A master plan for Hawaiian sovereignty exists. It is entitled “Hookupu a Ka Lahui Hawaii,” and I just installed it on http://kalahuihawaii.wordpress.com/. It was first published in 1995, 15 years ago. If you are interested in the manao (ideas) of Native Hawaiians concerning their homeland, do take a look. Mahalo!
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Tags: Hawaii, Hawaiian, Hawaiian sovereignty, indigenous people, Ka Lahui Hawaii
Categories : Hawaiian
Some of my friends may know that I am a citizen of Ka Lahui Hawaii. I attended a working group meeting today to give a progress report on the new website http://kalahuihawaii.wordpress.com/ that I manage. It is even newer than Rebekah’s Studio.
For weeks we’ve been figuring how best to install certain documents for the public, and from the response of citizens at today’s meeting we uploaded the “Constitution of Ka Lahui Hawaii.” I am so happy! And there will be more information to come.
Looking back, quite a lot of nation building occurred in the 1990s. The citizens and honorary citizens were very active on all islands and on Moku Honu (North America). I remember attending legislative sessions throughout the islands: Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui and Hawaii. There was an extensive sovereignty education program and citizens took stands on issues often.
Many of our kupuna (Hawaiian elders) who guided the nation in the early years have passed over. Remembering the legacy they left us, we are now continuing to pick up the pieces and press onward.
I think people who are unaware or, and I say this kindly, ignorant of the Native Hawaiian situation—whether they are sympathetic to Native initiatives or not—will be surprised at how much work Ka Lahui Hawaii accomplished:
The Constitution, Master Plan, resolutions, work at the United Nations level, treaties with other nations, educational and economic programs, research—all done at a grassroots level. We met in churches, in parking lots, in parks, at community centers, at each others’ homes.
If you have an interest, please visit
Through the power of the internet, the Ka Lahui Hawaii working group is recording the nation’s efforts in cyberspace for current and future generations.
Copyright 2009 Rebekah Luke
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Tags: Hawaiian sovereignty, indigenous people, Ka Lahui Hawaii, maoli, Native Hawaiian
Categories : About me, Hawaiian
Where does a Hawaiian island girl go on vacation? To places where it is cold and snowy. To places where I can wear clothes! In a few days I’ll be on my way to central Europe to visit the Christmas markets where I know it will be very cold. I am wishing for snow.
Somewhere along the river cruise route from Germany to Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary there might be some of that falling white fluffy stuff. Maybe in Salzburg, Vienna, Bratislava, or Budapest? I’ve got my snow boots packed! In the meantime, our WordPress host is accommodating by snowing on Rebekah’s Studio. Cool, huh? (pun intended)
Here’s a picture of a picture of my very first snowman the year I declared, as an adult, that I wanted a winter vacation. It was the first time I deliberately traveled to a cold place. My visit to Anchorage, Alaska, coincided with the Fur Rendezvous festival in Anchorage.
A couple of seasons before that, it snowed in the mountains on the San Francisco peninsula in California during the coldest winter since such-and-such year. I was working for Sunset magazine at the time. That winter I remember the first snowball thrown at me at Yosemite National Park where the waterfalls were frozen and the scenery was gorgeous-crisp and quiet.
Throughout our 25 years of marriage, DH and I often visited his parents, brother’s and sister’s families in Pennsylvania during the winter holiday, so often that my friends would ask if I ever went anywhere else besides Pennsylvania.
The last December we went to the East Coast, before this one, was to see his parents at their funerals within two weeks of each other. We huddled under the falling snow and placed orchid lei on the ground in the church’s memorial garden where we buried their ashes.
One weekend we took the train from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. We stayed at the Pen Arts building that is the headquarters for the National League of American Pen Women, the members’ clubhouse. The staff went home for the weekend, and the mansion was ours. To trek around in the snow the next morning, though, we first had to get out of the front door. Thank goodness DH remembered how to shovel the steps and to say, “Yes, thank you!” when a man came by to ask if he should salt the sidewalk.
If you have to live in wintry weather all the time, I’m sure it could be more tiresome than romantic. But if you are born and reared in Hawaii as I was, it’s a novelty.
When I was in Osaka, Japan, one February for the opening of the Oceania exhibit at Minpaku (the National Museum of Ethnology) at Senri Park, Professor Shimizu regretted to tell me, when I asked, that it probably would not snow. A few minutes into lunch, he was really surprised to see the white flakes falling outside the dining room window. But I wasn’t.
Here is the link to Minpaku. The photo you see is an exact replica of Hale Kuai Cooperative store with authentic Native Hawaiian made products in Hauula, Oahu, that I co-founded with Ka Lahui Hawaii. How it got there as the Hawaiian part of the permanent Oceania exhibit at the museum is an amazing story, a real memoir that I’ll share with you someday.
I say it’s fitting that WordPress bless this blog with snow. Please enjoy it warmly in front of your computer! I’m planning to send holiday posts while abroad.
Copyright 2009 Rebekah Luke
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Tags: December, Fur Rendezvous, Hawaiian, Ka Lahui Hawaii, Memoir, Minpaku, snow, snowman, Travel, winter, winter vacation, WordPress
Categories : About me, Friends & Family, Hawaiian, Memoir, Travel
Yesterday morning, I performed with the Punahou Alumni Glee Club at the 33rd annual “Day at Queen Emma Summer Palace.” Yesterday afternoon, I attended a meeting to reorganize Ka Lahui Hawaii, the Native Hawaiian initiative for sovereignty. It was an interesting juxtaposition of Saturday events for me.
