Talk:Hawaiian Poi Dog

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Hawaiian vs Hawai'ian[edit]

I know that both "Hawaiian" and "Hawai'ian" are proper. Both are used in this article. However, it is proper form to stick with just one. Which one should be used?

Only "Hawaiian" is proper. "Hawai'ian" is not used. Viriditas (talk) 04:08, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Hawaiian Cuisine[edit]

I know that dogs were a part of Hawaiian diets, many years ago.... but is this article really appropriate in this category? The animal is extinct, there is no information about actually EATING them on the page (just the statement that they were raised as food animals), and they are not currently eaten in Hawaii... Just a thought. :) ColbyWolf (talk) 02:13, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

I was thinking the same thing and saw someone else had already raised the issue... more than a year ago. I've removed that category from this article. If someone else wants to add it back, I would think that something should specifically be included to describe the "cuisine" aspect in more detail and should be thoroughly cited.EclecticGeek (talk) 20:52, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Why "Hawaiian"?[edit]

I mean, is there another Poi Dog? There is only one Poi Dog, which is normally, as far as I can tell, simply called "Poi Dog", not "Hawaiian Poi Dog". Why not move this article to simply "Poi Dog"? Chrisrus (talk) 16:51, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Could be like "German Shepard Dog"... just the official 'breed' name, as it were. Though I suppose there are other 'shepard' breeds... Who knows why anyone names anything anything? But "Hawaiian Poi Dog" does turn up google results, while 'poi dog' is a little more varied in the information it returns. Guess someone decided "this is what this shall be called." Plus, more anecdotally, my first dog was named 'Poi Boy' because I was told that a poi dog was, basically, a mixed breed, mutt-type. So, Poi Dog might be misunderstood as 'mixed breed dog,' while adding 'Hawaiian' helps identifying it as a species, via the name pattern. (ie, German Shepard Dog, American Bull Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog etc) ColbyWolf (talk) 07:01, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Just to note, unlike the various shepherd, bulldog, and mountain dog breeds there is only one 'Poi Dog', which is the Hawaiian Poi Dog. There is also only one Elkhound (the Norwegian Elkhound) and there are a few other breeds with similar naming issues. "Hawaiian Poi Dog" was the correct name. EclecticGeek (talk) 20:44, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Poi dog pictures[edit]

Are you sure those dogs are all poi dogs? They look different. Chrisrus (talk) 13:58, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

I am not sure since I don't really know what a poi dog looks like. I only made a gallery of pictures of dogs in Hawaii during the time before the extinction of the dog. Searching on the internet mixes actual poi dogs with mix-breed dogs that are called poi dogs. None of these picture mention what breed of dogs were in the picture. There is one more on Hawaii State Archives that I upload later, but it doesn't have any description either. Can somebody help sort this out?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 00:03, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, but are you sure those dogs are Poi Dogs? They don't look like the drawing in Desmond Morris's reference book, "Dogs". Also, why would the Queen be painted with a Poi Dog? I thought that they had a status in Hawaiian culture such that it would be like Queen Elizabeth being painted holding a pig. Are you %100 sure they are Pois? Chrisrus (talk) 05:06, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
No I am not sure, as I stated above. Plus the painting is of a girl, not a queen. No the poi dogs were considered pets by the Hawaiians also; There are accounts of Hawaiian women suckling puppies. What does the Desmond Morris reference book image look like?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 05:14, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, kind of like Bolt (character), only bow-legged and flat-faced. It was short but long-bodied. Short-legged, short-haired. Like a cross a long fat Jack Russell with or a Dauchshund-terrier mix with large stiffly standing ears. Off-white or yellow. Between the eyes, the top of the snout was flatter than pretty much any dog you'll see, as the round part where the brain case was and the part for the powerful chew-muscles were atrophied, experts believed at the time that this was because of their poor vegetarian diet and livestock lifestyle caused them to lose the need for strong jaw muscles, big sharp teeth, or large brains. Read that while you do a Google image search; there are some drawings, but the ones from children's books are maybe a bit cuter with the expressive eye and eyebrow features you see on dogs that move with their moods. The reports say they had sunken eyes, like a chow or shar pei. Chrisrus (talk) 06:46, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Ok, in the external links, there's a book with a good drawing on page 34. You have to scroll a lot. It's the one in the lower-right hand corner. Chrisrus (talk) 07:04, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Ok, so given the serious doubts about the pictures, should we remove them? We have to find a way to get some images of poi dogs, but these dogs don't seem to be pois. Chrisrus (talk) 04:54, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Ok you went ahead anyway... Out of the images we have, how does these three images stand.
Small, pointed ears, white
Small, white and age before major introduction of western dogs. On second thought, Western dogs were introduced fairly early at least by the 1810s
Could be īlio mākuʻe.
Please go to the article, find the first external link in the external link section. It's a copy of the book "Domestication". Navigate to page 33, scroll down to the second image on p.33. It's the one in the bottom right. That's it. They all looked like that. We don't have any pictures of poi dogs that I can find. I don't know that there are any. Just drawings, no paintings or photos. I wish there were. Here is a drawing, although I suspect it's "cutified"; if you will, made cuter, for the kids: Scroll down a bit, it's a drawing signed "J.R. Quin". It looks like this prince and the girl and other Hawaiian elites had imported European lap dogs or some such. Chrisrus (talk) 20:53, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't know. The third one is definitely a poi dog since it was taken from an article about the poi dog. So I am going to go ahead and put that one on. There are photographs and even a display/taxodermic specimen, I believe, at the Bishop Museum in Hawaii. --KAVEBEAR (talk) 02:24, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Neither do I. Tell us more about the article it's from. It's not exactly the preferred profile looking forward photo, but from what we can see, I guess it could be a Poi. Thanks for telling me about the Bishop's Museum. Can you go take a picture of it? That'd be awesome. Chrisrus (talk) 03:55, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Around 1:01:01 on this YouTube video of the History Channel's documentary Conquest of Hawaii there is a photograph of a dog that looks like a poi dog with a old Hawaiian woman and man. The woman in the picture might be File:Kupuna wahine, 1890.jpg which an anonymous editor on File talk:Kupuna wahine, 1890.jpg identified as Mary Mahiai. If we can find this photo from the Hawaii State Archives or Bishop Museum, it would be a better picture.--KAVEBEAR (talk) 22:27, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Second look[edit]

