Hakikili ka ua, hālana ka wai, hālanalana i ka houpo o Kāne; hā ka moana, hālana ke kai, hālanalana i ka houpo o Kanaloa; kaiehu ka moku, pāpapa ka ʻāina. The rain thunders down in big drops, the water floods the land, floods the heart of Kāne; the ocean heaves, the sea floods the land, inundation by the heart of Kanaloa; pieces of the island are dislodged, the land is flattened. Our kūpuna recorded cataclysmic events and extreme weather conditions in mele (chants, songs, poetry) and we drew on those to create these lines as part of a Kealopiko art installation for ʻAe Kai, a 2017 Smithsonian exhibit. Climate change was one of the exhibition themes and we spoke to that with this mele, an ʻŌiwi TV video of the Heʻeia fishpond wall submerged during a king tide, and the design on this garment, which depicts the flow of rainwater through a traditional system and many of the things it affects. Sea level rise and flooding due to changes in rainfall patterns will continue to affect our island communities. How will we cope with these things? Just like our kūpuna, we are forced to find solutions. Because they were masters of innovation, we ask for their guidance and follow in their footsteps as we meet the challenges of climate change with open eyes.
Hidden away in small pockets of Hawaiʻi's dry forest habitats (only 4% of them remain) is the beautiful hōlei tree whose little yellow blossoms look like tiny Plumeria flowers because the two are related. As cousins, they both have milky sap, parallel leaf venation, and 5-petaled blossoms. However, the scent of the hōlei blossom far surpasses that of any Plumeria, so honi (inhale) deeply if you get the chance to meet her in person. If you love native plants like we do, it will be a memory you forever cherish. The bark and roots of this tree are pounded to produce a gorgeous yellow dye used to color some kinds of kapa, such as hōlei, wai liʻiliʻi. The first two were used for the decorative top sheet, or kilohana, in the kuʻinakapa (bed coverings). The wood of the hōlei tree is used to make moʻo (gunnels) for canoes. Once a common dry forest tree on all the main islands, the largest populations of hōlei now occur on at Auwahi (Maui) and Puʻuwaʻawaʻa (Hawaiʻi). Hawaiʻi's four endemic species of hōlei belong to the genus Ochrosia, with one being extinct and the others rare. Kaluhea wale kahi pua makaliʻi - Simply fragrant is a certain tiny flower.
Modern science now tells us that we learn language through movement while in the womb, matching precise actions to specific sounds made by our mothers. Hawaiians understood this kinesthetic relationship to sound long before microscopes and ultrasounds were invented. They developed many sophisticated ways of using sound to store memory in the body. Hei, or the making of string figures (a.k.a. catʻs cradle), is one of these techniques. Hei was often employed as a way to help memorize long chants, but was used for many other purposes from fun to ritual. The word hei means to ensnare or capture, hinting at the possibility of capturing something desired when done with prayers in ritual. Hei is done by peoples worldwide, but as practiced by those in the Pacific it is associated with Kanaloa, god of the ocean. Dr. Taupōuri Tangarō (Panaʻewa, Hawaiʻi) generously shared his knowledge of hei with us, as well as the hei pictured on this garment, which he refers to as "Ka pae mānewenewe, ka pae manuʻa o Kanaloa." This name speaks to the vast and immeasurable presence that is Kanaloa, manifest in SO many wondrous forms. Some of those forms captured in the hei include the moon with four coral polyps on each side and the pū (head) of a heʻe (octopus) with eight aweawe (tentacles). Dr. Tangarō explains that the kaula (string) used in hei teaches us about the connectedness of the world and is a symbolic representation of our own connection to all potential (like a baby in the womb is connected to life through its piko and ʻiewe). Punihei aku nei i ka hie o ia kaula - Captivated by the attractiveness of that string.
