Friday, April 12, 2013

Cultural/Historical Organizations of Hawai'i

Hawaiian organizations dedicated to the wonderful history and culture of the Hawaiian people.

While there are so many groups, societies and organizations dedicated to this subject, I have listed below some that are among my favorites. I support and applaud the efforts of these fine people. I would encourage my blog visitors to visit their sites and learn more about this fantastically great culture and their history.

Organizations dedicated to the history and culture of Hawai'i

Historic Hawaii Foundation

The Daughters of Hawai'i

The Hawaiian Historical Society

To these organizations and others like them, mahalo.
Palolo Bob

Saturday, March 9, 2013

From The Land of Polapola


Migration legend. Pele is one of a family of seven sons and six daughters born to Haumea and her husband Moemoe (Moemoe-a-aulii), all distinguished figures in old legend. Pele is very beautiful with a back straight as a cliff and breasts rounded like the moon. She longs to travel and, tucking her little sister born in the shape of an egg under her armpit, hence called Hiiaka-i-ka-poli-o-Pele (-in the armpit of Pele), she seeks her brother Ka-moho-ali‘i. He gives her the canoe of their brother Whirlwind (Pu-ahiuhiu) with Tide (Ke-au-lawe or Ke-au-miki) and Current (Ke-au-ka) as paddlers, and promises to follow with other members of the family.

She goes by way of Polapola, Kuaihelani "where Kane hides the islands," and other islands inhabited by gods (Mokumanamana) to Ni‘ihau, island of the chiefess Fire-thrower (Ka-o-ahi), where she is handsomely entertained. Thence she visits Kauai and appears in the midst of a hula festival in the form of a beautiful woman. Falling desperately in love with the young Kauai chief Lohiau, she determines to take him for a husband. Passing southeast from island to island, on each of which she attempts to dig a home in which she can receive her lover, she comes finally to Hawaii and there is successful in digging deep without striking water, an element inimical to her fiery nature.

Read about their encounter with Pele on the island of Polapola when the men of Malolo discovered this fiery, smoking land and put in to replenish their supply of food and water. Chapter 6, "Voyages of Malolo: Secret of the Rongo" (The island of Smoke and Fire, Pele's Temple)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Polynesians: An Oceanic People

The islands scattered along the north shore of New Guinea first drew these canoe people eastwards into the ocean. By 1500 B.C., these voyagers began moving east beyond New Guinea, first along the Solomon Island chain, and then to the Banks and Vanuatu Archipelagos. As the gaps between islands grew from tens of miles at the edge of the western Pacific to hundreds of miles along the way to Polynesia, and then to thousands of miles in the case of voyages to the far corners of the Polynesian triangle, these oceanic colonizers developed great double-hulled vessels capable of carrying colonists as well as all their supplies, domesticated animals, and planting materials. As the voyages became longer, they developed a highly sophisticated navigation system based on observations of the stars, the ocean swells, the flight patterns of birds and other natural signs to find their way over the open ocean. And, as they moved farther away from the biotic centers of Southeast Asia and New Guinea, finding the flora and fauna increasingly diminished, they developed a portable agricultural system, whereby the domesticated plants and animals were carried in their canoes for transplantation on the islands they found. Once they had reached the mid-ocean archipelagos of Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa, these seafarers - the immediate ancestors of the Polynesians - were alone in the ocean, for only they had the canoes and navigational skills needed to push so far into the Pacific. The gaps between islands widen greatly in the eastern Pacific and the prevailing winds become less and less favorable for sailing to the east. Nonetheless, the archaeological evidence indicates that they sailed eastward to the Cook, Society, and Marquesas Groups, and from there crossed thousands of miles of open ocean to colonize the islands of Hawai'i in the north, Easter Island in the southeast, and New Zealand in the southwest, thus completing settlement, by around 1000 AD, of the area we know today as the Polynesian Triangle. When the Southeast Asian sailors started out on their odyssey they were not yet identifiably Polynesian. Only after many years of learning how to voyage long distances, and to survive on the high islands and atolls they found in the sea, did the ocean-oriented Polynesian culture take on its classic form. In addition to a highly developed sailing and navigational technology, that cullture included a uniquely oceanic world view and a social structure well adapted to voyaging and colonization. Polynesian societies combined a strong authority structure based on genealogical ranking that was useful for mounting long expeditions and founding island colonies.
For more on these great explorers visit the following link complements of  "Wayfinders, A Pacific Odyssy" on PBS at

Aloha, Malama Pono
Palolo Bob
Visit - "Voyages of Malolo" is but one story of how these great navigators explored the mighty Pacific ocean.
Polynesians: An Oceanic People

Sunday, December 2, 2012

"A Child Has No Voice"

by Linda Ann

Green Valley, Arizona December 2, 2012 - Released yesterday on, this true story was experienced by a child many years ago and told as an adult many years later. It is a story of child abuse and abandonment set initially in post war Chicago Ill in the late 40's. The book tells of a young couple from very different ethnic backgrounds, and their struggles to make it in spite of limited education, family disfunction, mob affiliation, alcoholism and gambling. Without the benefit of parental guidance and nurturing themselves, this young couple tried to cope the best way they could, but it wasn't enough to keep their young children from experiencing child abuse, extreme cruelty and  at times abandonment. When a child stops smiling in the family photo's, something is wrong. It is estimated there are 60 million survivors of sexual abuse in America.

