Hawaiian Songwriting Retreat August 2-4, 2013

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is offering a three-day Hawaiian music songwriting retreat for just $25, from Friday, Aug. 2 through Sunday, Aug. 4 with Hawaiian music, language and haku mele (Hawaiian song) experts Kenneth Makuakāne and Kaliko Trapp-Beamer.

Kenneth Makuakane

Kenneth Makuakane

The Friday, Aug. 2 workshop runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 3 and Sun., Aug. 4 both begin at 8 a.m. and finish at 4 p.m.

Advance registration required. To register, contact Elizabeth Bell at (808) 985-6019 or email Elizabeth_bell@nps.gov no later than July 25.

The retreat will be held in the park at the summit of Kīlauea. Budding songwriters will find inspiration in this wahi kapu (sacred place), among the towering koa and ‘ōhi‘a lehua trees, over fields of ropy pāhoehoe lava, and in the awe-inspiring eruptive glow from Halema‘uma‘u Crater.

Also inspirational are the retreat’s accomplished teachers. Kenneth Makuakāne is a multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano award winner, along with his group, The Pandanus Club. He’s a prolific songwriter (1,500-plus songs), producer of more than 100 albums, and collaborator who has worked with virtually all of the stars of Hawaiian music over the years.

Kaliko was raised as the hānai son of Hawaiian cultural expert Aunty Nona Beamer (1923-2008), learning Hawaiian chant, storytelling, traditional protocol, family songs, and stories. He currently teaches Hawaiian language courses at the University of Hawai‘i in Hilo, and helps coordinate the Beamer Family Aloha Music Camp. He is the President of the Mohala Hou Foundation dedicated to “preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian culture through education and the arts.”

The three-day Hawaiian songwriting retreat is sponsored by Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association.

 

Hulihe‘e Event Remembers Boy Prince

The Daughters of Hawai‘i present Afternoon at Hulihe‘e 4 p.m. Sunday, April 21 at Hulihe‘e Palace to remember the late Prince Albert. Enjoy the voices of the Merrie Monarchs and Hawaiian performing arts by Kumu Hula Etua Lopes and his Halau Na Pua Ui O Hawai‘i. The halau is fresh from dancing at the recent Merrie Monarch Festival.

Hula Dancers dance behind Hulihe'e Palace. (Photo Fern Gavalek)

Hula Dancers dance behind Hulihe’e Palace. (Photo Fern Gavalek)

Afternoon at Hulihe‘e is part of the palace’s series of free monthly concerts that honor Hawai‘i’s past monarchs and historical figures; donations are appreciated. Kindly bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.

 “Albert was the only royal Kamehameha of his generation,” notes Casey Ballao, palace docent coordinator. “The baby was named after Queen Victoria’s prince consort, and the British royals agreed to serve as his godparents.”

King Liholiho and his young family enjoyed traveling to the neighbor islands and visited Hulihe‘e Palace several times, favoring the seaside royal residence for vacations from Honolulu’s busy pace. “We have a crib used by the baby prince on display in the palace’s north bedroom,” adds Ballao.

 The north Kauai community of Princeville is named after Prince Albert in honor of his family’s visit there in 1860. Tragically, the prince died at the young age of 4, shortly after he was declared Ka Haku o Hawai‘i (His Royal Highness the Prince of Hawai‘i.)

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for self-guided tours. Museum and gift shop hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Hulihe‘e Palace admission, which at this time includes a self-guided tour brochure, remains $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for keiki under 18. Volunteer docents are sometimes available to give guided tours. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org. The gift shop can be reached by phoning 329-6558.

Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i. The organization was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all.

2013 Afternoon at Hulihe‘e schedule: 4-5 p.m. on the palace grounds

All Afternoons at Hulihe’e present hula by Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i Hula Halau and vocals by the Merrie Monarchs. Some events also include the Hulihe’e Palace Band and are noted below. On band dates, only kahiko hula is showcased. Other events offer a full hula show.

  •  Apr 21: Event remembering Prince Edward Albert
  • May 19: Event remembering King Kamehameha IV “Alexander Liholiho”
  • Jun 9: Band appearance remembering King Kamehameha I “Paiea”
  • Jul 21: Event remembering John Adams Kuakini
  • Aug 18: Event remembering King Kamehameha III “Kauikeaouli”
  • Sep 15: Band appearance remembering Queen Lili‘uokalani
  • Oct 20: Event remembering Princess Ka‘iulani
  • Nov 17: Band appearance remembering King Kalakaua, Palace Curator Aunty Lei Collins and Bandmaster Charles “Bud” Dant
  • Dec 15: Event remembering Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop

2013 KSBE Ho’olaule’a is Tomorrow – Preserve Your Family’s Story

Are you going to the Kamehameha Schools (Kea‘au) Ho‘olaule‘a tomorrow?

KSBE 2013

Here’s your chance to win an oral history session (tell your family’s or an ancestor’s story!) at the silent auction.

Bid on a Talk Story Press Oral History session at the Kamehameha School (Kea‘au) Ho‘olaule‘a. It’s this Saturday, February 16, 2013 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; free admittance).

It’s a silent auction, where you bid on paper. The highest bidder wins a guided, one-hour oral history interview, which will be recorded and delivered to them on CD and in transcripts.

Leslie Lang
Hot Tip: When I offered this same one-hour “oral history to CD” project last year, at the same silent auction, people didn’t seem to know quite what to make of it. There were only two bids, and the Oral History CD went for quite cheap! So if you’re interested, you might consider swooping by that day. Let me know if you have any questions.

Auction proceeds support the Kamehameha Schools PTO, which is such a good cause. Your bid supports scholarships, sending classes to special events, authors’ visits, athletes traveling to games and more.

