Observing Traditions in the time of COVID19. Continue reading Kahiko (Ancient)
In Hawaii, whenever two or more are gathered together, there is talk story. Continue reading Talk Story
With Aloha to all of my hoaaloha and ohana on my 65th birthday. Continue reading Inoa (Name)
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
My initial experience with lei pua (flower lei) was a frightening one. As a child of five, visiting my Maui cousins for the first time, I was unacquainted with the custom of lei giving and became overwhelmed as cousin after cousin placed lei after lei over my head. Overcome by the fragrance and the weight of the flowers I simply sank to my knees. Continue reading “Lei (Garland)”
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”
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.