Hawaii: Diving into Its History and Culture with Kaliko Beamer-Trapp

 Kaliko says when you learn a new language it changes you into a different person. He says of learning the Marquesan language: “It has its own personality. When I’m over there I’m like a different person. I might look the same on the outside but I feel that I express myself differently. I express myself the way they do. I change my intonation, the pitch in my voice, and the strength of my voice as well as the way my eyes move and the expressions that I make. I change to match that environment and what the people there are like and I find that is so fun. I just love that. It’s like you can be a different person.” He describes being adopted by Aunty Nona, the most revered cultural hero, and her method of teaching. After decades of restrictions stemming from years of repression by the Western missionaries, she brought hula back to the islands in its original sacred form. Hula was originally used for religious purposes but when the Western missionaries arrived in the 1800s they felt it was about sex and was the devil’s instrument. Even in the 1950s when Aunty Nona was a student at the Kamehemeha School it was considered improper to do hula at all. Kaliko describes the transformation, “If you wanted to do hula, you could do sitting hula but you were not supposed to stand up and dance. Aunty Nona broke that mold by actually standing up and dancing. She did get expelled for doing it but later got talked back into getting into school again and, in the end, she encouraged hula as an expression of being Hawaiian. It’s not lewd and lascivious behavior; it’s not something that should be stamped out. It’s a beautiful expression that comes from native roots and should be continued.” He shares the history of the kingdom of Hawaii and the revitalization of its culture and language. This is a beautiful visit to this island state.

Program 3681 Description

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