All eyes were on Hawai'i Island this week. After the #WeAreMaunaKea movement getting worldwide recognition and support in the news and social media last week, the 2015 Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo this week reminded the world that Hawaiians are still actively practicing our culture and the teachings of our kupuna are still very much alive today.
I love Merrie Monarch week because it celebrates the first Hawaiian Renaissance in 1874 when King Kalakaua restored Hawaiian cultural traditions that had been suppressed for many years under missionary teachings. He advocated a renewed sense of pride in such things as Hawaiian spirituality, medicine, chant, and hula.
Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom recorded Malama Mau Hawai'i in 1998, one hundred years after Hawai'i was annexed to the United States. Although the lyrics are relevant to happenings in our community this week, to me this song is timeless.
Here are a few links for more information on:
- The Merrie Monarch Festival
- "The Other Hawaiian Renaissance" by Ronald Williams, Jr. in the January 2015 issue of Hana Hou
- Lyrics to "Malama Mau Hawai'i", written by Willie Kahaiali'i