Tūtū and the Hopi Earrings

 I ulu no ka lālā i ke kumu.* The branches grow because of the trunk. As a teenager, one of my favorite hangouts was Georgetown. There was a new age bookstore/restaurant there called “Yes” where you could peruse titles on world religion and the occult while munching on brown rice and vegetables. I bought my first books on Islam, Buddhism and Thomas Merton in that book store. It was a hope filled place. My friends and I would jump into the back of anotherʻs Volkswagen van and head for DC. Weʻd check out the books and then share a meal … Continue reading Tūtū and the Hopi Earrings

Finally, My Ship Has Come In

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Hokulea in NY shot by Na’Alehu Anthony, Oiwi TV

Finally, my ship has come in. Well, not a ship exactly. A wa’a. A wa’a kaulua. A Hawaiian ocean-going canoe. Her name is derived from a celestial light, Arcturis, which Hawaiians call Hokule’a, the Star of Gladness. When a Hawaiian voyager sees this star, she knows she is almost home, and as we all learned from Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, there’s no place like home. Continue reading “Finally, My Ship Has Come In”

Holoku ‘Ele ‘ele (Black Holoku)

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.

NanaHelle
Auntie Abbie in her black holoku with Family Friend Helle Starke

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