Hali`a of Hawai`i

A Legacy of Language

by Frances Nelson Frazier



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 19/03/2010

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 244
ISBN : 9781449077082

About the Book

This memoir takes us adventuring on sailing ships through “flying boats” to jet airplanes, exploring the author’s Hawai`i vignettes, “Letters from Dacca”, travel stories, and stories of her sea captain father--his own nautical story embedded at book’s end. We learn how life events led to rediscovery of the Hawaiian language, the author’s blood legacy, and how she accomplished her own legacy of important work. We gallop, sail and swim near Lanikai with a young girl at an earlier, more gentle time on O`ahu. We learn of work, romance, marriage and the beginning of life as a family. We watch with that young mother the bombing of Pearl Harbor, how she shields her baby from strafing while wondering if her engineer husband at dockside is alive. Hali`a, A Legacy of Language is an account of a pono (good, beneficial) life of trust in its many decades as they unfolded, bringing the author important work to be done in Hawai`i that became entwined with her passion for learning and correctly translating the Hawaiian language, especially relating to land deeds and rights to the `aina, the land, for people of Hawaiian heritage. We share the joy of an inquiring mind expanding and questioning with the opportunities that came for travel and residency abroad, and resultant contrast and comparison with home and different cultural ways in Hawai`i. The individuality of “Aunty Hali`a’s” life `olelo (story) reflects the experiences of one daughter of Hawai`i, but by its very individuality offers a universal connection with people, their sensibilities, and places around the globe. All of these parts merge in the telling of the serendipity of a journey as exciting and challenging as the journeys that brought her master mariner father to Hawai`i at an earlier time.

About the Author

Frances N. “Hali`a” Frazier, named a “Living Treasure” on Kaua`i, has been honored with numerous awards for her sensitive translations of Hawaiian documents, and for her views on land and environmental issues stemming from community planning and population growth. She has lived an amazing ninety-five years to the date of publication of her life story, which began fourteen years after Hawai`i became a Territory of the United States of America, and in 2009, encompassed the commemoration of fifty years of Statehood for her island birthplace. Mrs. Frazier’s memoir, Hali`a, A Legacy of Language, is an account of a pono (good, beneficial) life of trust as the many decades unfolded, bringing her an important work that became entwined with her passion for learning and translating the Hawaiian language until she approached the age of ninety and “passed the torch”. As a mature, self-directed student of Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel Elbert, authoritative linguists, the author continued using her language skills as they related to land deeds that could influence the making and breaking of rights to the `aina, the land, for people of Hawaiian heritage. Being part Hawaiian, she has reclaimed her heritage. Kudos: HALI`A of HAWAI`I was chosen by The Mayor's Commission on the Status of Women-Kaua`i County to be featured in a special Women's History Month program titled "The Story Behind the Stories" by editor/publisher Dawn Fraser Kawahara and documented on Ho`ike Public Television video, Island of Kaua`i. The author translated works for the Bishop Museum and the State Archives. She received the Hawai`i Book Publishers Association “Ka Palapala Po`okela” (Best Book) Awards for her translation of Kamehameha and his Warrior Kekuhaupi`o (2000, Kamehameha Schools Press, Honolulu). Her translation of the epic tale of the brave “leper” who in the late 1800s defied orders of the Provisional Government (The True Story Kaluaikoolau), was published in English/ Hawaiian (2001, Kaua`i Historical Society, Lihu`e, Kaua`i, Hawai`i). Kaluaikoolau’s pre-book journal publication served as research material for portions of Poet Laureate M. S. Merwin’s prizewinning book, The Folding Cliffs. In July 2012, "Aunty Hali`a" marked her 98th birthday with a group of family and friends, who will once again offer toasts to honor and celebrate her longevity and spirit. This preceded the archiving of her work in translating deeds, making records available online for genealogical and other searches, and public announcement of same by the Kaua`i Historical Society.