 

Hulihe’e Palace Dates Set for 2013

Enjoy a free Afternoon at Hulihe’e Palace 4-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16 to remember the late Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Presenting hula and serenade by the Merrie Monarchs, the event is part of a year-long series that honors Hawai‘i’s past monarchs and historical figures; donations are appreciated. Kindly bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.

Princess Bernice Pauahi is most well known as the benefactress of Kamehameha Schools. A great-granddaughter of Kamehameha I, she came of age during the Victorian Era. She was well liked and very private. When her cousin, Kamehameha V, chose her as his successor in 1872, she declined. Her refusal ended the Kamehameha Dynasty.

During her lifetime, the princess witnessed the physical and social decline of Hawaiians. Some foreigners brought disease—the native population dwindled from 400,000 in 1778 to fewer than 45,000 a century later—and controlled most commerce. Missionaries introduced a new value system.

“Distressed by the plight of her people, Princess Pauahi created a will in 1883 as an instrument of change,” says Casey Ballao, Hulihe‘e Palace docent coordinator. “She believed education could be the answer to help her people.”

The document established a charitable land trust overseen by trustees to improve the well being of Hawaiians. It operates as Kamehameha Schools today, one of the largest, private trusts in the nation.

“The will was the princess’s way to malama ka ‘aina—practice the ethical, prudent and culturally appropriate stewardship of land and resources,” adds Ballao.

Hulihe’e Palace

Pauahi married Charles Reed Bishop in 1850. She and Bishop shared a love for traveling, teaching and entertaining and the couple became astute property managers. When her favorite cousin, Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani died, Pauahi received her entire estate (including Hulihe‘e Palace) and this inheritance comprised the major portion of Pauahi’s landholdings. The princess died a year later in 1884. To honor his wife, Charles founded the Bishop Museum in 1889 to house the royal family heirlooms and her extensive collection of Hawaiian artifacts.

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for self-guided tours 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturdays. Palace admission, which includes a self-guided tour brochure, remains $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for keiki under 18. Volunteer docents are available starting 10 a.m. to give guided tours. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org. The gift shop can be reached by phoning 329-6558.

Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins. The Daughters was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all.

2013 Afternoon at Hulihe‘e schedule: 4-5 p.m. on the palace grounds

All Afternoons at Hulihe’e present hula by Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i Hula Halau and vocals by the Merrie Monarchs. Some events also include the Hulihe’e Palace Band and are noted below. On band dates, only kahiko hula is showcased. Other events offer a full hula show.

  • Jan 13: Band appearance remembering King Charles “Lunalilo” and Aunty I‘olani Luahine
  • Feb 17: Event remembering Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani
  • Mar 17: Band appearance remembering Queen Ka‘ahumanu and Prince Kuhio
  • Apr 21: Event remembering Prince Edward Albert
  • May 19: Event remembering King Kamehameha IV “Alexander Liholiho”
  • Jun 9: Band appearance remembering King Kamehameha I “Paiea”
  • Jul 21: Event remembering John Adams Kuakini
  • Aug 18: Event remembering King Kamehameha III “Kauikeaouli”
  • Sep 15: Band appearance remembering Queen Lili‘uokalani
  • Oct 20: Event remembering Princess Ka‘iulani
  • Nov 17: Band appearance remembering King Kalakaua, Palace Curator Aunty Lei Collins and Bandmaster Charles “Bud Dant
  • Dec 15: Event remembering Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop

 

Agriculture Says Aloha to Hawaiian Farmers

Hawaii’s economy heavily depends on the success of their agriculture. Raw sugar, pineapple, and molasses are the state’s primary source of income outside of tourism.

Statistics provided by the USDA

However, the recent boom of corporate farming has threatened the livelihood of smaller, local farms. Coupled with the daunting downslide of the economic collapse, native Hawaiian farmers — with crippled means — are competing for vital market space against massive corporations with mega budgets.

In a roundtable discussion with Hawaiian Business Magazine, Dean Okimoto, Naio Farms owner, and former Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation president Dean Okimoto explained the types of hurdles that native farmers currently face to compete with factory farms on the mainland: “I talked with some people about bringing back chickens [to Hawaii]. Just for the processing facility you’re looking at $30 million and you need an FDA inspector in there at all times,” said Okimoto. “That’s what makes the system not work for small farmers. Corporate farmers are the only ones that can afford this infrastructure. And that’s what we lack here in Hawaii. Agriculture is going to need that help going forward.”

To find out more about the challenges facing the Hawaiian agriculture industry, read the full article here: Agriculture says aloha to Hawaiian Farmers

House Advances Measure Designating October as Kalo Appreciation Month

In 2008, the Legislature designated the “kalo,” the Hawaiian word for taro, as the state plant. Today, the House of Representatives advanced a bill (HB2809) that would make October Kalo Appreciation Month. The measure will now crossover to the Senate for consideration.

The purpose of the bill is to promote kalo cultivation and appreciation, as it is a culturally significant plant to the kanaka maoli, Hawaii’s indigenous peoples, and to the State of Hawaii.

In testimony in support of the measure before the House Agriculture Committee, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs stated, “This would be an opportunity to showcase the kalo plant and perpetuate the historic cultural, spiritual and health-related importance of kalo. No other plant more suitably represents Hawaii.”

The measure was introduced by Representatives Faye Hanohano, Angus McKelvey and Jessica Wooley.

Hawaii House Passes Hawaiian Immersion Testing Legislation

House Bill 2875, requiring assessments administered to students in the Hawaiian language immersion program to be developed originally in the Hawaiian language, passed through its third reading in the House and will crossover to the Senate.

Originally launched in the 1980s, the Hawaiian language immersion program is now offered at twenty-one public schools and educates more than two thousand students in kindergarten through grade twelve.

English is not introduced in the Hawaii language immersion program until the fifth grade. As required by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), third and fourth grade students are subject to assessments in reading, math, and science. Since the 2005-2006 school year, immersion students have been administered assessments that were developed in the Hawaiian language, specifically for the program.

