Hawaiian legend Willie K

Hawaiian music legend Willie K dies at age 59 after 2-year battle with cancer


By John Berger ;    May 19, 2020 – Staradvertise , Hawaii


Social media lit up with fond memories and messages of support Tuesday following an announcement late Monday night on Facebook and Instagram that Hawaiian music superstar Willie K — a multi-Hoku Award-winning musician, vocalist, songwriter and record producer — had died at his home on Maui after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 59.

“We are sad to announce that Willie K has passed away on Monday night (May 18th) in his home in Wailuku surrounded by his ohana,” according to an announcement on his Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Willie K was diagnosed with small-cell cancer in his upper right lung in early 2018.

“He fought hard for over 2 years while still performing. In mid-February of this year, he was hospitalized for pneumonia which caused complications with his lung cancer,” his family wrote in the posts. “He was in positive spirits and doing okay, and he was looking forward to performing again. He then suddenly turned for the worse and lost his battle.”

The family thanked everyone “for all the love, support and prayers you have given.”

Many local politicians issued statements honoring Willie K.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz recalled him as a man who had “bridged blues and Hawaiian, local and mainstream, music and culture. Willie K blazed a trail that redefined music in Hawai‘i and helped other local artists succeed. … While he will be greatly missed, his music will live on.”

Gov. David Ige accurately described him as “a unique talent whose huge voice effortlessly ranged from Hawaiian music and the blues to opera — all in one performance.”

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino remembered him as a man who “fought cancer bravely for two years, still choosing to perform and entertain fans even while ill. He was generous with his time and immense talent. … We mourn a great loss for our community. He will truly be missed but never forgotten.”

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell also hailed Willie K’s commitment to his music and to Hawaii: “What he revealed in his last years was the sheer courage and stamina that it takes to perform while seriously ill. … Honolulu is mourning the loss of a great man, a son of Hawaii, but we are also feeling privileged to have known his grace.”

Two-time Grammy Award winner Kalani Pe‘a described himself as “heartbroken” at the death of a man he described as both a role model and a teacher.

“He always taught me to be authentic, to be real and to be true to myself and others,” Pe‘a said Tuesday on a phone call. “He was very straightforward, but he always taught me never, ever, ever try to please every single person. You’re not going to please everybody; just be you and do what you do best.”

Music historian Harry B. Soria Jr. spoke for many in saying simply, “There may never be another Willie K, with such raw yet polished talent.”

Born William Awihilima Kahaiali‘i on Oahu on Oct. 17, 1960, Willie K grew up on Maui and started working with his father, veteran musician Manu Kahaiali‘i, when he was 11.

By the time he graduated from Lahainaluna High School in 1979, he was playing everything from Top 40 and Latin to American country music and the classic rock of Jimi Hendrix. He spent several years in California where he expanded his musical repertoire further to embrace everything from European-American classical music to acid rock.

Willie K exploded on the Hawaii music scene in 1991 after Kelly “Kelly Boy” De Lima saw him playing in a bar on Maui. De Lima and his manager, Ken “KT” Thompson, signed him to a record deal with KDE Records and persuaded him to move to Oahu.

“What I saw in him was a talent far beyond what you would expect,” De Lima reminisced Tuesday. “‘Incredible’ — I don’t know if that’s a strong enough word, but the versatility that he had — he could do these sweet little Hawaiian ballads and bring the house down with that, and then he could jump on the guitar and do Jimi Hendrix.”

Waikiki entertainment scene veteran Jack Law brought Willie K to Waikiki when he booked him for a weekly engagement at Malia’s Cantina on Lewers Street. Playing Malia’s launched Willie K as an island superstar. The release of his debut album, “Kahaiali‘i,” increased his star power and won him his first of five Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.

Law remembered him as “the most talented person to come out of Hawaii since Bette Midler.”

“He had a great sense of humor. When he was nominated for his first Hoku Awards (in 1992), he asked for me to come along, so I was sitting with him and his parents at the table. After that, whenever he performed for the LGBT community — and he performed in public a lot for the LGBT community — he would always say that I had been his ‘date’ at his first Hoku Awards.”

Pierre Grill, the veteran studio engineer and multi-instrumentalist who co- produced “Kahaiali‘i,” recalled him as “the best musician I ever recorded with.”

