Thursday, October 26, 2017

ʻAlalākeiki : What's in a Name?


Flanked by three separate channels and one of the windiest harbors on the map (Māʻalaea), the ʻAlalākeiki ("crying child") channel is the seven-mile passageway crossed by all volunteers, restoration supplies and cargo destined for Kahoʻolawe from the island of Maui.

To the south of ʻAlalākeiki lies the ʻAlenuihaha ("great billows smashing") channel, considered by many as one of the world’s roughest channels due to the significant wind funnel effect created by Hawaiʻi’s northeasterly trade winds funneling between Haleakalā (on Maui) and Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hualālai and the Kohala mountains (on Hawaiʻi Island); the tallest mountains in the world when measured from the sea floor.

To the north lies Māʻalaea Bay which also gets its high winds from the funneling effect of the trade winds between Haleakalā and the West Maui Mountains. Kealaikahiki channel lies to the northwest and the ʻAuʻau channel lies further north.

Hālona is the southeasternmost point of Kahoʻolawe, said by Uncle Harry Kunihi Mitchell to have more than 300 winds striking its point. Today we know of 16 of those winds, as referenced in Mele No Na Makani O Kahoʻolawe. The first mentioned Hololua ("two running") wind speaks of the wind that blows from the ʻAlenuihaha side joining another from the Māʻalaea side. When these two winds meet (often in the middle of the ʻAlalākeiki channel, just off of Hakioawa, Kahoʻolawe) they become Holopili (Holo: "running"; pili: "come together"); the second wind named in Mele No Na Makani O Kahoʻolawe. When this occurs, it creates a very confused sea state in the middle of the channel — with two swells from opposing directions running into each other that can make for some very uncomfortable sea conditions.

"Traversing the channel during such conditions tends to make passengers feel sick and uncomfortable," remarks KIRC boat captain Lopaka White, "the ride is rough, slow and tedious. These days, we are lucky to have motors. Sailing through conditions like this only makes it harder because the winds are blowing from all directions. ʻŌhua (our ocean vessel) will list side to side, yaw up and down and even slam when bigger swells are passing beneath before leaving a big trough to fall into. I imagine early residents going back and forth between Maui and Kahoʻolawe experienced this. Even to this day we have the occasional rough trip; I have heard many children, teenagers, and even adults to a lesser extent “scream like a baby”; even if just for a moment the name ʻAlalākeiki still rings true."

Lopaka continues, "other ʻAlalākeiki place name stories have been told: one makes mention of a place near Makena Landing where sick residents would be placed. According to this account, mothers would take their sick babies down to the water to try and break their fever and cleanse them. The wailing and crying of the sick babies being bathed in the ocean at Makena could be heard from a distance, giving way to the name ʻAlalākeiki. In another version, many seabird burrows used to exist along the coastline of Makena/ Wailea — now mostly hotels, condos and large mansions. I can still remember sitting along the rocky coast on the beach walking path at night and hearing what sounded like babies cooing and crying. These were actually Uaʻu Kani (wedge tailed sheerwaters) birds in their nests at night. It was an eerie sound, but my friends and I used to joke around saying it was the crying baby from the channel."

Read on

Friday, October 6, 2017

Kaho'olawe to be Featured at International Conference

The KIRC is pleased to announce its selection as a key panelist at the 2017 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Librariesand Museums (ATALM) at Santa Ana Pueblo in New Mexico. Commission Coordinator Terri Gavagan has been invited to present the KIRC’s Virtual Museum Pilot Program during the October 12th session “Preserving the Past, Sharing the Future: Tribal Museums and Cultural Centers Leading the Way” alongside Sandra Narva, Senior Program Officer, Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS); Karl Hoerig, Director, Nohwike' Bagowa Museum, White Mountain Apache Tribe, and Fort Apache Heritage Foundation, Inc.; and Janine Ledford, Executive Director, Makah Cultural and Research Center.

