Tag Archives: Hawaiian History

‘Aha’i ‘Olelo Ola Features Individual Talents

‘Aha’i ‘Olelo Ola has been interviewing many native Hawaiian individuals recently and their accomplishments in relation to the Hawaiian language and culture. Their project is called “11 for 2011” in which they speak with ambitious members of the native Hawaiian community and show they talent and dreams for the future.

One of my favorite individuals to listen to was Ezekiel Lau who is a senior at Kamehameha Schools and talked about his passion as a surfer and his plans about making it to the top of the junior surfing world. To learn more about Lau here is his website http://www.ezekiellau.com/

Another interesting story is about a young native of Hawaii, Kealoha HawaiiSlam as he likes to call himself. Kealoha shares his passion with slam poetry, as he believes that it is the perfect combination of thinking, writing, and theater. What I found interesting about Kealoha is that he graduated from the Massachussets Institute of Technology with a nuclear engineering degree but now is devoting his time to slam poetry because it’s his passion.

Here is his website: http://www.kealohapoetry.com/

I also enjoyed ‘Aha’i ‘Olelo Ola’s story on Ka’iulani Murphy who is an educator for the Polynesian Voyaging Society.  Murphy talks about her experiences on one of Hawaii’s famous voyages, Hokule’a and her future plans in relation to voyaging.

Another interesting story that I enjoyed is on Kamu Kapoi, a local boy born in Waianae, O’ahu who works for the Makaha Studios  Hawaii’s young digital storyteller media services business and is also captain of Wa’a E ALA – Kekoa O Wai’anae. He shares his adventures and love for film and voyaging.

For more interviews on individuals please Visit ‘Aha’i ‘Olelo Ola’s website.

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New literature written for Native Speakers

Author David Harrison’s new “The Last Speakers: The Quest to Save the World’s Most Endangered Languages,” is a must-have for you linguist and passionate indigenous speakers out there. The media such as the L.A. Times and the Huffington Post has been writing about this amazing piece of literature.

“A language that was on the brink of extinction can and actually has been revitalized. I think a very formidable success story is the Hawaiian language.”

–          David Harrison

In Harrison’s book he mentions that the Hawaiian language was down to a small number of speakers and was in an advances state of endangerment. He commented saying that if things had not changed then Hawaiian might have been extinct today, but the community pit forth an enormous effort.

Harrison did his research and shared with his readers that when native Hawaiian speakers were trying to bring the language back they created nests, they raised a new generation of youngsters (such as myself) speaking the language and now there are speakers of Hawaiian all around Hawaii.

He also stressed on the idea of how there are native Hawaiian speakers of all ages, not just older grandparents, which was the case in the beginning, but now Hawaiian is even becoming  one’s first language.

Harrison mentioned on an interview that he always hears critics saying that “It’s inevitable that these languages will die, so why even try?” In response Harrison believes that it’s simply not true and the Hawaiians as well as the Mohawk and Cherokee have proved that to the world.

Personally, I have just started reading this book and if you are very passionate about linguistics and cultures I suggest you pick it up.

E Malama I Ke Kai Annual Awareness Fundraiser

This year Punana Leo o Kawaiaha’o will be holding their annual “E Malama I ke Kai Awareness Fundraiser on Saturday May 14th, from 10am to 3pm at Kapi’olani Park Bandstand, Honolulu, HI.

E Malama I ke Kai means to care for the sea, basically an annual ocean awareness fundraiser that has been hosted by Punana Leo o Kawaiaha’o for a little over a decade. This event is a free concert with exhibitors and activities to support Punana Leo o Kawaiaha’o one of the Hawaiian immersion preschools on the island of O’ahu.

Punana Leo o Kawaiaha’o has fostered a unique connection to the ocean through its teachers who engage their students in ocean awareness because they themselves are great watermen and women. Punana Leo o Kawaiaha’o is trying to obtain a more sustainable learning community through their curriculum, making ocean awareness a must because the ocean is an important part of the Hawaiian culture.

The event will feature an outrigger canoe race from Maunalua Bay to Waikiki, followed by environmental education arts and crafts, games for the whole family, good food, and great entertainment. Last year approximately 5,000 people attended this event.

Having attended this event in the past I believe that it is a great way to get the community involved in learning about the local ocean conservation as well as perpetuating the Hawaiian language and culture with all the art exhibits and activities.

19th Annual Celebration of the Arts

The Annual Celebration of the Arts is an event that happens every year bringing Hawaii’s finest artisans, educators, cultural practitioners, speakers, and entertainers together for the Hawai’i community. Throughout this weekend from April 22-24 the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Kapalua, Maui is hosting the event.

This year’s theme for the celebration is , “E na Aumakua,” which is in honor of our ancestors. Clifford Nae’ole who is the cultural advisor and event chair said that this years theme, “Embraces the call to our ancestors and all things natural.”

The event includes a full schedule of cultural panels, films, hands-on art, demonstrations, music and dance. According to the Hawaii Tourism Association this event is a past recipient of the “Keep it Hawai’i Kahili Award” and was rated as the number one cultural event by the Hawai’i Modern Luxury Magazine.