Willie K’s next three albums reaffirmed his place as one of the most versatile — and popular — performers in local music. Then, a move to another label almost ended his career as a recording artist.

But he came back in a big way in 1997 when the Mountain Apple Co. retained him to resurrect the career of singer Amy Hanaiali‘i Gilliom after her first album for the label had gone almost unnoticed.

With Willie K as her producer and mentor, Gilliom switched from singing mainstream pop to traditional Hawaiian falsetto. Gilliom was an instant hit, and a string of Hoku Award-winning albums followed — several of them recorded by the new duo of Amy Hanaiali‘i & Willie K.

In 2000 the Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts made a rule change that suddenly defined “Nostalgia,” an album recorded by Hanaiali‘i & Willie K, as the work of a female vocalist rather than the work of a duo; Willie K became the first male performer in HARA history to be one-half of a duo that won an award as a “female vocalist.” (The rule change was later reversed.) That same year, he also received a well-deserved solo Hoku for his imaginative Christmas album, “Willie Kalikimaka.”

Shortly after that he returned to Maui and recorded and released a two-CD live album that captured his roots-rock repertoire. He then established a new record label, Maui Tribe, and released an album of traditional Hawaiian music.

In 2003 he reunited with Gilliom for a concert tour that produced a live album in 2004 and became one of the five finalists for the newly created Hawaiian music category at the Grammy Awards in 2005.

Back on Maui he formed a new duo, Barefoot Natives, with Gilliom’s brother, Eric Gilliom. The duo’s self-titled debut album won a Hoku Award (contemporary Hawaiian album) in 2005.

In the years that followed, Willie K continued to enjoy a prolific and eclectic career as a recording artist, concert headliner, record producer, film actor and event promoter. Another reunion with Hanaiali‘i produced an aptly titled album, “Reunion,” and earned them another Hoku Award in 2015.

Willie K received the Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.

An important part of his legacy is the example he set for younger musicians as a role model and mentor.

“I saw Willie K once when I was 9,” Hoku Award winner Kamuela Kahoano said. “I knew even back then there was something greater about his performances — and I have been chasing that level ever since. We can’t all rock forever, but what Willie K did — how hard he jammed, with unbridled passion, and his unforgettable local repertoire, that massive contribution and staying power — that’s why he’s a legend to me.”

Willie K is survived by his wife, Debbie Kahaiali‘i, and children, Karshaun, Max, Lycettiana and Antoinette.

A celebration of his life will be announced at a later time, the family said.



Today I am sad to have lost a good friend, Uncle Willie K. My memories come up of how we had discussed and laughed together. I keep your words, your voice and pictures in my memory and you will be eternally remembered for me and all your friends with the great variety of music that was your life. It was always nice to meet you and I am thankful to know you. Thanks Willie for the great time together. Gérard

federal recognition when you can have a free Hawaiian Kingdom?

Today I am starting to post or repost from my friend Poka Laenui, his reports, thoughts, radio shows and interviews . His way of thinking about what’s going on, about the Hawaiian history, about the law, it’s a new way of thinking and philosophy for us all. With a calm, friendly and with a special sense of humor he tells his stories, his thoughts, which fascinate me so much that I leave everything else behind and I just have to listen to him. I would like to share his impressive, grandiose, exciting stories with a larger readership and give him, Poka, another platform in the wide world:


This is a re-post on another page, (Aha Aloha Aina). I am re-posting believing it important to be shared here as well.

A woman writes, “Why would you choose federal recognition when you can have a free Hawaiian Kingdom with reparations for the illegal occupation?”

1st, she presents the question as either one or the other, i.e. one automatically eliminates the other! Federal Recognition OR Independence. I challenge that limited view of the fight for Hawaiian Sovereignty. As a Hawaiian National, I will not limit my fight for Hawaiian Sovereignty by sticking my head in the sand and pretend that there is no other reality. As I stand in the U.S. Courts and challenge the jurisdiction of the courts over myself or my clients, I also prepare to use the laws of the United States, of Hawaii, of the applicable rules of court, of the U.S. & Hawaii Constitutions, the Ordinance of the various counties, etc. in defense of my clients. I will also use international laws and principles to assert such defense. The fact that I declare myself a Hawaiian national in no way foreclose my right and responsibility to my clients, to raise all appropriate defenses, wherever found.

