Mark Twain’s thoughts about the Hawaiian Islands

8 07 2016

IMG_5954The loveliest fleet of islands that lies anchored in any ocean.
Mark Twain





Months of the Year in Hawaiian

1 05 2016

IMG_5781January – ‘Iaunuali (ee-ya-oo new-ahlee)
February – Pepeluali (pay-pay loo-ahlee )
March – Malaki (ma-la-key)
April – ‘Apelila (ah-pe-lee-la)
May – Mei (may-ee)
June – Iune (ee-oo-ney)
July – Iulai (ee-oo-la-ee)
August – ‘Aukake (ah-oo-ka-key)
September – Kepakemapa (key-pa-key-ma-pa)
October – ‘Okakopa (oh-ka-ko-pa)
November – Nowemapa (No-vay-ma-pa)
December – Kekemapa (key-key-ma-pa)





Kona’s Ironman Triathalon

10 02 2016


The Ironman World Triathlon Championship or Ironman Triathlon is an annual race, made famous by its grueling length, race conditions, and the extensive worldwide participation and media coverage.

Held each October in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, the race encompasses three endurance events; a 2.4 mile ocean swim in Kailua-Kona Bay, a 112 mile bike ride across the Hawaiian lava desert to Hawi and back, and a 26.2 mile (42.195 kilometer) marathon along the coast of the Big Island (from Keauhou to Keahole Point to Kailua-Kona); finishing on Ali’i Drive.

The whole town turns into a crowded circus act as these world-class athletes converge to compete for the championship and to better the record set in 1996 by Luc Van Lierde of Belgium whose winning time was 8 hours, four minutes, and eight seconds. The next Ironman World Triathlon Championship will takes place each October. I once heard it said that to train for the swimming part of you should have friend through chairs into the pool to mimic the crowds and waves you will be swimming in during the race!





Hawaiian Sea Turtles

26 01 2016

 

Sea turtles are air-breathing marine reptiles that are said to have been around for well over 100 million years.

There are three species of sea turtles native to the Hawaiian Islands:

the Green, the Hawksbill (called in Hawaiian as ea or honu’ea), and the Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea). The most commonly seen is the Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) known in Hawaiian as honu.

These animals have long been revered in Hawaiian culture representing strength, protection, wisdom, creation, and longevity. Turtles are features prominently in petroglyphs, in the fourth verse of the Kumulipo the Hawaiian creation chant, and ancient stories they often appear as helpers and demigods.

The Greeen Turtle can weigh up to 400 pounds when fully mature and primarily eat algae or limu, a Hawaiian seaweed.

They are gentle reptiles who live most of their lives in the ocean. They reach sexual maturity after 30-35 years and only then make the vast migration to the French Frigate Sholes to mate, nest, and lay their eggs. Satellite tracking data indicates that they can swim hundreds if not thousands of miles. Males accompany the females on these long journeys and mate with them offshore from the nesting beaches. They nest only at night and spend a lot of time to find the perfect nesting site. The sticky tears they shed while on land prevents their eyes from getting covered with sand and help to remove the excess salt from their bodies.

The female deposit up to 100 eggs, in the nest, and then covers them with sand and returns to the water leaving the eggs to incubate for two month’s time. Once hatched these tiny turtles weighing only one ounce take several days to immerge from the sand laden nests. Young Green Turtles are thought to be temporarily carnivorous feeding on the passing invertebrates. After departing the nests they begin a five to ten year journey back to the islands often called “the lost years” because little is known about this phase of their life cycle.

The life span of sea turtles is generally thought to be unknown. They grow slowly and are long lived. Adult sea turtles have two main predators: sharks and people. Tiger Sharks regularly feed on sea turtles of all size.

Male and female turtles look alike until they mature and the males develop a long tail that extends beyond the back flippers, while the female tail extends only to the end of her shell.

Green Turtles were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1978 and it is illegal to harass, harm or harvest sea turtles. Swimmers must keep their distance and respect these revered and ancient Hawaiian residents.