2. vt. To raise, feed, nourish, sustain; provider, caretaker... (Hawaiian Dictionary). This design is dedicated to Hawaiʻi's fishponds and all those who and restore care for them. Fishponds were one of the main sources of food for Hawaiians and represent sustenance and sustainability. Restoration of both fishponds and loʻi (irrigated terraces for growing kalo) is a way for people in Hawaiʻi to become more self-reliant one ahupuaʻa at a time, providing clean protein and one of the most delicious and nourishing staple starches on earth. He pōhaku ka ʻai, kaʻa i ka lawa - If stones are the food, that will suffice. This ʻōlelo was inspired by "Mele ʻAi Pōhaku" (lit. "the rock-eating song" a.k.a. "Kaulana Nā Pua"), a patriotic national song of resistance to the (false) annexation of Hawaiʻi into the U.S. (no document exists to prove this merger). This metaphor of eating stones, rather than relying on government money, is contrasted here with thriving land (Ola ka ʻāina) where an abundance of food is produced in fishponds and taro patches, both built out of pōhaku. We could eat stones if we needed to, but with our expert technology we don't have to. We just have to turn our hands down toward the soil and water (hoʻohuli i ka lima i lalo) to produce our food.
Vi. Ka puka ʻana mai o kekahi mea mai loko mai o ka honua, e laʻa ka pūnāwai a me ka ʻalaea. He aka kēia no ke kipi kūʻē a kānaka. I aliʻi ke aliʻi i ke kanaka. He ʻōlelo kēia mai kahiko mai e hoʻomanaʻo ana iā kākou ē ʻo ke aliʻi mālama i aloha ʻia e kona poʻe kānaka, ʻo ia ke aliʻi e kohu ana i kona kūlana. Koe mai nō nā moʻolelo a me nā mele hoʻohiwahiwa aliʻi e hōʻike mai ana i ke aloha nui o nā kūpuna i nā aliʻi maikaʻi, e laʻa ʻo Māʻilikūkahi, ʻUmialīloa, Kauikeaouli, Liliʻuokalani a me nā aliʻi ʻē aʻe he nui wale. Inā naʻe he hanaʻino ke aliʻi i nā makaʻāinana, he kipi a he hoʻokuke ka hopena. Kalaʻihi akula ʻo Halaʻea i nā lawaiʻa āna, no laila hoʻopihapiha ʻia akula kona waʻa i ka iʻa a komo loa a piholo ihola. Hehi wale aku ʻo Koihala i ke aloha o nā makaʻāinana a hoʻonalo ʻia ihola ʻo ia i loko o ke ahu pōhaku. Ua mau ka ʻimi o ka makaʻāinana i ka pono i ke au aupuni Hawaiʻi. I ka makahiki 1876, haʻiʻōlelo akula ka lunmakaʻāinana o Kona ʻĀkau i mua o ka ʻahaʻōlelo no kona hopohopo i ka māhuahua ʻana aʻe o ka ʻaiʻē o ke aupuni. Wahi āna, "I ʻAhaʻōlelo ka ʻAhaʻōlelo i ka Lāhui, I Kānāwai ke Kānāwai i ka Lāhui, I Aliʻi ke Aliʻi i ke kanaka." E hū honua mau ke kanaka ke pono ʻole ka hana a nā mea o luna.
Vi. To come out of the earth as a spring or an outcrop of ʻalaea dirt. Figuratively, to rise in revolt. (Pukui & Elbert). I aliʻi ke aliʻi i ke kanaka. This old saying reminds us that chiefs enjoy their position because of the people. Aliʻi who treated their people well were dearly loved, as seen in the many stories, honorific songs and other acts of aloha by makaʻāinana. Aliʻi who abused their authority, however, were removed by the people. Halaʻea treated his fisherman terribly, so they overloaded his canoe with fish and it sank with him in it. Koihala trampled on the aloha of his people and was disappeared beneath a pile of stones. Holding leaders accountable carries over into the kingdom era. A South Kona representative spoke before the legislature in 1876 on his concerns about the growing kingdom debt. He said, "I ʻAhaʻōlelo ka ʻAhaʻōlelo i ka Lāhui, I Kānāwai ke Kānāwai i ka Lāhui, I Aliʻi ke Aliʻi i ke kanaka" - The Legislature is a Legislature by the People, The Law is the Law by the people, A chief is a chief by the people. The people will always rise up when those in power do not work in their best interest.