Of course, those who do not want the Hawaiians to have sovereignty are glad to see this all or nothing approach. It means there will be no trouble with Hawaiian nationals who will not fight but just complain about lack of U.S. jurisdiction as they are marched (defiantly) off to jail!

There is also the other extreme side of Federal Recognition. Those are the folks who do not want Hawaiian independence, wants to stay now and forever, a part of the United States. At most, they can go along with a degree of reparation – ala the Native Alaskan Settlement Claims Act, or the Aloha bill with an attached extermination clause! They see Hawaiian rights only to the extent of Indigenous people’s rights to autonomy within a U.S. colonial regime.

As for me, I choose to use whatever tool, weapon, device, tactic, or advocacy that is appropriate to the fight for Hawaiian sovereignty. As I’ve said before, “The quest is not to walk the straight path, but to learn to walk the crooked path straight!” To the extent Federal Recognition can provide advantages which can be used to advance our education, the protection of Hawaiian trusts, loan programs, etc., I say use those advantages. To the extent Federal Recognition will give greater assurance to the protection of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, to the protection of the Hawaiian Homestead programs, to the protection of and recovery of Native Hawaiian burial and other sacred sites, to the protection and practice of our traditional religious forms, to secure the perpetuation of our environment, I believe we should champion those provisions.

Any time any program within Federal Recognition calls for the extinguishment of our right to self-determination or any other right established in international law, we should fight against it and always stand firm that any declaration of such extinguishment made by the colonial administration is legally and morally invalid. We need not wait to see that call for extinguishment when Federal Recognition comes into effect. Even today, without Federal Recognition, the State and Federal government’s agents carry on a pretense that we must accept extinguishment of our National claims in order to work within the U.S. systems. We need to be vigilant to those attempts and stop it in its tracts.

An example of this practice was employed against me by Federal Judge Sam King who insisted that I could not practice law in the Federal Court if I refuse to say I was a U.S. citizen. He found me in contempt of court. I challenged that determination and the result is that I continue to be authorized to practice law in all the Federal and State courts in Hawaii, without having to declare U.S. citizenship. There are many other examples of such tactics to erase our identity as Hawaiian nationals. Many of our public schools continue to practice the morning American pledge of allegiance as part of the school day. My daughter, when in the 1st grade at Wai`anae, told her teacher she would not join in because the American government stole the Hawaiian nation from our Queen. The next day, a boy in her class said that if Pua`Ena need not say that pledge, he was not going to say it as well. Within a month, the full class refused to join in that pledge. Our vigilance in protecting our national identity must be a constant alert, regardless of whether Federal Recognition is accorded us by the U.S. government.

Progress has been made. You may recall the State/OHA attempt to call a Native Hawaiian Convention, sometimes called the Na`i Aupuni convention in 2016. Three significant things occurred there. 1 – the State/OHA did not require one be a U.S. citizen in order to be nominated or vote for delegate in that election process. 2 – the U.S. government’s Department of the Interior changed course in its final rule, dropping the requirement that a member of a Federally Recognized Hawaiian nation must be a U.S. citizen! 3 – the members of that congregation agreed that we should continue to strive for our full rights of self-determination as understood in international law! The failures of that gathering were numerous but let us not also observe those positive aspects of that aha. (My full evaluation is scheduled to be published soon.)

Hawaiian Independence and Federal Recognition contain numerous common attributes. We need to see the potential for both pathways to unite our people as we continue to strive to bring about our sovereignty. A nation divided against itself cannot stand.

A hui hou. Poka Laenui

Ke Aupuni Update – May 9, 2020

In our last update, we pointed out a stark contrast in styles of governance… how we expect the soon-to-be restored Hawaiian Kingdom to operate differently from the current US/State of Hawaii, by using Kapu Aloha… treating everyone with respect and aloha …even if we do not agree with them.

When Gov. Ige visited the Mauna Kea puʻuhonua last July, all the news media reported on how he was received by the kupuna and the kiaʻi. Hawaii News Now said: “The governor received a remarkably warm welcome ― with lei, chants and embraces … in his first visit to the TMT protest.” It was essentially the same in all the news accounts as well as the live-streamed and eye-witness postings.

