The Value of Hawai'i 2
Ancestral Roots, Oceanic Visions
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
Title Page, Copyright
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How to Use this Book
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This book is by no means a definitive or all-encompassing collection of everything we value about Hawai‘i. We hope you take this collection as a starting point for more wonderful and inspiring ideas, projects, conversations. For more possibilities...
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We Are Islanders
Aiko Yamashiro & Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘öpua
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The majestic female figure on the cover of this book is artist John “Prime” Hina’s depiction of Pele, the fiery deity who currently resides at Halema‘uma‘u on Hawai‘i Island. In his rendering, Pele holds an ‘umeke—a bowl typically used for containing food—on her right hip. The ‘umeke poi is an important...
Tūtū's Aloha ‘Äina Grace
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It may be a uniquely Hawaiian relationship celebrated in mo‘olelo like Kamapua‘a, La‘anuimamao, and Kamiki, which illustrate the pilina pa‘a mau (enduring love) of a tütū wahine (grandmother) and mo‘opuna käne (grandson). In each of these mo‘olelo, the küpunahine are a fundamental part of the...
Mo‘olelo: Stories and Storytelling
So Listen to Me
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Slam poetry is a competitive form of spoken word started in the 1980s in Chicago by Marc Smith, a poet and construction worker, who was looking for a way to get everyday people excited about poetry. At its most basic, slam poetry is an open mic event with rules and a time limit. In Hawai‘i, it has...
We, The Star Keepers
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For the past two years, I have found myself in a perfect storm of weddings. At the age of thirty, the biological clocks of my high school friends seem to have aligned with the certainty of a tidal chart. Upon this nuptial tempest, I have been cast to the shores of Boston and San Francisco, Richmond and the...
Eyes of the Night Lights
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On the slopes of the Mauna Kea summit, the cold winds of Poli‘ahu whispered in the ear of Kia‘i, “It’s time.” Kia‘i opened his eyes to the flawless surface of Lake Waiau casting the perfect projection of the night sky. Burdened by the command given, Kia‘i rose and began to gather his ‘upena, fishing net, and waded into the glacial water towards the never-ending pattern...
The Welo and Kuleana of Mele Integrity
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While my mother, “Lady Ipo,” embarked on her Hawaiian music career at a young age, little did I know the critical role Hawaiian music would play in my own life’s work, kuleana, and passion. When it was time to start considering college and career possibilities, I wanted to work in the culinary field...
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I feel a visceral connection with the mountains of our home. Their cracks and crevices like folds in my heart, razor knuckles reaching for heaven; seeking taut liberation from the ocean, drawing down the sky...
Kuleana and Developing Hawai‘i Responsibly
Honoring the Family of KTA Super Stores
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I started working at Taniguchi Supermarket, founded in 1916 and known today as KTA Super Stores, when I was just sixteen years old. I am a third generation (sansei) Japanese, the second son of three boys and two girls, born and raised on the Hakalau sugar plantation on the Hāmākua coast of the Big...
Lāna‘i’s Community Wealth
Consuelo Agarpao Gouveia
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Being born and raised on the island of Lāna‘i is unique in itself. In fact, I was one of the last babies to be born at the hospital there in 1978. They stopped delivering babies completely in 1979, instead sending moms to Maui. The community at that time was predominantly Japanese and Hawaiian, but I am full Filipino. But there wasn’t one main group on the island...
Urbanism as Island Living
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I am from O‘ahu. Growing up, all I knew about watersheds was that the stream near my house in Kāne‘ohe was a tunnel that went to the sewage plant. At my Filipino Grandma’s house in Kalihi, the stream was down the hill at the end of the street, but too dirty to swim in so I never went. When I’d go...
A Perspective on Energy Policies in Hawai‘i
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I moved home to Hawai‘ i in 2002 with an undergraduate degree in international relations and an ambition to work in policy. I began as a researcher for 3Point Consulting and was assigned to be a recorder in the widely publicized clash over new power lines through Mānoa or Pālolo. Among other environmental concerns, ...
A Way with Waste
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It is a hot summer day in the late 2000s. I am sweating in my air-conditionless truck, windows up in a futile attempt to keep the dust and smell at bay, waiting in a line of vehicles at the Waimānalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill. I have come prepared to do my civic duty and deposit some bulky materials from a...
Things You Missed (or, The Dog Ears, Revisited)
Donovan Kuūhiō Colleps
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the time i went out past the breaks at hau bush four days after you died it rained and pleny pua were jumping out of the water coming towards me reminding me when we saw this once together and you told me it’s because a shark is somewhere near by...
Reclaiming Our Stories of Struggle
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“You only live once!” That was among the many sayings Grandpa liked to
Grandpa was known for many things. Khaki pants with homemade sewn patches along the knees, a worn-out belt that slowly made way for a simple rope cord, blue-pocketed long-sleeve shirts and hats. Ice cream, musky aftershave...
The Urban Island Pendulum
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Kids can smell bullshit. They feel like they’re being lied to every single day. When they’re a part of what we’re doing with our organization, 808 Urban, the struggles are real. They can see it. And they get frustrated. “Now you know how the kūpuna felt when they were fighting for this place,” I tell them...
I am of Oceania
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When my daughter was 12 years old, she came home one day from school, upset and confused. She couldn’t stop thinking about what her substitute teacher had told her that day: “It’s because of you people—it makes me frustrated to come to teach.” My daughter came home, asking me “what did the teacher mean by ‘you people’? Did she mean me as Chuukese? As Micronesian? ...
Molokai Stories, Identity, and Kuleana
Matt N. Yamashita
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It’s an honor to be able to say that I am the first professional filmmaker from the island of Molokai.1 Over the past twelve years of my career I have independently produced over a hundred videos for a wide range of clients. From the windswept slopes of Kaho‘olawe to the open ocean aboard Hōkūle‘a, from...
