National Park Service is marking the event by waiving all entrance fees for the day. That’s right. All day Saturday, any National Park Service property that charges admission will be free and open to all. That means Volcano National Park Is FREE this Saturday!
John and I have made a point of 'getting to know' our Island during the 20 years we have lived here. It is a wonderful place to explore and was a joyful playground for our two sons when they were young. One of the places that has continued to draw us back time and again is the coastal shoreline from Kaalualu Bay to Kii. For those not familiar with the Big Island, I am speaking of the district of Kau, along the coast, near what is commonly known as South Point. We travel there several times a year, to camp, to fish, to hike, and to explore. Our last visit to the area was this past week.
Now, I must quantify that four wheeling in this area is not a riotous romp across the countryside. It is a slow and cautious journey across a'a' and pahoehoe lava fields. Usually we get distracted by something we see and hop from the Pathfinder to go explore on foot. But as I said, it was unusually windy on this particular day. As a result, we explored in our Pathfinder much farther than we had ever gone before.
Armed with both modern and really old maps of the area we pinpointed several locations by name, something we had been hoping to do for years. But the peak of our adventures was to reach the end of the tidal areas and come face to face with the southern end of the Kau Cliff line. What makes this area so special is that long ago it was home to a small fishing village, known as Waikapuna.
This area is actually privately owned, but we know the owners and land managers and ALWAYS ask before we go for permission. Asking first is not only the right thing to do, it is the local thing to do. We had a wonderful time exploring the remains of old walls and buildings and of course the beautiful bay and ocean.
Waikapuna is testament to the changing nature of the Big Island. Waikapuna had been a thriving fishing village with fresh water springs located on old lava tubes. A series of earthquakes in the area changed the water table and ended the fresh water supply. Thus ended the once thriving fishing village. This all happened in the late 1800’s. It is still a beautiful spot, though it’s remote And difficult location makes it a place few can enjoy. Hopefully you may enjoy it vicariously though our photos.
The winds swept the coast with more force than we were accustomed to (and the area is know for it's wind), as a result we did less hiking and more four wheel driving (NOT for the faint of heart or rental car) over sharp lava fields. Trust me, the last thing you want to happen in a remote area is to be blown over onto sharp lava.
June has arrived and with it the Bon Dance season on the Big Island. If you are visiting the island and have an opportunity to attend you should. Bon dance in Hawaii is a very social time. There will be local food for sale, Taiko drummers, men and women in Yukata (not required) and lots of dancing and music.
What is Bon dance? A celebration honoring and remembering your ancestors. Spending an evening thinking about loved ones who have passed does not have to be depressing. Bon dance is one way to celebrate their memories while showing them that your life is moving foreword without them, and that your life is full of joy. What could be better than that?
Below is an online article published in Hawaii Magazine about Bon Dance as well as the 2016 schedule for Bon Dance, and a practice schedule if you would like to learn a dance or two. Lots of people just follow along at a Bon dance, so don't feel as if you have to know the dance steps. It's really all about having fun.
I recently purchased this yellowed and faded photograph at Alan's Antique Shop on Bay Front in Hilo. I got it because it depicts a boy's day celebration on one of the sugar plantations. Unfortunately Allen did not know who the family was or which plantation camp the photo was taken, basically nothing about the photo. So I shelled out $5 for the photo and came home to work my magic.
The second photo is after about 3 hours of color correction and adjustments. Wow, right? I am always amazed what I can pull out of an old photo. So even if you think you have a ruined photograph, never give up hope. It is always likely you can salvage the image. But, like I said, this one amazed me. So I enlarged areas and was even more amazed. The central family looks fabulous, Mom in her Kimono and dad holding the honored son. Look, it took a while to get a boy, how proud he must have been that day. The boy is draped in a formal kimono, complete with Mon, family crests (those are the white dots) and crashing waves for strength. The girls are looking pretty fine too, see the one holding her purse? And two dogs! Gotta love the Chesterfields Cigarettes poster clinging to the building in the background. That building, given it's size and location, was likely the bath house that held the community furo (bath).
