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Total Number of Articles - 46
  • Book Lovers Day. Hooray.

    So, today is Book Lovers Day. Who knew? In honor, I am sharing my latest finds. They’ve got a theme, you’ll see. It’s Hawaii. I hunted around Google to find the origins of Book Lovers Day, with no success. Not that I need an excuse to read a book. But why August, I wondered? But, really, why not? August is a popular vacation month. Vacations are a great time to read.

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  • What Is Life?

    Laysan albatross adult flying into sceneOn the inside wrapper of my new bar of Indigenous Soap, my "Soap of Fortune" by the Blackfoot warrior and orator Crowfoot reads: "What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset."

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  • No More Shark's Fin Soup

    Scratch shark’s fin soup off the menu. It was bound to happen. Either the restaurants would run out of shark fins themselves, because certain shark species are near extinction. Or our society would wake up and say, “No more.” The latter happened. A year ago, then Governor Linda Lingle signed a bill into law that made the possession, sale, trade or distribution of sharks and shark parts—that is, fins—illegal.

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  • Merrie Monarch's Miss Aloha Hula 2011

    Miss Aloha Hula at Merrie Monarch Festival 2011As the sun set and the sky turned purple and, then, dark black, inside the Edith Kanakaole Stadium, the crowd found its seats at the 48th annual Merrie Monarch Festival. Twelve dancers vied for the 2011 title of Miss Aloha Hula. They would each dance one kahiko dance in the ancient tradition and one 'auana dance in the modern tradition, and by the end of the evening just before midnight as the rain fell hard outside, one would be recognized as Miss Aloha Hula.
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  • Merrie Monarch Hoike Night

    kanakaole opening chant at merrie monarch 2011Last night, the Kanaka’ole family officially kicked things off here in Hilo for the 48th annual Merrie Monarch Festival. The Ho’ike Performances also included dances from the Marshall Islands, Tahiti and New Zealand. Evidence of the festival is everywhere in Hilo. There are shiny banners at the airport greeting participants and attendees and “Merrie Monarch Attendees Welcome Here” signs made out of cardboard on side streets in front of retailers. Arts and crafts fairs and art exhibits are scheduled all week long.
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  • Merrie Monarch Here We Come

    luana maitland wearing a haku lei on her headThis is Luana Maitland. She is wearing a haku lei, or a lei that is made from braiding or plaiting, in this case, from many different plant materials. The haku lei is traditionally worn on your head, around your wrist or, even, around your ankles. I expect to see all kind of lei in the next few days, as I am headed to Hilo to experience Merrie Monarch Festival—the world-renowned hula competition that honors King David Kalakaua and all things hula. Read More
  • Writing It Real Like Mark Twain

    mark twain's letters from hawaii bookApril is National Poetry Month, so it seems appropriate to post a poem. I have long pondered the one I have selected for you. It was first published in 1889, some 16 years after Mark Twain visited the Hawaiian Islands—only he called them the Sandwich Islands—for four months and a day. You know him, right? Mark Twain. He penned Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, also known as the Great American Novel. At other times, he clenched his tongue firmly in his cheek and wrote one thing when he meant another. He wrote essays and short stories and letters that still--100+ years later--make us laugh out loud. He was known as a novelist. A satirist. A humorist. But what he wasn't known as was a poet. And, yet, we have this, what has come to be called his "Hawaii Prose Poem." Read More
  • Tsunami Preparedness: Live Aloha

    dolphin painting from the Hawaiian Oracle cardsIt's Monday morning, March 14, 2011 in Hawaii. I pull back the sheer curtain covering the window beside my desk to peer through hibiscus bushes. I see blue sky, white clouds and the glare of sunshine through a dappled leafy view. A shama thrush belts out a musical tune. My dogs race upstairs to investigate a sound that only they can detect. I sit at my computer, fingers poised above the keyboard. Threads of sentences stream through my head. But I am at a loss for words. I must write about the tsunami in Hawaii, of course. How could I not? Read More
  • Kohala Coast Getaway, Part 2: King's Trail

    The King’s Trail, also called the Mamalahoa Trail, once ran for 32 coastal miles from the village of Kailua-Kona in the south to the village of Puako in the north. The sign along Waikoloa Beach Road says it was originally built in the mid 1800s by prisoners and Hawaiians who paid their taxes in labor. It was used as a highway, of sorts, for pack animals. As such, it was stretched taut, in a straight line, with curbs of stone built up along the sides in order to keep the horses, donkeys and mules on the right path, just in case their riders nodded off to sleep during their long ride. I would imagine many of these riders set out at night to avoid the heat of the day, because there is absolutely no shade on the trail. Read More
  • Where Are Hawaii's Breadfruit Trees?

    Last month, my friends Charlie and Susan, along with their daughter Andy, decided to experiment with breadfruit.  They bought ulu at a local farmers market--Kapaa, I believe--and made muffins and breadfruit salad.  The gracious people that they are, they shared the quite tasty results of their efforts with me, stirring me to ask, between bites, why aren't more people growing breadfruit trees in their yards in Hawaii? Read More
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