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were as nearly similar to the sound as possible. For example, l, r and d were all used in the spelling of the word Hilo and three English-speaking listeners night have recorded the sound three different ways. The first sheets printed in the Hawaiian language on January 7, 1822, used this confusing alphabet. However, it was released before confusion over the consonant symbols was resolved.
Reading and writing spread very rapidly in schools instituted by district ali'i with Hawaiian teachers, and in schools at the mission stations taught by missionaries. The early schools enrolled all ages, the majority of whom were adults. Great public examination festivals termed ho'ike further stimulated interest in learning the basic skills of reading and writing as well as some arithmetic and music. These ho'ike were times for villages and districts to show off personal finery and meet together, as well as display the skills acquired in the schools. By the late 1820's, spontaneous enthusiasm for learning had reached its peak when there were some 900 schools in the country, attended by forty to sixty thousand students. Only a tiny fraction of these schools was taught by the missionaries.
In the 1830's, once reading and writing had been mastered, enthusiasm for further schooling lessened somewhat among the adult Hawaiians. Missionaries, reinforced by several newly-arrived groups of fellow workers, concentrated their efforts on improved facilities, teacher training, and increased production of materials. The goals of the mission are well illustrated by the following excerpt from the instructions given by the American Board to the fifth party of missionaries in 1832:
- Your mission...embraces a wide range of objects. Depending on divine grace, it aims at nothing less than making every Sandwich islander intelligent, holy, and happy. Its appropriate work will not, therefore, be fully accomplished, until every town and village is blessed with a school house and church, and these school houses are all well furnished with competent native masters, and all these churches with well instructed native preachers—until every inhabitant is taught to read, and is furnished with a Bible in the native tongue—until academies, with native preceptors, are established on all the principal islands; and the High School now existing on the island of Maui, has become a College with native professors--until the printing presses are owned and conducted by native publishers, and find employment for native authors, and, so employed pour forth treasures of theology, history, and every useful science, for supplying the native demand for public and private libraries; nor until Christianity is fully established as the religion of the island, and its benign influence has become paramount in every rank and class of the people.
For a time it appeared that these goals would be met. The high school referred to above is Lahainaluna boarding school, established on ' September 5, 1831, to train young Hawaiian men to become teachers and ministers. 18/ Students were soon studying such subjects as geography,
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