This year, the Department of Education began administering assessments to immersion students that were developed in English and translated into Hawaiian. The problems associated in administering an assessment that has been translated from one language to another are numerous and well-documented.

NCLB mandates performance-based pay for teachers, which will use student performance on assessments as a factor. In addition, the Act calls for schools that fail to make improvements on assessments to be subject to punitive measures, including withholding of essential funding. The change in assessments puts Hawaiian immersion students, teachers, and schools at a severe disadvantage.

The Hawai’i State Constitution recognizes the Hawaiian language as the official language of the state, alongside English. The federal Native American Languages Act of 1990 also recognizes the nation’s responsibility to ensure the survival of Native American languages.

House Bill 2875 requires reading, math, science, and other assessments administered to students in grades three through six of the Hawaiian language immersion program to be developed originally in the Hawaiian language.

Hulihe’e Palace Annual Spring Fundraiser – Day at Hulihe‘e

The picturesque, seaside grounds of Hulihe‘e Palace will be the location of the annual spring fundraiser, Day at Hulihe‘e, on Saturday, Mar. 24. An 8:30 a.m. traditional Hawaiian blessing kicks off the 9 a.m.-4 p.m. event, which is hosted by palace caretakers the Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins.

Debuting at the fundraiser is the new cookbook, “Just Like Tutu Made With Love,” which features recipes from palace volunteers and supporters. The handy resource contains instructions for main dishes, salads, pupu, tropical beverages and desserts. It also has helpful everyday hints “for living happily” sprinkled among the pages. It will be available for $9.38 including tax.

Browse among tented arts and crafts booths, a tempting bake sale featuring Aunty Nona’s scrumptious peach cake and the ever-popular Classy Tutu’s Attic. Choose a fresh flower lei made on site by palace volunteers. The Kuakini Hawaiian Civic Club will offer ono food and local hula halau will provide cultural entertainment. Prize drawings throughout the day will be featured.

Palace admission will be complimentary all day, although donations will be accepted.

Day at Hulihe‘e remembers Hawai‘i’s Citizen Prince who was born in March, Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole (1871-1922.) Hawai‘i observes an annual statewide holiday to commemorate Prince Kuhio’s dedication toward serving his people; it’s Monday, Mar. 26 in 2012. Beginning in 1902, Kuhio served as a delegate to the U.S. Congress for 10 terms, was the driving force behind the development of Pearl Harbor and instituted the Hawaiian Homestead Commission. A monument at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park credits Prince Kuhio for founding the park in 1916.

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for self-guided tours. Museum and gift shop hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Hulihe‘e Palace admission, which at this time includes a self-guided tour brochure, remains $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for keiki under 18. Volunteer docents are sometimes available to give guided tours. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org. The gift shop can be reached by phoning 329-6558.

Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i. The organization was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all.

The Rain Follows the Forest – A Plan to Replenish Hawaii’s Source of Water

The Department of Land and Natural Resources released a plan to ensure mauka watersheds are fully functioning so fresh water resources can be utilized and enjoyed by the people of Hawaii in perpetuity.

Click picture to read the plan

FACT SHEET:

  • The Rain Follows the Forest seeks to ensure mauka watersheds are fully functioning so fresh water resources can be utilized and enjoyed by the people of Hawai`i in perpetuity. This plan implements the central goals of the Abercrombie administration’s A New Day in Hawaii plan to steward the natural resources that our survival, economy, and quality of life depend on.
  • The Rain Follows the Forest provides policy solutions to manage invasive species, increase Hawaii’s ability to withstand impacts from climate change, and restore capabilities of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) by finding additional sources of funding.
  • Hawaii’s water supplies are under threat from hotter and drier conditions from climate change, as well as loss of watershed forests.
  • Over half of Hawaii’s forests have been lost. Invasive alien (non-native) species trample and devour vegetation, leaving bare ground or openings for alien plants that consume more water and increase runoff. Controlling these and other threats while also re-planting forests requires a large-scale effort.
  • Protecting mauka forest areas is the most cost effective and efficient way to absorb rainwater and replenish groundwater. The Hawaiian islands’ sustainability and continued over-all well being of its residents and future generations depends on the continued health of the upland forests.
  • In addition to protecting our water supply, the protection of forests is essential to prevent erosion that muddies beaches, coral reefs, and fisheries, reduce Hawaii’s greenhouse gas emissions, and protect the native plants and animals unique to our islands.
  • Currently only 10% of the priority watershed areas are protected, a level of management that has taken 40 years to achieve. DLNR’s goal is double the level of protection in the next ten years, which will require approximately $11 million a year. If funded, this initiative will create over 150 local jobs.
  • In an October 2011 statewide telephone poll of 700 residents, 78% of respondents were supportive of increased funding for watershed protection from $1 million to $11 million per year. A majority supported increased general funding (mean support was 7.4 out of 10), the use of environment-related taxes (7.4 out of 10), or a visitor-related tax (8.0 out of 10). Further, 59% of respondents indicated the urgent need to increase the protection of the sources (upland forests) of our fresh water supply, and rated the urgency to protect these sources at 8.4 out of 10, with 10 representing “Extremely Urgent.”
  • The Rain Follows the Forest identifies priority watersheds and outlines on-the-ground actions and projects required to protect and sustain Hawaii’s critical water sources. To be successful, these actions must occur on a large scale across ownership boundaries, through agreements and leveraged funds provided by the statewide watershed partnerships.

