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





`Uli `Uli

14 11 2015


The `uli uli are gourd rattles used as hula implements. They can be used singly or in pairs, by all genders, from the most playful `auana to the fiercest kahiko dances.

Small gourds often from the la`amea tree are hollowed out and filled with ali`i poe seeds and topped off with colorful traditional feather-work.





Greetings for Various Holidays in Hawaiian

10 11 2015

Happy Birthday ~ Hau`oli la Hanau (pronounced how-oh-lay la ha-now)
Happy Sweet 16 ~ Hau`oli Momona ‘Umi Kumaono (pronounced how-oh-lay mo-mo-na oo-me ku-ma-o-no)
Happy Anniversary ~ Hau`oli la Ho’omana’o (pronounced how-oh-lay la ho-o-ma-na-o)
Happy Retirement ~ Hau`oli la Ho’omaha loa (pronounced how-oh-lay la ho-o-ma-ha low-a)
Happy New Year ~ Hau’oli Makahiki Hou (pronounced how-oh-lay ma-ka-hee-key ho)
Happy Thanksgiving ~ Hau’oli La Ho’omakika’i (pronounced how-oh-lay la ho-o-ma-key-kah-ee)
Happy Holidays ~ Hau’oli Lanui (pronounced how-oh-lay la-new-ee)
Merry Christmas ~ Mele Kalikimaka (pronounced may-lay ka-lee-key-ma-ka)
Happy Hanukkah ~ Hau’oli Hanukaha (pronounced how-oh-lay ha-new-ka-ha)
Happy Kwanzaa ~ Hau’oli Kawanaka (pronounced how-oh-lay ka-wa-na-ka)





Birds of Hawaii: `Apapane

4 11 2015

photograph by Peter LaTourrette

Hawaiian Birds

Because the islands are more than 2000 miles from North America or Asia there are some amazing birds in Hawaii. It has been said that the absence of predators and minimal competition allowed them to evolve in peace. It has been estimated that there were at one time are least seventy kinds of birds that were unique to Hawaii. Of these some forty percent are already lost to extinction and some thirty percent more that are considered endangered.

`Apapane (Himatione sanguinea) from the finch family, are considered a Hawaii Songbird. They have at least ten distinctive songs and six different calls. They foraging actively through tree tops of Ohia lehua, consuming the nectar from each flower as they pollinate them. The `Apapane will be aggressive with any bird that dares to drink from its flowers—even larger birds. They forage primarily in the upper canopy and only rarely feed from the ground. It also frequents flowering koa and mamane and has been observed feeding in pines and flowering eucalyptus. They also are known to snack on insects such as spiders and caterpillars.

5 inches. Both sexes look similar. The bodies are crimson red with a white abdomen and under tail coverts. The wings, tail, and legs are black. The bill is short, black, and slightly curved. Juveniles are similar to adults except are a grayish-brown color. Their wings produce a distinct whirring sound in flight.

Their nests are made from twigs, moss, ferns, rootlets, and lichens. They have 2-4 eggs that are white with reddish markings, there is a two week incubation period.

In early Polynesia, red feathers were most valued, as red was a sacred royal color. Feathers were plucked from the `Apapane birds and used in royal ‘ahu ‘ula-cloaks sometimes made from millions of the red and yellow feathers of small forest birds. They strode into battle wearing crested helmets, velvety with the scarlet feathers of the ‘i‘iwi and ‘apapane birds.





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





Aloha Greetings to Learn

15 10 2015

two palm trees

Aloha Au Ia ‘Oe
– I Love You
Aloha Aku No, Aloha Mai No – I give my love to you, you give your love to me
Aloha Kaua – May there be love between us (said to one person)
Aloha Kakou – May there be love between us (said to more than one person)
Aloha No Au Ia ‘Oe – I Truly Love You
Aloha Nui Loa – All my love
Aloha Pumehana – Aloha Au Ia ‘Oe ~ I Love You
Aloha Aku No, Aloha Mai No – I give my love to you, you give your love to me
Aloha Kaua – May there be love between us (said to one person)
Aloha Kakou – May there be love between us (said to more than one person)
Aloha No Au Ia ‘Oe – I Truly Love You
Aloha Nui Loa – All my love
Aloha Pumehana – Warm love, affection





Hawaiian Birds: Nene

10 10 2015
Photo by Alejandro Bárcenas

Photo by Alejandro Bárcenas

The Nene is the state bird of Hawaii and is also known as the Hawaiian Goose. They are 22-26″ a medium sized goose with a buffy neck with dark furrows. Heavily barred gray-brown above, lighter below (see photo).

Its strong toes are padded and have reduced webbing, an adaptation that allows it to swiftly traverse rough terrain such as lava. Black billed it breeds from November to June. Females incubate the 2-5 eggs for 29 to 32 days.

An herbivore they feed on plants native and introduced.

Nesochen sandivicensis

Nesochen sandivicensis





Hawaiian Word for Today: Iki

7 10 2015

IMG_1667

Iki- small or little

Keep the Hawaiian Language alive by teaching some one you love this word. Stop today to talk to a child about the beauty of the Hawaiian language.





