Entries Tagged as 'Historic Value'

Native American attractions in Honolulu

Don’t happen often enough! When it does, I always seem to miss it.

I have been very drawn to the Native American culture over the last five years or so.  Unfortunately, I always seem to be in the wrong place when they have an event.  I’ve never seen anything like it!

On my way home the other day I saw something out of the corner of my eye.  “That looks like… I think… it IS!  It’s a teepee!  They’re there!”  How fast can you cross three lanes of Beretania Street without killing yourself or getting a ticket?  Don’t ask, I just did.

Indian architecture that caught my attention.

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I just had to!  I had to find out more, to know more about a culture that continues to elude me. Native Americans share heartaches that are not dissimilar to those of Native Hawaiians.

Brightly-colored, tradtional dress.

My heart goes out to them and seeing, learning, and sharing in the beauty of their culture means so much to me. Perhaps the fact that they are so geographically removed from Honolulu just adds to the mystique.

Ovwer the years they have assimilated quietly here and they have become part of our society’s makeup. I just want to “know” them.

Ring dance.

I had to understand what the above activity was all about so, I asked!  I was told that this is a healing dance done to help those who are ailing. Each ring respresents whatever ails you.

Youngster very skilled with the rings.

I was amazed at the agility and ability with which the rings can be handled and the spheres that the dancer above was able to create.

healing-dance-with-rings.JPG

Anyone would feel better after watching this!

Feathers and beads make for some fascinating traditional dress!
Cultural fascinations in traditional dress.

I must admit, I did take a lot of pictures. It was hard to resist! Traditional dress is often very colorful and the feathers just make it all the more fascinating!

The little ones are dancers too!

The little ones get involved as well.

I couldn’t get enough of admiring the cultural dress and wishing I knew more aobut the meaning.

This afternoon was all about my desire to understand more of the culture and customs of our Native Americans.  The good part of this visit was that I got myself added to their notification list so, hopefully, I will know well ahead of time when these events are about to take place!

A flyer to tell you all about powwow etiquette!

What did I take away from this?  Pow wow etiquette!

Indian ornament.Little buffalo to bring good luck.

It would be a good thing to put together a list of questions for the next time I’m lucky enough to run into this!

Thank you in Cherokee.

Many thanks go out to the various participants for sharing their culture with everyone!  I’m looking forward to the next pow wow!

Bringing Hawai’i History Back to Life!

‘Ike K???ko?a
Liberating Knowledge, The Newspaper Type Scripting Project

Awaiaulu, Perpetuating Past to Present, or binding that part to the present securely, is hard at work at a project to restore 60,000 pages of long-forgotten newspapers.  I had no concept of just how much Hawaiian text there is out there!  You have GOT to watch this video!  There are pages and pages of Hawaiian newspapers to be put into searchable form! This is so exciting!

Typing Hawaiian newspapers and turning them into searchable text.

I am so very proud of the volunteers who have stepped up to devote some of their time to this project!  Will they eventually translate it all into English?  I don’t know, but we can hope.  Yes, I know, we should all learn to speak and understand the native tongue of our home but, I have to admit, it’s hard to teach old people like me a new language.  In time, maybe?  The main thing is it will assist in the recovery of lost history!

Pssst… if you’ve been caught throwing things out your car window, if you need to put in some time doing community service, this counts against your required community service hours!  I’m just saying.

Suddenly I feel the need to say, God bless ‘Aha P?nana Leo for what they have become and what they have accomplished over the years in keeping the language alive for all!  Those who are the products of the Hawaiian immersion schools will be able to read, and maybe even translate the recovery of this history.

If you can, please get involved!

Wordless Wednesday: Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace, draped

The Birthing of Hawaiian Royalty

I have wanted to get to this place for the longest time!  I rarely get out to Wahiawa or beyond so, after I got my safety-check sticker, I made sure to take full advantage of this rare and infrequent opportunity!

Over time, the writing of this blog has created a much greater sense of aloha for Hawaiian culture and it has ignited a thirst for knowledge about that culture’s history.  Up until now, Kukaniloko was known to me only as “the birthing stones.”   When I found my way there, I was lucky enough to find a rather interesting group of people.

Students from a University of Hawaii, Manoa Geology class

This was a class of Geology students from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.  Apparently, Kukaniloko “is the geographic center of O’ahu…” thus making it geologically important.  They were actually there with their geology professor!  Talk about a stroke of luck!

