I can't not only honor one women but have to honor two who plays a big key roles in my life. First off I would have to honor my Kupunawahine Momi. The woman I was name after, she of a mother of seven and pure Hawaiian who married a pure pake man, was a humble and wonderful woman. She thought me about my roots and where I come from and as her mo'opuna pass down all she has learn to me so I can pass it on to keiki. The second woman that I honor with pride is my Mother, Kalei, She of a mother of four, At the age of 18 she took on the kuleana of taking care of her two brothers and one sister, because her mother pass way with a heart failer. My mom had to grow up fast and She could have chosen not to take care of them, but she had to do what was pono for the 'ohana. She thought me Ho'ihi, Lawena, Kuleana, and above all to be who I am today!
Both has thought me to be me and never be anyone else to be true and humble to myself. As look upon my "yester:years I come to realize if it wasn't for my Kupunwahine and My Mama, I would be where I am at in my life.
A grad. from Ke Kula 'o Nawahiokalani'opu'u and a full time student in college. I notice it was the little things that made the big things in life. With the little aloha and patients my kupunawahine and Mama has for me, I grew up to be the woman I am today.
These are the two women that I honor in my life!
Aunty Sarah Nakoa for bringing the richness of Hawaiian language to our schools and Haunani Bernardino who, as her student, embodied Mrs. Nakoa's tenacity to ensure correctness in reading, writing, translating, and speaking. These two women showed us that Hawaiian language is a spiritual and life-giving language, and if you don't use it properly, you and the growth of our Hawaiian culture will suffer.
Makemake no au e ho'ohanohano i ku'u makuahine, 'o ia ho'i 'o Dalani Tanahy. Ua hanai maika'i 'o ia ia'u a ua 'ae ua wahine nei ia'u e koho i ko'u ala. Ha'aheo no au ia ia i kana hana nui me ke kapa a me ka ho'omau 'ana i mau mea Hawai'i. He kanaka 'oko'a loa au mai ia, 'aka, hau'oli loa au i na mea a maua e ka'analike. Hau'oli a pupule maua, hana maua i na mea Hawai'i he nui, a i ko maua ha'i 'olelo 'ana, 'aka'aka na po'e, ue na po'e, a nonoi na po'e i mea hou aku. Aloha nui au ia 'oe e Mama.
I would have to say Liliuokalani because she was the Queen and she was dethroned by white fascist foreign men who took it upon themselves to chain and imprison her in her own bedroom of her palace by Dole, Thurston and the rest. Throughout all of that she held her composer and did not sell out or "make deals" for her comfort. She lived poor and struggled just like the rest of us and did the right thing. I am forever indebted to Liliuokalani for her courage, tenacity and forthrightness of spirit, soul and trust in doing God's will...not man's will. She is the light that leads many of us today down the path of independence and more specifically a constitutional Hawaiian government...with our own laws. The second most important woman is Bernice Pauahi Paki, who created Kamehameha Schools for the Hawaiian children. She and Liliuokalani lived during the Kingdom era and understood Hawaiian law...it's important that we keep in perspective what laws applied then to get out of the quagmire of b.s. that surrounds the wrong Hawaiian history taught at Kamehameha today. Today, we have to constantly keep our eyes on everything Hawaiian from being usurped by American laws, lawyers and leaders who are really misleaders.
To these two women we salute their intentions and accomplishments as Hawaiian Women who should be honored always.
Women are essential to our lives. Important women don't always wear the mask of superiority or of greatness. Often, the greatest women are those who we remember in passing, those who seek not to be in the spotlight but who guide others to that spotlight.
(As the song, "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler plays softly in the background... don't worry I won't sing, but you have to admit the lyrics are really good)
It's difficult to choose an important woman to my life, because there have been many, both known and unknown who have left a lasting impression on me and have encouraged me to not just be a better woman, but have been that positive example which young women need to look up to and set the correct standards of right and wrong.
I love to sit at the bus stop or on a park bench and strike up conversations with our kupuna and tutu. The knowledge they freely share reminds me of what's most important. To those all I can say is, "Mahalo a nui loa e Tutu/ Aunty." The conversations may take many avenues, but it's a great way to spend time and learn things not taught in classrooms. Names are very rarely exchanged, but that's alright.
In my life, I have to hold my mother, grandmother, and sister up high on my list of women. They have been my closest and often times only friends, supporting me and not letting me fall down too hard. And I'd even have to add my daughter because she's my inspiration. Her optimism and vitality make all the negativity of the world slip into the shadows.
