  been a good thing.