Kahuku Sugar Mill lost its main Mill buildingin 2004. However today, we have restaurants and shops in the remaining original buildings. We offer tours of the famed Mill property, exlplaining the famed history such as the origin of the shaka or hang loose hand gesture…
The shaka or “hang loose” gesture started in the Kahuku Sugar Mill! In the early 1900’s HAMANA KALILI was a presser in the mill. He would feed the cane through the rollers to get the juice out. And that is how Hamana lost is three fingers-his middle, index and ring fingers. They were crushed in the rollers at the Kahuku Sugar Mill.
After the accident, the plantation owners decided to give Hamana a new job, security. His job was to watch the trains because the kids would ‘jump (on) the train’ as it slowed down
entering or leaving Kahuku. He would yell or wave at them to get off the train.
Eventually the kids adopted his ‘wave’, or what we now call the shaka sign, and used it as an ‘all clear’ or ‘go for it’ sign. When they used the gesture, it meant that Hamana was not around and everything was ‘okay’ to jump the train.
Do not miss this opportunity to come by the Kahuku Sugar Mill and take home a piece of history.