Friday, September 16, 2016

Take a stand

Calvin Hoe playing the ohe hano ihu Hawaiian nose flute

When I was newly separated from my son's father in the early 90's I remember attending an ipu (gourd) making workshop in Tacoma, Washington. The workshop was at a Hawaiian couple's home and the man teaching was Calvin Hoe. At that point in my life first-hand connections with my Hawaiian roots were gasping for life. The divorce and this workshop were two events that would slowly solder those disintegrated linkages. It was a time of fire-making for sure, painful yet necessary to the journey of becoming makua o'o.

I remember seeing island-style snacks, see moi (preserved dried fruit) and Saloon Pilot Crackers and Jersey Cremes on the dining room table. I first met hula kumu Iwalani Christansen in that workshop as well as the very active Hawaiian Club members of the Tacoma area. But it was Calvin Hoe's hybrid style of speaking very heavy pidgin with unexpectedly slick school English that really stuck with me. Even then I realized that Hawaiian would not be contained. He is a storyteller, and proud to be one.

Today my son Christopher Kawika sent me the latest Hui Mauli Ola podcast. "Uncle Calvin Hoe" was the subject in the email. I immediately slid into homebase remembering Calvin, the Hawaiian who would not be contained. In the podcast that follows the musician, instrument maker, teacher, kalo farmer, father and activist speaks of his journey, his mo'olelo his story flavored as Calvin Hoe can. He talks about the 'small guy standing up to save da wata' and all that jazz, including story that folds in the lessons of learning, like coral learning how and where to grow ... that from the Kumulipo (the Hawaiian story of creation).

Click here: LEO KUPA: Podcast - Uncle Calvin Hoe 

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