I tried to get closer so that I could eaves drop on part of what the professor was saying to the class.  I have to admit that I was a little taken aback listening to Dr. Scott Rowland as he told his students how an alii was birthed.  “They did what???” I was thinking to myself, relatively horrified.

I’m not going to get into it but, let’s put it this way, the State of Hawai’i’s flyer about Kukaniloko says, “The birth of a child at Kukaniloko was witnessed by 36 chiefs.”  This stunned me a bit because that is not the kind of birth-giving experience that I would care to deal with while bloody, sweating, and in pain.

Of course there are women today that have an audience during the birthing process.  The whole visual of the process being described by Dr. Rowland just caught me off guard, I think.  Of course, if you’re in that much physical distress, perhaps your only focus is on getting past that pain!  Mothers can weigh in on this.  Seriously, please do!

Dr. Rowland did remind everyone that, back then, this area did not look like it does now.  It used to be a forested area and hence much more secluded and private.  “Good point!”  That made it a little better.   Today, as you can see by the photos, it is wide open to the world!

The group of stones at Kukaniloko

I was quite impressed by how well-maintained this site has been kept after all these years!  Before the class departed for its next stop, Dr. Rowland was kind enough to share a copy of his handouts.  Part of the handout that had been put together for the class stated that Kukaniloko,

“is one of only two locations in Hawai’i where children of chiefs were born (the other was on Kaua’i).  Kukaniloko may have been established as a royal birthing place as long ago as the 12th century.  Fortunately, W.W. Goodale of the Waialua Sugar Plantation as well as the Daughters of Hawai’i made sure that this place was protected and not plowed over for agriculture.”

Thank goodness!  That would have been an archeological and culturally-historical disaster!

Well-kept grounds at Kukaniloko

As I surveyed the area I became curious about the slightly-elevated area pictured above.  Was it ever used for rituals or halau performances or something?  It sort of looked like a hula mound.  Anybody in the know can share your knowledge on this too!

Any woman living in those times would have appreciated the honor it was to actually be giving birth to a chief!  Hawaiians had a great deal of respect for the alii, as they do to this day.  The birth of a new ruler was certainly an event to be celebrated!

Heiau at Kukaniloko

It was really comforting to see how the grounds are so well kept.  I was very pleased but I wanted to know more about this heiau.  Again, anybody in the know on this is welcome to comment!

Close-up shot of the birthing stones

Dr. Rowland indicated that one of these stones was the main stone but I wasn’t close enough to the group to hear which one it was.  The one in the center of the picture above may have been the one but I’m honestly not sure.  I knelt down and touched the surface of the stones — they were unusually smooth and even soothing to the touch.

Kukaniloko sign

This sign posted by the DLNR shows that the land here is protected, as it should be.  The sign has taken a beating over time but the simple message it carries is essential — “Please respect this sacred area.”

I came away moved by the beauty and serenity of this simple site that is listed on both the National and State of Hawai’i Registers of Historic Places.  While feeling a little more educated about this little tidbit of our historic culture, I still remain overwhelmed by the very complex history of our State.  There is still so much to uncover and talk about.  And you thought you were going to get off easy!

Dia de los Muertos is a Celebration of Life!

November 2nd was Dia de los Muertos (the day of the dead) this year.  I was going to talk about this for the most recent Carnival of Aloha but I was too slow.  Talking about marigolds and a picture of these flowers was all I could muster.  The mystique of the marigolds intrigued a couple of readers and now I have to try to make this even more fascinating.

Birds watch over Puea Cemetery on School Street in Honolulu

I love how these white cattle egrets look so creepy sitting on those grave stones?  Most people refer to them as garbage dump birds but I’m going to go with Michael Walther at O’ahu Nature Tours and call them egrets.  Mahalo, Michael, for that information and reassurance!

Regular readers know how much I love and respect our graveyards.  Does this strike you as morbid?  It’s not!  Honest!  Let me explain.

CBS News Sunday Morning found itself on Halloween this year.  There were so many wonderful stories but I selected the best fit for this post.  I hope that link will work, at least for a while.  Fortunately for those strange people, like me, who are stricken with a touch of graveyard addiction, they spoke of all kinds of things like the tombstones of celebrities and some of the self-made monuments of the ultra-rich.

They even talked about the human fascination with, and dissecting of, the afterlife and near-death experiences that people often talk about.  I couldn’t help but be intrigued by America’s nerdy need to put a scientific explanation on it all.  Yeah, they actually think they might find one!  Good luck with that. Wonderful show, CBS, I so wish that I had taped it all!

