by Victoria Creed - President
At the 1995 Cultural Surveys Hawaii field school on Kaua`i, an aspiring anthropologist , Alexander Mawyer, familiar with building databases, convinced Dr. Hallett Hammatt to invest in this database to get it set up and running on the web. Dr. Hammatt and I then went to an intellectual property attorney, to copyright the website database. Martin Hsia, Esq. advised us to form a separate corporation for this enterprise, which I did with Dr. Hammatt in 1996. Early board members Paige Barber and Muriel Seto invested money, time and expertise to organize the corporation, research pricing and get help with transcription.
Waihona 'Aina Corporation, founded in 1996 is a Hawai`i owned company providing our clients with archaic Hawaiian land use documents in digitized form. Our company's name is based on one of the meanings of the word "Waihona" - a depository of information.
We have developed one of the most comprehensive database systems for achival land documents available today. Our clients take advantage of accessing the information they need in a fast, accurate and organized manner, which helps them to complete their work more efficiently and economically.
Our most common clients are researchers, genealogists, historians, archaelogists, anthropologists, developers, land use and title companies, estates, land trust companies, government and private citzens.
Over the last 9 years the technology on the web has changed dramatically and the Waihona Aina Corp. has kept up with it, purchasing and implementing new programs and upgrading to keep the most current programs, latest security and web services.
Board member, Mr. Kepa Maly, suggested our customers would like to know how we arrived at our pricing structure and what was involved in creating the first Waihona Aina database, The Mahele database, and we hope you find it interesting, informative and reassuring.
At the time we organized, the only precedent for on-line document databases, was the nationally known law service that provides documents on line to attorneys, at much higher prices than we envisioned for our customers. Although the professional marketing advice we got suggested we charge much more, we finally decided that a reasonable rate would be an amount less than it would take an individual to go to the archives, park and pay for parking, spend a minimum hour of research time and costs for xeroxing 1 record (of 3 or 4 or more documents). The cost of transportation, lodging and meals when you come from off-island or the mainland to access these records is not factored into the price.
Our cybercash customers will now pay a very reasonable $22 for a Mahele record (usually includes 1-4 documents and sometimes more) and the access is instantaneous. You add the claim(s) you want to your shopping basket, add your credit card information and then print out from your screen the documents you ordered. Boundary Commission records will now be $6 per 25 pages instead of $5, Royal Patents and Land Grants will be $17 instead of $15.
Our subscription business customers will now pay $332 yearly; agencies $537 yearly; and non-profits $215 yearly and with these subscription rates all documents are now $12 each. These clients use at least 30 or 50 documents yearly. The Hamilton Library Hawaiian Collection at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, has a special arrangement for students working on Hawaiian topics, and if you are a student you should inquire about this service at the library.
With Waihona `Aina You Get:
- Instantaneous service 24 7 on the web.
- More accurate documentation than you can find on your own without addition of time and effort, since we have been able to re-locate unnumbered or incorrectly numbered documents; and we have added unawarded documents with different numbers into awarded claim records where there was little or no information in the award record.
- With Waihona ‘Aina you can make innumerable free searches (data mining).
- Print out search tables for names, individual places, ahupua’a or entire districts, plants, heiau, roads, or ship captains.
- Purchase records by credit card with assurance that all your personal information is known only to your Visa or Mastercard provider. Waihona `Aina Corp. is not privy to this information. Our bank notifies us only of the amount of deposits and its cost for providing services.
- Waihona ‘Aina does not provide names or addresses to any third party. New information has been and is being added to Mahele database claims showing chain of title where a different party receives an award than the one who receives the patent. We still hope one day to be able to pay staff and get help getting more archival Hawaiian information on the net faster. This is very labor intensive work.
The Mahele Database (completed)
The Boundary Commission Database (completed)
The Land Grant Index (Indexed and in process)
Royal Patent Documents – (completed)
Early Census Records - Future release
Map Database - Future release
Coming Services and Features
1. The continuation of the process of the Mahele, is the Royal Patents database, which is partially completed. Each Patent record of this database is checked against the relevant Mahele database record, the microfiche or filmed copy of the Royal Patent, sometimes the Boundary Commission Database, and occasionally by consulting information in The King’s Mahele: The Awardees and Their Lands, compiled by Dorothy B. Barrère (1994). Half of the documents remain to be transcribed and uploaded.
2. The Land Grant database (6,671 records) are lands sold by the Kingdom, Territory and State and the database is on line. If you find that a record is incomplete when you want to order it, please e-mail us with the contact button and we will try to complete your document within 24 hours.
3. Other databases already designed, but not yet implemented, include the very important Maps database, cross-referenced to the other databases, and pre-1900 Voter and Census Records. All these early records, mostly hand-written, and hand-indexed, contain errors of transposition and transcription. Even approved translations include errors, for instance the use of the word “pasture” for the Hawaiian word “kula,” which is only one of the various land uses taking place. “Kula” includes land used for dry-land agriculture, home sites, home gardens, resource gathering, as well as land for animal husbandry. Tax Map Keys also contain errors in identifying Land Commission Awards. All of these errors increase the risk that the original document is mis-interpreted. More information contact Kepa Maly at <kumupono.com> Kepa Maly, a fluent speaker of Hawaiian, is profoundly concerned about providing the most accurate information possible for all these documents to minimize mis-interpretation of information.
We are aware that the Waihona ‘Aina Mahele database also has contributed some errors of its own. The process of databasing, along with elaborate cross-referencing practices, and the addition of more databases, are all tasks which verify the data and these procedures we perform constantly. More correct information allows us to compensate for previous errors. The revisiting of entered documents to cross-reference new work, brings our attention to our own errors. These are corrected while notes are provided to show errors already existing in documents. We are grateful to those persons using the databases who call our attention to errors by sending us an e-mail.
People who helped me transcribe the documents from the State Archives into Mahele word processed documents of approximately 20 volumes were: Randalyn K. “Hiilawe” Barber, Ian Masterson, Melody Heidel. Colleen Leilani Seto and her husband, Ken Tanner, helped with editing. Gerald K. Ida transcribed or edited the first sets of documents in Hawaiian. V. Creed reformatted all the documents, getting rid of ditto marks and abbreviations and adding some web code.
Since 2000 I have worked with Joseph Quintero, Jr. He is now doing the transcriptions of the Land Grants. Susan Miller also transcribed a Boundary Commission document.
Charles H. Miller, and Fernando Drabik, programmers, along with the original design by Dr. Alexander D. Mawyer, have made this web site possible and workable and have added informative new features. My husband, Dr. Walter Creed has always helped me sort out the innumerable problems of new programs, crises, a hacker’s attack and moral and financial support that has allowed me to pursue this fascinating work.
The personnel at the Hawaii State Archives have xeroxed all the Land Commission records and translated a document missing in the printed volumes. To them I am very grateful.
The Waihona Aina Board of Directors continues to encourage new efforts and offer useful advice.
The Board Members 2008
Victoria S. Creed, Ph.D. - President
Alexander D. Mawyer, Ph.D. -Director
Hallet H. Hammatt, Ph.D. - Director
Muriel B. Seto -Director
Dot Uchima - Director
Editors and customers