Heritage & History

Updated 24-Dec-2002

Love of country is deep-seated in the breast of every Hawaiian, whatever his station.
- Queen Lili`uokalani
As quoted by Hawai'i Nation

On this Page:
Lehua's History Lehua at Sweet 16
Lehua Wet & Topless The Meaning of Aloha
Waikiki in 1936 The Lehua Blossom
Hawaii or Hawai'i? Pidgin
The Very Best of Hawai'i Links

Lehua age 2 draped in flower leis
Lehua age 2
draped in flower leis
Honolulu, Hawai'i

Most of you know that I'm from Hawai'i. I was born there and lived there until I was 38, most of that time on the island of O'ahu.

I attended Waipahu High School in Waipahu and finished at Roosevelt High School in Makiki (Honolulu). I then attended University of Hawai`i, and got my degree from Hawai'i Pacific University.

"A! -- What school you wen?!?"
Photo: Lehua at sweet 16Click on the thumbnail image to see a larger version of me at sweet 16, attending Roosevelt.  I hadn't seen this photo for years, until it was kindly sent to me by my schooldays friend Frankie Sartè.
Unknown photographer, c. 1963
Photo: Lehua wet and toplessLehua (left) running around wet and topless.

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A stands for AKAHAI, meaning kindness,
     to be expressed with tenderness.
L stands for LOKAHI, meaning unity,
     to be expressed with harmony.
0 stands for OLU`OLU, meaning agreeable,
     to be expressed with pleasantness.
H stands for HA`AHA`A, meaning humility,
     to be expressed with modesty.
A stands for AHONUI, meaning patience,
     to be expressed with perseverance.

   .... From LiveAloha

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What holds us together?  What do all of us have in common?

Love of freedom?  Of course.  But even deeper than that, the one quality we share is optimism. ...We not only imagined it, we had the guts to go for it.  Admittedly, the people who came here were often leaving appalling conditions behind.  But not everyone did leave. ...No.  Most stayed.

So think what optimism it took for the people who did make the journey to uproot themselves, to start a new life here. ... we... are the children of these tough critters.  We have their genes and that quality of theirs that is either confidence or naïveté.  But we believe in happy endings.

-- Susan Isaacs, Red, White and Blue

Waikiki 1936

This is a fascinating postcard showing Waikiki in 1936, sent to me by my Minnesota friends, Dwaine & Sue. It hadn't changed all that much by the time I was born, but is barely recognizable now.

Old-time Hawai'ians and history buffs can take a closer look by clicking on either of the thumbnails.

See the lady on the right walking along holding a towel, looking downward? Look over her head to the trees and walk inland half a block, and that's where I grew up.

Back of card

(Note: Please don't use these images without permission

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The Lehua Blossom

Valley lehua #2-C

Click the lehua blossoms to see original photos of the "valley lehua" (Calliandra inaequilatera), for which I'm named.

Learn The Legend of 'Ohi'a Lehua

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Hawaii or Hawai'i?
A Question from Bob

From Bob:

BTW, you'll have to explain sometime why you put the ' in the word "Hawaii" when you write it. Does it have to do with the original pronunciation/spelling of the word, or its true meaning? It would not surprise me to learn that Americans simply converted the word to something easier for them to pronounce and/or spell.

The answer:


Exactly right. All my life, everything was spelled the American way. In recent times, there are huge movements to resurrect the language and the culture, and gradually people are adopting the correct spellings.

As to the apostrophe, your guess that it's pronunciation is correct. Here's a definition from The Pocket Hawaiian Dictionary, by Mary Kawena Pukui, Samuel H. Elbert, and Esther T. Mookini (University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu, 1975)

... a glottal stop, similar to the sound between the oh's in English oh-oh.

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If you enjoy old-time pidgin, you are invited to a performance of
The Night Before Christmas
in Hawai'ian pidgin.

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Only a few of the Hawai'i photos have been uploaded, but you are welcome to visit Waikiki Pilgrimage 1997

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The Very Best Hawai'i Links

Take a tour of my homeland.
Learn to speak Hawai'ian at
Link to Aloha Hawaii Magazine
Visit Keola Beamer (and find order info for Nona Beamer's "The Golden Lehua Tree")
Book yourself into the best B&B in Hawai'i by contacting BnBsHI@aloha.net. Or check out TravelSource/Hawai'i, or Honolulu Bnb's, or Aloha Net Newslist for daily news about Hawaii (good site - written up in 9/96 Honolulu Magazine).
Link to Crackseeds Hawaii Munch on onolicious crackseed, ordered online from Crackseeds Hawai'i.
View awesome volcanos
Order exotic plants and seeds, including Hawai'ian ginger, at The Banana Tree
Link to Star Bulletin Read the Honolulu Star-Bulletin (Hawai'i's Examiner)
Visit Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu to see exhibits of native birds, insects, and plants.
Enjoy Hawai'ian music at NahenaheNet, or even sing along with my current favorite artist, Keali'i Reichel.
Check out the Hawai'ian Book of Days.
View Hawai'ian images by Madge Tennent, a good friend of my grandmother and grandfather.
Stroll thru gardens of flowers at HiTrade Flower Essence, and even see...

an o'hia lehua blossom.
See Honolulu's Unitarian Church where I participated in Venture and once in a great while gave up a Sunday.
Learn to cook onolicious Hawai'ian dishes.
Book yourself into the best B&B in Hawai'i by contacting BnBsHI@aloha.net. Or check out TravelSource/Hawai'i, or Honolulu Bnb's, or Aloha Net Newslist for daily news about Hawaii (good site - written up in 9/96 Honolulu Magazine).
Link to HVB Get island information from
the Hawai'i Visitors' Bureau.
Link to e-Hawaii
Check out John's new e-Hawaii -- all things Hawai'i; news, jobs, postcards, lots to see.
(and lots of good links)
Go to LeiOrders.com
Link to LiveAloha
Check out other good Hawai'i links
at Live Aloha.

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If you would like to add anything to these pages,
or talk about anything here,
send me an E-mail.

This page is woven from lauhala, the leaf of the hala tree
that grows along the shores of the islands.

©Site by LehuaNet
©Photos & Graphics by LehuaNet

unless otherwise noted.

©1996 -- 24-Dec-2002