Guide Hawaiian Island of Kahoolawe (Hawaiian Novels)

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No matter how much adversity you go through in life, you are still able to stand, knowing that you have all of the generations behind you that continue to be your foundation. It never even occurs to you to do so. The overwhelming desire to help repair and heal the island simply takes over. From the start, we all fell into specific jobs and roles, unconsciously swapping our tasks for others when needed.

At times, some of the volunteers walked around passing out water bottles—which KIRC recycles—as we were all too transfixed in our work to take a break. The reward at the end of each day was a swim in the bay by the base camp. Later, someone pointed out a Hawaiian monk seal lying on the beach. Around p. We repeated each sentence after him, some of us closing our eyes in an attempt to keep all of the words and meaning inside.

One night, a few of us grabbed flashlights and walked down to the bay. We were on the south side of the island, far from the lights of Maui or Honolulu. From there, you can see more stars than you thought possible. Breakfast time was at a. To help fix this problem, we moved into the irrigation phase of the project. We laid out long lines of black rubber hose near the row of plants, securing them with stakes and inserting emitters next to the base of each plant. In , the Native Hawaiian Plant Society planted native species in the area, and today, the scene is a red moonscape with scattered, mature plants growing horizontally, fashioned by the wind.

The idea was an obvious success: several new plants are growing alongside the bales. While the military presence harmed the island, the occupation did keep the island out of the hands of developers. Now, state law strictly prohibits any commercial use, protecting it from hotels, condos, restaurants and the like. When it was time to leave, I was simply not ready.

Four days had only left me wanting to give more, experience more and understand more of the island. As we crossed the channel back to Maui, I watched the island get smaller, yet this time I could feel it from afar. On Maui, I felt an unexpected culture shock. Now my only question is, when do I go back?

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By Story and Photos by Sheila Sarhangi. Tansio asks Kodak, "The Hawaiian ali'is were very tall. So are you. Are you part Hawaiian, Mr. Kodak informs Tansio, along with all of the other students sitting in the class, that he is "pure Hawaiian albino. Kodakalani is my full name but we were defeated in the Kalakaua and Liliuokalani era.

The bombing of Kaho'olawe went on for decades. The clean-up will last generations

Our royal name was chopped in half for humiliation and we were banished from these islands" p. Kodak goes on to tell Tansio and the entire class a story of how the "albino Hawaiians" were banished to the Mainland United States; at no point does Kodak admit to the students that this is all untrue. I found this scene significant for two reasons. First, not one student questions Kodak about the sheer absurdity of this story, a story Kodak says that Tansio believes completely.

Kodak describes this school as situated in a community with a large Native Hawaiian population; are readers to believe that not one student in this class recognizes that this story is total fabrication? Admittedly, traditional Hawaiian beliefs and history have been deemphasized through Western interference; yet, does Kodak so trust his own superiority as to think he can pass off such a ridiculous lie as truth? Inherent in this scene is the underlying message that the Native Hawaiian students are sufficiently ignorant and gullible to accept this preposterous fabrication.

This book clearly violates my "no-grass-huts" selection criterion, denigrating not only Native Hawaiians but also every other character who is not haole. It is an exercise in cross-cultural insensitivity, as is illustrated through Novak's reliance on stereotypical characters. While Novak places race center stage throughout the novel, he does not explore the complexities of inter-racial relations; instead, he offers one-dimensional caricatures. This book is worthy of examination only because it illustrates that, while the number of cultural stereotypes in the pages of novels and text books published today may be declining, they have certainly not disappeared.

The other three books I will examine present more fully dimensionalized pictures of life in Hawaii. Rappolt uses traditional Hawaiian beliefs and history as a backdrop for her stories. In the preface, Rappolt writes that "after several years of teaching English in both public and private secondary schools" she began searching for "a collection of short stories which all readers could enjoy -- both fast and reluctant students"; also, she wanted to find stories that appealed to her students "living on an island thousands of miles from the Mainland" p.