Hawaiian State Flag

28 12 2015

commissioned by King Kamehameha I in 1816

The canton of the flag of Hawaii contains the Union Flag of the United Kingdom, prominent over the top quarter closest to the flag mast. The field of the flag is composed of eight horizontal stripes symbolizing the eight major islands (Hawaiʻi, Oʻahu, Kauaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Lānaʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi and Niʻihau). A ninth stripe was once included representing the island of Nihoa. The color of the stripes, from the top down, follows the sequence: white, red, blue, white, red, blue, white, red. The colors were standardized in 1843, although other combinations have been seen and are occasionally still used.

Source: Wikipedia





Hula

20 11 2015

The hula is a dance formed by body movements combining with pictorial hand and arm gestures and rhythmic lower-body patterns that are named. It is accompanied by chant or song. and was developed in the by the Polynesians who settled in Hawaii. The chant is called a mele the hula dancer dramatizes the story told by the mele.

HULA CIRCA 1908

There are many styles of hula. They are commonly divided into two broad categories: Ancient hula, (which was practiced only by men), as performed before Western encounters with Hawaiʻi, is called kahiko.

Hawaiian history is an oral history. It was codified in genealogies and chants that were memorized and passed down through the generations. Chants told the stories of creation, mythology, royalty, and significant events and important people.

HULA DANCERS CIRCA 1890s

Hula is taught in schools called halau. The teacher of hula is the kumu hula, where kumu means source of knowledge. Hula dancing is a complex art form, and there are many hand motions used to signify aspects of nature, such as the basic Hula and Coconut Tree motions, or the basic leg steps, such as the Kaholo, Ka’o, and Ami.

HULA DANCERS CIRCA 1906

Instruments that may accompany the hula:

  • Ipu- single gourd drum
  • Ipu heke — double gourd drum
  • Pahu — shark skin covered drum; considered sacred
  • Pūniu — small knee drum made of a coconut shell with fish skin cover
  • ʻIliʻili — water-worn lava stone used as castanet like instrument
  • ʻUlīʻulī — feathered gourd rattles
  • Pūʻili — split bamboo sticks
  • Kālaʻau — rhythm sticks

The dog’s-tooth anklets worn by male dancers can be considered instruments, as they underlined the sounds of stamping feet.

HULA CIRCA 1930

Hula dancers: in traditional kahiko costume





Some Favorite Big Island Places

20 10 2015


Like the name states, the Big Island is big. People come to the island of Hawaii and think they can see it all in a week, take my word for it you can’t possibly.

You can however see some highlights and explore the vast natural world and find places that are not overrun by people by getting  a tad off the beaten track. If you pack some decent walking shoes you can go many places and find yourself away from most tourists who go to the same spots and take the same photos.

Greenwell Farm’s Living History Display

Portuguese Sweet Bread hot from the wood fired oven Thursdays 10-1

Exploring the natural world of Hawaii is a highlight and part of that is visiting some of the sacred ancient sites too. These photos portray a few of my favorite places on the Big Island some of which long time island residents we know have yet to visit. Enjoy!

Mahukona a old sugar depot on the north shore

Ancient Heiau by Spencer Park





Portuguese Sweet Bread

3 09 2015

If you are lucky enough to be passing by the Old Greenwell Farm on a Thursday between 10-1 stop by to see the Kona Historical Society “Living History” demonstration. Go down in the field where you will see their wood-fired forno, an outdoor stone oven, they built in 2005 to bake Portuguese Bread the old-fashioned way.

Greenwell Farm’s Living History Display

The Portuguese from the Azores and Madeira started coming to Kona in the 1870s to work in the ranching industry in Hawaii. Where they settled they would build these stone ovens and bake their breads, soon they began baking and selling the breads to supplement their income.

Portuguese Sweet Bread hot from the wood fired oven Thursdays 10-1

It’s a great thing to see this artful process and witness the excitement on the faces of those waiting for the freshly baked warm bread straight from the outdoor oven. A splendid delight with a pat of butter a tasty part of Hawaiian History.

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The Kona Historical Society offices, H.N. Greenwell Store, and the Portuguese stone oven are all located on Mamalahoa Highway (Highway 11), about 14 miles south of the town of Kailua-Kona, between mile markers 111 and 112. Look for our sign on the makai (toward the ocean) side of the road. GPS: N19° 30.647 W 155° 55.225





Hawaiian Sayings to Cherish and Remember

2 08 2015

Olu Olu Mai OePlease be kind.

