Celebrating Kamehameha the Great

“He wishes to increase the happiness and not the wants of his people.”

~Captain Otto Von Kotzebue (1787-1846) Russian Navigator

Although there is some debate as to the precise year of his birth, Hawaiian legends claimed that a great king would one day unite the islands, and that the sign of his birth would be a comet. Halley’s comet was visible from Hawai`i in 1758.

The name Kamehameha means “the one set apart.” For 13 years, from 1782 to 1795, he waged numerous battles to conquer the islands, ultimately uniting the Hawaiian Islands in 1810, becoming the first king, and establishing a dynasty that endured for over a century.

As a leader in restoring the islands, he urged his people to work and to grow food. They said of him,

“He is a farmer, a fisherman, a maker of cloth, a provider for the needy, and a father to the fatherless.”

As king, Kamehameha took several steps to ensure that the islands remained a united realm even after his death. He unified the legal system and traded shrewdly with the foreigners that followed Captain Cook. He did not allow non-Hawaiians to own land and this edict ensured the islands’ independence during a time when other Pacific island nations were succumbed to colonization. When Kamehameha died in 1819 his body was hidden by his trusted friend Hoapili, and his wife Keopuolani. It is said that only the stars know Kamehameha’s final resting place.

Each year on June 11th a state holiday honors Hawaii’s first monarch.  In addition to the traditional draping of lei on his statues, floral parades take place throughout the islands. With hundreds of riders on horseback, the parades showcase pa‘u equestrian units, marching bands, private mounted units, hula halau, floats, and more.

 

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HONORING OUR WARRIORS

 THE MONTH OF MAY HAS TWO HOLIDAYS THAT CELEBRATE THE SERVICE OF OUR FIGHTING MEN AND WOMEN

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, commemorates men and women who died while in military service. Originally to honor Union soldiers of the Civil War, the name Memorial Day wasn’t used for the annual May 30th holiday until 1882. In 1968, to create a convenient three-day weekend, the U.S. Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill , moving the celebration to the last Monday of May. Hawaii’s Senator Daniel Inouye, a World War II veteran, has repeatedly introduced measures to return Memorial Day to its traditional date.

More than 2,335 veterans and survivors are buried in Maui Nui veteran’s cemeteries on Lanai, Maui, and Molokai.

 

 

 

Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service. The day was created to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches — the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard — following the consolidation of the military services in the Department of Defense. On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of  Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days.

 

Hawaii is home to 118,000 civilian veterans (those who have served, but are not now on active duty).

 

 

More than 2,100 veterans returning to Hawaii from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan received post-conflict care in at five Vet Centers, including one in Wailuku, Maui.

 General Information – Hawaii

Number of veterans: 117,254

VA expenditures in Hawaii: $384 million  

Compensation and pensions: $217 million

Readjustment benefits: $20 million

Medical and construction programs: $160 million

Insurance and indemnities: $10 million

 Number of veterans receiving disability compensation or pension payments in Hawaii: 17,435

Number of Hawaii veterans using GI Bill education benefits: 2,521

Number of home loans in Hawaii backed by VA guarantees: 2,242

Value of Hawaii home loans guaranteed by VA: $964 million

Number of VA life policies held by Hawaii residents: 9,454

Value of VA life insurance insurance policies held by Hawaii residents: $132 million

Number of Hawaii participants in vocational rehabilitation: 586

OUR HERITAGE: The Filipinos

 

“Filipinos…we’re always trying to avail ourselves, to make that difference in other people’s lives.”   ~ Danny A. Mateo, First council member of Filipino descent to be elected as Maui County Council chairman.

On December 20, 1906, onboard the SS Doric, the first group of 15 sakadas, or contract laborers, recruited by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association, arrived to work on the sugar plantations. They were not the first Filipinos in Hawai`i — others known as “Manila Men” were in Hawaii at the time of the monarchy. At least six were involved with the Royal Hawaiian Band.

But the arrival of the sakadas marked the beginning of an aggressive campaign to recruit Filipino plantation labor. When they reached Hawai`i the oppressive plantation system was already entrenched.