Rappolt began by asking her own students "to write spooky stories from personal experiences -- or they could relate one told to them by an older relative" p. As a model for her students' writing, Rappolt shared with them a story she had written, "Lauhala Lady. Rappolt's stories, set in Oahu, Kauai, Hawaii, and Maui with adolescents as the main characters, draw heavily from Hawaiian beliefs; in nine of the eleven stories, elements of Hawaiian culture underlie the plots. As the title of the book indicates, these are mystery and suspense stories; the collection should not be taken as a definitive, comprehensive account of traditional Hawaiian beliefs, folklore, or practices.

Included at the end of this article are addresses for the Hawaii and Pacific Section of the Hawaii State Library and the Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaii; both can provide students and teachers with primary sources about Hawaiian history and culture. To familiarize the readers with the Hawaiian beliefs and traditions inherent in the stories, Rappolt prefaces each story with a brief explanation.

Before beginning "Lauhala Lady," a story about the mysterious disappearance of camera film, Rappolt informs the readers that "traditionally, only Hawaiians of the ali'i rank, or those of high birth allowed themselves to be photographed" p. Anyone breaking this taboo often suffered some misfortune or found the negatives destroyed. This information is important to understand what happens to Eddie on the Big Island of Hawaii when he goes on an outing with his aunt and uncle.

Eddie's uncle is an avid photographer and cannot resist taking a picture of someone they encounter, a lovely, white-haired Hawaiian woman who is weaving lauhala bags. He snaps a shot of the quiet, beautiful woman before she can protest, but when he tries to take a second photo, she becomes upset, pulling "at the brim of her hat until her eyes were almost completely hidden" p.

The next morning Eddie's uncle cannot find the film. Eddie helps his uncle search, but at the exact spot where it was placed the night before, he finds not the film but a lauhala bag, green and freshly woven -- just like the ones the lovely woman had been making.

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The other stories follow a similar format. Hawaiian beliefs serve as the foundation for plots involving topics oriented to adolescents: riding around and socializing with friends, visiting a cemetery after dark, driving an automobile alone for the first time, participating in school sports, quarreling with friends and family, and defying adult authority. In "Makua Cave," David challenges authority and asserts his individuality by doing something many adolescents do -- he gets a tattoo. The only problem here is that David gets a tattoo of a shark, his family's aumakua.

How David's family reacts to his tattoo and how it is finally removed make this an especially engaging story. Blue Skin of the Sea Blue Skin of the Sea by Graham Salisbury is another collection of short stories through which the author sensitively traces the coming-of-age experiences of the protagonist, Sonny Mendoza, on the Big Island in the s and s. The subjects of family, friends, the sea, fishing, tourism, and cultural identity are threaded into the stories about Sonny's transition from young boy to young man.

The stories are presented chronologically, and readers follow Sonny from to , the year he is a high school senior. Sonny's mother died when he was a baby, and he went to live with his Aunty Pearl, Uncle Harley, and cousin Keo Mendoza. Through early exposition we learn that cultural boundaries are permeable, blending ethnicities within family units; in a description of his cousin, Sonny explains that Keo is Portuguese and Hawaiian "because his mother, Aunty Pearl, had Hawaiian blood.

I was Portuguese-French" p. For Sonny, the concerns of culture, identity, and family are closely intertwined:. As Sonny and Keo grow up, we get a glimpse of what life was like for them on the Big Island during those two decades.


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  7. Their experiences include facing school bullies, devising ways to earn spending money, resolving conflicts with friends and family, struggling through first loves, watching their island begin to change as the tourist business grows, and witnessing death and destruction when a series of tidal waves devastates the coastal areas of Hilo.

    Like the story about the tidal waves, another story, "The Old Man," is based on actual events that occurred on the Big Island during this time period.

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    They think the reactions that the old actor has to these prop sharks will make the movie look "fake. The boys decide this would be remedied if the old actor could see how a real shark behaves, so they hook a live shark and send this note to the film's star: "Dear old man, We are Keo and Sonny. We have a shark for you. Look for us at in the night after you work. We will be standing by the fish scale" p.


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    The boys manage to get this message to the actor; however, he doesn't have time to see them until days later. When they meet, Keo and Sonny tell him they had to let the shark go before it died, but Keo, undaunted, proceeds to offer some advice about how to act around sharks. Thanks for the tips, I'll give what you told me some thought" p. The boys return to their places on the dock and watch Tracy in the final scenes of "The Old Man and the Sea.