In spite of the fact that the two “sides” were diametrically opposed on the TMT project, Kapu Aloha prevailed and was maintained by the kiaʻi all the way to the successful suspension of the TMT project and the noa (ending, putting to rest) of the puʻuhonua.

This was the peaceful and orderly narrative at the ʻofficialʻ levels — government, developers, protectors, community, media.

But in the arena of public opinion, it was harsh… and some people — on both sides — got completely out of hand… especially on social media… making accusations, recriminations and threats. Definitely not Kapu Aloha.

This is the area that really requires our personal, individual attention. Each of us in the nation, if we are to be a lāhui that governs with Kapu Aloha, we have to be people who strive to live by Kapu Aloha… personally… and in a culture that upholds Kapu Aloha.

The current crisis over the coronavirus has caused Gov. Ige to adopt draconian measures, shutting down practically everything. Even those that donʻt present any health hazard. Everyone his hurting. It is already an economic disaster. Those demonstrating for re-opening certain activities and businesses are being arrested and villified in social media. (Sound familiar?). This crisis is an opportune to take Kapu Aloha to the next step… making it personal in your own life and putting it into practice!

This crisis will pass, but what will be on the other end? What kind of a people will we be? What kind of a nation will we model? If not one showing Kapu Aloha, then it will be pohō, a wasted opportunity.

It is the amazing power of Kapu Aloha that will carry us through the rebirthing and rebuilding of our nation. Eō!

Year of the Hawaiian Kingdom

If you are (or if you know of someone who is) interested in being a facilitator for any aspect of the Year of the Hawaiian Kingdom Celebration, please contact: info@HawaiianKingdom.net

The campaign to Free Hawaii continues to grow … as soon as this pandemic subsides, we expect significant movement in gaining support from the global community. Your kokua is vital to this effort…
Your kōkua, large or small, is much appreciated will help greatly to move this work forward.

To contribute, go to https://GoFundMe.com/FreeHawaii

To contribute in other ways (airline miles, travel vouchers, clerical help, etc…) email us at info@HawaiianKingdom.net

Check out the great FREE HAWAII products you can purchase at…http://www.robkajiwara.com/store/c8/Support_Human_Rights.html

All proceeds go to help the cause.
Mahalo Nui Loa!
Malama Pono,
Leon Siu
Hawaiian National

New Subproject of ToH

© Foto and Drawing Gérard Koch, 2020

This is another subproject to the overall project of „Tales of Hawaii“. I would like to take a fresh look at the friendly, economic and social relationships of the Hawaiian king Kalakaua and their family with the new western immigrants and missionaries and their interests, needs to the point of greed for power, the change through contracts, changes in law and the influence of the royal family to annexation of the USA.
Perhaps I would like to be able to answer and prove my questions, such as:
– Was King Kalakaua influenced by the missionaries and their new immigrants?
– If yes, how and by what was it influenced?
– Has the West’s new friendships and close relationships with the King made law changes that negatively impacted Hawaii?
– How did the annexation come about?
– What are the reasons behind it?
– Who exactly was behind it?
– How was it organized?
– How long did the takeover planning take?
– How were the Hawaiians circumvented?

the W-Questions – ©Foto Gérard Koch 2020

I have many more questions about where I would like to have answered. It’s like a crime thriller looking for a breakdown of who the suspect was. Can it be solved at all? One piece at a time must be put together. The idea is also to ask known and unknown people to interview, as well as to look for evidence in the archives. It will be a long-term undertaking where I am not sure whether I can satisfy all my curiosity first and whether I can find the solution at all.
In order for all the information that I will collect to be neatly documented and I have quick access to search filters and can link to them, I first have to set up my own database.
To do this, I took the first step today with brainstorming, which everything has to flow into the database. As soon as I have worked this out, I will program the database. All the information that I have already collected in the meantime certainly results in over a thousand data records.
Yes, such a project should also be given a name, I owe it to this work. I let my mind wander to find a suitable name. Maybe you just have a perfect name for it or you might even want to help solve this puzzle. I would be very happy if I could get support and tips from you. Just write to me at: talesofhawaii@bluewin.ch.

