We are very blessed to have employees like Uncle Earl who shares his knowledge of Hawai‘i and is a living example of the Hawaiian value, ‘ohana. Once he meets you, he lets you know that you are now family and the Ka‘ūpūlehu Cultural Center is available to share all that Hawai‘i has to offer. He is the youngest child in a family of 12 children. He crew up loving his culture, Hawaiian music, Hawaiian language and most importantly the Hawaiian values of laulima (cooperation, working together) , lōkahi (unity, harmony), aloha (love) and kōkua (to help unconditionally), to name a few. He attributes this because of his mom.
Since I’ve known him, he always shared his love of music. You can go to the Ka‘ūpūlehu Cultiural Center and if Uncle is there you can request a song and he will share it, if he has it in his repertoire. With a soothing melodic voice, you will start to get chicken skin, and his smile, that is from ear to ear, entices you to return to hear him sing another tune.
The Ka‘ūpūlehu Cultural Center has three mea ho‘okipa that all have special qualities. Kaleolani has the knowledge of plants and knows the medicinal values of plant life, not to mention she is very good with weaving lauhala. She has made several hats that if you are lucky, she may have one with her to see the intregate work that goes into making a papale (hat). Ali`i is a true entertainer and his voice has beautiful falsetto tones that is a signature of Hawaiian music. Kapu has a beautiful voice as well. You can feel her voice when she is chanting (‘oli) and although you don’t understand the words, you feel her emotions. She is also an accomplished hula dancer and her graceful movements tell the story.
I hope that if you have a chance you will visit the Ka‘ūpūlehu Cultural Center and get to meet these exception individuals that make us unique.