Hula as History

20 09 2015


The easiest way to memorize our history is by doing it through the hula. Hula keeps our history alive, and without it one cannot truly identify oneself as being Hawaiian. -Al Makahinu Barcarse





Birds of Hawaii: Ae’o

10 09 2015
Himantopus mexicanus knudseni

Himantopus mexicanus knudseni

Also knows as the Hawaiian Stilt, the Ae’o is a tall slender wading bird with pink legs and a long thin black bill. It is 16″ and its voice is a loud, sharp “keek” call given in flight and when disturbed on the ground. Also gives a soft more muted call while resting. They exhibit a strong flapping flight with its legs trailing behind. Often found in mudflats, marshy areas, and ponds. They feed on fish, crabs, aquatic insects, and worms.





Learning New Hawaiian Words: Hopenapule

7 09 2015

IMG_5784

Hopenapule– the weekend

 

Keep the Hawaiian Language alive by teaching some one you love this word. Stop today to talk to a child about the beauty of the Hawaiian language.





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





More Hawaiian Wisdom

25 08 2015

Taro leaf and a very happy man living Aloha!

This is roughly translated to mean:

“The goodness of the taro is judged by the young plant it produces.”

This wise phase is said to be a commentary of the behavior of children being a reflection of their parents.





Ke Kanawai Mamalahoe – Law of the Splintered Paddle

22 08 2015

E hele ka `elemakule, ka luahine,
a me na kamali`i a moe i ke ala
`a`ohe mea nana e ho`opilikia.

Let the old men, the old women, and the children go
and sleep on the wayside; let them not be molested.

The Law of the Splintered Paddle,
King Kamehameha I.

The law of the splintered paddle declared that old men and women and children may lie on the roadside and they shall not be molested. A royal edict of Kamehameha the Great, thus began the era of freedom from violent assault.

In ancient Hawai‘i, there were no laws as we know them today. The sacred kapu, traditions, respect for one another and love for the land kept order and harmony among men and women long before the haole (foreigners) arrived, bringing their varieties of civilization. It was only with the changing times and contact with Europeans that laws came to be written down. As a tribute to his people, the very first law proclaimed by Kamehameha the Great was a law that protected them all, from the elderly to the very young.

Mamala means “splintered”; hoe means “paddle.” Kanawai refers to water and the responsibility the Hawaiians had of controlling and conserving their streams. It was the closest word they had to “law.”

There are many stories of how this law came about. One tells of a commoner who taught Kamehameha that human life — any human life — was precious and deserved respect, and that it was wrong for the powerful to mistreat those who may be weaker.

The teacher was a fisherman. The student was Kamehameha as a warrior before he united the islands. The lesson was not written in a book or on a chalkboard. It was delivered with the whack of a wooden canoe paddle. It was a harsh lesson, but Kamehameha never forgot it, because he later turned that lesson into Hawai‘i’s first official written law.

Used with permission from “The Law of the Splintered Paddle,” Copyright 1994 Hawaii Legal Auxiliary





Days of the Week in Hawaiian

10 08 2015

on the Old Airport Walking Path

Sunday – Lapule (lay-poo-lay )
Monday – Po’akahi (poh ah-kah-hee)
Tuesday – Po’alua (poh ah-loo-ah)
Wednesday – Po’akolu (poh ah-ko-loo)
Thursday – Po’aha (poh ah-ha)
Friday – Po’alima (poh ah-lee-mah)
Saturday – Po ‘aono (poh ah-o-no)





Hawaiian Word of the Day: Koli

7 08 2015

IMG_2246

Koli- to whittle

Keep the Hawaiian Language alive by teaching some one you love this word. Stop today to talk to a child about the beauty of the Hawaiian language.

 





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





Fish of Hawaii: Kihikihi

20 07 2015
photo by Mila Zinkova taken in Kona

photo by Mila Zinkova taken in Kona

The Moorish Idol, Zanclus cornutus, called Kinikihi in Hawaiian, stands out in contrasting bands of black, white and yellow. They have relatively small fins so they prefer shallow reef waters and lagoons. Like the butterfly fishes, Moorish Idols mate for life. They often school as juveniles. Adult males tend to be aggressive toward one another.

They grow up to eight inches in length and are not long lived in captivity although they are popular aquarium fish.

The Moors in Africa believe them to be fish of happiness and with their colorful bodies and graceful patterns you can see why they bring a smile.





Learning Hawaiian Words: Hilo

17 07 2015

Hilo is the first night of the Hawaiian Moon Calendar, the new moon.





Birds of Hawaii: Noio

10 07 2015

 

This bird is frequently observed on the ocean cliffs of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It is a seabird in the tern family. It is 14″ with a wingspan of 28″.

Its voice is similar to that of the Brown Noddy but higher pitched and less piercing. The Noio build substantial nests from the wood of the naupaka or ironwood trees and rarely feeds far from its nesting island.