Brainstorming 1 ©Foto Gérard Koch, 2020
Brainstorming 2 ©Foto Gérard Koch, 2020

Ke Aupuni Update – April 13, 2020

Kapu Aloha going “viral”

The corona virus situation has abruptly forced people to confront and reconsider their priorities… that it is just as important to value the well-being of others as much as you value yourself. In the past few weeks commercial messages in print, broadcasts and social media have changed from the usual obscene, “What’s in it for me?” to the virtuous, “We’re all in this together!”

Everywhere we turn, the message of caring for each other, for family and community is being spread faster than the virus. Suddenly the world is waking up to the notion that it’s not about the rat-race, it’s about the human race. It’s about taking care of one another. That if we want to survive pandemics and even worse, we have to make it a kakou (together) thing… to malama (care for) each other and everything around us… even the air we breathe.

This past year, we saw Kapu Aloha miraculously transform and defuse the volatility of TMT on Mauna Kea and how that spirit spread to numerous other tense situations such as Kahuku and Hunananiho. Now, we see the world spontaneously embracing this spirit — in essence, Kapu Aloha — to get through the corona virus crisis.

Just think, this amazing power of Kapu Aloha is what will carry us through the rebirthing and rebuilding of our nation. Eō!

Ke Aupuni Update – March 21, 2020

Room at the Palais des Nations where the Human Rights Council conducts its plenary meetings.

At the UN

I arrived in Geneva as Switzerland was beginning to react to the Coronavirus emergency. The day before I got there, thousands of people who had traveled to attend the famous International Geneva Motor Show were abruptly told, on the eve of its opening, the week-long event was canceled. Within two days, Geneva hotels, hostels, BNBʻs, etc. plummeted from 100% occupancy to 15%!

The UN also began to make adjustments, canceling all of the panel events that make up the bulk of the activities at the Human Rights Council. Civil society delegates who had come from all over the world, some at great cost and sacrifice, were told they could not make their presentations. It was devastating to many. After two weeks of schedule and venue changes and other disruptions, the last week of the 43rd Session of the Human Rights Council was cancelled. It was time to “Get out of Dodge.”

I left Geneva a day earlier than originally planned, just a few hours before the Europe “travel ban” went into effect. I intended to stay in New York for a couple of weeks, but things were shutting down there also. So I flew back to Honolulu. Good to be back home.

The delegation from Incomindios, a Swiss NGO that has been faithfully supporting our efforts at the UN for the past 10 years!

What happened at the UN

As you know, I go to the UN headquarters both in New York and Geneva several times a year. We are not trying to join the UN. We are there to point out that one of its principal members, the United States, is committing international wrongful acts with regard to the Hawaiian Islands; and that the United Nations needs to stop aiding and abetting these criminal acts.

Foreign affairs is also called foreign relations. The building of friendly relations is crucial to the interest of our nation. The disruptions in the UN agenda in Geneva meant that many of the diplomats had some unexpected spare time. Thus, I was able to use the opportunity to have face-to-face, talk-story with several ambassadors and officials to update them about our situation and to discuss strategy. For this reason, I consider this trip as one of the most productive for our purposes.

Having these extra one-on-one talks was a God-send, and will prove extremely beneficial to our cause when things settle down a bit and the UN resumes its meetings… and we are able to launch our initiatives to Free Hawaii.

Year of the Hawaiian Kingdom
If you are (or if you know of someone who is) interested in being a facilitator for any aspect of the Year of the Hawaiian Kingdom Celebration, please contact: info@HawaiianKingdom.net

Ke Aupuni Update February 29, 2020

Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono. The sovereignty of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.

“The Year of the Hawaiian Kingdom”

June 11 2020 – June 11 2021

What is this about?