STATISTICS:

  • A century-long trendi of declining rainfall has accelerated, with a 12% decline in the last 20 years alone.
  • Groundwater head levels in Pearl Harbor, which supplies over 60% of Oahu’s municipal water, declined by half since 1910.
  • Hawaii’s native forests absorb moisture from rainfall and passing clouds that condense on the thick vegetation. Intercepting cloud drip increases water capture by as much as 30% of rainfall, and increases groundwater re-supply by 10-15%.vi On Lāna`i, fog water supplies even more water than direct rainfall.  There, loss of the forest’s fog capture would reduce by half the island’s only water supply.
  • Water users already pay for the loss of native forests – and those costs are high. Invasive and widespread strawberry guava evapotranspires 27%-53%ix more water than native forests, causing extensive water loss across landscapes. For example, in East Hawai`i invasive plants have already reduced estimated groundwater recharge by 85 million gallons a day.
  • Even a small percentage reduction in groundwater recharge can be costly. One study indicates that a 1% loss of recharge in the Ko`olau Mountains could cost O`ahu $42 million net present value. Another study indicates that a 10% loss of recharge in the Ko`olau Mountains could cost $1.7 million per year – over $173 million net present value.  The gradual invasion of alien plants into native forests may have already reduced the estimated groundwater recharge by up to 10% in certain aquifers.
  • A University of Hawai`i study examined the various services provided by Oahu’s Ko‘olau forests—including water recharge, water quality, climate control, biodiversity, and cultural, aesthetic, recreational, and commercial values. These services were calculated to have a net present value of between $7.4 and $14 billion.

KULEANA – CARING FOR THE LAND:

  • The importance of forests for water has long been recognized – expressed in the ancient Hawaiian proverb “Hahai no ka ua i ka ululā`au” (the rain follows the forest). Protecting these forests has been codified into Hawaii’s customs and laws. In 1876, King David Kalākaua signed an Act for the Protection and Preservation of Woods and Forests. The Act included the construction of fences and barriers to prevent hooved animal trespass into forests important for water resources. In 1893, Queen Lili‘uokalani established the Bureau of Agriculture and Forestry for the “preservation of forests,” among other purposes. Following this, Article XI of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii includes the protection of all natural resources, held in the public trust.
  • This plan perpetuates ancient traditions of protecting and respecting the sacred wao akua -misty upland forests. The plants and wildlife within them are individually revered in Hawaiian traditions as manifestations of gods, or used for medicines, offerings, or other material needs.
  • Actions in this plan enhance these cultural practices by protecting these native natural and cultural resources from damage and extinction. Caring for these resources has been a way of life in Hawaiian traditions. Access to priority protected areas for traditional Hawaiian cultural practices is not restricted by this plan. In DOFAW areas, step-overs and gates will allow continued public access into fenced areas.
  • Although ungulate hunting is a contemporary recreational activity and a source of food for some, hunting (pig hunting in particular) is not a traditional Hawaiian practice. Reviews of firsthand testimonies in more than 60,000 native Hawaiian land documents dating from 1846 to 1910 revealed many references to pigs, but nearly every reference was in the context of them being near-home and being cared for (raised), not hunted.
  • On Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) lands, public hunting will be a priority action in the first stage of ungulate removal in fenced areas wherever safe, feasible, and effective, and DOFAW will encourage and facilitate hunting access in other areas.
  • Fencing core areas within the priority I and II watersheds will be incremental, and will gradually reduce public ungulate hunting areas over this century. Once all of the priority watersheds are fenced, public ungulate hunting areas will be reduced by approximately 30%.  Approximately four percent of DOFAW lands are currently fenced.
  • This plan seeks to increase public access to enjoy and learn about the forests that help to sustain Hawaii. This will help to build an informed citizenry of life-long learners who value Hawaii’s uniqueness and live sustainably. Maintaining and creating access and trails will teach communities about the benefits of forests during volunteer trips and hikes.
  • As part of the local jobs that this initiative seeks to fund, DLNR will support continued and expanded programs that provide local youth jobs and career opportunities during in-the-field internships. This will instill current and future generations with a sense of kuleana to respect and give back to the life-giving forests.

2012 Hulihe’e Palace Schedule of Events

The Daughters of Hawai‘i and Calabash Cousins present their first free monthly Afternoon at Hulihe’e for 2012 on Sunday, Jan. 15. The 4 p.m. event on the grounds of Hulihe‘e Palace remembers the late King Lunalilo and past palace curator, I‘olani Luahine.

The event presents the Hulihe’e Palace Band, the Merrie Monarchs and Hawaiian performing arts by Kumu Hula Etua Lopes and his Halau Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i. Kindly bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.

King Charles Lunalilo (1835-1874) was known as the “people’s king” as he was popular with all his subjects. During his abbreviated, 390-day reign, Lunalilo advocated the legislature to remove property qualifications for the right to vote and asked for the separation of the legislature into two houses.  He also thought the kingdom should give Pearl Harbor to the U.S. in exchange for duty-free Hawaiian sugar into California.

“During Lunalilo’s short reign, he tried to make the kingdom’s government more democratic,” notes Casey Ballao, palace docent coordinator. “His efforts were cut short by tuberculosis.”

I‘olani Luahine (1915-1978) served as curator of Hulihe‘e Palace from 1973 to 1978.  She was born Harriet Lanihau Makekau in Napo‘opo‘o, but was renamed I‘olani, after the Hawaiian hawk. Luahine was a master of hula and named a “Living Treasure” in 1972; she was invited three times to perform at the National Folk Festival in Washington D.C.

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for self-guided tours. Museum and gift shop hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Hulihe‘e Palace admission, which at this time includes a self-guided tour brochure, remains $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for keiki under 18. Volunteer docents are sometimes available to give guided tours. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org. The gift shop can be reached by phoning 329-6558.

Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i. The organization was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all.

2012 Afternoon at Hulihe‘e schedule: 4-5 p.m. on the palace grounds

All Afternoons at Hulihe’e present hula by Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i Hula Halau and vocals by the Merrie Monarchs. Some events also include the Hulihe’e Palace Band and are noted below. On band dates, only kahiko hula is showcased. Other events offer a full hula show.

