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Talk Story time with Mama Lily

From time to time when I meet people who know Mama, I ask them how did they meet Mama. I am always touched by how much Mama affects them in the short time that she has known them. Mama turns a bashful eye and says "no need", but I tell her, this is all part of the journey, part of the story...and sometimes the story needs to be shared...and so, I share with you from the journal of someone Mama Lily met.

Michelle



May 22, 2009
A special moment with Aunty Lily

 

This morning I met with Aunty Lily Kong and her daughter Lily.  Keauhou was beautiful this morning, no vog, you could see Hualalai perfectly with some clouds on the mountain top.  The ocean was malia.  We started the morning with introducing Aunty Lily and Lily to Tetsuji Yamazaki as they had never met before.  After their introduction, and Aunty Lily having a chance to ask her questions J and Tets got to meet her, we walked to the Bay View Lawn area.  The sun was shining, it was warm and felt so nice.  Under the kiawe tree we stood in the shade and overlooked Keauhou Bay.  Just as we started to talk Aunty Lily stops and points out a school of akule right out in front of where we were.  I mentioned to her the last time she came to visit, the akule were in the bay too.  What a sight.

 

Aunty Lily proceeded to talk about how the military had a post here in 1940’s when Pearl Harbor was bombed.  The men would come to the beach where she and her siblings were playing and swimming, on their (officers) days off.  She remembers some of them who knew her brother Ben well, they would bring meat and other food to the house and she would have to cook for them.  She remembered they built a post/watch tower on the other side of the property that was used to watch out along the ocean.

 

 I showed Aunty the archaeological survey book, she stated she had a copy of it as well. I focused on the sketch of the heiau and other spots that platforms were identified.  Aunty confirmed the location of Kaukulaelae Heiau, “the highest part of the forehead”.  It is where Crystal Blue point and up to the terrace is currently, also where the current luau stage is and out towards the ocean. bouldersShe explained large boulders were used, the boulders were so large, and some would create little hiding spots for them that they would crawl under and play in.  She shared the story that the menehune built the heiau tall and with large boulders to protect the village from the high surf.  (Note: at present time the surf gets very high out at Crystal Blue, mainly during the winter months or if a storm generates the surf in that area, the surf crashes over the Crystal Blue point and has actually caused some damage in the past because of the force and height of the wave, so at present time we can confirm this area is known for large swells / waves hitting this side.)  In looking around I noticed several large boulders and asked Aunty if they could be from the heiau and she said yes, they were probably washed up from the ocean.  (I can tell the boulders are from the water because they are smooth.)  large bouldersWhere we stood Aunty stated that “this was not here before” as she stomps her feet on the cemented rock patch below us.  From the sketches and from Auntie’s description, Kaukalaelae was a large heiau. 

I pointed out the figure in the sketch, “h”, and stated the book said this was a cattle pen.  Aunty wasn’t sure, but she said the cattle pen she remembers was up where the current pier is today.  She thinks it seems that “h” would have been a hale kuke, cook house.  Pointed out the canoe shed figure, she agreed that was probably a canoe shed, agreed on the house platform figure and Kanikanika’ula heiau.  Pointed out Mokukanika’ula point and island.  She says this island was named after the boats that would come in and anchor to this island.  A previous homeowner built the concrete and rock slab that is there today on top of Mokukanika’ula Island. Later it’s said that it was taken down for safety reasons. 

She pointed across the bay to the second house from the left from the point and said that the cattle pen used to be there but it was to hard to get the cattle down to that area so they moved the pen to where the pier is today. 

I explained to Aunty Lily that I wanted to share this information with our management staff and our guests.  One of my ideas was to make a platform sign that guests could read and just look around.  On the platform it would have the information of the different sights and information of the area.  Aunty was in agreement, but explained the most important thing for me to do was ask for permission. The offering To come and spend time, sit near the ocean and ask for permission to go forward. Explain the desire to preserve what is left and not to change anything.  When I asked her what was pono and not pono to print on the signage platform/story board, Aunty said it would come.  After I sit, alone, pule, ask, it will come. Be patient, don’t rush, no need move to fast before you miss something.  I will feel it in my na’au on what is pono to share. 

It was an amazing day again with Aunty Lily.  Such an honor to be with her and her daughter, to hear her stories, to feel her mana.  Aunty reminds me how important this is and extended her blessings to me to carry on.  In her exact words she grabs my hand and says “you be alright.  If you get stuck, you call me and I will come.”  by the tree

I gave Aunty a ho’okupu for coming and sharing, a basket with sweet bread, ‘uala, and kalo.  We end the day with a honi a hug and her recipe for ‘uala, coconut milk and honey.  Oooh, sound ‘ono.  I will make that this weekend for my family I told her and think of them.  Ahuihou.

 

Lily Dudoit

 

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