HE MANU KE ALOHA, ‘AOHE LALA KAU ‘OLE.
Love is like a bird, there is no branch
it does not perch upon.

I HO’OKAHI KAHI KE ALOHA.
Be one in love.

`A`ohe lokomaika`i i nele i ke pâna`i. No kind deed has ever lacked its reward.

aloha aku, aloha mai give love, get love





O Hawaii no ka aina maikai

2 07 2015

After all, Hawaii is the best land. (O Hawaii no ka aina maikai)

~ Hawaiian Proverb





Hawaiian Words to Learn

24 06 2015

Hawaiian Words to Know:

Here’s a handy list of simple Hawaiian words you may encounter and should learn:

‘A ina – (eye-nah) – Land.
Ali’i – (ah-LEE-ee) – A Hawaiian chief; a member of the chiefly class.
Aloha – (ah-LOW-ha) – Hello, goodbye, or a feeling or the spirit of love, affection, or kindness.
Hale – (hah-leh) – House or building.
Hana – (ha-nah) – Work.
Hana hou – (ha-nah-HO) – To do again.
Haole – (how-leh) – foreigner; Caucasion.
He`iau – (hey-ee-ow) – Hawaiian temple.
Hula – (hoo-lah) – The story-telling dance of Hawai`i.
Imu – (ee-moo) – An underground oven.
Kahuna – (kah-HOO-na) – A priest or minister; someone who is an expert in a profession.
Kai – (kigh) – The sea.
Kalua – (KAH-loo-ah) – Cooking food underground.
Kama`aina – (kah-ma-EYE-nah) – Long-time Hawaiian resident.
Kane – (kah-neh) – Boy or man.
Kapu – (kah-poo) – Forbidden, taboo; keep out.
Keiki – (kay-key) – Child or children.
Kokua – (koh-koo-ah) – Help.
Kona – (koh-NAH) – Leeward side of the island; wind blowing from the south, southwest direction.
Lanai – (lah-NIGH) – Porch, veranda, patio.
Lei – (lay) – Necklace of flowers, shells, or feathers.
Limu – (lee-moo) – Edible seaweed
Lomi – (loh-mee) – To rub or massage; lomi salmon is raw salmon rubbed with salt.
Lu`au – (loo-ow) – Hawaiian feast; literally means taro leaves.
Mahalo – (mah-hah-low) – Thank you.
Makai – (mah-kigh) – Toward the sea.
Malihini – (mah-lee-hee-nee) – A newcomer, visitor, or guest.
Mauka – (mow-kah) – Toward the mountain.
‘Ohana – (oh-hah-na) – Family.
‘Ono – (oh-no) – Delicious, the best tasting.
Pali – (pah-lee) – A cliff.
Paniolo – (pah-nee-oh-low) – Hawaiian cowboy.
Pau – (pow) – Finish, end, etc., Pau hana means quitting time from work.
Poi – (poy) – Pounded kalo (taro) root that forms a starchy paste.
Pono – (poh-no) – Goodness, excellence, correct, proper.
Pua – (poo-ah) – Flower, blossom.
Pupu – (poo-poo) – Appetizer, snacks, or finger foods.
Wahine – (wah-hee-nay) – Woman.
Wai – (why) – Fresh water.
Wikiwiki – ( wee-kee-wee-kee) – To hurry up, very quick.

Simple Secrets and Tips:

  1. The Hawaiian alphabet has only 12 letters – the five regular vowels (a, e, i, o, and u) and seven consonants (h, k, l, m, n, p, w).
  2. The vowels are pronounced ah, ey, ee, oh and oo, not ay, ee, eye, oh and you like in English.
  3. Most of the time each vowel in a word is pronounced separately.
  4. Remember that all letters are pronounced.

 

There are a couple of simple tricks to help you pronounce them properly:

 

  • Hawaiian words may start with any letter, vowel or consonant.
  • Hawaiian words will never end with a consonant.
  • Syllables in Hawaiian words are only one or two letters, never longer.
  • Syllables must end with a vowel, or can be a single vowel, but can never be a single consonant.





