A Social History of Kona

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  • Collection DOI:
    Principal Investigator:
    Michiko Kodama, Faye Komagata
  • This project, a case study of Hawaii's social history, focuses on Kona where people nurtured the development of a community and participated in and witnessed some.of the major historical developments of the islands. 

Interviewee Sort descending Collection Description Interviewer Date of Interview Location of Interview Affiliation
Amoe Giugni A Social History of Kona

Amoe Giugni, a Hawaiian-Chinese woman, was born in 1894 in Kahaluu, North Kana, Hawaii. Her father, Lee Sam, also known as Akamu by the Hawaiians, was a Chinese immigrant who owned a store and tailoring business . Her mother, Kipola, was a native Hawaiian from Kona who wove and sold lau hala products. From a young age, Amoe learned about fishing, lau hala weaving, and other Hawaiian practices. She continued to reside in Kahaluu into her late 80s.

Ray Kala Enos Kahalu'u, Hawaii University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Center for Oral History
Fred Iona A Social History of Kona

Fred Iona, a Hawaiian-Portuguese farmer, was born on March 19, 1899, in Pahoehoe, South Kana, Hawaii. He was the youngest of eight children, and his father was a teacher at Alae School. Iona left school after the fourth grade to work on the Magoon Ranch in Pahoehoe. He eventually acquired his own land and cultivated various crops, including 'awa, banana, macadamia nuts, and peanuts. Iona is an active member of the Macadamia Nut Growers Association and continues to farm his land.

Ray Kala Enos , Pahoehoe, HI University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Center for Oral History
Gabriel Ka'eo A Social History of Kona

Gabriel Ka'eo, a native Hawaiian, was born on February 18, 1903, in Wai'ea, South Kana, Hawaii. His parents were Jones Emmanuel Ka'eo and Harriet Kamoku. Throughout his life, Gabriel lived in various places including Kealia, Hookena, Kana, and Honolulu. He held a variety of jobs such as a sugar plantation laborer, coffee picker, stevedore, contractor, and a stone wall builder. In 1926, he married Katherine Ka'ai and they had two children. As of the time of the interview in 1980, Gabriel was residing in Hookena.

Larry L. Kimura Kealakekua, HI University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Center for Oral History
Katherine "Nina" Kalaiwaa A Social History of Kona

Katherine "Nina" Kalaiwa'a was born on July 28, 1910, in Ke'ei, South Kana, Hawaii to parents Victor Kukua Kalua and Veronica Keawe. She attended Napoopoo School and held a variety of jobs throughout her life, including housekeeper, babysitter, plantation worker, castor bean picker, coffee farmer, and lau hala weaver. Between 1932 and 1948, while living in Honolulu, she worked as a waitress and a pineapple cannery worker. Later in life, she became a resident of Honokohau, North Kana, and was active in various Hawaiian clubs and senior citizens' groups.

Larry L. Kimura, Ray Kala Enos Honokohau, HI University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Center for Oral History
Margaret Spinney A Social History of Kona

Margaret (Kamaka) Spinney was born on September 26, 1910, in Kalaoa, North Kana, Hawaii. She was the daughter of Jacob Palakiko Kamaka and Kalua Pimoe Makahi, who were lau hala weavers. In 1930, Margaret moved to Kailua, Kana, where she worked as a coffee bean sorter at the American Factors coffee mill. A year later, she married Arthur Spinney, a commercial fisherman. In 1937, they moved to Oahu, where Arthur began working as a parks keeper in Nanakuli. Ten years later, they returned to Kana.

Larry L. Kimura Kalaoa, HI University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Center for Oral History
Martina Fuentevilla A Social History of Kona

Martina Kekuewa Fuentevilla, a lifelong resident of Kona, Hawaii, was born on September 30, 1908, in Honaunau, South Kona, Hawaii. Raised by her kahu hanai, a system of guardianship commonly practiced in Hawaii, she lived separately from her mother, who resided with Martina's grandparent. Throughout her life, Martina held various jobs, including a coffee picker, tobacco stringer, hat weaver, and entertainer. She began her career as an entertainer at a young age, playing music with her aunt, Mrs. Kelekolio. In 1927, she married Leon Labadios Fuentevilla, with whom she had six children.

Larry L. Kimura , , Honaunau, HI University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Center for Oral History