In all honesty though, where would we be without our mothers? No where. What would our fate as Pacific Islanders be with our mother, Papahanaumoku, Papatuanuku, Haumea, La`ila`i, in all of her guises. Wouldn't it then be fair to say, let's take care of our greatest mother, Mother Earth?
Then there's a few teachers who guide and push us to achieve more than we thought possible. Mrs. Tokunaga from Iao Intermediate who first inspired me to write, Ms. Sue Ann Loudon from Baldwin High School and the Baldwin Theatre Guild whose free spirit ignited the curiosity and passion in her students to explore the world creatively, Lisa Kanae for showing me that Hawaiian literature is the most passionate and to look at our cousins from the Pacific Ocean for the best reading. Patricia Grace for bringing the issues facing her people in Aotearoa and into the spotlight with well written novels. In the world, Lili`uokalani, you all know why, and Princess Diana cause she was a real princess focusing on the needs of others above herself.
Strength and dignity come from all those who aren't afraid to be examples and as we look to the future, it IS the strength and dignity that keep us alive.
I would have to say that in my life is my Mom and Hilo Grandma, for providing and ensuring a nurturing environment for me to blossom and for pushing me to surpass them.
In the past, there are indeed many Hawaiian woman of note but I would have to say that I have always been intrigued and humbled by Miriam Kekauluohi; niece and wife to Kamehameha Pai'ea and then Liholiho, married to Charles Kana'ina, Kuhina nui of the Hawaiian Kingdom upon the death of Kina'u and during the reign of Kauikeaouli and mother of ka Mo'i Lunalilo. She exemplifies strength, endurance, diplomacy and humility by her works and legacy.
I just noticed that you live in Oklahoma? I was there for about a year in Tulsa.
I was also with Lynk Systems in Tampa and was a top producer. I even met another Hawaiian there who was in the telemarketing department. I am no longer with them though (Lynk Systems.) I noticed you are a Kamehameha Schools' graduate too.
All Women are precious. My mom, Betty Ebanez Batalona born and raised in Hawaii Nei, had 12 children to raise with my dad. I am the youngest of those 12. As we lived in the country with all the natural elements around us and the responsibility of being stewards of the river and land She impressed upon me the mana of being observant, respectful, open minded, understanding, akamai, kind, caring, patient, creative, talented, fearless, determined and humble. She nurtured the love for music, the respect for the land and pride from hard work in me. ~Most importantly though, her instilled wisdom acknowledged the importance of the woman's role in society to keep the family intact~. Through her, I found my place as a woman in today's modern world. Where ever we may find ourselves, be it far from home, at work or at our kitchen table, it is na wahine who holds the spirit of giving life, offering hope, sharing understanding and forgiveness. Her simple philosophy of how her favorite coconut tree will give her pure,sweet water "clear and cool" emphasizes the importance of being drug free and keeping a healthy mind in order to produce a meaningful life. Even when times are hard and the house is falling apart, her smile and welcoming demeanor leave her many visitors with fond memories of old Hawaii. I yearn to be like her , an ambassador of strength and kindness, one who understands and nurtures the Aloha Spirit within everyone. She's now 83 years old. I ask myself, will I leave such an impact?
My 9th grade English teacher Mrs. Eve Hing. A caucasion well educated mainlander who married a Hawaiian/Chinese. At that time she was in her mid 40's with two children under the age of 3. She challenged me a great deal and I had just one year of her "hassles" when her husband passed away due to a car accident. She wasn't the same after that and I could never figure out why she was not able to cope as she was such a strong hard woman. It was the love she lost which she allowed to weaken her spirit and she passed away a few years later after her husband. Never the same in her mind and spirit.. She made an impact on my life to get serious about college and I attended Lane College and the University of Oregon, came home to Kohala to work in the chiropractic field then changed my career to work with the Department of Human Services as a caseworker in my hometown. I promised myself that I would make a contribution to give back to my home, my family and community upon my return home after college - 1989.
Mrs. Eve Hing's daughter graduated from Kamehameha Schools - Kapalama and I remember her when she was only a year and a half old when I visited their home upon her father's passing. When I would see Eve's daughter in town on her visit home being foster cared now by my former 5th grade teacher, I see her momma in her. A mother she never had the privilege of knowing as I had in such a short period of time.
If it wasn't for Mrs. Eve Hing in my life and for her own trials she suffered, it wouldn't have made me a strong woman I am today with all my own trials and accomplishments. Thank you Ke Akua for bringing Mrs. Eve Hing into my life.
That woman would be my god-mother, Shirley Lilinoe Kahula also known as "ma echo". Always been there for me and treated me like her own. I love her especially for making my children feel like her mo'opuna as well. It means alot not only to me but my entire ohana. Aloha au ia Mama Echo a mau a mau.