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.
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.