Nui nā lāhui helu lā o ka honua, ʻo ka poʻe Hawaiʻi naʻe, he lāhui helu pō. Nani ka like o nā inoa pō mahina ma Hawaiʻi a puni, me ka ʻokoʻa hoʻi o nā inoa malama, i mea hoʻi e maopopo ai, ʻokoʻa kēlā me kēia ʻāina, ka nui o ka ua, nā lāʻau e ulu ana, a pēlā aku. ʻO ka lawaiʻa, ka mahiʻai, ka lapaʻau, ke kaʻi ʻaha, nā hana like ʻole hoʻi a kānaka, aia nō i ka mahina. ʻO ia hale anu nani o luna lā kahi o Hinahānaiakamalama, keiki a Kekoʻiʻulaakahaʻi (k) lāua ʻo Keānuenuepiʻolani (w). Lilo ʻo ia he wahine na ʻAikanaka a hānau ʻia maila kā lāua mau keiki, ʻo Puna, kupuna o ko Kauaʻi poʻe aliʻi, a ʻo Hema, kupuna o ko Maui me ko Hawaiʻi poʻe aliʻi. Ua ʻōlelo ʻia, no ka luhi o ka nohona a me ka hana ʻino ʻia mai e kāna kāne, lele aʻela ua wahine nei i ka mahina e noho ai. ʻO ka pō ia ʻo Lono a iā ia i lele aʻe ai i luna, lālau akula kāna kāne i kona wāwae, a muku ihola, a pēlā i kapa ʻia ai kona inoa ʻo Lonomuku. Mai kahi wāwae ona i ulu mai ai ka ʻuala hualani. ʻO kāna ʻai nō hoʻi ia ma kona hale hou, a pēlā ka loaʻa ʻana mai o ka inoa ʻo Hinahānaiakamalama. Ma ka mahina nō ʻo ia e hoʻomau aku ai i kāna hana nui, ʻo ke kuku kapa, ka mea i kaulana ai kona inoa ma ka honua nei, ke kapa palupalu a nani loa hoʻi āna i kuku ai me ka lima noʻeau.
There are many mana (versions) of the story of Hinahānaiakamalama and how she left earth to take refuge in the mahina (moon). In one mana, she leaps from Puʻu Māʻeliʻeli in Heʻeia, in attempt to escape her cruel and abusive husband. It was on the night of Lono, and as she jumped, he grabbed her leg and pulled it off, leaving it muku (amputated), hence the name Lonomuku. From her leg grew the ʻuala (sweet potato), a kinolau of Lono. Other accounts explain that in the moon, Hina found a variety of ʻuala called hualani (fruit of heaven) that was her nourishment there, from which comes the name Hinahānaiakamalama, or Hina nourished by the moon. Safe in her silvery home, Hina pounds her kapa and sets the rhythms for planting, fishing, and many other aspects of Hawaiian life. Each mahina (night of the moon) has a name and these are usually consistent across our various ʻāina. The malama (months), however, differ between islands and even districts, as each locality has its own unique aspect, weather patterns, geography, and assemblage of plants and animals. Our kūpuna were in constant conversation with the mahina, developing specialized local knowledge through observation and practice over time.
This is the Hawaiian term for stingrays and spotted eagle rays. Also carrying the meaning of lavish, magnificent or elegant, these aptly named creatures are some of the most stunning organisms to frequent Hawaiian waters. Hīhīmanu are found in warm ocean areas the world over and the beautiful patterns of spots on their bodies are indicative of their birthplace. Hīhīmanu is also the name of a famous peak on the island of Kauaʻi. Hele nō ā hīhīmanu - It becomes elegant.
Naue nā pali uliuli o ke koʻolau, haʻa nā mamo i ke ahe a ka Malanai, maʻemaʻe wale i ka ua ʻĀpuakea, heahea aku nā kini i kou inoa ʻala lā, e ō mai ʻoe, e Kamalehua i ka ʻiuʻiu. E ka ʻōlali o Oʻahu a Lua, lua ʻole o ke aloha ʻāina, e ka meʻe uʻi o ke kūʻokoʻa, i kūpaʻa no ka pono o ke aupuni, e ka lehua ʻōlino mau, ua mao ʻole kou aloha aliʻi, a no laila me ʻoe ka mahalo mahamaha o nā makamaka o kēia au e kūnewa nei. Ua ala nā kini a me nā mamo, a ke ʻīnana aʻe nei mai ʻō a ʻō o ka pae ʻāina. Ke laha aʻe nei ka moʻolelo o ka huakaʻi ʻimi kūʻokoʻa a he lāʻau ia e lapaʻau ana i ka naʻau a me ka noʻonoʻo o ka hū a me ka lehulehu. E like hoʻi me ka ʻōlelo a J.M. Poepoe, aia ka naʻauao ʻiʻo o ka lāhui o kekahi aupuni a paʻa nā moʻolelo o kona ʻāina kulāiwi iā ia. ʻO ka naʻauao e loaʻa mai ana i ka lāhui ma o nā moʻolelo o kāu mau hana like ʻole, he mea ia e akāka mai ai ke ala i mua o mākou. No laila he aloha mae ʻole kēia i nā kau a kau, e ke kupuna hiwahiwa, i kou hōʻike ʻana mai i ke ʻano maoli o ka ʻauamo, ka hoʻokō, ka hāʻawi pau a me ke aloha ʻāina. E ola mau kou inoa!
