From a young age, I was raised to identify as being hapa, a child of mixed ethnic heritage. Part native Hawaiian, like my dad. Part haole, or foreign, like my mom. My father and uncle infused my childhood with island ghost stories and family legends. Relatives from the island sent us boxes of saloon pilot crackers, dried fish and children's stories like Goldie the Blonde Malihini, Rumple Dakineskin and Keaka and the Beanstalk. On special occasions they shipped over flower leis. Every meal was served with a steaming pot of sticky white rice.
Back then we lived in the Silicon Valley of California, in a multiethnic neighborhood. After I graduated high school, my family relocated to Puna, Hawaii while I was on the island of Oahu. With the cost of living being so high, we moved to Midlothian, Texas.
Without preserving our family stories we will lose our heritage, especially as mainlanders. Our friends might misunderstand the source of our hospitality. My children may never discover island pride. It's why the House of Howe is a hapa Hawaiian home. When guests step into our home they see artifacts from the islands: black sand, opihi shells, milo wood, ukulele and more. We share our Hawaiian heritage because we never want to forget that we are different – not special – but different as all of God's creatures are. It's one small way to fight back against sameness and discrimination.
MO`OLELO O HALE O KA`UHANE
In Memory of Samuel David Kainoa Kauhane
MO`OLELO O PUNA HAWAI`I
In Memory of Peter Hale Kauhane
My Uncle Peter always had a camera in his hand. I am processing his passing just as I am processing the treasures he left to me, photography and videography of his beloved home of Puna, Hawaii.
While looking for photographs for the memorial service of my late uncle, Valentine Kalipo Rowe, I thought about the box of video film left to me by Uncle Peter. In hopes of finding images of our ohana, I sent the film to be digitized. Although Uncle Peter never had children, he left these treasures for us to find – moving pictures that connect our keikis to the past, present and future of our ohana and the land we love. Uncle Peter grew up in Puna, Hawaii and shot this film in the late 1950s or early 1960s. Uncle Peter was raised between the towns of Kapoho and just past Pohoiki Bay, at the Mahinaakaaka Heiau.
PUNA, HAWAII TODAY
Currently, Uncle Peter's beloved home of Puna, Hawaii has been at the mercy of an active lava flow of historical proportions. I am sharing this video in order to remind us that the people and places of Puna have much to hope for. The landscape of Puna is ever-changing but what remains is the great aloha of her people. Pule for Puna. Pray for Puna with faith, hope and love. As Ikaika Marzo says, #STAYCLASSYPUNA. If you can help, please visit Pu'uhonua o Puna. Let's share aloha for Puna, Hawai`i and it's beloved sons and daughters.
CREDITS & PERMISSIONS
This video is ©House of Howe, LLC. All rights reserved. Music composed by Nicolai Heidlas from HookSounds.com.