Makawao History Project, A Village and 15 Days


A wonderful new addition has come to Makawao Town. It took A Village and 15 days to create the Makwao History Project.

We got the keys to the space on Nov 1st, spent a full day of cleaning, and went to work painting the space the next day with a hard working core group of volunteers . We were ready to begin the creation, gathering, and installation of the new museum on the 3rd of Nov.

I had the privilege of doing the installation with Darrell Orwig. Darrell was the Gallery Director of the Schaefer  Gallery at Maui Arts and Cultural Center for many years. In the art community of Maui, Darrell is held in highest regard. 


I laid out what I thought to be the most important areas to consider for the history of our community. The sections I wanted to see highlighted were, Makawao Town, Schools and Churches, Island Cultures, Pineapple and Plantations, Paniolo and Ranching. Darrell had the great idea to designate areas with graphic silhouettes which he drew and painted. He and I worked well together, and I felt so privileged to work with such an artistic ,creative , funny and experienced person. I made a friend for life. 

We also asked local artist Debrya Fair  to create vintage signs for each area.

Then, I spent a few days gathering memorabilia from the A and B Sugar Museum, my own home, Hale Ho'okipa Inn Makawao, and other private lenders.
 Eddie Flotte, my favorite Maui water color artist donated a series of his renditions of the old buildings of Makawao.  We also counted on the community coming forward with their treasures, and they did. Once we had the goods, we had one whole week to design and install!!! Others were busy planning the opening party,sending out invitations and researching all the memorabilia and donated photos.

Someone asked me why I was committing my time and energy to this project. I had some vague notions, but, it became crystal clear on our Grand Opening night.


An older gentleman was one of hundreds who came to our Grand Opening. I was touring a friend around and we were in the Schools and Churches section.  This elder  fellow was taking digital photos of a very old Makawao School pamphlet.  I asked him if those were his classmates, and he quietly replied, "No, it's my Sister." Tears sprung to my eyes and I felt humbled and satisfied .I instantly knew why I had invested so much in this project.

Our own Cowgirl Hall of Fame resident came into the History project  a few times with her treasures. They included a photo of her beloved husband, his bio and his well worn cowboy hat. Other elders have stopped by with their family and friends to hang out and talk story, and share their memories. One woman had tears in her eyes, she was sad that so much had changed, but she was delighted to visit the  Makawao History Project to see old photos and old friends.

There are still so many untold stories. Our Living Treasures will not be around forever, and they have so much to share. We have enough funding to stay open until Dec 31st. I hope we can make it through our busy season until the end of Feb, so that many of our Upcountry visitors are also able to enjoy the museum. If anyone wants to make a donation, please let me know, and I will happily give further details. We are staffed by volunteers, but, we need more rent $ and other expenses to keep our doors open. Lots more photos are available on our Makawao History Project Facebook page, and a website is also being created now. For those who read the Maui news online, more info is available in this article.
Check out our new video that is on Maui Akaku community television :video  It's a great video with interviews and our Grand Opening.

To give back to your community is a great joy. I am so very honored to have been a part of this Village, Makawao Town, my town.

With Aloha,
Cherie

Shaka, bra...

Hawaiian Shaka Hand Jesture
Aloha One and All,

The Shaka sign is a famous hand gesture in Hawaii that loosely translates to "mahalo" thank-you, "alllriiiight", or the old school phrase "hang loose."

The actual gesture has a few slight variations. A fist and extended thumb and pinky is how the shaka is made. Sometimes folks will give it a little shake, and sometimes just lifting your pinky finger off of the steering wheel is enough of a shaka, meaning thanks. Depending on how "cool" you are, you may just give one shot downwards with your pinky pointing to the ground and thumb up. You can also shoot in at an angle to give a twist. The back of the hand is usually shown to the person who is on the receiving end. What ever one's personal style , the broad meaning is the same. I consider it a recognition of another person, no need for words.

It's a way to spread a little aloha, looking out for each other. The Hawaiian phrase "Malama i kekahi i kekahi" meaning "take care of one, take care of all" covers it.

One local news team used to end their segment with people from all over the community giving shaka to one and all. It was a friendly end to the news. I always liked to see the different styles.

The origins of the shaka are folks legends. One source says it developed out of the Spanish immigrants signaling to share a drink with the Hawaiians by bringing their thumbs up to their mouths and "tilting".

Another story is that it comes form a local folk hero from the 1940's with a malformed had due to an accident in the sugar mill.

I was just thinking that it has been awhile since I have seen it used freely. I use it in traffic all the time. Some folks in my ohana, family, use it to show aloha to their peers.

To see President Obama shaka the Punahoe Marching Band gave everybody in Hawaii "chicken skin." Hearts fluttered, eyes welled with tears, and folks felt proud of their native son.

Here's hoping we see more shaka, I've missed it!

Aloha

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...

Cherie