This book is currently available in paperback version on at,

I personally recommend this book.

Bob Bonville

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Kumu Oli

Kumu Oli - To understand What, and Who the Kumu Oli is, one must first understand a bit about the ancient, sacred art and skill of Oli.

The Oli (Hawaiian Chant) falls into two broad categories, mele oli and mele hula. Mele oli are chants delivered with no musical instruments and are generally performed by one individual. However, mele hula are chants accompanied by dance and or musical instruments and are often performed by a group. Within these categories are dozens of kinds of chants, formal and informal, for specific occasions and purposes. Each type of chant was performed in a specific way and style. For example, kepakepa style (rapid rhythmic recitation) for prayer chants, ho‘āeae style (soft and short drawn-out vowels) for love chants, ho‘ouweuwe style (heavier voice with protracted vowels) for wailing or lamenting chants, and koihonua style (distinctly pronounced words) for genealogical chants.

The mana (spiritual power) of an oli lies in its themes and kaona (hidden or double meanings). Hidden meanings, such as rain as a metaphor for love, or the lehua blossom as a metaphor for warrior could make a chant both a recounting of an actual event, or speak of love and war depending on who heard and understood the chant. As such, the oli may be understood on different levels by different people. Whether speaking of actual events or filled with metaphors, the oli reflects a people and culture that are quick-witted, poetic, and finely attuned to nature in their imagery, themes, and kaona.

With no written language, the ancient Hawaiians depended on the oli as their primary art form to preserve oral histories and traditions such as genealogy, special places, important events, and prayers. As such, the oli was the very life blood that preserved and perpetuated the Hawaiian culture. Individuals were chosen in their youth and received special training to oli and become living historians and genealogist. The oli was accurately committed to memory sometimes covering over a hundred generations and several thousands of years. Today, the oli is referred to as the “soul” of the Kanaka ‘Ōiwi (aboriginal peoples of Hawai‘i) and is recognized at the highest form of the Hawaiian language.

A man I have never personally met, but have come to know and admire greatly through Facebook is a Hawaiian Chant (Oli) master "Kumu Oli." His name is Sam Ohu Gon III. A Senior Scientist/Cultural Advisor at the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii. Please follow this link!/notes/sam-ohu-gon-iii/questionnaire-on-being-a-kumu-oli/10151233000072311

Mahalo for learning a little about Kumu Oli.
Palolo Bob

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Honi- Hongi



Honi- To Kiss; A Kiss; A Hawaiian Greeting

Formerly to touch noses on the side in greeting.

The honi is a Polynesian greeting in which two people greet each other by pressing noses and inhaling at the same time. This is a very honorific as this represents the exchange of ha--the breath of life, and mana--spiritual power between two people. This act and the concepts behind it are very unusual to western audiences and care should be taken to explain the spirituality and sacredness of this simple act of greeting.

Hongi- To the Maori

A hongi is a traditional Māori greeting in New Zealand. It is done by pressing one's nose and forehead (at the same time) to another person at an encounter.
It is used at traditional meetings among Māori people and on major ceremonies and serves a similar purpose to a formal handshake in modern western culture, and indeed a hongi is often used in conjunction with one.
In the hongi, the ha (or breath of life), is exchanged and intermingled.
Through the exchange of this physical greeting, one is no longer considered manuhiri (visitor) but rather tangata whenua, one of the people of the land. For the remainder of one's stay one is obliged to share in all the duties and responsibilities of the home people. In earlier times, this may have meant bearing arms in times of war, or tending crops, such as kumara (sweet potato).
When Māori greet one another by pressing noses, the tradition of sharing the breath of life is considered to have come directly from the gods.
In Māori folklore, woman was created by the gods moulding her shape out of the earth. The god Tāne (meaning male) embraced the figure and breathed into her nostrils. She then sneezed and came to life. Her name was Hineahuone (earth formed woman).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


The Pineapple

Named Hala kahiki by the Hawaiians,  a tropical plant with edible multiple fruit consisting of coalesced berries, named for resemblance to the pine cone, is the most economically important plant in the Bromeliaceae family. Pineapples may be cultivated from a crown cutting of the fruit, possibly flowering in 20–24 months and fruiting in the following six months.
Pineapple may be consumed fresh, canned, juiced, and are found in a wide array of food stuffs – dessert, fruit salad, jam, yogurt, ice cream, candy, and as a complement to meat dishes. In addition to consumption, in the Philippines the pineapple's leaves are used as the source of a textile fiber called piña, and is employed as a component of wall paper and furnishings, amongst other uses.
Unlike many other fruits, pineapple does not ripen post harvest, so it is picked when it is ripe. Recently I heard two people talking about this wonderful fruit and their discussion went to the origin of this delectible treat. One said to the other, "I think the Dole family invented it genetically and started a farm in Hawaii." The other did not disagree but said they heard a similar story but it was the Delmonte family. Thinking this was an absurd assessment on the subject of the origin of the Pineapple I decided to look it up. What I found was surprising. Was the origin indeed Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, Indonesia or just where? If you don't know, venture a guess, you may be surprised.

Mahalo for the visit.

Palolo Bob