    All of the stories except one are set in Oahu, where Morales was born and raised and where he taught in Oahu's public schools and at the University of Hawaii. The stories represent a variety of ethnic groups and their experiences on Oahu, and although some stories are about younger adolescents, there are also stories focusing on characters in their late teens and early adult years. For example, the first story, "Ship of Dreams," centers on nineteen-year-old Takeshi, who has deferred his own dream of becoming a lawyer to work in his father's grocery store. The story is set in , a time when "the glories of the Hawaiian monarchy were dimming" and when American democracy promised the "children of the plantations" that "the world, the century, was theirs to conquer" p.

    Takeshi's family is Japanese but his Honolulu neighborhood is multi-ethnic, and he must consider crossing cultural borders when he falls in love with a Puerto Rican girl. Takeshi and his friends often go to a social hall on Saturday nights to watch the dancing and listen to the music from their vantage points in mango trees outside the building. Inside, "music thumped from the social hall on School Street where the Puerto Ricans congregated, along with some Portuguese, Hawaiians, a smattering of whites and Filipinos" p.

    Also inside the social hall is Linda, a girl Takeshi recognizes as a former classmate from McKinley High, but who now has a different effect on him. From a distance, Takeshi worries not only about whether she might reciprocate his love but also how both sets of parents would react if he and Linda dated:. The story begins in Oahu but takes place primarily on Kahoolawe, the Hawaiian island used by the United States military for bombing target practice.

    Three friends from the University of Hawaii plan a trip to Kahoolawe, and their experiences are told by the story's narrator. His friends, Bud and Kaeo, are both football players, and Kaeo, a member of Protect Kahoolawe Ohana, a Hawaiian activist group, convinces them to join some others going on a camping trip to Kahoolawe.

    After midterm exams, the three decide to take the trip but eventually realize that this journey involves much more than they had anticipated. The story illustrates how it is not always possible to compartmentalize a person by a single ethnic identity and introduces the implications of addressing multiple cultures and histories. The narrator does not understand why Bud suffered an emotional breakdown and asks Kaeo if he has any ideas. Bud had previously disregarded his Hawaiian heritage but confronted a part of his cultural history in this burial ground; there the group discovers human bones, surrounded by gun shells and apparently used for target practice, bones that crumbled in Bud's hands when he tried to hold them.

    The three young men, each in his own way, are left "wondering where being Hawaiian started and being American left off and how the two blended and why they mixed like water and oil sometimes" p. Conclusion Rappolt , Salisbury , and Morales skillfully explore the multi-dimensional nature of cultural identity and social interaction while incorporating themes cutting across all cultural groups.

    As Rudman explains, multiculturalism "consists of more than valuing diversity. It also brings with it the obligation to reject stereotyping. A study that highlights differences without helping people see commonalities is insufficient if the aim is to help people create unity from diversity" p.

    I have recounted my search not merely to share a traveler's log but to illustrate the difficulties involved with finding the voices of Hawaii in adolescent literature. Until I began looking for titles, I did not fully appreciate the degree to which experiences on the Hawaiian Islands, particularly those of Native Hawaiians, have been largely invisible in examinations of multicultural literature.

    This search, although not exhaustive, was profitable: One Paddle, Two Paddle , Blue Skin of the Sea , and The Speed of Darkness let me immerse myself in the lives of the characters -- and get past the images of pineapples and paradise on the glossy covers of tourist guidebooks. Nelms and Nelms maintain that "adolescent novels provide vicarious experience of diverse ethnic, geographical, and historical life styles and serious consideration of recurring moral dilemmas" pp. As many of us have discovered, books like these can provide the means for such vicarious travel. References Beach, Richard, and James Marshall.

    Teaching Literature in the Secondary School.

    Kahoolawe - Wikipedia

    Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Hanna, Judith Lynne. Harris, Violet J.

    Reclaiming Kahoolawe - History of Bombing

    Teaching Multicultural Literature in Grades K Christopher-Gordon Publishers,