Letters to the Editor | January 2024


Aloha mai kākou

I wanted to send a big mahalo for your nūpepa. I enjoy reading the articles and I especially enjoyed this most recent volume titled “Kānaka, Come Home.”

My husband, born and raised in Nānākuli, was forced/encouraged by his dad to leave Hawaiʻi to “grow up” after high school. He was away 45 years, made a great living in California but always desired to return home. We agreed that at retirement we would leave California and live out our kupuna years on his kulāiwi. He retired five years ago and here we are on beautiful Moku o Keawe.

There is no greater joy and peace than to have our feet planted on this ʻāina.

All the festivals, the dedication to hula, the weekly kanikapila we attended was the lifeline we gripped on to so tightly to maintain our connection to Hawaiʻi. Looking back, all of that was great, but as we awake to the rooster each morning and hear ʻōlelo spoken by the waitress at our favorite restaurant, we now realize that what the continent offered pales in comparison to being fully present here.

He was a Kanaka who came home, and I agree that we need more like him. The more Kānaka are physically present here, the stronger the lāhui can be. My hope is that we find a way to encourage them to come home and at the same time discourage the droves of Americans and foreigners settling on these islands and diluting the beauty of this culture through their ignorance and lack of respect.

Mahalo hou for the great work you do. Eō Hawaiʻi nei.

– Julia Kamaile Estigoy-Kaho‘onei

Aloha Readers,

Due to COVID-19 and various personal reasons, it took me more than four years to be able to return to my beloved motherland. Finally, in mid-November 2023, I boarded the flight that would take me back to the country of my birth.

Then what happened next left me shocked and perplexed. There, in the inflight magazine, was an article titled “The Guns of Yesteryear.” These guns, as stated in the article, were the weapons used by the “Citizens Guard of Hawaiʻi” and are planned to be donated and displayed inside the ʻIolani Palace.

In Hawaiʻi, and most of the civilized world, the Citizens Guard with their sharpshooters would be called a terrorist group that had murdered our kūpuna especially during the revolts by our people against the criminal theft of our nation.

And now the murderous weapons of the enemy of our people are to be displayed in the home of our Queen. Would anyone be proud to display weapons in their homes that had killed their family? INSANE! The only way they should be displayed is all broken up with a note that states “murder weapons of enemy terrorists that killed Hawaiians loyal to the Queen and nation.”

Kānaka people, please be aware of cruel acts that hurt the Hawaiian soul and resist and fight in kapu aloha. If not, slowly Hawaiʻi will be lost forever. AUWĒ.

– Kaihinu Namokuea

Aloha e Ka Wai Ola,

I just read the article, “Kānaka, Come Home” written by guest author Naka Nathaniel and found it quite provoking.

In 2010, I composed a mele, Lā Hea Manu, for my late sister’s 70th birthday. The song is based on her Hawaiian name “Lāheamanu.” But it’s really not about her, but rather her name which I used to basically issue a call to our “manu ‘ōiwi” (native birds) who are living in the diaspora to come home because of the important work that needs to be done here.

Reading the article reminded me of my mele. I am sharing the lyrics and translation of that mele. I also have a recording of the group, Holunape, singing the mele at my sister’s birthday party.

That was back in 2010 and we’re now in 2023, as we recognize that now a majority of our Kānaka are living outside of Hawaiʻi.

– Julian Keikilani Ako

Lā Hea Manu

Ke hea nei
Auhea wale ana ʻoe e ka manu ʻōiwi?
ʻO ka lā hea manu e hoʻi mai nō
I ka puʻuhonua i ka pūnana ʻolu.
Kahi pumehana me nā kūpuna.

E maliu mai i ke kāhea nui
E hoʻi mai i ko kulāiwi nei
I ke aumoe i moe ʻuhane ai.

‘Ike i nā manu ma kēlā ʻāina ʻē
Me ka ʻiʻini nui aʻo ka puʻuwai
E hoʻolaʻi paʻa ma Hawaiʻi nei

Pehea hoʻi ke ola i ua ʻāina ʻē?
Pehea ka ʻono aʻo ka ʻai ma ʻō?
ʻO ka lawa mikiʻai a kena e ka puʻu.
He hana koʻikoʻi a nā Hawaiʻi

The Day the Birds Are Called to Gather

A call is being made
Where are you our dear native birds?
This is the day a call is being made for the birds to return
To the place of refuge, to the comfortable nest.
A place of warmth with your kūpuna.

Harken to the important call
To return to this, your homeland.
It was in the wee hours of the night that a dream occurred.

The birds were seen on that foreign land
With a deep yearning in their hearts
To alight permanently once more in Hawaiʻi.

So how is life over there in that foreign land?
How tasty is the food over there?
A simple fingertip of poi is sufficient to quench the thirst.
There is important work to be done by us native Hawaiians

A call is being made.