Friday, March 4, 2016

Mai kela pe'a a keia pe'a ... from this border to that

"There are thousands of mo'o on O'ahu alone."
- Lilikala Kame'elehiwa

Several years ago my son wore this mo'o on his back; the silk-screened design emboldened his tee shirt. Time and life as it moved forward and backward from this border to that, the tee shirt and my son went mai kela pe'a a keia pe'a, from one border to the other. The tee shirt with Mo'o was left here, with us, when time and life moved my son mai kela pe'a a keia pe'a.

I am my mother's daughter, and along with my mother's appreciation for the safety pin, Helen Mokihana (Ma) kept a reserve of clothes for the best of reasons: someone might need them. I count both those practices among my finest ancestor signatures. I practice the art of "believing in survival so that when we need to to survive, we recognize the concept ... and apply liberally again and again."

The Mo'o pictured above has survived time and movement. Because the shirt had been washed and dried using all the usual scented products of our post WWII chemical crazy, I have had to apply the concept of survival to flush and air the mo'o and the shirt ... thinking I would be able to wear it at sometime in the future. Years have passed, and the mo'o has been rained on, wind blown, milk washed and soaked in soda and vinegar. I have tried to wear it, but, I am still a very sensitive Mokihana, and 'aue ... I cannot.

The Mo'o had other ideas, and so rather than me, it is my son who will be getting the Mo'o back. He needs a little bit of kick and protection from the aumakua (personal god). "There are thousands of mo'o on O'ahu alone," said Lilikala. "They are responsible for water management," she stated without hesitation wrapping things up at the 2015 'Aimalama Conference. Yes, here I am pulling this and that from here and there, because that is what a mother does. Of course. With all the wear there have been tears to the tee shirt. If you look closely you will see one of the patches I sewed into the joint of the Mo'o's claw. She is being held together with a patch of fabric with the design of niuola (the coconut). Even mo'o can use a hit of that resilient and flexible tree of life.

This early morning ramble at the keyboard ends with an invitation to keep following the medicine, as the story of Sophie Lei Maku'e and family grows. Go there>.

Mahalo nui loa na aumakua,
Mokihana and 'ohana

Photo Credit: Mo'o is part of the Aumakua Series of silk-screened designs of the artist AIKS. I have been unable to identify the artist properly, all rights belong to the artist. 

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