Maui No Ka Oi, Maui The Best

North Shore Maui Hawaii beach

Aloha from a day in my life ...... Maui No Ka Oi

Yesterday was one of those days that you just have to write home about. The morning was crystal clear with the top of the West Maui's, Puu Kukui, free from clouds. When the morning dawns like this, it's hard to decide which way to go. I had a ceremony to attend at the beach so I headed for the ocean.

Many flowers and lei that had been dropped into the ocean, continued to wash up along the North Shore throughout the day. Mid day was spent swimming and relaxing in the shade. I had plans for a night out and needed to rest up.

Hapa - Hawaiian guitaristsThe evening was spent at our upcountry night spot, Casanova, listening to some really wonderful music. If you have not heard of Maui's own, "Hapa," do yourself a favor and check out their website. This was a special treat as Hapa had not played in Makawao for ten years. Hard to believe that much time has passed!

These two musicians are multi talented and their hula dancer was one of the most beautiful performers I have ever seen. Barry Flanagan has a fluid relationship with his guitar ,bringing forth sweet and unexpected sounds. Poetry in motion comes to mind.

Hawaiian Guitarists and Hula DancerNathan Aweau hails from a musical ohana (family) in Honolulu. He is very accomplished and versatile, playing the 7 string base and 12 string guitar, delighting the audience with a falsetto performance.

They played slack key, "Ki Hoalu" the Hawaiian word translates to "loosening the key" making reference to Gabby Pahinui. Gabby Pahinui was the first to record this style of guitar playing in the late 1940's. Slack key prior to this recording was reserved for parties and gatherings. The Mexican cowboys, paniolos, brought guitars when they came to Hawaii to work on the range. They taught the Hawaiians to play guitar, leaving them to develop their own style of tuning.

The West Maui Mountains on a very clear dayHapa's music evokes a feeling of a simpler, happy time, praising the natural splendor of Maui. I hope they return to upcountry soon. This was a stellar day, topped off with listening to magical music with a good friend, like I said................. Maui no ka oi.

Aloha on a mellow Sunday afternoon, may good things come your way.


Hawaiian Paniolo Maui Team Roping Championship

Aloha y'all,

Last week I had guests from Australia who were here for the US Team Roping Championship. Darby McMartin placed third in the section 8 team roping event. Check out his beautiful new buckle, a cowboy's pride. Interestingly enough, they told me that wearing these beautiful buckles is not that well accepted in Australia.

The event took place at Piiholo Ranch. The McMartins were the only participants from Australia. This was a qualifying event for the big bucks "Shoot Out" in Oklahoma next year.

I am not a cowgirl, nor have I ever been into horses. I enjoy a great horseback ride, but have to admit, that the closest I have been to the rodeo is the wonderful 4th of July parade. I really enjoy seeing the horses and riders all decked out in their beautiful leis and finest clothes. The horses are so well groomed, and the colorful riders show obvious pride. It is an awesome site.

This week I learned about the roping event from the McMartins. I was told that roping cattle is how they catch the cattle to inoculate them, treat them for different ailments or to "pull a calf." So, it is important to be able to do it well.

Besides the mainland cowboys, many local paniolos also participated in the event. Darby roped with two local partners, one from Kauai, and another paniolo from the Big Island.

The Hawaiian Paniolo has a colorful past, and still stands out while working or playing hard today. Many of the paniolo traditions , such as rope making, horse training, shoeing, feather lei making, lauhala weaving, and saddle making continue on.

In 1793, 5 longhorn cattle were gifted to King Kamehameha by Captain Vancouver. The king placed a "kapu" (keep out, hands off, etc.) so the Hawaiians left the cattle alone to flourish.

By 1819, the cattle population had exploded. Kamehameha III sent a high chief to California, which was still part of Mexico at that time, to invite Mexican vaqueros (cowboys) to come to Hawaii.

Paniola came from the word Espanola for the Mexican cowboys who came and taught the Hawaiians how to ride horses and rope the "pipi" (cattle)....this word later evolved to paniolo.

The paniolos carry a deep love and respect for their beloved Hawaii. Hawaiian cowboys also have a rich history of hard work on the rugged slopes and open plains of our islands.

In the last couple of years, some wonderful pictorial stories and photo journals have been published on the Hawaiian Paniolo.

Makawao is the place to be during rodeo time, so make your plans for next year's 4 of July celebration.

A hui ho, until the next time...