“I koʻu hōʻea ʻana, ʻike akula au i ka nuʻa haumāna e oli ana. I loko o ka ‘ike leʻa ʻole i nā manaʻo a pau, pā maoli nō ka naʻau. Nanea kākou Polenekia i ua mea ʻo ka puolo, he kaʻā ia e hoa ana iā kākou. He kōkua ia i ka hoʻoili ʻana i ka ʻike mai kahi hanauna a i ka hanauna iho.” wahi a Maisey Rika.
No ko lāua ʻike i ke koʻikoʻi o ka mālama ʻana i nā loina kuʻuna, kūkā pōkole akula ʻo Maisey lāua ʻo kona kaikunāne me nā haumāna i mea e pai aku ai i ko lākou ʻiʻini e hoʻomau i nā mēheuheu, ʻo ka haku mele a moʻolelo nō hoʻi.
“Ua holo pono ia kūkā pōkole ʻana. Ua hoʻolohe pono a komo piha nā haumāna” wahi a Pōmai Bertelmann, he kumu kula ma Kanu o ka ʻĀina.
“Nanea au i kēia ʻano hana, ʻo ka launa ʻana me ka poʻe o ka ʻāina, keu hoʻi ka lanuna ʻana me nā ʻōpio, ka hanauna hou. Manaʻolana au, ʻikea nā kamaliʻi i ke kūpono o ka hoʻopuka manaʻo ma ka ʻōlelo ʻōiwi me ke kūpaʻa ʻana i ka ʻike o nā kūpuna. He kahua ko laila, e kūpaʻa mau.” wahi a Maisey Rika.
“ʻO ia nō ka makemake a mākou ma Kanu o Ka ʻĀina, e hoʻolauna i nā haumāna me nā ʻōiwi e kū hōʻailona nei no ko lākou kaiāulu a lāhui. He mau kumu hoʻohālike helu ʻekahi ʻo Maisey lāua ʻo JJ no ka hoʻomau ʻana i ka hana a ko lāua mau kūpuna” wahi a Pōmai Bertelmann.
“I looked up and there were all the kids at the base of the mauna singing back to us, honoring us. Even though I may not understand everything that is being said, I can feel it. It’s such a natural thing for Polynesia as a whole, that’s the one thing that connects us all is the music. Like all Polynesian cultures it was handed down orally the history so the songs are very important especially the mōteatea, the chants. To hear those being sung to us is quite a spiritual moving thing” said Maisey Rika.
Because they realize the importance of preserving cultural customs, Maisey and her brother held a workshop for the students to encourage their interest in story and song composition.
“They had a great session they were very attentive and listened and asked great questions. It’s really neat to see the kids come to a place where they can be inspired to ask great questions” said Pōmai Bertelmann, a teacher at Kanu o ka ʻĀina.
“That’s what I’m drawn to, is meeting the real people, getting to know them, connecting with them, listening to their stories, them hearing mines, and connecting on that level, as well as meeting the kids, meeting the next generation coming through. I would hope that they would go away thinking yes I can do it, yes I can write and itʻs alright to write in my own language and stay true to who I am and holdfast to my culture. It’s what I truly believe in. Share stories of your own history, something that’s unique to yourself. There’s strength in that, a foundation in that, culture, holding on to that.
“It’s ultimately what we want our kids to be surrounded by, strong kanaka or tangata fenua who come potentially from similar backgrounds who are indigenous or native to their particular homes and their communities and who have a voice or create a voice or create a mechanism of voice for the communities that they come from. The music that they heard today was a validation of that, was two people, two individuals, who were inspired by their kūpuna from generations ago, by their fanaunau, their family now, to share their beliefs through music and through story“ said Pōmai Bertelmann.