Prepping for ʻOnipaʻa

16 01 2022

January 17, 2022, marks 129 years since the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. Following a scheduled Peace March in Honolulu that will end at Queen Liliʻuokalani’s statue, there will be a program of music and speeches throughout the afternoon on the grounds of Iolani Palace.

For Ka Lāhui Hawai’i Kōmike Kalai’āina Chair, Leiānuenue Niheu, “ʻOnipaʻa” is a unified call to the people of the sovereign Hawaiian nation to come together as one force, one will, and one people to resist the settler colonial establishment that governs our islands.”

The Onipa’a Peach March and Gathering annual event helps ensure that the great wrong that was done to Queen Lili’uokalani and the native people of Hawai’i by a small group of American businessmen on January 17, 1893 with the support of US Marines will never be forgotten, she said. 

My good friends, the ones you can always count on for help, came to my  studio today to make very large lei garlands to decorate Keliiponi Hale, the palace pavilion, for the big day. There, kamaʻāina and visitors alike may view a special memorial to native Hawaiian scholar, teacher, and activist Dr. Haunani-Kay Trask who passed over on July 3, 2021.
 
My friends Joe, Girly, Tom, Nancy, Gwen, and I gathered on the back deck to fashion seven lei, each 10 feet long. We had picked the plant material early in the morning—mostly sturdy green ti leaves.
 
Joe went to the pavilion yesterday and photographed it so we could have a better idea of the venue to be decorated.
Clockwise from upper left: Joe, Girly, Gwen, Rebekah, Tom, and Nancy beside the lei garland

Joe

Gwen

Girly

 

Nancy and Tom

I am so very thankful for my friends. As Joe says, an activity like this is better and more fun with a group.

~ Rebekah 

 





Moving forward in the new year

16 01 2016

Good morning, studio fans! This is my belated new-year message for 2016. It usually takes a while to get my ʻōkole in gear after the holidays and the lovely celebrations for my birthday in early January. Yesterday I was most inspired by the Royal Hawaiian Band concert at the palace grounds, where I walked after lunching with a friend in downtown Honolulu.

ʻIolani Palace grounds during the Friday noontime performance by the Royal Hawaiian Band draws an appreciative public

ʻIolani Palace grounds during the Friday noontime performance by the Royal Hawaiian Band draws an appreciative audience.

The program featured the music of Liliʻuokalani in remembrance of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893. My friend Malia is the Band’s soloist, and I was glad to hear her sing. She is a phenomenal vocalist. What a gift she has. The entire program was very uplifting. I awoke this morning with the tunes in my head and a vow to keep music in my life; learn or practice something new every day. Reminder number one!

Reminder number two: Take time to socialize with others and make friends, especially as I grow older, to keep my attitude and perspective in check. Besides, it’s fun! Becky, the friend I lunched with (she is like a sister to me)  listened as I inventoried my current health issues (I go in for an annual physical around my birthday). I thought she was being sympathetic, but being younger, she said her interest was in learning what problems she might expect for herself in the future. Humph. We had a good laugh over that one!

Reminder number three plus: Be aware of teachable moments and be kind. In Hawaiʻi, Sovereignty Sunday (remembering the overthrow) coincides with Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Miss Marvelous, 6, is in first grade and reads now, lending to interesting conversations between grandparent and grandchild. For example, she reported that she is learning “mindfulness” in school. The other day she asked me, “Am I white?” to which I countered, “What do you mean?”

Big sigh. “You know, a long time ago, maybe the Russians and the Germans couldn’t marry. I’m talking about ancient history,” the child said. “And that King!” Clearly she wanted an answer, and I almost forgot the original question.

I’m drawn to her (my) confusion. King Kamehameha? King Kalākaua?

“Papa, help us out here.”

DH offers, “Martin Luther King?”
Ohhh… (lightbulb)…

“Well, Ayla, if you are asking about the color of your skin or descending from Caucasoids, then yes, you are White,” I said.

Judging the expression on her face, I detected it was a complicated issue in her mind, as she lost interest and ran off to play, as I hoped she would hear me say, “Peoples’ skins on the outside are different colors, but on the inside our hearts are the same.”

As I mused, if she is white, what am I: brown? yellow? beige?

(Copyright 2016 Rebekah Luke)





Singing the Queen’s music

31 08 2014

Today it was my honor and joy to take part in the interfaith prayer service with Nā Pua O Liliʻuokalani — the combined choirs from Kawaiahaʻo Church, University of Hawai‘i, Kawaiolaonāpūkanileo and Friends — on the beautiful grounds of ‘Iolani Palace, in celebration of Queen Lili’uokalani’s 176th birthday. Nola Nahulu was the musical director. (Peter Krape photo)








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