The group on the left side had some surprises as well. There's a man sitting on the railing with his leg on the hand rail, slipper about to fall off. Look what he is holding! A photo of, I think, a string of carp from another boys day. Cool. The girls are cute. Doesn't one look upset not to be in the center of the photo, she was probably told to stay on the lanai. The other girls seems giddy, she must know she IS in the photo and happy about it. Maybe families took turns getting their photo taken under the banner. On the plantations, ethnic groups tended to stick together. So this is probably an all Japanese camp.
Overall, well worth the $5 and three hours work don't you think? I can't wait to take it back and show Alan. Maybe we'll be able to figure out where this old plantation photograph was taken.
Our Kadomatsu is up and welcoming not only the ancestral spirits, but our guests as well. For those unfamiliar with the tradition of the Kadomatsu let me try to explain. A kadomatsu, or "gate pine" is a traditional Japanese decoration of the New Year placed in front of homes or in businesses to welcome ancestral spirits of the harvest. They are placed after Christmas are considered temporary housing for the spirits. Designs for kadomatsu vary depending on region but are typically made of pine, bamboo, and sometimes ume tree sprigs which represent longevity, prosperity and steadfastness, respectively. The fundamental function of the New Year ceremonies is to honor and receive the toshigami (deity), who will then bring bounty and bestow the ancestors' blessing on everyone." After January 15 the spirits dwelling within the kadomatsu are released when it is burned.
The central portion of the kadomatsu is formed from three large bamboo shoots. Similar to several traditions of ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement), the shoots are set at different heights and represent heaven, humanity, and earth with heaven being the highest and earth being the lowest. After binding all the elements of the kadomatsu, it is bound with newly woven straw rope.
John and I recently took a trip to Wisconsin to see family and had a wonderful time. The weather was great, the travel was adventurous - in a good way - and it was terrific to see family that we had not seen for many years. we happened to be in Wisconsin during the Elkhart Antique Fair. Of course we went! It was a two and a half hour drive to get there, but once there we had a wonderful time discovering all the treasures from Hawaii! These two Mundorff Prints were the first items I spotted. The bright red hibiscus stood out among the hundreds of antique items. They were both crisp and clean, obviously well love by whom ever had owned them before. $20 each was a pretty good price, but too difficult for me to bring home. The images were over sized for carry on, and I was certain the glass would break in shipping. Oh well, on to other treasures.
I did bring these two lovely trays home home. Both had their original 50's Hawaii woods, Honolulu tag still intact on the back. At almost 24 inches long they were a challenge to fit into my suitcase, but they were in such outstanding condition I could not leave them behind. I'm a sucker for pretty wood.
This gem almost made me sequel with delight. sitting in a case of costume jewelry who could miss the unmistakable grace and beauty of Ming's Ivory. This Rice Plant pin is a pattern I have not seen in a while. At just under 4 inches long it is a statement piece to be certain. I found a few other Ming's pieces and some unmarked ivory done in a Hawaiian motif.
For those unfamiliar with Ming's jewelry, Wook Moon established Ming's in 1940, expanding to Hawaii, San Francisco, New York, Miami, Houston, Ft. Lauderdale, and Atlanta. Ming's Honolulu offered pieces in gold, sterling, pearls, jade, coral, and ivory, depicting Hawaiian and Asian motifs and hand carved figurals of flowers and natural objects. The earliest ivory pieces were hand signed "Ming's" in reddish brown ink. Sterling and tinted or dyed ivory pieces were popular sellers and only the finest African elephant ivory, legally purchased and imported, were used. Wook Moon trained many carvers in the mid-century who went on to individual fame, including Isami Doi and John Roberts. The pieces are highly sought after here in Hawaii. They are our diamonds.
I'll finish with a few crates that we ended up shipping back to Hawaii. The Hutchenson crate was certainly unexpected. This company produced a lot of the bottles used by the Hawaii soda companies for their bottling needs. The other two are variations from one company for their sugar cubes. They imported Hawaiian sugar to San Francisco where they then processed it into cubes.
It was a great Antiques fair, one I would love to go to again. I understand the Elkheart show is one day, once a year. Well worth the drive, if you have a chane, go. You will enjoy it too.
We are honored to thank Veterans' for their selfless service to our country with a free stay at The Palms Cliff House Inn. Mahalo Nui Loa. This is the fourth year that The Palms Cliff House Inn has given free rooms to Veterans' as a way to say thank you. We have two sons serving in the military, one in the Navy and one in the Marines, so it has always been a priority to us to show our appreciation.