The Year of the Hawaiian Kingdom is going to be a year-long celebration of the anniversary of the birth of our nation 210 years ago, and a celebration of the re-birth and re-generation of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a sovereign nation.
In April of 1810, Kaumualiʻi the aliʻi nui of Kauai and Niʻihau, traveled to Oʻahu to give fealty to Kamehameha the Great, thus ending a 15-year stand-off with Kamehameha and completing the unification of the Hawaiian Islands under the sovereign rule of Kamehameha. With that, what became known as the Kingdom of the Hawaiian Islands, was born.
Although there will be some preliminary observances in April honoring Kaumualʻi’s noble action, the actual start of the Year of the Hawaiian Kingdom celebration will be, appropriately… King Kamehameha Day, June 11, 2020.
King Kamehameha Day was first proclaimed by King Kamehameha V on December 22, 1871 as a day to honor his grandfather, Kamehameha the Great, the founder of our country.
The first observance of the holiday happened in 1872. It was an immediate success and grew to become the biggest holiday in Hawaiʻi nei. By the late 19th century, the celebrations featured elaborate parades, carnivals and fairs, foot races, horse races and other festive events. King Kamehameha Day is the only Hawaiian Kingdom holiday that survived intact through “the fake territory” and “the fake state” of Hawaii.
With the Year of the Hawaiian Kingdom celebration, we are going to not only reclaim Kamehameha Day as a Hawaiian Kingdom national holiday, but use it as a festive and positive reminder to everyone that this is still the Hawaiian Kingdom! … and the people of this nation… natives, subjects, nationals… still live here.We donʻt have to start from scratch…We are excited! Many great ideas are being proposed to make this an incredible celebration.The Year of the Hawaiian Kingdom can piggy-back on upcoming international events like the Pacific Arts Festival starting June 10 in Honolulu; the Tokyo Olympics in July, along with our own national holidays (Kamehameha Day, La Hoʻihoʻi Ea; Onipaʻa, La Kuʻokoʻa…) We can use other platforms such as Aloha Festivals, Hula Bowl, Merrie Monarch… and, of course we can also, as we have done in the past, commandeer U.S. holidays (like the 4th of July, Statehood Day, etc.). We can do amazing social media stuff, like live-streaming concerts and other events globally; have some invigorating messaging on instagram, twitter, etc. (“Aloha, Iʻm so-and-so and I live in the Hawaiian Kingdom”) and all kinds of fun merchandizing…But we still need a committee to spearhead, coordinate and promote the events for celebration. If you are (or if you know of someone who is) interested in being a facilitator for this project, please contact: info@HawaiianKingdom.net


Things are intensifying… this year is going to see some breakthroughs as we travel and interact with the global community to support our initiatives. Your kokua is vital to this effort… (see below about contributing through GoFundMe)


Your kōkua, large or small, is much appreciated will help greatly to move this work forward.To contribute, go to https://GoFundMe.com/FreeHawaii
To contribute in other ways (airline miles, travel vouchers, clerical help, etc…) email us at info@HawaiianKingdom.net
Check out the great FREE HAWAII products you can purchase at…http://www.robkajiwara.com/store/c8/Support_Human_Rights.html

All proceeds go to help the cause.

Mahalo Nui Loa!
Malama Pono,
Leon Siu
Hawaiian National

Ke Aupuni Update – January 1, 2020

Hulo! Hulo! Kū Kiaʻi Mauna!

It was a huge victory for Kū Kiaʻi Mauna last week. Hulo! Hulo! Congratulations to the leaders and all who responded to the call to protect the sacredness of Mauna Kea and to stop the despoiling of our ʻāina.

While itʻs not completely over (we must still remain vigilant), the decision of the county/state to back off for now means the chances of TMT ever being built on Mauna Kea is slim to none. It is a 180 degree turn from where things stood in July. Thatʻs a victory!

Celebrate 2020… “The Year of the Hawaiian Kingdom”

The events of this past year culminating with the victory on Mauna Kea have been truly amazing! We can clearly see that the decades of persistent, sacrificial kūʻē by generations of Aloha ʻĀina (those who love Hawaii nei) has brought us to the reawakening of our nation as a sovereign, independent country.

What a great way to lead into The Year of the Hawaiian Kingdom, its timely celebration of the reawakening of the Hawaiian nation and its bright future.

We are calling every one near and far who loves Hawaii, to celebrate, 2020 – The Year of the Hawaiian Kingdom… “Facing the Future”

Centered in the Hawaiian Islands, but global in scope, the celebration will focus on our national identity and build awareness that the Hawaiian Kingdom is here, in Hawaii nei… alive and growing in stature and capacity… to resume its role as an innovative and inspiring member the world community.