June 11th: King Kamehameha Day

11 06 2015

statue of King Kemehameha

June 11th is King Kamehameha Day, and is celebrated the second weekend of June with parades and remembrances of this glorious king. It is King Kamehameha (ca. 1758 – May 8, 1819), also known as Kamehameha the Great, who conquered the Hawaiian Islands and formally established the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi in 1810.

North Kohala King Kamehameha Day

As king, Kamehameha took several steps to ensure that the islands remained a united realm even after his death. He unified the legal system and he used the products he collected in taxes to promote trade with Europe and the United States. Kamehameha did not allow non-Hawaiians to own land; they would not be able to until the Great Mahele of 1848. This edict ensured the islands’ independence even while many of the other islands of the Pacific succumbed to the colonial powers.





Respecting Hawaii

2 06 2015

Many visitors that come to Hawaii love the weather, to bask in their holiday time, but forget to explore the richly lived past of the Ancient Hawaiians.

For a more rich experience while visiting the magical Big Island take a walk on the King’s Trail, check out the petroglyphs, visit a heiau, and imagine yourself on the island before all the shoreline development and increased population pressures of modern life today.
Puukohola Heiau National Historical Site
Painting by Herb Kawainui Kane

The massive ruins of Puukohola Heiau are an impressive sight. The founding of the Hawaiian kingdom can be directly associated with one structure in the Hawaiian Islands: Pu’ukohola Heiau.

The temple was constructed to incur the favor of the war god Kuka’ilimoku. Built between 1790-91 by Kamehameha I (also known as Kamehameha the Great), together with chiefs, commoners, men, women and children. As British sailor John Young looked on, the temple was built and dedicated, a chief rival was sacrificed, and the war god Ku was pleased. Kamehameha I waged several subsequent battles using Western military strategy and weapons to extend his control over all Hawaiian Islands. The monarchy he established lasted 83 years, from 1810-1893.

Visit the Lapakahi State Historical Park up the Kohala Coast and walk among the ancient site.

Lapakahi State Historical Park is the archaeological site of what remains of a traditional 14th century Hawaiian fishing community. Lapakahi is one of the best-preserved fishing village in Hawaii. A self-guided tour takes visitors to house sites and a canoe halau (long house); runs through a game area where visitors can try spear throwing, ‘ulu maika (disc rolling) and konane (checkers); and leads to a fishing shrine and salt pans along the rocky shoreline.

north_kohala_03.jpg

Explore the early Hawaiian life of the common people through cultural demonstrations of daily activities, story telling, and self-guided one mile loop walk through the partially restored remains of this ancient Hawaiian coastal settlement. Wear decent shoes and go early if you want to beat the heat, it’s a dry part of the island. This 265-acre park is located along the shoreline of the Lapakahi Marine Life Conservation District. The nearby ocean waters comprise a marine preserve with various activities regulated but great snorkeling. Park gate is open from 7 a.m. to closes promptly at 4 p.m.

Take this the site to heart and you will be transported back to earlier times allowing you to reflect upon the Hawaiian first people.

petroglyph_trail_ancient_hawaiian_rock_carvings1.jpg

Hawaii is lovely place, respect the past by treating the island with a reverence for it heritage is a part of being a responsible visitor to the islands. Get out and walk and explore. Pick up any trash you find and remember to live the Aloha Spirit.





Imu: In-ground Cooking from Hawaii

30 05 2015

Imu

Throughout Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia, traditional underground ovens have been utilized to cook and steam food. The Hawaiians use an imu to steam whole pigs, breadfruit, bananas, sweet potatoes, taro, chicken, and fish. The imu is essentially an underground pressure cooker created by digging into the earth as compactly as possible with room for the rocks, leaves, fuel and food. Due to the amount of time and labor to prepare the imu this method of cooking is done primarily for large luaus.





Marquesans: Why Did They Come to Hawaii?

20 02 2015

There are many different theories about why the people of the Marquesas Island people came to Hawaii.  Some believe that it is war, a severe climate or lack of resources forced them to leave their home land. Other believe that they arrived in search of better fishing grounds as they tended to fish way out at sea. It is thought that the first group of Marquesans arrived  in Hawaiian Islands about A.D. 447 settling in Waimanalo, O’hau at Bellows Beach on the windward side of the island.