Between 1906 and 1930, the HSPA brought in approximately 120,000 Filipinos, and by 1930 the sakadas had become the majority of the plantation workforce, replacing the Japanese. The last group of 6,000 sakadas arrived in 1946, shortly before Philippine independence was regained from the United States.

After that the quota was limited to 50 a year, later increased to 100. It was only toward the late 1950s that immigration laws enabled Filipinos already in Hawai`i to get their families beyond the quotas.

And in 1965, immigration laws were liberalized to admit not only family members but also professionals, including doctors, nurses, engineers, lawyers, accountants, teachers, health technicians and others with college educations and marketable skills.

Today more immigrants come to Hawai`i from the Philippines than from any other country.

About 36,000 Maui County residents are of Filipino ancestry. For over a century their growing influence in labor, business, education, and government has enriched the unique fabric of our Maui Nui community.

“If there is any hope that we, as a unified, humble, and powerful Filipino community on Maui will grow and prosper, we must honor our past …”   ~Megan Bagoyo, Granddaughter of a sakada, From ANAKA Tribute to Maui’s Filipinos

HINAMATSURI Celebrating Girls Japanese Style

Grandmother to mother, mother to daughter ~ the wish for a daughter’s happiness is both valued and treasured, and still celebrated in this spirit.

The 3rd of March is called Hinamatsuri (Doll’s Festival) and has existed in Japan since the Edo Period (17 – 19 centuries). On this day families pray for the happiness and prosperity of their girls, to ward off evil spirits, and to help ensure that they grow up healthy and beautiful.  

A girl’s first “Girls’ Day” is called her Hatzu-Zekku and it is very popular for her to receive a Hina-Ningyo (doll) display. This display can have up to seven tiers with dolls and small furniture. At the top are the dolls of the emperor and empress, with a miniature gilded screen placed behind them, very much like the imperial court.

The dolls are ceremonial dolls, a heritage of the household, many of them handed down from generation to generation. They are displayed for a few days in the best room of the house at this festival time then carefully boxed and put away until the next year.  There is a superstition that says that families slow to put away the dolls will have trouble marrying off their daughters!

In addition to displaying Hina dolls, special foods are included in the celebration. Hina arare (pastel-colored light rice crackers) and hishimochi (diamond- shaped rice cakes with pink, green, and white layers) are placed in front of the Hina dolls as an offering.

Shirozake, a sweet drink made from fermented rice, is also served. Similar to sake, but without alcohol, it is safe for children to enjoy as well.

The celebration of Hinamatsuri, brought to Hawaii in the 1800s by Japanese immigrants who settled here to work on plantations, is one of so many diverse cultural traditions that have become part of life here in Maui Nui.

 

 

 

ARRIVING BY AIR

In the 1920s a select few well-heeled visitors came to vacation in the two or three grand hotels at Waikiki Beach. Some flew in small amphibian airplanes to see the volcanoes on the Big Island, but Maui was seldom on their itinerary.

Inter-Island Airways, Ltd., (which eventually became Hawaiian Airlines), a subsidiary of Inter-Island Steam Navigation Company, landed its first Sikorsky plane on Maui on November 11, 1929. The following year Maui’s first official airport opened at Ma’alaea, and Inter-Island Airways began a daily passenger service to Maui, carrying passengers aboard Sikorsky planes with a 75- minute flight time from Honolulu.

In early 1938, construction began on a new Maui airport near Camp 6 in Pu’unene. And during the early 1940’s, the military completed construction of air bases on Maui, including the Pu’unene Naval Air Station. During WWII, as Maui became an important training, staging, and rest area for U. S. military forces in the Pacific, that station was no longer big enough, and the Naval Air Station at Kahului (NASKA) was established in the cane fields and beaches around Kahului. After the war, the site at NASKA was described as the “most potentially ideal commercial airport site,” and in August, 1950, work began on Maui’s new commercial air terminal.

In 1951 Maui hosted 14,000 visitors.

The Kahului Airport became Maui’s main commercial and passenger air terminal on June 24, 1952, when Hawaiian Airlines and Trans-Pacific Airlines flights landed. By August, 1959, the year Hawai’i became a state, Maui had committed to developing its own visitor niche and work began at Ka’anapali, Hawaii’s first planned resort.