So, the problem with finding an authentic image of a poi dog is that by the time people started depicting dogs in drawings, paintings and photographs is that almost none of them claimed they were of the poi dog (leaving historians or us to assume base on their appearance) and by this time Western dogs have already been introduced by explorers to the islands and interbred with the native dogs. Petroglyphs are probably the best depictions of this species. Here are the some suspected poi dogs from :Commons:Category:Dogs of Hawaii:

  • Came across this by accident, and having worked quite a bit with rarely depicted recently extinct animals myself, I'd say we should only show images that have specifically been identified as a given animal in the published literature. Identifying them ourselves would be WP:original research, and quite possibly erroneous. However, it is possible to identify animals in old pictures that haven't been noted in the literature before (I've found a couple of extinct birds myself), but they still can't be used if no sources refer to them. FunkMonk (talk) 09:04, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
    • True, true. Removed two picture based only on my opinion. --KAVEBEAR (talk) 16:40, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

Royal pets[edit]

I haven't seen this repeated in published sources yet but it is still troubling that this source which is possibly rooted in a Facebook post by the Maui Historical Society. This claims that Liliuokalani's pet dog in 1917 was a poi dog which is not found in any contemporary account from the time of Liliuokalani's death. It also claims that Kamehameha I's pet dog Boss (who High Chief Boki was named for) was a white poi dog.--KAVEBEAR (talk) 21:19, 14 March 2017 (UTC)


Ramler, Piilani. Who invented the doggy bag? Perhaps the early Hawaiians, for their menus often featured canine cuisine. HON 8 (Nov. 73): 86-87.

Article about the characteristics, training, and feeding of the ancient Hawaiian dog as well as historical accounts of its being served at feasts to early W estern explorers.

Luomala, Katharine. Polynesian myths about Maui and the dog. SAP 2 (1958): 139-162.

Analysis of stories involving the demigod Maui, and his adventures with a dog, in order to determine the pair's origins, relationships and literary development as a reflection of Polynesian and Hawaiian cultural values.

Titcomb, Margaret. Dog and man in the ancient Pacific, with special attention to Hawaii. Special Publication 59. Honolulu: Bishop Museum, 1969. 91 pp.

Discussion of the role of the dog in ancient Hawaiian culture. Cites its origins, as well as its use as food, ornamentation, offerings, and as a pet.

McClellan, Edwin. Ahaaina or luau in old Hawaii. POP 52 (Jan. 1940): 9- 12, 25.

Historical accounts of feasts attended by early explorers, including Captains James King, Amasa Delano, and Frederick Beechey, as well as Commodore Charles Wilkes. Also records their reactions to being served the Hawaiian specialty, baked dog.

  • Natural History of Hawaii Being an Account of the Hawaiian People, the Geology and Geography of the Islands, and the Native and Introduced Plants and Animals of the Group BY WILLIAM ALANSON BRYAN, B. Sc.
  • Captain Cook's description [1]


Hoku, the poi dog