Pele Hawaiian Goddess of the Volcano

1 02 2015

Pele by Herb Kawainui Kane

Hawaiian legends tell that eruptions are caused by Pele, the beautiful Goddess of Volcanoes during moments of anger. Pele is both revered and feared; her immense power and many adventures figure prominently in ancient Hawaiian songs and chants.

PELE – the Hawaiian (Polynesian) goddess of Fire and volcano, was born in Honua-Mea, part of Tahiti.

She was one of a family of six daughters and seven sons born to Haumea (a very ancient Earth goddess) and Kane Milohai (creator of the sky, earth and upper heavens). She was exiled by her father because of her temper, and for fighting with her elder water-goddess sister Na-maka-o-Kaha’i, whose husband Pele had seduced.

Pele’s oldest brother, Kamohoali’i, the king of the sharks, gave her a great canoe, in which she carried her little sister, Hi’iaka (or Hi’iaka i ka poli o Pele) who is known as the patroness of hula dancers, in egg-form, over the seas eventually finding Hawaii.

When Pele got to Hawaii, she first used her Pa’oa, or o’o stick on Kauai — striking deep into the earth but she was attacked by her older sister and left for dead. Pele recovered and fled to Oahu, where she dug several “fire pits,” including the crater we now called Diamond Head, in Honolulu. After that, Pele left her mark on the island of Molokai before traveling further southeast to Maui and creating the Haleakala Volcano. Namakaokahai, Pele’s older sister, realized she was still alive and she went to Maui to do battle. Finally, the epic battle ended near Hana, Maui, where Pele was torn apart by her sister.

Legend has it that her bones remain as a hill called Ka-iwi-o-Pele. Upon death, she became a god and is said to have found a home on Mauna Kea, on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Pele dug her final and eternal fire pit, Halemaumau Crater, at the summit of Kilauea Volcano.

She is said to live there to this day and is thought to be happy there because it was the Navel of the World, Ka Piko o ka Honua — were the gods began creation. She causes earthquakes by stamping her feet and volcanic eruptions of fiery devastation by digging with the Pa’oe, her magic stick.

Sightings of Pele have been reported all over the islands of Hawaii for hundreds of years, but especially near craters and her home, Mount Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes on Earth. Pele is known for her violent temper, but also for her common visits among mortals. She is said to appear either as a tall, beautiful young woman or as a very old, ugly and frail woman.





Queen Lydia Liliuokalani

28 01 2015

`Onipa`a.

Stand firm.

Motto of Queen Lili`uokalani.

(September 2, 1838 – November 11, 1917)

Queen Liliuokalani was the last reigning monarch of the Hawaiian Islands.

She was born in Honolulu to high chief Kapaakea and the chiefess Keohokalole, the third of ten children. Liliuokalani was adopted at birth by Abner Paki and his wife Konia. At age 4, her adoptive parents enrolled her in the Royal School. There she became fluent in English and was influenced by Congregational missionaries. She also became part of the royal circle attending Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma.

Liliuokalani married a ha’ole, John Owen Dominis on September 16, 1862. Dominis served the monarchy as the Governor of O’ahu and Maui.

Upon the death of her brother, King Kalakauam Liliuokalani ascended the throne of Hawaii in January 1891.

One of her first acts was to recommend a new Hawaii constitution, as the “Bayonet Constitution” of 1887 limited the power of the monarch and political power of native Hawaiians. In 1893, Queen Liliuokalani sought to empower herself and Hawaiians through a new constitution. A group led by Sanford B. Dole sought to overthrow the institution of the monarchy. The American minister in Hawaii, John L. Stevens, called for troops to take control of Iolani Palace and various other governmental buildings. In 1894, the Queen, was deposed, the monarchy abrogated, and a provisional government was established which later became the Republic of Hawaii.





Don’t Miss the Ancient Puako Petroglyphs- K’i’i pohaku

10 01 2015

Ancient Hawaiians called their stone art k’i’i pohaku, or images in stone. The k’i’i pohaku are commonly referred to as petroglyphs, this comes from the greek words, “petros” for rock and “glyphein” to carve. The largest concentration of petroglyphs in the Pacific lies within the 233-acre Puako Petroglyph Archaeological District.