How We Choose Our Food and How Our Food Chooses Us
Elise Leimomi Dela Cruz-Talbert
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A growing body of research on eating behaviors and the industrial food system shows that our neighborhood, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity affects our diets. Looking at the contexts in which people make food choices helps to explain the unequal distribution of diet-related diseases in Hawai‘i. People often learn about health trends like the obesity and diabetes epidemics, hear...
Fishponds, Food, and the Future in Our Past
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Our nonprofit, Paepae o He‘eia, has been around since 2001. We have a vision and mission you can find on our website.1 But we like to let the place speak for itself. This pond is massive: 88 acres of water space, completely surrounded by a wall that is 7,000 linear feet long, about 1.3 miles. Our küpuna built this pond in about two years time. It’s estimated that He‘eia Fishpond is...
Huaka‘i: Finding Your Position and Tour Way
Sailing the Ancestral Bridges of Oceanic Knowledge
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When I was in the fourth grade, my dad got a boat so he could go fishing on the weekends. He would go out fishing with his friends, and we would go to the sandbar. We grew up out there at Ahu o Laka in Kāne‘ohe Bay. Every Sunday it was the same routine: the dads would go out fishing, while the...
Decolonization and Public Education in Hawai‘i
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Every day in Hawai‘i, behind the red-dirt stained walls of our public schools, thousands of students participate in a tremendous exercise of cross-cultural interaction, tolerance, and understanding, between peers of different ethnic groups and varying economic backgrounds. The unfaltering routine of...
Alternative Economies for Alternative Futures
Dean Itsuji Saranillio
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As a child growing up on the island of Maui, I remember my mother, Eloise Saranillio, singing a funny song to the tune of the McGuire Sisters’ 1958 hit “Sugar Time.” Changing the word “sugar” to “cabbage,” she sang, “cabbage in the morning, cabbage in the evening, cabbage at suppertime.”...
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Aloha kākou, ‘o Keone Kealoha ko‘u inoa. I currently live and work on Kaua‘i with a non-profit, Mälama Kaua‘i, I helped found in 2006. The following is a brief history of how I came to be here, some of what I’ve learned, and where I see things going. I hope my experience can provide another facet to your worldview and a meaningful insight for your future choices...
My Journey as an Ally for Social Justice
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In February of 2012, I traveled to Vieques and Puerto Rico for the eighth gathering of the International Women’s Network Against Militarism. Paying attention to the landscape of Puerto Rico and the struggles those women shared really taught me to think about the connections between militarism, global capitalism, and land use. There were many military installations, ...
Cultivating Foresight and Empowerment
Aubrey Morgan Yee
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Here we sit, at the outset of the twenty-first century, wirelessly connected to the world and increasingly disconnected from our communities. We have more stuff than ever before, but our generation is faced with overall worse health and fewer economic prospects than our parents and grandparents. We import over 90 percent of the food we eat in the islands, and we are losing our...
Pu‘uhonua: Creating Safe and Sacred Spaces
Cheryse Julitta Kauikeolani Sana
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I have always loved ‘āina. Her beauty, strength, and energy raised me to be the person I am today. Early morning pinks, oranges, and yellows peeking over the Wai‘anae range reassure me that my kūpuna also experienced the same beauty. The Kaiāulu wind brushes against my body to imprint the magnitude
Te Lumanaki o Tokelau i Hawai‘i
Sania Fa‘amaile Betty P. Ickes
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February 3rd, 2010, nine a.m. Lumanaki School is in session. As Bonnie Patelesio tunes her guitar, she competes with the crowing roosters, the wind whistling through holes in the exterior wall of the hall, and the excited banter of students settling into their seats. Mas Patelesio and other teachers and parents are setting up equipment for the classes that will share the hall’s open...
Achieving Social and Health Equity in Hawai‘i
Joseph Keawe‘aimoku Kaholokula
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An event at the checkout counter of the Ala Moana Longs Drugs store has stuck with me for life. I was nine years old, standing with my mom as the cashier rang up the total for the woman in front of us. The woman wrote out her check. The clerk took it and handed the woman her bags. Although it was common practice at Longs in those days, the clerk did not verify the check...
Praying for Mendedness
Jeffrey Tangonan Acido
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I am an Ilokano-Filipino, born into a working class, farming community in the parched earth of the Ilocos in the Philippines. As far as I can remember, all of my ancestors have tilled the land, growing rice, garlic, and tobacco in order to sustain the difficult life under the five hundred-plus years of colonial occupation by Spain and then the United States. As a result, my soul inherited...
Pu‘uhonua, Creating Places of Healing
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When I was young growing up in Mākaha, there was a homeless drunkard named Raymond who was always sitting at the front entrance of the 7-11 next to Cornets store. Once or twice a month, my grandmother would go to the store to pick up Raymond and bring him to our house. Grandma would feed...
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As I step out into the darkness, a peaceful calm comes over my being. Shades of blue paint the expansive sky, getting lighter as I journey to the top. A cloudbank comes to greet the summit with a gift of lei for an old friend. The cool mist of Lilinoe dances playfully with the breeze of Lïhau. A gust of wind
Defending Hawai‘i Without Machine Guns
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We love Hawai‘i. The signs of that love are smoothed over the rear windows of our trucks and cars—“Maui Built,” “Moku Nui,” “HI Life”; all declare our island pride. Like all loves, however, this one can tip toward fear and anger when the things we treasure appear threatened. Debates over what’s best for Hawai‘i—wind, geothermal, urbanization, the Superferry, and more...
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Publication Year: 2014