The early 1980’s brought direct service from the mainland to Maui when United Air Lines’ first flight from Los Angeles landed at the Kahului Airport carrying 180 passengers.

In 2010 Maui hosted 2,089,661 visitors.

KARESANSUI ~ Rocks Into Water

It is estimated that the typical suburban lawn consumes 10,000 gallons of water above and beyond rainwater each year.     ~U.S. Geological Survey

There are a variety of water-efficient gardening and landscape designs.  One of the oldest is the Japanese rock garden or dry landscape garden, often called a Zen garden, that dates back to the 11th century.  Karesansui suggests mountains and water using only stones, sand or gravel and, occasionally, plants. 

The name translates literally as dry mountain water. Influenced by Zen Buddhism, the term indicates a stone arrangement in a part of the garden without water. A karesansui garden is a living work of art in which the plants and trees are ever-changing with the seasons.

Unlike other traditional gardens, there is no water present in karesansui gardens. Using neither ponds nor streams, it makes symbolic representations of natural landscapes using stone arrangements, white sand, moss and pruned trees. There is gravel or sand, raked or not raked, that symbolizes sea, ocean, rivers or lakes. Water is symbolized both by the arrangements of rock forms to create a dry waterfall and by patterns raked into sand to create a dry stream. Though each garden is different in its composition, they mostly use rock groupings and shrubs to represent a classic scene of mountains, valleys and waterfalls inspired originally from Chinese, and later Japanese, landscape paintings.

These gardens require careful maintenance from those skilled in the art of training and pruning. Part of that art is to keep the garden almost still, like a painting…and like paintings, the gardens are meant to be viewed from a single, seated perspective.

In addition to water conservation in gardens and landscaped areas, karesansui adds artistic and spiritual elements that evoke nature, balance, peace, and serenity.

Maui’s Roads Less Traveled

“The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.”
– John Muir, Naturalist

Waipoli Road begins just southeast of Kula, Maui, off the Kekaulike Highway (377) at mile marker 9.  It takes you up the slope of Haleakalā, to the summit ridge of Maui’s massive 10,023 foot dormant volcano. 

The ten mile road is steep, bumpy, and dominated by switchback turns. Its surface devolves from macadam  to single lane paved, to gravel then graded dirt.  At times it is so treacherous the forest service will block off the last 2 unpaved miles leading to the crater. 

About 6,200 feet above sea level, situated in the magnificent 21,000 acre Kula Forest Reserve, is Polipoli Springs State Park. Amidst towering trees this Upcountry park offers nearly ten acres of recreational area and amazing views of the Maui lowlands and the neighboring islands of Lana‘i and Kaho‘olawe.

Located in the cloud line thousands of feet above sea level and often fog-bound Polipoli includes a maze of crisscrossing hiking and biking trails that require you to be alert to “false trails.” For many Mauians, the reserve’s greatest attractions are wild pig and pheasant hunting and, between May and July, picking tasty Methley Plums. 

Dense with exotic native Hawaiian trees such as plum, cypress, sugi, and ash, Polipoli is noted for its mature forest of redwoods, some standing over 100 feet tall and nearly six feet wide at the base!

From January 23 to February 5, 2007, a wildfire burned about 2,300 acres of forested lands within Kula Forest Reserve. In terms of size and intensity, this wildland fire event was one of the most devastating to have occurred in Hawaii for many decades.

The burn area was dominated by mature closed canopy forest composed primarily of pines, cypresses, and redwoods. Approximately 1,800 acres were so badly burned there was little remaining live vegetation. Further damage from a severe storm in December, 2007, closed the area for several months while the State, with the help of community volunteers, cleared and secured trails, seeded over 1,250 acres of mountainside with grass mix, and planted 132,572 tree seedlings.

It will take decades to completely erase the fire and storm damage, but the aggressive efforts undertaken by the State have already returned life to the affected areas. The Kula Reserve Forest remains a Maui treasure.

Maui’s Waipoli Road truly transports you to another world!

(Advisory: Polipoli Spring State Park is remote, wet, and cold. It rains frequently. You need rain gear and warm clothing. And remember that hikers share the trails with mountain bikers.)