The event opens with traditional ceremonies at sunrise on Friday, April 22 and concludes with a Celebration Lu’au and Show on Saturday night, April 23, followed by an after-hours party at the hotel lobby.  There will also be an Easter Brunch and Easter Egg Hunt on the Plantation Lawn on Sunday, April 24th.

Most of the events try to incorporate earth day in their activities along with the theme which is honoring our ancestors. I believe that this is a great way to get the community involved with learning cultural practices as well as the Hawaiian language through a series of fun events.

Taken from the 2010 Annual Celebration of the Arts:

The 47th Annual Merrie Monarch Hula Festival

Next week from April 24th through the 30th the 47th Annual Merrie Monarch Hula Festival is coming back to Hilo, Hawai’i again. I’m sure everyone in Hawai’i is familiar with the Merrie Monarch Festival but if you aren’t it is week-long cultural festival that honors King David Kalakaua.

Kalakaua was credited with restoring many Hawaiian cultural traditions during his reign, including the Hula (Hawaiian dance). The Merrie Monarch is the biggest Hula competition in the world.

Many Halau Hula (Hula Groups) who attend the competition come from all over the world including the U.S. mainland, Japan, and other Polynesian countries such as Aotearoa (New Zealand), Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga, etc.

Besides the Hula competition itself there are craft fairs, art shows, hula shows, and a grand parade through Hilo town.

The Merrie Monarch has seven Hula competitions, the Kane Overall (Best out of the men), Wahine Overall (Best out of the Women), the Kane Kahiko (Mens Traditional Hawaiian), Wahine Kahiko (Womens Traditional Hawaiian), the Kane ‘Auana (Mens Modern Hawaiian), Wahine ‘Auana (Womens Modern Hawaiian), and Miss Aloha Hula, which as an individual competition amongst the best women dancers.

My favorite competition to watch every year is the Miss Aloha Hula competition because it shows individual talent amongst the best women dancers. Last year my friend Kapua Desa got second place for Miss Aloha Hula and I would like to share her amazing Hula Kahiko performance.

Here is sneak-preview of the Merrie Monarch Festival competitors as they prepare themselves. Brought to you by  ‘Ahai ‘Olelo Ola

Maoli Film Festival – Papa Mau

The Hawaii Independent is a Hawai’i corporation that is the only locally-owned source of daily local news with a broad base of local member-owners. The Hawaii Independent focuses on Hawaii news, culture, and community only.

The Hawaii Independent wrote an article about the Kumu Kahua Theater hosting the Maoli festival for the first time. The Kahua Theater is dedicated to producing and sharing works by Hawaiian writers and about the Hawaiian culture as well as other Polynesian cultures.

The Maoli festival consists of six short films by Hawaii directors that will be showed on Friday, May 6th, 2011. The first film is “Chief,” which is about a fallen Samoan chief, a tragic death, and a tsunami. The second film is entitled “Piko” and shows indigenous visual arts. Third, “Stones,” is a film about a Hawaiian legend about a couple. Fourth, “Blue Tarp City” is a film about disempowerment and community passion in Hawaii. Fifth, “Lychee Thieves” is a humorous film about interactions among culturally and ethnically diverse people in Hawaii.

The last film is “Papa Mau,” directed by Na’alehu Anthony, who is a Hawaiian filmmaker and co-founder and CEO of ‘Oiwi TV. Papa Mau was released in 2010 and I had the opportunity to watch it already and I think it is very interesting because I am familiar with the people in the film.

Papa Mau is a documentary about Mau Pialug, the Micronesian navigator who taught Nainoa Thompson everything he knows about voyaging by following the stars like out Polynesian ancestors.

What I enjoy most about this film is that it has clips in which the Hawaiian language is incorporated. If I attended Kumu Kahua Theater’s Maoli film festival I suggest you keep your eye open for Papa Mau.

Here is a sneak-preview of Papa Mau:

Online Hawaiian Information Resource Center

On April 4th, 2011, KITV Four News, Hawaii’s number one news channel broadcasted a story about an online Hawaiian resource center. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) partnered up with many entities to combine several databases containing land and government records, geneology indexes, and historic Hawaiian language newspapers into one resource called Papakilo Database.

“So folks that need to do historical research, like from the neighbor islands for example, you have to literally fly to Oahu to get some of this research done. Because the documents are digitized and now online, no longer will you have to do that,” OHA Chief Executive Officer Clyde Namuo said.

The project has taken several years and at least $400,000 from OHA alone. Those involved said it was a cost-effective effort. Papakilo will continue to be a project in progress and as more information comes up they will add it to the database. Officials are planning to add World War I service records and some statistics from 1826 – 1929 later this year.

Other database partners include Awaiaulu, Bishop Museum, DL Consulting, Hawaii State Archives, Ho’olaupa’i, Kaiwakiloumoku Hawaiian Cultural Center, Kumu Pono Associates, The Nature Conservacy, and Ulukau.

I believe this is a great resource that the Native Hawaiian community could use. I’ve only seen a few old Hawaiian language newspapers but they were only dated back to the 1930’s. I’m very interested in these newspapers because my great grandfather used to write for Ka Lama Hawai’i, one of Hawaii’s oldest Hawaiian language newspaper.