One event honored Queen Emma who stood for Hawaii remaining autonomous as its own sovereign nation in an earlier Hawaii ruled by monarchs, and the other represented a continuing call for self determination by the indigenous peoples of the Hawaiian Islands.
The Queen Emma Summer Palace museum is operated by the Daughters of Hawaii, founded in 1903 by seven daughters of American Protestant missionaries “to perpetuate the memory and spirit of old Hawaii and of historic facts, and to preserve the nomenclature and correct pronunciation of the Hawaiian language.”
Queen Emma (Emma Naea Rooke 1836-1885) was the wife of Alexander Liholiho (Kamehameha IV). Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV supported the Hawaiian people through major good deeds, namely the establishment in the late 1850s of Queen’s hospital in Honolulu, originally intended for sick and indigent Hawaiians, and the establishment of the Episcopal Church in Hawaii in 1861 that included the gift of nearby land for St. Andrew’s Cathedral.
Alexander Liholiho died in 1863, shortly after their son Prince Albert Kauikeaouli died at age four. After the reigns of Lot Kamehameha (Kamehameha V) and William Lunalilo, in 1875, Emma ran in an election against Kalakaua to become the next ruler of Hawaii and lost. Emma was unhappy with Kalakaua’s rule, and she considered America an enemy for wanting to possess the Hawaiian Islands. (Source: Hawai‘i the Royal Legacy by Allan Seiden, Mutual Publishing Co., Honolulu, 1992)
The proceeds from yesterday’s fundraiser will help to restore and preserve Queen Emma Summer Palace as well as Hulihee Palace in Kailua-Kona. Queen Emma Summer Palace is a most beautiful spot, built where cool breezes blow down the valley and through a lovely landscaped tropical garden. Imagine women in long white dresses and parasols enjoying tea on the patio or strolling beneath a spreading Chinese miulan tree (Michelia champaca).
On a day like yesterday, $6 bought admission to the palace, the grounds, free parking, and a whole day of live Hawaiian music and hula beginning with the Royal Hawaiian Band. Additionally there were demonstrations of native Hawaiian art—pounding kalo (taro) into poi, weaving lau hala (pandanus leaves), Hawaiian quilting, and sewing lei hulu (feather lei)—and a fashion show. You could buy native plants, very good quality arts and handcrafts, ono (delicious) food, books about Hawaii and curios. The relaxing time was a well-organized la-di-da affair for the public.
The Hawaiian place name of Queen Emma’s summer home, located in upper Nuuanu Valley, is Hanaiakamalama, meaning “the foster child of the light (or moon).” It was here that a docent recommended to me Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen by Liliuokalani as a primer for learning about Hawaiian history.
Soon afterward, in 1993, one hundred years after Queen Liliuokalani and the Hawaiian nation were overthrown by American businessmen and therefore the United States, I became an active citizen of Ka Lahui Hawaii, the grass-roots Native Hawaiian initiative for sovereignty. I started to learn what it was to be Hawaiian through Ka Lahui Hawaii.
Ka Lahui Hawaii was in the news and led the sovereignty movement until about five, maybe seven, years ago. There are many reasons why Ka Lahui Hawaii fell “off the radar,” to quote the words of a fellow citizen. It’s my opinion that activism requires great stamina and wherewithal for success, as well as good organization and support. It can be tiring.
Then some weeks ago I learned that a meeting to reorganize Ka Lahui Hawaii would be held on October 3. Curious about what would transpire, and wanting to support, I went after the Queen Emma gig and unfurled the flag. I can report first hand the good news:
Ka Lahui Hawaii is alive and well. Twenty loyal citizens who could make it to Oahu—including all the past kiaaina (governors) as well as citizen representatives from Hawaii island, Molokai, and several Oahu districts—attended the meeting. By the time I arrived, they had formed the Ka Lahui Hawaii Working Group (because the nation is already formed) that is scheduled to meet on Oahu at 9 a.m., the first Saturday of every month, place to be announced.
The group decided its mission would be threefold: 1) to reorganize Ka Lahui Hawaii, 2) to communicate and 3) to represent Ka Lahui Hawaii. The group identified and listed current Native Hawaiian sovereignty issues and agreed to make known the Ka Lahui Hawaii position on these issues. They made committee assignments and plans for communicating on the different islands and among islands.
The sentiment was, perhaps in its prior years Ka Lahui Hawaii was ahead of its time. Yesterday the citizens appeared rested, more learned, more mature, and ready to rally once again. When I first became a citizen, women overwhelmingly outnumbered men. Yesterday there were equal numbers of men and women. Perhaps we as individuals have become more balanced, and that quality is now transmitted to the group. Hoomakaukau. (Prepare and make ready.) I truly hope all Ka Lahui Hawaii citizens and honorary citizens will pitch in and unite for the cause.
Copyright 2009 Rebekah Luke
If you want to know more about Ka Lahui Hawaii, please read FAQ by clicking on this link here.
Contact me if you would like a copy of the October 3, 2009, KLH Working Group meeting notes emailed to you.
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Tags: Hawaiian sovereignty, Ka Lahui Hawaii, Nuuanu, Punahou, Queen Emma Summer Palace
Categories : About me, Fine Art, Friends & Family, Hawaiian, Memoir, Travel