What CBS missed, being stuck in Halloween, was a much more beautiful way to deal with the memory of our deceased families, friends, and yes, even celebrities.  I am anti-Halloween because I have read about its evil origins and, to be honest, it frightens me.  I love the silly dress up and the eerie nonsense, but the reality is not something I care to deal with if I can avoid it.

Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) puts the celebratory feel where it belongs — on treasured memories, not on ghouls and goblins.  Mexico doesn’t mourn their dead, they celebrate their lives!  What a beautiful way to remember loved ones and our ancestors.

I need to bring this all home to Honolulu.  Dealing with the memory of our loved ones and caring for their resting places is always a concern and very much a part of Hawaii’s culture, to be sure!  Sometimes the cultural observances of others overflow the borders of countries and are adopted.  Hawai’i should know all about this!

Don’t get me wrong; we celebrate too.  A good example of this is our celebration of the much revered King Kamehameha whom we remember with lei and a parade very year!  But, what do we do about our families and friends?  We take flowers, say prayers and/or recite words of love, and then weep.  I think I like the Mexican tradition better. 

I think we should blend the traditions.  Take flowers, say a prayer, recite a message of love, and then party!  Celebrate their lives and the people that they were.  What a wonderful tribute that is to them.  If they are still hanging around nearby (depending on your beliefs), they can join in and appreciate our efforts!

Marigolds from Home Depot

I know, you’re wondering, “Yes, but why the marigolds?”  My sister mentioned that they were a popular flower with spirits.  From what I’ve read, they are the flower of choice for Dia de los Muertos events.  Home Depot had a lot of them!  I noticed that many of them disappeared between the afternoon of November 1st and the morning of the 2nd.  Perhaps I’m not the only one?  Just an observation.

On November 2nd I quietly combined the traditions and took some marigolds, prayers, wipes, and water, and went graveyard hopping.  The sun was not always in my favor for picture taking but the photos are full of sentiment!  The places and the people may or may not be familiar to some but the message is universal.

Rose Pelayo stone at Puea Cemetery in Kalihi.

I started at Puea Cemetery because one of my readers who leaves comments from time to time told me that his grandmother was buried there.  I’m hoping that Rose Pelayo is Keahi’s grandma.  I have not seen him for a while so I hope he will let me know that I found the right lady!  If not, I’m still happy that I visited and prayed for someone there.  This little cemetery needs all the prayers and visitors that it can get!  These grounds are under the State of Hawaii’s jurisdiction and the State is in need of a reprimand but that’s another story for another time.

Nu’uanu has the best neighbors!  My dear friend’s grandmother is at Nu’uanu Memorial Park cemetery so I had to visit there.

Grandma Helen at Nu’uanu Memorial Park cemetery.

The sun was very warm that day and it was drying up my cleaning quickly!  The flowers seemed to like it though.

Zadoc and Lawrence Brown’s stones at O’ahu cemetery.

When it comes to upkeep and elegance, O’ahu Cemetery will not to be outshined by its neighbors.  It is worth noting here that my marigolds were not single flowers but rather a collection of little potted plants — that’s why they are not inside the vases.  The Brown family has a nice little area at O’ahu Cemetery and there is a lot of history there.  That is one thing that O’ahu Cemetery has a lot of — history!

Young Gill Jamieson buried at O’ahu cemetery.

I cannot, and will not, forget little Gill Jamieson whose story still shakes me because I know that story is what my own mother’s warnings were based on.  I washed his stone, gave him his marigolds, and told him that he didn’t die in vain.  His story has and will continue to protect children from the harm of messed up people like the one who kidnapped and murdered Gill at the tender age of 10.

Paticio and Francisca Yangson’s stone at Hawaiian Memorial Park cemetery.

Then it was time to shake a leg and move over to the Windward side and Hawaiian Memorial Park cemetery.  There are a lot of friends and family buried there.  I couldn’t find my own grandparents but I was able to find my husband’s grandparents.

James Wallace at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe.

Behind Hawaiian Memorial is another military cemetery, Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery.   This is my stepfather’s stone.  The red dirt doesn’t help photography either.  I set a rule at the start of this day that I would not cry.  This was a day for the celebration of their lives.  Remember I said we are supposed to celebrate rather than weep? Rule broken.  I couldn’t help it!  This is fitting since today is Veterans’ Day!  Jim was more than a soldier for our country; he was a soldier for our family.

Mililani Cemetery grounds.

Mililani Cemetery is the best kept cemetery.  The grounds people are going at it constantly, and it shows!

Albertina Botelho’s stone at Mililani Cemetery.