Jan 15: Band appearance remembering King Charles “Lunalilo” and Aunty I‘olani Luahine

Feb 19: Event remembering Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani

Mar 18: Band appearance remembering Queen Ka‘ahumanu and Prince Kuhio

Apr 15: Event remembering Prince Edward Albert

May 20: Event remembering King Kamehameha IV “Alexander Liholiho”

Jun 10: Band appearance remembering King Kamehameha I “Paiea”

Jul 15: Event remembering John Adams Kuakini

Aug 26: Event remembering King Kamehameha III “Kauikeaouli”

Sep 16: Band appearance remembering Queen Lili‘uokalani

Oct 21: Event remembering Princess Ka‘iulani

Nov 18: Band appearance remembering King Kalakaua, Palace Curator Aunty Lei Collins and Bandmaster Charles “Bud Dant

Dec 16: Event remembering Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop

Updates From Hulihe’e Palace

Hulihe’e Palace is increasing hours of operation for 2012. New hours for self-guided tours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

In December, the Daughters of Hawai‘i and Calabash Cousins present a free Afternoon at Hulihe’e 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18 to honor Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop (1831-1884). Enjoy the voices of the Merrie Monarchs and Hawaiian performing arts by Kumu Hula Etua Lopes and his hula halau, Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i. Kindly bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.

Princess Bernice Pauahi is most well known as the benefactress of Kamehameha Schools. A great-granddaughter of Kamehameha I, she came of age during the Victorian Era. She was well liked and very private. When her cousin, Kamehameha V, chose her as his successor in 1872, she declined. Her refusal ended the Kamehameha Dynasty.

During her lifetime, the princess witnessed the physical and social decline of Hawaiians. Some foreigners brought disease—the native population dwindled from 400,000 in 1778 to fewer than 45,000 a century later—and controlled most commerce. Missionaries introduced a new value system.

“Distressed by the plight of her people, Princess Pauahi created a will in 1883 as an instrument of change,” says Casey Ballao, Hulihe‘e Palace docent coordinator. “She believed education could be the answer to help her people.”

The document established a charitable land trust overseen by trustees to improve the well being of Hawaiians. It operates as Kamehameha Schools today, one of the largest, private trusts in the nation.

“The will was the princess’s way to malama ka ‘aina—practice the ethical, prudent and culturally appropriate stewardship of land and resources,” adds Ballao.

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Coming Up – 6th Annual Moku O Keawe International Festival Cultural Workshops Celebrate Hula and the Arts

The 6th Annual Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival comes to life at Waikoloa Beach Resort, November 3-5, with international hula competition, a Made-in-Hawai‘i Marketplace and more. One of Hawaii’s biggest hula events, Moku O Keawe offers an educational, entertaining and engaging experience for everyone.

Moku O Keawe

International hula competition, Thursday-Saturday, November 3-5, Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens.   Moku O Keawe brings together hālau from Hawai‘i, Japan, and the U.S. Mainland with top caliber hula competition in the areas of Hula Kahiko and Hula ‘Auana.

  • Kahiko competition, Thursday, November 3, 5:30 p.m.
  • Kupuna competition and awards, Friday, November 4, 5:30 p.m.
  • ‘Auana competition and awards, Saturday, November 5, 5:30 p.m.

Affordable for everyone, Moku O Keawe tickets are only $5 Lawn seating, $15 Reserved. (Beach chairs and mats welcomed!)

Hawai‘i Marketplace.  Friday and Saturday November 4 and 5, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.  The Made-In-Hawaii Marketplace features some of the best products from the Island of Hawaii.  Hula implements, fresh lei, silk-screened clothing, woven lauhala hats and purses and jewelry, are some of the offerings at the special marketplace.

Moku O Keawe

Cultural Workshops, November 3-5.  The competition judges are asked to share their knowledge through workshops.  As masters, their insights and experiences are offered on a personal basis, allowing participants an opportunity to learn about hula kahiko and hula ‘auana, as the various lineages of the kumu hula are unique forms in style, repertoire, and interpretation.  Registration is limited and students are urged to register early by visiting www.MOKIF.org.