If you missed staying with us this year, but are planning a future stay, please remember to ask for the military discount, and if you or a family member are a veteran, please accept our heartfelt gratitude for you service to us, and our country.
More than 30 participating restaurants, chefs, pastry chefs, bakers, and beverage suppliers. Time: 1-3pm at Sangha Hall, Hilo. Sponsored by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii. Tickets may be ordered by calling the Chamber at 934-0177 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, call 987-8328 or email email@example.com or visit www.jccih.org
October 5-25 (weekdays) Will be held in conjunction with the annual Wailoa Center Invitational Woodworkers Show. Opening "Meet Your Makers!" reception on October 5th, from 5-7pm with pupus and live entertainment. October 6 and 20th from noon till 4pm, join in a kanikapila and 'ukulele lessons with Andy Andrews of the Puna 'Ukulele Kanikapila Association (free to the public).
Wailoa Art & Cultural Center is a Division of State Parks, Department of Land and Natural Resources. It is free and open to the public Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., & Wednesday from noon to 4:30 pm., but will open especially for the PUKA kanikapila on Oct. 6 & 20th. For more info about the Uke Guild show, contact Bob Gleason at 966-6323 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Wailoa Center info at 933-0416 or email email@example.com.
The Title quote for this post is credited to Mark Twain, a great admirer of our lovely string of Islands. So enamored with our Islands, he actually went "missing" for a period of time. Going Native we call it; but you can not dismiss the powerful effect the mere mention of the words, The Hawaiian Islands, has upon people.
When you mention visiting Hawaii many visualize Hawaii in the 1940's. It was a fun and glamorous time to visit Hawaii. It took 9 hours by plane back then, or four days on one of Matson's cruise liners: the SS Matsonia, The SS Lurline, or the SS Maraposa. Recently I had the good fortune to acquire a photo album that depicts a visit to the Islands of Hawaii in 1947. What a joy to see the islands of that time through the eyes of someone obviously enamored with all they were experiencing.
The Album begins with a wonderful inscription describing their arrival in Honolulu aboard the SS Matsonia:
"Will never forget our arrival! Small boats came out bringing lei; musicians singing and playing Hawaiian songs, and Hula dancers; [and] native boys diving for coins. When we docked, the Royal Hawaiian Band was playing, and everyone was there with more leis!"
How exciting it must have been to pull into the harbor next to the Aloha Tower and watch the small colorful boats arrive carrying locals greeting you with sweet Hawaiian songs and beautifully colored leis made from all kinds of exotic flowers. As if that were not enough, as soon as you disembarked from the ship you were greeted by the Royal Hawaiian Band, gloriously bedecked in White, red and gold. More exotic flower leis were given to so that each passenger had lei up to their ears! How fun! How adventurous it must have felt.
Well, gone are the days of diving for coins, and greeting passengers with armloads of lei. Luckily, however, all the airports still have lei stands and you will still see locals greeting their friends and family with lei, so not all is lost. But I confess, I do daydream about those lucky individuals who visited the islands during Hawaii's Boat Days.
Cost: The exhibit is open to the public.
For more information: http://www.imiloahawaii.org/calendar/day_view/day:October+2,+2012#event_937
Below youʻll find this yearʻs 2012 Wayfinding & Navigation Poster beautifully done by our Student Assistant, Jared Haʻo. This poster holds a lot of kaona, or hidden meaning that only a few may be able to recognize, so for those who may not, I would like to share the meaning behind the various elements and why they were specifically chosen to represent our festival:
Kanaloa Kanaloa, known as the god of the sea, ocean, wayfinding & navigation, as well as many other things, is also the ancient name for Kahoʻolawe. Incorporated into our poster are a few of the many kinolau, or forms of Kanaloa. One representation is the ocean, two is the island of Kahoʻolawe, three is the waʻa and the action of navigating it, four is the maiʻa or banana leaf, his plant form, and five is the whale. For many cultures, even those outside of the Pacific, the whale is a universal representation of the ocean that reminds us that no mater where we are in the world, we are all connected to one another.