“Tribal museums and cultural centers are vital to sustaining cultural heritage and addressing issues of relevance within their communities,” states the ATALM conference program, “to support their missions, the Institute of Museum and Library Services' (IMLS) Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services grant program has funded more than 280 projects over the past twelve years that have had noticeable impact on tribal museums and cultural center activities. Panelists will present their experiences on three successfully funded projects in the areas of public outreach, collections management, and exhibition development. Participants will gain insight into the grant program while learning about project challenges and successes, as well as learning about the lasting impact these activities have made within their respective communities.”

It has been one year since the KIRC’s release of theKaho'olawe Living Library; a pilot project sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services' Native American/ Native Hawaiian Museum Services Program that resulted in a free, online archive of a collection of historical Kaho'olawe images and documents – now available for academic, professional and personal development. Since that time, IMLS has supported the KIRC’s work in transforming the Kaho'olawe Living Library from a content management system (database) into an accessible multimedia user experience (mobile app) – aptly named the Kaho'olawe Island Guide. Both the Kaho'olawe Living Library and the Kaho'olawe Island Guide are accessible from the KIRC’s home page: kahoolawe.hawaii.gov.

Kahoolawe Island Guide mobile app
“Being invited to share our work with this international group of professionals is a confirmation of how preserving, protecting and restoring Kaho'olawe is a worldwide endeavor,” remarks KIRC Executive Director Mike Nāhoʻopiʻi, “This presentation will demonstrate how indigenous knowledge and technology through our organization will promote a broader global view of conservation, restoration and aloha for Kaho'olawe – not just for the people of Hawaiʻi, but for all people.”

The conference will bring together 800 attendees from 3 continents, providing unparalleled opportunities for archivists, librarians, museum staff, educators, students, tribal leaders, researchers, and community volunteers, offering more than 100 sessions and workshops covering digital projects, cultural tourism, collection management, fundraising, volunteer development, exhibit production, archives operations, digital storytelling, oral history, endangered languages, staff development, and model library and museum projects.  

Virtual Museum Pilot Program Manager and KIRC Commission Coordinator Terri Gavagan speaks to her goal for the convening as follows: “I think the main purpose is to let people know all of the incredible archival material we have at the KIRC that’s just waiting to be researched and interpreted. Specifically since Kahoolawe is one of a few examples of an indigenous grassroots organization able to go toe to toe with the federal government and win. It also has the potential of being a wealth of information for how indigenous peoples can try to reclaim their heritage/ their culture in a nonviolent way. Additionally, I think it’s a great place to start when looking at how indigenous people can actually work with government agencies in determining how an area is cared for.”

Terri Gavagan
"We are proud that IMLS grants have helped the Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission develop its virtual museum," said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. "This important project makes historic documents and photographs accessible to the public, fostering a greater understanding of the Kaho'olawe culture and heritage and preserving this critical history for generations to come."

The Kaho'olawe Living Library and Kaho'olawe Island Guide will continually enable access to Hawaiian artifacts, storied places and archival materials encompassed by and through the Kaho'olawe Island Reserve; provide welcoming opportunities to sustain Hawaiian heritage, culture and knowledge through the collection; and preserve historic Kaho'olawe documents and photos for access by future generations of residents and visitors, thereby perpetuating Native Hawaiian culture. Through the digitization, preservation and global sharing of a perpetually growing collection of Reserve items places and stories, this Living Library can now offer a new means of access to Kaho'olawe.

The Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums is a not‐for‐profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of indigenous archives, libraries, and museums by advocating excellence in cultural programs and services, promoting education and citizen empowerment, and providing the tools and support necessary to meet the challenges of growth and change. For more information, including a list of board members and previous programs, please visit www.atalm.org

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.  For more information, visit www.imls.gov.

The Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC) was established by the Hawai'i State Legislature to manage the Kaho'olawe Island Reserve while it is held in trust for a future Native Hawaiian sovereign entity. The KIRC's mission is to implement the vision for Kaho'olawe in which the kino (body) is restored and na poe o Hawai'i (the people of Hawaii) care for the land. The Commission has pledged to provide for the meaningful and safe use of Kaho'olawe for the purpose of the traditional and cultural practices of the native Hawaiian people and to undertake the restoration of the island and its waters. The organization is managed by a seven-member Commission and a committed staff. For more information, call (808) 243.5020 or visit www.kahoolawe.hawaii.gov.

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