Hula girl, early 1900s
From reading nineteenth-century surf literature, Hawaii seems nearly partitioned, with the natives “frolicking and gamboling” in the ocean while the foreigners watch on the beach and gasp in admiration. But there was contact, of course. Hawaiians nearly perished for it, along with their favorite sport. In 1895, anthropologist and missionary son Nathaniel Emerson wrote about surfing in something ve...