LA KAIAULU

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 by

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Words by Kauwila.

It was an honor and pleasure to represent FITTED at Ke Kula Kaiapuni ‘o Ānuenue, a Hawaiian immersion school nestled in the back of Palolo Valley for their 2016 career day. The idea was to share a moʻolelo — a story from FITTED and the weight it can carry for others. Ultimately, we decided to share them with middle school students, including small makana, as well as explain the meaning of the makana to them. The makana was an ʻIliahi Mua, which features a silhouette that was modeled after Kekuhaupiʻo, known in history as the right hand man of King Kamehameha I. The kids already knew his story and were excited to even hear anything in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi.

I went on to ask what the significance of ʻIliahi in Hawaiʻi meant to them. They sat stunned, thinking about what it could mean. The ʻIliahi is a symbol of change. When people came from other countries to Hawaiʻi they often traded artillery, metal, and other materials for the ʻIliahi wood. This trade symbolized the way in which Hawaiʻi and it’s descendants are able to adapt to change, and that Hawaiʻi’s legacy is important. Our legacy has impacted ourselves as well as others throughout the world. I told them this story, and saw their faces light up with excitement. The function of this hat was to show the world who we are, and what we do. This small makana we shared was not just a simple hat to take home and enjoy, it is a perpetuation of moʻolelo, and its importance to continue it today.

We at FITTED are the moʻolelo that reflect this ʻāina. We are the ʻIliahi wood hidden in pockets throughout the islands, the trees being planted which is re-growing our forestry of Moʻolelo. I also was able to discuss the Naulu bridge — the rain bridge which starts from Ulupalakua in Maui, and flows with clouds, rains, and wind all the way to Kanaloa-Kahoʻolawe. The Naulu bridge — which disappeared for a while — was held and carried by an ʻIliahi tree across the channel. When somebody buys a FITTED hat, they perpetuate this story to others; they support the community engagement, the growth of moʻolelo, and the innovative ways Hawaiʻi can share our language and our story.

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