Albertina Botelho is buried at Mililani Cemetery.  She was always a very dear friend.  I still remember things she said to me and the things I learned from her.  In my senior year, only a few months before graduation, she asked me for a graduation picture.  A few days later she was gone.  I had already broken my no-cry rule once today; I broke it again as I watered her marigolds.

I said my little prayer about eight times that day and used a lot of Lysol wipes. I wanted to do this — to celebrate with these dearly departed souls because the opportunity presented itself.  So, I did.  While exhausting, this was an accomplishment that felt really good, inside and out.  Um, I think I really like marigolds!

Presidential Proclamation!

King Kamehameha statue draped with leisI have to admit to being stunned.  I shouldn’t have been since Barack’s roots are here, but I have to admit it — I was speechless (for all of about 3 seconds).

Just in case you missed it, I am more than happy to share it with everyone here!  I missed it when it first came out.  I heard about it through word-of-mouth from about three or four different sources, including the morning news, and then I had no problem spreading it around! This is kind of how the conversations went:

“Did you hear about the President’s proclamation?”

“What proclamation?” was the usual, wide-eyed response.  I think the expectation was that there was something new about the economic drama or some new find or fix for the oil spill — since those have been the buzz topics taking over the news recently.

“He said the country should recognize King Kamehameha Day!”

“No way!?!”

“Isn’t that something?” was my usual reply with a big grin.

Still don’t believe me?  Here it is, verbatim, from the White House website:

The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

June 10, 2010

Presidential Proclamation–King Kamehameha Day

Two hundred years ago, King Kamehameha the Great brought the Hawaiian Islands together under a unified government.  His courage and leadership earned him a legacy as the “Napoleon of the Pacific,” and today his humanity is preserved in Ke Kanawai Mamalahoe, or “the Law of the Splintered Paddle.”  This law protects civilians in times of war and remains enshrined in Hawaii’s constitution as “a unique and living symbol of the State’s concern for public safety.”

On this bicentennial King Kamehameha Day, we celebrate the history and heritage of the Aloha State, which has immeasurably enriched our national life and culture.  The Hawaiian narrative is one of both profound triumph and, sadly, deep injustice.  It is the story of Native Hawaiians oppressed by crippling disease, aborted treaties, and the eventual conquest of their sovereign kingdom.  These grim milestones remind us of an unjust time in our history, as well as the many pitfalls in our Nation’s long and difficult journey to perfect itself.  Yet, through the peaks and valleys of our American story, Hawaii’s steadfast sense of community and mutual support shows the progress that results when we are united in a spirit of limitless possibility.

In the decades since their persecution, Native Hawaiians have remained resilient.  They are part of the diverse people of Hawaii who, as children of pioneers and immigrants from around the world, carry on the unique cultures and traditions of their forebears.  As Americans, we can all admire these traits, as well as the raw natural beauty of the islands themselves.  Truly, the Aloha Spirit of Hawaii echoes the American Spirit, representing the opportunities we all have to grow and learn from one another as we carry our Nation toward a brighter day.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 11, 2010, as King Kamehameha Day.  I call upon all Americans to celebrate the rich heritage of Hawaii with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.

BARACK OBAMA

I don’t need to say anything; it speaks for itself.  The only thing that comes to mind is to say to the President, “Mahalo, bruddah!”

Historic Events Repeating Themselves

King Lunalilo’s Tomb

King Lunalilo’s tomb was blessed with new kahili a few weeks ago as part of the King’s 175th birthday.  These kahili were beautiful new additions to replace the old ones that were not in the greatest of shape after all of these years.

Kamehameha Maertens

Apparently the making of the new kahili was orchestrated by Paulette Nohealani Kahalepuna which says to me that these kahili were not only crafted of feathers but that they were done correctly, carefully, and beautifully.

The gentleman pictured here on the left is Kamehameha Maertens.  He is quite familiar with the kahili in King Lunalilo’s tomb.  Back in 1938 an article in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin listed him as one of the kahili bearers back then. Mr. Maertens’ grandson took him to the new kahili event to celebrate Lunalilo’s 175th birthday on January 31st at the King’s tomb on the grounds of Kawaiaha’o Church.

That, in my opinion, is certainly something worth talking about — a man revisits a part of history that he himself was a part of.  I’m not sure how many of us will be around long enough to see history repeat itself or to say we actually had a hand in it!