History is full of unsung heroes - people who accomplished phenomenal things we don't even realize affect our lives today. So it is with Timoteo Kamalehua Haʻalilio who, along with William Richards and George Simpson, carried out the most important international mission in our history: the quest for recognition of Hawaiʻi as an Independent State. Of chiefly lineage, Haʻalilio became a companion for Kauikeaouli at 8 yrs old and lived his entire life in dedicated service to him. Highly educated, socially adept, and of sterling integrity, he was a perfectly suited as a representative of his King and people. The 3 men traveled for 16 months to arrive at the day we now celebrate as Lā Kūʻokoʻa (Independence Day), November 28, 1843. On this cold day in London, Great Britain and France signed the Anglo-France proclamation (after the initial promise of recognition by America), recognizing Hawaiʻi as an Independent State - the first non-European one to join the Family of Nations. While in London, Haʻalilio took original artwork to a professional engraver to create the coat of arms. While traveling back through America, Haʻalilio fell ill. On December 3, 1844, he died at sea on a ship bound for home. His arduous journey of more than 2 years and 4 months ended, his life a sacrifice for our sovereignty. Let us honor this man and remember his story. Let this bright beacon of the past guide us into the future. Ka Lehua ʻŌlino Mau - The ever-brilliant lehua.
Hui Aloha ʻĀina a nā Lede Hawaiʻi
It's December 11, 1897. A massive tent awash in fragrant mountain greenery stands proudly in the yard of Dr. Makapine's house, just Waikīkī side of Washington Place. Elaborately decorated tables boast the best of the islands: lei of maile, lehua and hala, Hilo's finest weaving, and a sumptuous banquet. The leaders of the the Women's Patriotic League (aka Hui Aloha ʻĀina o Nā Wahine Hawaiʻi) attend to the tables and the many guests who have purchased tickets to this benefit feast, one of the Hui's many efforts to raise funds for the Hawaiian delegates who were in Washington DC at that very time, preparing to deliver the anti-annexation petitions for which the Hui had helped to gather signatures. This was how Hawaiians pushed back on both the illegal overthrow of the government in 1893 and the second attempt of the provisional government at an annexation treaty with America in 1897. The 38,000 petition signatures (Hui Aloha ʻĀina and Hui Kālaiʻāina combined) made the wishes of Hawaiians known to America: restore our queen and our government. The sentiment of the Hui was the same in their song "Ka Lei o Ka Lanakila" (chorus shown on this shirt) composed in 1896 for Queen Liliʻuokalani: Forward, O Hawaiian people, let our hearts be as one, that Hawaii may be ever glorious, wearing the garland of victory.
Hawaiian fishing methods are incredibly diverse. The use of baskets to trap fish was a popular method and often done by women. Baskets of various shapes and sizes were used to catch all kinds of fish including kala, hīnālea, palani, uhu, halahala, kūmū, ʻōpae, ʻoʻopu, and more. The aerial roots of the ʻieʻie (Freycinetia arborea) were the main material for various classes of baskets including hīnaʻi, pai (also ʻapai and ʻāpua), ʻie (ʻie palani, ʻie kala, etc.), ʻapi, and others. Small, single use baskets (hīnaʻi hoʻoluʻuluʻu, naomakalua, etc.) were woven from ʻāwikiwiki (Canavalia spp.), huehue (Cocculus ferrandianus), and other vining species. Some hīnaʻi had a rock woven onto the bottom side to weight them down to the ocean floor, others were secured by piling rocks around them. They were designed so that fish could swim in, but not back out. Various types of bait (pumpkin, ʻuala, kalo, crushed niu, wana, hāʻukeʻuke, limu, etc.) were often placed in the baskets to attract the fish. The hīnaʻi kala (also ʻie kala) was the largest of the baskets. Woven under kapu by men over 2-3 days, they were then filled with limu kala and lowered from a canoe. They were switched out with the ʻapi - open feeding baskets used beforehand to tame and fatten the fish. One haul in a hīnaʻi kala could hold up to 60 fish! Nothing short of ingenious. Ka ʻie lawe e lawa ai ka makemake - The basket that satisfies one's desires (provides what one needs).