2011 Workshops

  • Workshop #1:  “Ko Ma‘i Ho‘eu‘eu” – Hula Ipu Heke Ole/Hula ‘Auana:  Nalani Kanakaole, Competition Judge.  Thursday, November 4, 9 a.m.–12 p.m.  “Ko Ma‘i Ho’eu‘eu” was composed for King Kalākaua.  The mele ma‘i honors the King and one of his popular mottos: “Ho‘ulu Lāhui” or “Increase the Race.”  The use of the ipu in choreography adds percussion by the dancer.  As a hula teacher for over fifty years, she is widely known as a difficult choreographer, affording the student of hula ‘auana with many challenges.  This three-hour class is limited to 50 students, with a donation of $50 for the three-hour hula workshop.
  • Workshop #2:  Hula Workshop: Leialoha Amina, Competition Judge.  Friday, November 4, 9 a.m.–12 p.m.  Limited to 50 participants.  Information will be provided soon.  A donation of $50.00 includes class instruction.
  • Workshop #3:  “Manu ‘O‘o” – Hula ‘Auana:  Iwalani Kalima, Competition Judge.  Saturday, November 5, 9 a.m.–12 p.m.  A favored love song, this hula speaks of Hilo Hanakahi, the kanilehua rain, and the lehua clusters.  Harry Na‘ope, grandfather of George Na‘ope, penned this mele hooipoipo. Iwalani Kalima comes from the very talented Kalima ‘ohana, known for their leo nahenahe.  In addition to “Manu ‘O‘o,” the student will learn “Ka Manu,” as the kai and hoi for the stage performance. A donation of $50 includes instructions for the three-hour hula workshop.
  • Workshop #4:  “Palisa” – Hula ‘Auana Workshop: Nani Lim Yap, Kumu Hula.  Thursday, November 3, 9 a.m.–12 p.m.   Nani, a gifted singer, hula dancer, ‘ukulele player and one of the Kumu Hula of the award-winning Hula Hālau Nā Lei O Kaholoku, is one of the “sweet angelic voices” of the popular musical family – the Lim Family of Kohala. “Palisa,” a song written by Kuana Torres, is a contemporary hula, as the song has just been released this year. The three-hour class is limited to 50 students. A donation of $50 includes instructions for the three-hour hula workshop.
  • Workshop #5:  Wahi Pana: Kalahuipua‘a – Huaka‘i to South Kohala:  Kaniela and Anna Akaka.  Friday, November 4.  Departure: 10 a.m., Return: approximately 2 p.m.  The Kalahuipua‘a Fishponds are the spiritual center of Mauna Lani Resort.  The seven ponds—Kalahuipua‘a, Kahinawao, Waipuhi, Waipuhi Iki, Hope‘ala, Milokukahi and Manoku—were used to raise fish and supplement ocean fishing. Daniel Akaka and his wife Anna, ambassadors of aloha, will direct the excursion of the famed site.  This excursion begins at Waikoloa Beach Marriott with a bus shuttle departure at 10 a.m.  A donation of $45.00 includes tour, historical facts, bus fees and box lunch.
  • Workshop #6:  Pa‘u La‘i – Ti Leaf Skirt: Kika Nohara.  Friday, November 4, 1-4 p.m.  In hula, only the green ti plant is used in making lei, skirts, and in ritual. Kika Nohara, a dancer with Hālau O Kekuhi and is ranked a kumu through ‘uniki rites, will teach the hālau style of making the fresh green skirt. The three-hour hands-on workshop will share techniques and the preparation of the leaves. A kit will be provided to each participant.  A donation of $50 includes instruction and all supplies including all ti leaves.
  • Workshop #7:  Ipu Heke ‘Ole – Hula Gourd Instrument:  Kalim and Kuuleialoha Smith.  Thursday, November 3; 1-4 p.m.  Implements are extensions of the body.  In ‘auana, the ipu heke ‘ole (single gourd), is held in one hand and tapped, swirled, and positioned within the choreography to enhance and illustrate the story lines. Kalim and Kuuleialoha Smith grow the ipu on lands of their forefathers.  Select an ipu and create a percussion instrument that will last a lifetime! Class size is limited due to the number of gourds available.  Only 25 students will have a selection of ipu.  A donation of $75 includes a complete ipu heke kit and classroom instructions.  (A hula workshop with the ipu heke ‘ole will be taught by Nalani Kanakaole the following day.)
  • Workshop #8:  Ipu Heke – Hula Gourd Instrument:  Kalim and Kuuleialoha Smith.  Thursday and Friday, November 3 and 4.  9 a.m.-12 p.m. both days.  The ipu heke is one of the percussion instruments of the hula kahiko.  Kalim and Kuuleialoha Smith grow the ipu on lands of their forefathers.  They have grown and made some of the most perfect instruments in modern times. Class size is limited due to the number of gourds available.  Only 25 students will have a selection of ipu.  A donation of $135 includes a complete ipu heke kit and classroom instructions.

The Moku O Keawe International Festival is sponsored by the Moku O Keawe Foundation, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing, enriching and educating the practice and development of hula and its associated arts. For information and tickets to events, visit www.MOKIF.com

Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate – Hawaii Campus 2011 Summer School Open House – Hayden Shines!

Today was Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate Hawaii Campus 2011 summer school open house.

My son showed me some of the stuff that he was learning in the classroom before the day actually began.

Once all the kids arrived, it was time to head out to meet the other 2nd grade classes for the morning “oli” or Hawaiian for prayer.

My son told me he had a surprise for me… and it turned out that he was selected to lead the morning “Oli”.

Here is a short video of him leading the classes:

After the morning Oli was done, the parents watched a slide show of pictures from the events that the kids had been doing.

The parents then were treated to four performances in the schools cafeteria.

And here is the clip of the second grade performance:

For those that don’t know… my son was fortunate enough to be one of forty kindergartners to get selected go to this school a couple years ago after almost a year of testing and application procedures.  Normally the summer school programs are set aside for students that aren’t accepted into KSBE on a regular basis so I feel very fortunate that he’s getting summer school provided for him as well!

Band Concert Honors Kamehameha the Great

Media Release:

The Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins present a free concert 4 p.m. Sunday, June 12 at Hulihe‘e Palace to remember the late King Kamehameha I. Enjoy the voices of the Merrie Monarchs and a rousing performance by the Hulihe‘e Palace Band.

The concert is part of the palace’s series of free monthly concerts that honor Hawai‘i’s past monarchs and historical figures; donations are appreciated. Kindly bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.

Born circa 1758 in Kohala on the Big Island, Kamehameha moved the heavy naha stone as a teen—a feat that prophesied he would rule the island chain. In battle, Kamehameha overtook the Big Island, Maui, Moloka‘i and O‘ahu; he put Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau under his sovereignty by diplomacy. By 1810, the Kingdom of Hawai‘i was established and Kamehameha moved his court from Waikiki to Kailua-Kona.

“After Kamehameha formed his island kingdom he attempted to modify the impact of war on innocent citizens caught in the conflict,” says Fanny Au Hoy, docent coordinator. “He issued an edict protecting women, children and the elderly from arbitrary attack.”

The king also instituted a law to protect the weak from the strong, recalling a blow he suffered as a young warrior when his foot was caught in a rock crevice. The opponent hit Kamehameha with a canoe paddle that splintered at impact and the command later became known as the Law of the Splintered Paddle. The king died in 1819 in Kailua-Kona.

Kamehameha I is the only king to be honored along with George Washington and Robert E. Lee in the National Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol. A Polaris nuclear submarine also bears his name.