In the Star-Bulletin article, Kamehameha Maertens was listed incorrectly as a member of the Royal Order of Kamehameha.  His first name may have been the reason for the reporter’s confusion but he was certainly an important part of the royal procession paying tribute to the memory of a man who was once a very popular monarch.

After all of those years gone by, I can’t help but wonder if he ever dreamed that his own grandchild would push for the preservation of the Hawaiian culture through the protection, perpetuation, and restoration of its treasured language.  In case you can’t get into Facebook, here’s the meat of what’s on the other end of this link:

“After the unlawful overthrow of the Hawaiian government by white supremacists, four generations of Hawaiian people endured cultural genocide beginning in 1896 when the Hawaiian language was banned as a medium of public instruction. 30+ years have passed since the 1978 Hawai’i State Constitution nominally restored Hawaiian as an official language along with English, yet speakers of Hawaiian cannot vote using their language. Without public information readily available in Hawaiian, the current policy of English-only community services is indeed tantamount to ethnic cleansing! Will you please join with us to implement Hawai’i’s Official Languages Act to put this unfortunate era of cultural genocide against Hawaiian speaking people behind us for good?”

I’ve talked about this before and, while it is a touchy subject, most people will agree that it is a terrible thing to cut off a people from their own language.  It is a wretched behavior for a country claiming to be “civilized.”  Make no mistake about it, I’m an American and proud of it, but there are times when I just don’t know what we were thinking!  But I digress.

There are quite a few of us who missed the Hawaiian-language boat in school and are now trying to learn.  This is where Mr. Maertens’ grandson comes in.  Michael Malulani Odegaard is trying to help us do just that.  Some students are doing better than others.  I have to admit that life, as usual, gets in the way of that too.  Mahalo, Kumu, for all you do and for your infinite patience!

For those of you looking to learn ‘olelo Hawai’i or looking to brush up on your skills a little, there are small classes available on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 PM and Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 7:00 PM.  Follow this link for more information about the Wednesday evening class and for contact information in case you have questions.

For those who try to call it a dead language, I’m very happy to let you know that you are sadly mistaken!  It’s alive and well and getting stronger every day!

Comments left on Facebook will be copied and shared here on Homespun Honolulu so everyone will be able to listen to your thoughts and input.

Magic of Community and Majesty of Nu’uanu Pali

So many times while headed uphill I have the uncontrollable urge to just take pictures of the mountain side — so green, so majestic.

The mountains as seen form Pali Highway.

Even with the vog it is still a beautiful sight! The foliage is always so green and the variety of trees makes it interesting.  Some of the trees are so old and regal that they add to the historic charm of this area.

Fallen Trees Can Be Fascinating

The trees, while charming, can also be very dangerous.  It is fortunate that nobody was around when this one cracked and fell!

Fallen tree that caused a road closure on Nuuanu Pali Drive.

One of those very old, and large, trees actually closed the street and made the news.  This one required some heavy equipment to move it all out of the way.

State workers do some logging as they cut up the fallen tree into manageable pieces.

Ultimately, it required some cutting to clear it off the road.  I must admit that the pieces of this once lovely old tree held my attention and curiosity for quite some time.

Location of the break in the fallen tree.

What made it fall?  Wind, with what I believe was the assistance of termites.  I’m not sure what a termite-eaten tree looks like but maybe a termite expert can help us out with this.  I’ll see if I can connect with one of our friends at Terminix to fill us in with some of their knowledge.  Sounds like another post to me — I’ll keep you post-ed!

Smaller tree and vines fallen across Nuuanu Pali Drive, again.

This was an interesting find while I was driving very early one morning.  A relatively smaller tree wrapped tightly by a very thick and leafy vine.  I moved what I could off the road just in time for the driver of a Mercedes to fly by on their way to work.  Whew!  I realized that I couldn’t do it by myself and called 911 (non-emergency, of course).  While I waited and watched for speeding cars, a father trying to get his kids to school came by and stopped to lend a hand.  We were able to move more of it off to the side.

Debris partially cleared to allowing passage of cars on one side of the road.

It was interesting to see who would stop and help with something so small yet so obtrusive.  There is a sense of community here.  Another exercise enthusiast came by and we were able to clear away just a little bit more!

Road blockage cleared away without heavy equipment.

Officers finally arrived on the scene and between three or four people, we managed to drag and/or push the rest of it out of they way.  We did it!  No equipment needed.  Well, the City & County guys will have to clean the trash off the side of the road eventually I suppose.

What follows is another example of that sense of caring for the neighborhood.  I’ve been waiting for a way to share this and I think a door just opened!  This is the same street, just about a half mile down the road, different day, I walked past this gentleman standing on his car trying to clean graffiti off of a road sign.

