Young Hawaiian Girl c. 1890 (via Bjebie on and


I’m a bit confused as to the origin of the image and accompanying text: first there’s a Flickr post by “Bjebie”, uploaded in January 2010, with the caption/text:

“This photograph of a young Hawaiian girl dates back from near the end of the nineteenth century. Bedecked with a maile lei and a skirt of kapa (mulberry bark cloth) she is beautifully seated on a bark drum. [Followed by some historical information.]” (Bjebie,

…..while a blog called “Americanina” has the same image with a bit of the text, and was posted in April 2011 – but the poster says she bought it and other postcards she publishes in a coffee shop in Hanalei Bay, HI.

Presumably she did her research, and came up with Bjebie’s version of the same image and text, “borrowing” some of it without acknowledgement…..not a venal sin, anyway…I’d better quickly admit I took Americanina’s image since it was somewhat bigger…

The girl is really beautiful, with particularly wonderful hair and a lovely face – but I’d dispute “beautifully seated”: the half-crossed legs do her no favours, and I’m sure she would have been posed more sympathetically by a modern child photographer….but then, I guess we’re lucky that this gem survives at all…

Young Hawaiian Girl -- 1890


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