Happy International Women's Day! In honour of International Women's Day, Fempower is releasing this special episode on the Powerful Women, the Mana Wahine, of Hawai'i and the Power of Land. This episode was recorded live onsite in Waikiki, Hawai'i and is a cumulation of Dr. Kraj's research and learning as a Fulbright Scholar on exchange. Dr. Kraj works with Indigenous communities, sustainability and community power for energy resilience. In this episode, Dr. Kraj speaks with Native Hawaiians Aunty Ku'uipo Kumukahi, an entertainer, award-winning recording artist and record producer, as well as an educator, social worker and administrator, currently the director of the Ho'okela Hawaiian Cultural Center at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, and Aunty Jennine Heleloa, director of the Hawaiian Music Perpetuation Society, founded by Aunty Ku'uipo. They discuss the power of land, the proper way to pronounce Hawaiian words, the importance of reciprocity in Hawaiian cultural values, and the deeper meaning of ALOHA. This powerful trio of women get to the depths of what is means to be part of a Matriarchial society, the Wahine (women) of Hawaii and the importance of reverence for the land and its people in the preservation and conservation of the land for future generations, and our need to Malama (take care of) the land. This episode is filled with golden nuggets of wisdom from Hawaiian values and teachings. And you'll get a treat of Hawaiian Pidgin language and get to know what the locals really think. Of course we talk about the Sustainability of this remote and sacred land, that energy is everything and the interconnectedness of it all; and Aunty Ku'uipo tells us about the power of poetry in preserving the land, the history of the place and its people and the protection of land rights - and how she set precedent in a court case using mele (song) and hula (dance) to make a case. The Mana Wahine of Hawaii remind us of how powerful we all can be, when we come together, as careholders of our land and resources:
"Give someone kuliana and you awaken their mana." -Twinkle Borgess, Wai'anae.
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Dr. Andrea Kraj