Gentleman cleaning graffitti off a street sign.Keeping the neighborhood clean.

I asked him if it was working and, yes, it was.  Passing by and thinking about it, I knew I had to turn around and get a picture!  Obviously there are others who feel the same way that I do about our little community.  Even a speed limit sign is not something we like to have defaced!  I have forgotten his name now and I can only hope that he sees this and leaves a comment to share his name with us.  🙂

Moving Together for Cultural Restoration

Yellow HibiscusThis Friday evening (yes, tonight) at 6:30 pm join supporters of Hawaii Bilingual (H2O) for the evening, artistic portion of their monthly vigil that occurs at the end of each month.  This is an event that began back in April and will continue to be observed “until an Official Languages Act similar to Canada’s and Ireland’s is adopted by the Hawai’i State Legislature, effectively confirming an end of the era of Hawaiian cultural genocide.”

Cultural genocide is a pretty strong term.  If you think about it, it’s not too far off the mark.  I was shocked to learn that people were not only forbidden to speak the language but were severely punished if they were caught doing so.  That is so, so wrong!  I don’t know all the horrific details and don’t want to know — it breaks my heart.  Take away a language and thus begins cultural disintegration.  Acknowledging that “cultural genocide” is a strong term, most will agree that it is quite accurate when you look at the bigger, historic picture.

I don’t understand this retarded occurrence in our history but I intend to support the movement to restore a very important part of our beloved culture — the language!  See the flyer here for a more detailed description of the event and the movement.

Tickets are $15 and are available at the door.  Pupu will be provided as people kick back and relax to the symphonic sounds of talented musicians hailing from our own Honolulu Symphony.  Come and share in the peace and aloha of this bilingual event.  If enough of us band together for this purpose, the State will eventually have to listen.  🙂

Bring a chair, and your drink(s) of choice to:

Fresh Cafe
831 Queen Street
Kaka’ako, Honolulu

Daughters of Hawai’i and Their Calabash Cousins

Sign for Queen Emma Summer PalaceI think most of us tend to be curious about a place marked “National Historic Site,” especially when it has a gift shop too!  I was nosey and went in to see the little gift shop and man did I find some really cool stuff and some really cool staff willing to share their knowledge!

I discovered connections to things I had seen elsewhere, I saw books with names I recognized, and there were books about things that had already become a focus for my insatiable curiosity about the history of our home.  In future posts I’ll fill you all in as I get through the items I bought at the gift shop.

The setting of Queen Emma Summer Palace is so peaceful.  It is a piece of Hawai’i’s Royal history that sits for all to view.  All can hear that history as told by those who give guides through the summer home of one of Hawaii’s very special Queens.  Queen Emma is the queen who founded The Queen’s Medical Center which remains until today as a non-profit hospital and the trauma center of Honolulu.

Queen Emma Summer Palace

While the Queen Emma Summer Palace is frequented by tour buses and visitors with inquiring minds, I just found it alluring  because of its quiet beauty and its little gift shop that held so much in store for the culturally hungry.

Another thing that was drawn to my attention by the ladies in the gift shop was something known as the Daughters of Hawai’iThis organization “maintains and operates two palaces to promote the history and culture of Hawai’i.”  The only problem was that to officially become a “Daughter” I would have to be able to trace my family’s Hawaii residence back to years prior to 1880.   Well, I’m fairly sure about 1920 or slightly earlier but 1880 might just be a bit too far back.  But, I can still be a Calabash Cousin!

A “calabash” family member is one who has grown up around you and/or shared a close friendship with you.  Well, that fit!  So, I sent in the application and was pleasantly surprised to soon receive a welcome letter.   In the body of the letter was written,  “The “Calabash Cousins” was established in  1986 as Letter from the Daughters of Hawai’ia support group to the Daughters of Hawai’i whose mission is “to perpetuate the memory and spirit of old Hawai’i and of historic facts, and to preserve the nomenclature and correct pronunciation of the Hawaiian language.” 

Funny they should mention that!  Did I tell you guys about H2O and the recent decision by the University of Hawaii’s Board of Regents?   Such a coincidence!  See?  Now it’s my duty!  🙂

If you have not visited the Queen Emma Summer Palace, you should add it to your to-do list.  You’ll find it an educational endeavor and one that was very worthy of your time!

Queen Emma Summer Palace
2913 Pali Hwy
Honolulu, HI 96817
Phone: (808) 595-6291