This preserve is part of one of the most extensive petroglyph fields in the Hawaiian archipelago. Once difficult to get to, this area is now easily reached via the Mauna Lani Resort. The walk will take you through a kiawe forest and takes about 20 minutes. It can be a hot spot so go early or late but not in the mid-day sun. The rock etchings are scattered throughout an old pahoehoe lava flow.

There are more than 3,000 petroglyphs of all different designs – families; Hawaiian tools; fish; chiefs; fishermen; paddlers and more. . You will see among the ki’i pohaku (petroglyphs), the piko stones used by the Hawaiians to encase their newborns’ umbilical cords in a rite designed to give the child mana (power) and long life. About 80% of the images are cupules or holes, which were used as depositories for umbilical cords at the birth of a child to assure long life. They are also believed to represent the recorded passage of individuals, families or troops, further indicated by circles and semi circles, as well as distinguishing between the people and the Ali’i (royalty). Other images include anthropomorphs, human representations in the form of paddlers, fishermen, runners, surfers, marchers, warriors and chiefs, and also canoes, sails, animals, tools and numerous symbolic geometrics.

The first Hawaiians arrived from the Marquesas Islands as early as 750 AD, and may have brought some of the carving designs with them. All petroglyphs are constantly being eroded by the environment, so physical contact is prohibited to prevent an increased rate of deterioration.

Carved into Pahoehoe lava, these petroglyphs are protected as National Treasures and are an enigma of the Pacific. This site is an outdoor museum, these are ancient treasures; do not touch or damage them. It is likely that many of these petroglyphs were made sometime between A.D. 1000-1800 but their exact age is unknown. The petroglyphs are fragile and can be easily damaged or destroyed – please take every precaution respect and preserve this Hawaiian cultural treasure site.

 Turn Left onto Hwy 19 & go 23.8 miles to entrance for Mauna Lani Resort (left side – between Mile Marker 74 & 73)

  • Turn Left at Mauna Lani Drive & go 1.1 mile to traffic circle
  • Enter Traffic Circle and take first right turn (North Kaniku Drive)
  • Go 0.8 mile on North Kaniku Drive to sign for Holoholokai Beach (right side)
  • Turn Right at sign & go 0.4 mile to beach parking lot
  • The path to the petroglyphs is at the entrance to the parking lot (right side)
  • Note: Open daily 6:30 AM -6:30 pm, restrooms. The trail to the Petroglyph Exhibit is wheelchair accessible.

 





‘Okolehao, Hawaiian Moonshine

5 04 2013

Ki

‘Okolehao is sometimes referred to as Hawaiian moonshine and was big business on the Big Island during prohibition. It is made from the root of the Ki plant more commonly called the Ti plant, combined with rice, and pure cane sugar all plentiful in Hawaii.

What’s ‘okolehao? A hard-to-find spirit, made from C. Fruticosa, better known as the ti plant, a flowering lily that has played a significant role in Polynesian and Hawaiian society for generations.

According to the Honolulu Advertiser newspaper article, by Will Hover that appeared in 2003,
“Waipi’o Valley on the Big Island was Hawai’i’s ‘okolehao focal point during the Prohibition Era from 1920 to 1933. One of the most colorful Prohibition Waipi’o moonshiners was Luther Makeau, a Parker Ranch cowboy who, according to his daughter, Virginia “Auntie Lehau” Kapaku of Nanakuli, eventually went to prison for his outlaw activities.

“It was 100 percent alcohol, I know that,” Kapaku said. “They sold it by the gallon jug. What they’d do is chop up the ti roots and steam them in an imu.”

The fermented mash was then put in a homemade still, she said. Because the Prohibition was in full swing, the resulting beverage could sell for as high as $100 a gallon.”

It was said to have been introduced in the 1780s by a Capt. Nathaniel Portlock, on of Captain Cook’s crew, who taught the Hawaiians how to make a mildly intoxicating brew from the roots of ki — the plant more commonly known today as Ti. Around 1790, William Stevenson, an escaped convict from Australia taught them how to further distill a mash of fermented ti roots in the iron try-pots used to to boil whale blubber.

It’s fun to learn these lesser known stories of Hawaiian history and keep them alive.





Art of Hawaiian Quilts

23 01 2013

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Image result for traditional hawaiian quilts

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