The palace has several artifacts on display that belonged to the king. One is a large, 180-pound ball made of lava rock for exercising. By standing on the ball and moving it with one’s feet, it trained the user in balance and agility while developing lower body strength. It’s in the Kuakini Room. On the staircase landing leading to the second floor, visitors can view the king’s javelins, the longest measures 22 feet.

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for self-guided tours. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Hulihe‘e Palace admission, which at this time includes a self-guided tour brochure, remains $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for keiki under 18. Volunteer docents are sometimes available to give guided tours.

Due to damage from the March tsunami, the gift shop remains closed for repairs and donations are greatly appreciated. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org.

Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i. The organization was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all.

2011 Hulihe‘e Palace Concert Schedule: 4 p.m. on the palace grounds

  • Jan 16: Hula Concert remembering King Kamehameha II “Lunalilo” and Aunty I’olani Luahine
  • Feb 20: Band Concert remembering Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani
  • Mar 20: Hula Concert remembering Queen Ka’ahumanu and Prince Kuhio
  • Apr 17: Hula Concert remembering Prince Albert
  • May 15: Hula Concert remembering King Kamehameha IV “Alexander Liholiho”
  • Jun 12: Band Concert remembering King Kamehameha I “Paiea”
  • Jul 17: Hula Concert remembering John Adams Kuakini
  • Aug 14: Hula Concert remembering King Kamehameha III “Kauikeaouli”
  • Sep 18: Band Concert remembering Queen Lili‘uokalani
  • Oct 16: Hula Concert remembering Princess Kai‘ulani
  • Nov 20: Band Concert remembering King Kalakaua, Palace Curator Aunty Lei Collins and Bandmaster Charles “Bud Dant
  • Dec 18: Hula Concert remembering Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop

Winners Announced: 2010 Moku O Keawe International Festival

(Media Release)

The 5th Annual Moku O Keawe International Festival’s hula competition concluded Saturday November 5, when First Place Wahine Hula and First Place Pakahi (Soloist) were awarded to Hula Hālau O Leilani, Kumu Hula Mihoko Ogawa, from Kanagawa, Japan.

Members of the Hau‘oli’s Masako Aketa’s Hula Studio perform in the Kupuna division of the 2010 Moku O Keawe Hula Competition. (Photo Michael Darden)

The winning hālau received a spectacular sterling silver and ‘ōhi‘a wood trophy created by Tiffany & Co., with Moku O Foundation’s “Pu‘u Lehua” logo designed by Sig Zane.  The perpetual trophy will be held by the winner through the year and returned for the 2011 presentation.  Solo winners received a Moku O Keawe signature bracelet in the same design.

On Friday, Hau‘oli’s Masako Aketa’s Hula Studio won first place in Kupuna Hula and Pakahi competitions.  A total of 15 hālau from Hawai‘i and Japan participated in the competition.  Groups and soloists were evaluated by judges Nālani Kanaka‘ole, Howard A‘i, Uluwehi Guerrero and Kaleo Trinidad, for expertise in the areas of Ka‘i (entrance chant), Interpretation, Expression Posture Precision, Hand Gestures, Feet and Body movements, Ho‘i (exit chant), Costumes, Adornments, Grooming and Overall Performance.

Event sponsors include Waikoloa Beach Resort, Louis Vuitton, Big Island Candies, Big Island Visitors Bureau, Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Native Arts & Cultures Foundation, Resort Quest Hawaii, Central Pacific Bank, Hilton Grand Vacations Club, Waimea Music Company, Bausch & Lomb, KAPA, Creative Arts, Shiono Sushi, Hawaii Tourism Authority, County of Hawaii, Kintetsu International Hawaii.

The Moku O Keawe International Festival is an annual celebration of the rich Hawaiian culture, produced by the Moku O Keawe Foundation, a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to enhancing, enriching and educating the practice and development of hula and its associated arts to build, strengthen and inspire the living cultural traditions of Hawai‘i.  For more information, visit www.MOKIF.com

2010 Moku O Keawe International Festival Winners
Kupuna Pakahi (Soloist) Winners
3rd Place:  Ke Ola Pono No Na Kupuna, Kumu Hula Rayce Bento
2nd Place: Kyushu Hawaiian Association, Kumu Hula Keiki Ito
1st Place:  Hau’oli’s Masako Aketa’s Hula Studio, Kumu Hula Masako Aketa

Kupuna Hālau Winners
3rd Place:  Hālau Keali‘i O Nālani, Kumu Hula Keali‘i Ceballos
2nd Place: Hālau Kealakapawa, Kumu Hula Michael Canopin
1st Place:  Hau’oli’s Masako Aketa’s Hula Studio, Kumu Hula Masako Aketa

Wahine Pakahi (Soloists)
3rd Place: Kukui Mālamalama O Kona, Kumu Hula Bula Ka‘iliwai
2nd Place: Hau‘oli’s Masako Aketa’s Hula Studio, Kumu Hula Masako Aketa
1st Place:  Hula Hālau O Leilani, Kumu Hula Mihoko Ogawa

Wahine Hālau
3rd Place: Hālau Kealakapawa, Kumu Hula Michael Canopin
2nd Place: Beamer-Solomon Hālau O Po‘ohala, Kumu Hula Hulali Covington
1st Place:  Hula Hālau O Leilani, Kumu Hula Mihoko Ogawa

I Found a Hawaiian “Blind” Snake!

Check out this Ramphotyphlops Braminus otherwise known as the Hawaiian Blind Snake that I just found in my backyard in Pahoa.

I previously mentioned how I’d never seen one in person… Well I can take that off my list… The one I saw today was much smaller and not as fast as this one.

Ho’olaule’a At Honu’apo in Ka’u Labor Day Weekend

Cyril Pahinui and Others Will Entertain at the Sunday, Sept. 5 Fundraiser

Media Release:

Ka ‘Ohana O Honu’apo celebrates its stewardship of Honu’apo Park at the third “Ho’olaule’a At Honu’apo: Mālama Ka’u,” Sun., Sept. 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Honu’apo Park and Whittington Beach Park.

