Hawaiian language immersion students from Kula Kaiaupuni ʻo Waiau's papa 5 & 6 visited ʻAnakala Kaleo at Ulupō on Oct. 7. There is little he loves more than hearing, in the piko of Kailua, the cherished language of our land. In his words: "Nani lua ole ke lohe i ke keiki e olelo ana i ka kakou olelo oiwi i makee ia, ka olelo hoi o keia aina nei ma ka piko o Kailua." Mahalo iā ʻoe e Kumu Māhealani no ke kipa hou ʻana mai.
Manuʻiwa: "He māmalu kēia mau lāʻalo a ʻaneʻane ulupō. Mahalo e ke kula o Mālama Honua no ka hele ʻana mai i kēia lā." If you know what lāʻī is (a contraction of lau kī), then youʻre on your way to figuring out la(uk)alo. We'll leave the poetry of shelter, maturity, and growth to your own imagination.
Digital media students from Kailua and Kalāheo high schools came to Ulupō on March 1 to film public service annoiuncements for Hikaʻalani that will be entered in a Windward District CTE competition at the Koʻolau Ballroom on April 2. When asked if Hikaʻlani would like to be a CTE "client," Kaleo said: sure, but you've got to come and work first; you can't be good storytellers if you don't get hands-on experience. -- KdS
Aloha e nā hoa Pilimai,
This past Saturday was a great first lā kalo. Being able to go into the loʻi to huki the kalo that we cooked, cleaned, then kuʻi has sadly become a rare practice. If we think about people’s relationship with Hāloa these days, it mostly consists of eating poi out of a plastic bag or container bought in the store, or going to work in a loʻi but not taking home kalo. Not us, e nā hoa Pilimai. We took him from mud to mouth.
Kamuela [Bannister] provided us a good example on where we want to get to with our kuʻi skills, but no worry if we never look like that. For many of us this was our first time. It would have been like if Chad showed us how to play Hawaiian music then handed us the guitar and said, ok your turn 😳. It is a process and everytime we practice we will learn new things and get more comfortable.
(Photos: Kīhei de Silva. "Ulupō Nui," c. Kīhei de Silva and Zachary Lum, 2017. )
We often ask visiting haumāna to sit quietly, listen to what Ulupō is telling them, and write what they hear. Here's what can happen; it's from M. G. of Kailua Intermediate.
The Song Ulupō Heiau Sings to Me
The birds whistled songs and made sure I could hear it
The wind wailed like a flute and made sure I could hear it
The swaying trees set the melody and made sure I
could hear it
Eager to explore I danced to the
soft but loud tune with every verse different
Heart broken to leave, I whispered
"Sing me your song one more time"
As I listened my soul unwinded itself
I felt overwhelmed but in control.
Several letters of support for the Kawainui-Hāmākua Master Plan DEIS can be read on the Palapala Hōʻike page of this website. Our letter begins as follows:
Aloha Mr. Sato,
I feel the mana emerging from the
heiau, the sacred place
I hear the moʻolelo of my ancestors
calling to me like a mother speaking to her child
I smell the light stench of the marsh
I taste the sweetness of the sugar cane
I ate earlier, it was a sweet day in one bite…
I taste the freshness of nature
I feel joy knowing that people are restoring
a part of Hawaiian history
I know now it’s time to begin.
— [name redacted] Kailua Intermediate School, Oct. 1, 2017
The poem above was written by a Kailua Intermediate School 8th grader after a four-hour session of ceremonial eating, loʻi clearing, kalo learning, and moʻolelo sharing on the grounds of Ulupō Heiau under the direction of Hika’alani staff members Kaleo Wong, Maya Saffery, and Ryan Ueunten.
Our poet and his classmates walked to Ulupō and back from their KIS campus (and did not, therefore, contribute to the Kūkanono traffic and parking issues). They are part of an ongoing walk-and-learn relationship that we have “developed” with this school and that is becoming part of its STE(A)M curriculum.
The poem speaks to what we’ve been doing at Kawainui for the last three years and of what we plan to be doing there for years, for generations, to come. As Kaleo is fond of saying, of all that we endeavor at Ulupō, the most important is growing kids to become the aloha ‘āina stewards of this land; kids who come to the personal realization that “now it’s time to begin.”
After a stormy, labor-intensive weekend at the end of January, our first cohort of "stone eaters" went home with papa and pōhaku kuʻi 'ai -- and lots of elbow-grease homework. Kaleomanuʻiwa Wong, who leads the project and also doubles as photographer, took so many good pictures of that first work session that we decided to present it in two parts; this is the second. The stone-eater reference above, for those unfamiliar with "Kaulana nā Pua," the most famous of our mele ʻai pōhaku, reminds us that we would rather eat the stones of our land than lose it to hills of dollars. Pili Mai is helping to restore a relationship with ʻāina that demonstrates the kamaha'o nature of our pōhaku: they are wondrous, astonishing, and awe-inspiring in their ability to sustain us. (Mahalo to Duffy Chang and Keahi Thomas for their stone and board expertise. Photos: Kaleo Wong. Kīhōʻalu: David Kaʻio.)
The pilot program "Pili Mai” is being run by Kaleo Wong under the auspices of Hikaʻalani. His intent is to reconnect Kailua people to an older, healthier Kailua by means of a complete round of family-centered Hāloa instruction: make the pounding board and the stone pounder; learn how to care for, harvest, clean, cook, and pound the taro grown at Ulupō; celebrate the entire process with a day of sharing at UIupō, a day that includes demonstrating and teaching to family members the process that will help put Ulupō poi back on their tables on a regular basis.
Pictured here is half (the board half) of the papa and pōhaku workshop held on January 27-28 with the assistance of Duffy Chang and Keahi Thomas. As Kaleo explains: “The slabs of wood we will be using for our papa is mango (manakō) from a tree we cut down at Ulupō in September; the pōhaku will hopefully all come from Kailua as well so that every part of this program is Kailua based.” If our hopes are realized (hoʻokō ‘ia), Kaleo will be starting the next cohort in 2019. The Windward YMCA has been a very generous and active supporter of this project; in fact, its director Leigh Ann Landreth is one of the initial cohort. (Photos: Kaleomanuʻiwa. ʻOhe hano ihu: Kalepa Manu.)
Julie George and her Kamehameha 3rd-graders "visited" us on the mornings of January 18th and 19th. In our lexicon, "visited" has a very specific meaning that has nothing to do with standing around in tour-group formations. It has everything to do with immersion, 'ike maka (experiencing for oneself), and ma ka hana ka ʻike (learning through doing). Mahalo e Kamehameha for finding us; Punahou, by the way, is still many "visits" ahead of you. I mua e nā pōki'i.