In memory of my mother, Kanoelani Abbiegail McMillen OʻConnor There is an ʻOlelo Noʻeau that describes how one learns best: Nana ka maka, ho’olohe ka pepeiao, pa’a ka waha. Observe with the eyes, listen with the ears, don’t talk. When I was in elementary school, in Maryland, maybe 3rd grade, the teacher assigned a social studies activity that involved making dwelling places from different cultures. I was assigned to make a model of an old Hawaiian home. The first thing that came to my mind was the collection of coconut cups my mom used for parties – usually to hold … Continue reading Makuahine (Mother)
Hokule‘a is in the water now, sailing up the coast from the Capitol in Washington, D.C. to New York City. She is a Hawaiian wa‘a kaulua (ocean canoe), the guiding light of a nation, the Hawaiian nation, called the people of the wa‘a. Continue reading “The King and The Navigator”
My grandmother, Abigail McMillen, “Auntie Abbie” to almost everyone who knew her, was a big woman. Big heart. Big soul. Big body. She came to me from Hawaii the year of Statehood and became a fixture at every gathering of local Hawaiians in the Washington, D.C. area. If there was a meal, she would pray the Benediction. If there was hula, she would strum her guitar or tenor ukulele. If there was a luau – that meant one thing – get out the Black Holoku.