The free, multi-generational festivities are open to everyone, with great food, music, hula, a mo’olelo (storytelling) contest and more.  Cyril Pahinui, Halau Hula O Kahikilaulani led by Kumu Hula Nahokulani Gaspang, Halau Kukui Malamalama O Kona with Kumu Hula David Ka`iliwai, Back to the ’50s, Halau Hula Ka Makani Hali Ala O Puna with Kumu Hula Ehulani Stephany, Just Us, Mahalo Ke Akua Hula Ministry led by Terry Tanaka, and the Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka’u, will entertain the crowd.

Ka ‘Ohana O Honu’apo and the Ka’u community are dedicated to protecting the 230 acres of Honu’apo Park, now the largest county shoreline park in the state. Honu’apo is a special shoreline nursery that nurtures and protects dozens of endangered marine and terrestrial plants and animals. Event organizers hope to raise awareness about Honu’apo, and raise funds to help maintain programs. The day includes a variety of fun-filled events for all ages, including cultural demonstrations, canoe rides, pony rides and a beach clean-up contest for keiki.

Other special elements of the Ho’olaule’a include a look at the past, with an exhibition of historic photos, and numerous food, crafters and community education booths, a silent auction, and lucky number prizes, including a grand prize of $400 in Hawaiian Airlines gift certificates. The mo’olelo (storytelling) contest has a first prize of $200, second prize of $100 and third prize of $50. Contestants are limited to five minutes, stories must be family-friendly, and stories about Ka’ua nd Honu’apo are encouraged.

“Ka’u has been blessed with so many resources for self-sufficiency,” said event organizer Michelle Galimba, president of Ka ‘Ohana O Honu’apo.  “We have a lot to share, and, based on the two previous Ho’olaule’a At Honu’apo, we expect a large turnout!”

This event is being supported by the County of Hawai’i through a grant from the Hawai’i Tourism Authority.

For more information call (808) 929-9891 or visit www.honuapopark.org.

Low-Class Hawaii Pidgin English

Just ran across this clip on youtube… You may notice a few of the kids:

…Or so the teacher tells the class. This takes place in the 1970′s in Hilo. After class the popular girls who are members of the Ray of the Rising Dawn, make “Jerry” abandon his friend because he wants to be a member.

Brits Studying Hawaiian Happy Face Spider

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The spider, which measures just a few millimetres across, has developed bizarre markings giving the appearance of a smiling face.

Scientists think the spider, which has the scientific name Theridion grallator and is harmless to humans, has evolved the patterns to confuse predators.

It is under-threat of extinction in the rainforests of the Hawaiian island chain in the Pacific.

Dr Geoff Oxford, a spider expert from the University of York, said: “I must admit when I turned over the first leaf and saw one it certainly brought a smile to my face.

“There are various theories as to why the spider has developed the markings it has, one of these that it may be to confuse predators.

“When a bird or other predator first sees a prey item it has not seen before there is a moment before it decides whether to eat it or not.

“It may be that this spider has developed these variations to take advantage of this, in the moment the predator is deciding if it is food it may have the chance to escape.

“I don’t think the smiling face is enough to put off a bird though, but it would be nice to think so. Not all happy-face spiders have such striking markings, and some are nearly all orange or all blue.

“The species is only found high in the rainforests of Hawaii and are under threat from the introduction of animals not native to the islands.”

Dr Oxford, who has been studying the spiders since 1993, said that the unusual markings of the arachnid had made them a symbol of all of Hawaii’s threatened wildlife.

“They are ambassadors for all the threatened invertebrates, insects and spiders on Hawaii,” he said.

“Conservationists are using them to highlight the plight of native species and you can’t go far on the islands without seeing them on T-shirts, baseball caps, post cards and even removal trucks.

“The Hawaiian fauna is being threatened by all the human-imported species of animals and plants that establish there each year.

“Sadly most of the plants and animals in lowland areas of Hawaii are non-native and one has to go up into the rainforest to find the native species.”

Multiracial Kids Can Now be More Precise When Filling Out Department of Education Profiling Data

I always hated filling out those profile sheets that would ask me what ethnicity I was.  Black or White was always my options… but it always seemed like I was forced to pick one or the other.

Of course when I was younger, I always filled out white… but then when I got older and started to fill out college applications and apply for loans, I was told to put in black because it would give me “Minority” preference on things.

Finally, the No Child Left Behind act is getting something right and finally allowing kids of mixed ethnicity to be more precise about what race they are when they check off those “race” boxes.  Now kids  and their parents will be able to mark more then just one choice on their “Race” and the Native Hawaiian category has been put in Federally.

From Today’s Washington Post:

…Racial and ethnic information, collected when children register for school, can inform school board decisions on reading programs, discipline procedures or admissions policies for gifted classes. The government looks at test scores of minority groups to help determine whether schools make the grade under the No Child Left Behind law. In an increasingly data-driven culture, educators also scrutinize such test scores and enrollment figures to pick programs meant to narrow achievement gaps and equalize academic opportunity…

Starting in 2010, under Education Department rules approved two years ago to comply with a government-wide policy shift, parents will be able to check all boxes that apply in a two-step questionnaire with reshaped categories. First, they will indicate whether a student is of Hispanic or Latino origin, or not. (The two terms will encompass one group.) Then they will identify a student as one or more of the following: American Indian or Alaska native; Asian; black or African American; native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander; or white…

More Here

I was thinking about this… and I thought I had it bad choosing between just Black and White.

My son has more then 5 Races that he can trace his blood line to.

Black, White, Japanese, Hawaiian, Filipino… I’d have to ask the wife what the other parts are…

Can you believe that… race means so little to me now… That I don’t even know the full race of my own child?