July 4, 2009, Makawao, Maui, Hawaii

Coolest Cowboy Hui followed by Russ the Saddlemaker in the Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, Fourth of July Parade, 2009

Aloha ...

The 4th of July parade was as colorful as ever this year. People go all out, and everyone loves it.

Politicians unveil their aspirations for the upcoming terms, the Peace marchers and Samba bands are in full force, the big rig truckers blow out everybody's eardrums with their air horns, and, I even learned where I can whiten my teeth for $99.

Maui Invasive Species Committee float in the Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, Fourth of July ParadeI enjoyed the MISC float (Maui Invasive Species Committee) "Defending the Aina," with the big snake wrapped around the truck going after a native bird. These folks were making a point: we don't have snakes in Hawaii, and we all want to keep it that way.

Long-horn bull rider in the Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, Fourth of July ParadeThe big longhorn bull was a huge hit! He was so calm strolling down the street. The hoots and hollers did not seem to bother him at all. I was a bit nervous, thoughts of the bulls throwing their riders sky high kept coming to my mind.

Pa'u riders in the Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, Fourth of July ParadeThe Piiholo Ranch folks put some major effort into their parade horses... the horses were blue (!) with red skirted pa'u riders.

Wow.


Stick horse pa'u rider in the Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, Fourth of July ParadeThey also put together a crazy float with a mini Zipline. The zipline is the latest craze for folks looking to fly through the tree tops. Check them out when you are making upcountry plans. I am waiting until my grandson is old enough to go with me.


Coolest Cowboy: Hui! In the Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, Fourth of July ParadeMy paniolo guests, Hui and Russ, are shown here. Russ is a saddle maker, check him out at Murray Saddle Shop. Hui is the colorful cowboy in the styling red boots and beautiful horse. He won an award in the parade for the coolest looking... I am sure they have a different title for it, though. They have been good fun to have around, I am learning a lot about cowboy stuff from them.

Classic Car in the Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, Fourth of July ParadeThe parade always starts with the vintage cars. A young boy sitting next to me gave me a running commentary on the year, model and makes of these show stopping automobiles. He was impressive. I used to have a 56 Chevy pick up with wrap around windows that I really loved. There was a teal colored one in the parade that gave me a thrill.

Watching the crowd is almost as much fun. There was lots of laughter, shakas and jokes all around. I like this tradition... it's a good feeling to be a part of a great community.

Shriners in the Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, Fourth of July ParadeAloha for now....

Cherie

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