He Hoʻoheno Ua
A huge squall sits offshore, a dense column of water connecting dark cloud to deep ocean, a mass of falling rain that when struck by the sun at the right angle, produces a glowing rainbow: ʻŌpiʻopiʻo ʻo Lono me he ānuenue lā - Lono arches like a rainbow. From steady showers that nourish newly planted ʻuala to heavy downpours, the rains in the winter months are animated by Lono. At Makahiki, this akua (god) moves into the space close to us and begins to drive the weather, while Kāne, with his gentler patterns, takes a sideseat. Both akua are embodied in lightning, thunder, rain and rainbows, but Lono's manifestations are more intense, especially his rains, which cleanse all that has built up during the time of Kū. This design depicts five rains not limited to, but frequently seen during the four months where Lono rules the weather: ke kualau (ocean squall described above), ka ua koko (a rain often seen over the ocean with a rainbow), ka uhiwai (heavy fog or mist), ka ua loku (heavy downpours), and ka lele ua (windblown rain, or rain that comes sideways). This is our hoʻoheno ua, our visual mele that pays tribute to the many beautiful rains our kūpuna recognized and to Lono's kinolau (multiple forms) seen in the weather during Makahiki.
Love dust. Passion pollen. Erotic ʻehu. So many monikers for the hīnano, the famous blossom and its potently perfumed pollen! From the fragrant bowers of Puna to the sea-drinking hala of Naue, this pua hanohano (glorious flower) is celebrated all across the island chain. The hala tree (Pandanus tectorius) is dioecious, meaning male and female flowers are on separate plants. It is the male hala flower that yields copious amounts of the heady pollen we know as the original Hawaiian aphrodisiac. Not only is it aromatic, it also has a very real effect when consumed or applied to certain parts of the body at, ahem, certain times. We know of one man who kept this tantalizing pollen in a salt shaker on his bedside table and always had a pack of ladies following him around. Traditionally, it was sprinkled under malo as a talcum powder and used to scent kapa and various kinds of mats. The hīnano blossom is actually several flowers joined together, each sheltered by a cream colored bract. These fragrant bracts were woven into fine mats called puahala in some places. A metaphor for love, passion, and even status, hīnano is found in countless mele. Naʻenaʻe ka hīnano ka hanu o ka makani - Fragrant is the hīnano, the breath of the wind.
Heʻe | Alaheʻe
Since we could not pass up this awesome combo, the ladies of Kealopiko offer you another pairing from the Kumulipo. A delicious iʻa (food from the ocean), heʻe is well-known and loved by many. There are three species found in Hawaiian waters: Octopus cyanea (a.k.a. "day octopus"), Octopus ornatus (a.k.a. heʻe pū loa or "night octopus"), and the very small Octopus hawaiiensis - the only species endemic to our islands. The upland friend of the heʻe, the alaheʻe tree, is less popular than itʻs charismatic ocean counterpart. This small indigenous tree grows in dry to mesic forests on all the main islands (except Kahoʻolawe and Niʻihau). Itʻs hard and durable wood was fashioned into ʻōʻō (digging sticks for cultivation) and a variety of spears (including ʻō and ihe). Could it be that spears made from this wood were used for "poking" heʻe itself? After all, ʻōheʻe is another name for this species (hmmm...), as well as walaheʻe. The blossoms of this plant have a strongly sweet odor (maybe why scientists call it Psydrax odorata) that often slips or slides (heʻe) along the breeze. The nickname "Hawaiian mock orange" should give you an idea of the headiness of this fragrance that is blown into many peopleʻs houses when their hedges burst into bloom. Ke ʻala e heʻe ana i ke ahe a ka makani - The fragrance that slips by on the gentle blowing of the breeze.