Mai Ka Piko Mai A Hoʻi, Return to Kanaloa This yearʻs theme has so many layers and levels of depth to it. Whether you interpret it as a return to the island of Kanaloa, (Kahoʻolawe) or the return to the ways and practices that connect us with the sea, or even a realization that it is our kuleana, responsibility, to care for the ocean that surrounds us, then yes, you are correct. In essence, it doesn't matter how you interpret it, what really matters is that you answer the call.
Mahalo hou to Danee for the photo and to Jared for an awesome job. Please feel free to share this flyer with your family and friends and if youʻre with your with them and you see this flyer around town, please feel free to share this manaʻo and to invite them to this yearʻs ʻImiloa Wayfinding & Navigation Festival!
Last weekend John and I happened to stop at a local garage sale and while rummaging through their "Trash" pile I noticed a large hunk of wood sticking out towards the back. Thinking I was looking at a large piece of mid-century monkey pod wood I freed the piece of wood from the pile. As soon as I grab a hold of it I knew I was about to reveal something special because my fingers were not feeling the smooth underside of a monkey pod wood item, but the 'chip carving' texture synonymous with the Kulani Prison Farm wood shop.
Sure enough when I turned the piece over the distinctive back of the item gave away it's origin. Sadly, the item itself was in really bad condition. The top surface of the shell shaped platter had been painted a brick red and then covered in a thick varnish.
On top of that some tar like substance had spilled on the piece and pooled in it's bottom.
There edges were chipped and broken. The back of the platter was in much the same condition. So when I asked about purchasing the platter it was no wonder I got an odd response. The piece was in such bad shape that the kind folks let me have it for $7.00. Happily I handed them some money and took my damaged treasure home.
I carefully examined the platter to determine as many of it's issues as possible before mapping out my place to salvage it. Nicks, chips, a large break on one end and the goo that was pooled in the center of the piece would be a challenge to overcome.
Undaunted I began stripping away the goo and various layers of paint and varnish. One day and a full can of stripper later I had revealed the natural beauty of the Koa wood that the Kulani Prison Farm was famous for using.
I then decided to hand sand out the chips and nicks so as not to remove too much wood and interfere with the back's 'chip carving.' The large break was a bit more difficult to tackle, but luckily the wood was thick in that area and I was able to re-shape the bowl to remove the broken area, again, without interfering with the 'chip carving' on the back side.
I put a sparing amount of oil onto the piece over the next few days and watched in amazement as the oil was soaked up as if on a dry sponge. After several days of oiling though, the shell platter looks spectacular. I am really happy with how the restoration turned out and really proud that I was able to save a piece of Hawaii's past for my guests to enjoy.
Kūlani Prison Farm was opened in 1946 near Kūlani Hill above Hilo. Inmates at the Prison Farm participated in logging, ranching, woodworking, and other activities. The Farm was constructed among “beautiful stands of Koa trees.” Today, the area surrounding the former prison farm contains dense populations of native birds and plants and is part of a protected conservation area. An important part of the program at the Kūlani facility was its’ wood workshop and sales venture. For years, inmates collected native hardwoods from lands around the facility, and turned it into art and utilitarian items for sale. A part of the income went to the benefit of the inmates themselves, and provides them with a trade skill. This Shell shaped platter exhibits the distinctive ‘Kūlani Prison Farm’ style of texturing the underside (Chip Carving) of the platter making it as beautiful as the top of the platter. ‘Kūlani Prison Farm’ items are difficult to find today, so bringing this platter back to life was well worth the effort.
Since the death of the renowned historical artist Herb Kane in March 2011, Bernard Noguès has been working closely with Herb's widow, Deon Kane, to organize works remaining from his studio. The results of that effort are remarkable.
Now, proudly, the Isaacs Art Center has assembled a ﬁne collection of Mr. Kane's drawings - never before seen studies for his major works - as well as a number of ﬁnished oil paintings and watercolors.
The Isaacs Art Center is located in Waimea (Kamuela) in the South Kohala district of the Big Island of Hawai'i, next to the HPA Village Campus. The Art Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Physical address: 65-1268 Kawaihae Road, Kamuela Hi 96743 Phone (808) 885-5884 http://isaacsartcenter.hpa.edu