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June 2007

From the Editor...


Rochelle delaCruz

from the editor…

Music and Musings

I spent an evening listening to Hawaiian musicians at the Northwest Folklife Festival and their music is still singing in my ears! In a three-hour set, on a beautiful almost-summer evening in Seattle (meaning: hope you brought your sweater) I sat with hundreds of others on the grass in front of the Mural Amphitheatre and enjoyed the music of the Po`okela Street Band, Kenneth Makuakāne and Brother Noland. Both Po`okela and Noland had the lively audience up dancing in front of the stage, with Makuakāne’s nahenahe providing a nice rest. A friend who went to Brother Noland’s Friday night show said it was “the best she’d ever heard him.” The next day, we enjoyed the `ukulele and hula shows which are perennial favorites. I used to dance with one of the hālau that performs at Folklife, and the last time I participated was a couple of years ago. But I remember the thrill of hearing appreciation from the audience as we danced, shaking our `uli`uli in unison. To see some photos of this year’s events, click here.

So what shall I say about the Kamehameha settlement with John Doe? Frankly I’m not surprised, as lawsuits that assault Hawaiian programs are in my opinion, efforts to access what does not belong to you. In other words: theft. In the same way the Islands were stolen in 1893, descendants of the thieves continue to lust after what is not theirs. Of course they find ways to justify their actions, but who are they fooling? They are simply pursuing ways to satisfy their greed. I wonder where it will all end. Hawai`i is a small island culture that almost died but has been revived. The language and many of the traditions are being restored. (See Leona Lueders’ kapa story.) The American way of life on the other hand, is in no danger of disappearing as its influence spreads through the media, movies and internet. Why can’t those who are moving to Hawai`i to enjoy what it offers, understand that their demand to have it all, will lead to the disappearance of this unique, island culture? Auwe. No wonder the hostilities are escalating. Where do you stand? ~RdC

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