Not your ordinary celebration…

As Mauna Kea and Kapu Aloha demonstrated, this event can take on a whole new dimension as we come together to celebrate the next step… from saving the Mauna to the rebirth of our country! Driven by aloha ʻāina at home, reaching out to the world with the positive, uplifting, upbeat, happy, inspiring ʻwe can do itʻ attitude, we can bring Aloha to the world in a global cyber celebration of the rebirth of a nation.

This is going to be exciting!

Stay tuned…

Hawaiʻi loa kū like kākou! All Hawaiʻi stand together!


NOTE – We are in a critical time of moving to the next stage of rebuilding our country. Your kokua is needed! Imua!

We cannot do this crucial work without your kōkua … your help.
Your kōkua, large or small, is much appreciated will help greatly to move this work forward.
To contribute, go to https://GoFundMe.com/FreeHawaii


Check out the great FREE HAWAII products you can purchase at…

All proceeds go to help the cause.

Mahalo Nui Loa!

Malama Pono,
Leon Siu
Hawaiian National

My first call in 2020

My first call in 2020:
I wish all my friends a super happy new year. Good luck to you all.
The year is still young and we have recharged our batteries in the snow mountains, made resolutions and are in full swing. So did I. I have an idea that I would like to realize this year. But I urgently need your help, your support and your opinion:
My wish this year is to try again to plan and implement a special, unforgettable event from and about Hawai’i in Switzerland. The reason and thought for this is not to simply make money quickly like many major events do, not simply that a Hawai’i event has taken place in Switzerland, no; it’s about a lot more.
I claim that 99.9% of Swiss don’t know that Hawai’i was and still is a kingdom. Many believe and we are taught that Hawaii belongs to the USA as the 50th state, which, however, is not true when you look closely and do research. Furthermore, the Swiss do not know that Hawaii Kingdom and Switzerland signed contracts in 1864 that are actually still valid but are no longer being lived. Hawaii has a very compressed, highly interesting big story to tell, has a wonderful culture, is a dream destination for many Swiss people, but we only know paradise, not the dark side and not its history at all. This event is intended to be an information evening where music, culture, talks, documentaries and feature films are to be exchanged. Show the beauty of Hawaii, but also bring out the not so gold, shiny side. Provide a platform for Hawaii. My text here is just a rough outline of my project. An exact concept has to be worked out etc. I am very familiar with this. The advantage for the success of this project is that I am very well connected with Hawaii and know a lot of people like:
a) world famous musicians;
b) Hula Halau (dance groups)
c) one of the best known event managers from Hawaii and the United States;
d) diplomats, lawyers and professors who are perfectly familiar with Hawaii’s history;
e) Filmmakers and producers

Well, my question to you: Who really wants to support me in helping to make his network available to people who are interested in Hawaii can also be financially strong, well-known people. I am looking for people who not only say yes, but also join in.
The “downside” to this will be that you will get to know Hawaii better. Smile
Do you feel like or do you know people? What do you think about this?
If you have any questions, you can contact me at TalesOfHawaii@bluewin.ch. You can get an insight into Hawaii on my website http://www.TalesOfHawaii.net and I would be absolutely happy to receive your like and subscribe from my FB page https://www.facebook.com/TalesOfHawaii/ in the new year.
Thanks in advance now, I am curious about your reactions.


—————– German —————–

Mein erster Aufruf im 2020:

Ich wünsche all meinen Freunden noch ein super gutes neues Jahr. Viel Glück euch allen.

Das Jahr ist noch jung und wir haben neue Energie in den Schneebergen getankt, uns Vorsätze genommen und sind in vollem Tatendrang. So auch ich.  Ich habe eine Idee, die ich dieses Jahr verwirklichen möchte. Aber dazu brauche ich dringend eure Hilfe, eure Unterstützung und eure Meinung:
Mein Wunsch dieses Jahr ist, noch einmal versuchen einen speziellen, unvergesslichen Event von und über Hawai’i in der Schweiz zu planen und auszuführen. Der Grund und Gedanke  dafür ist nicht, einfach schnell mal Geld zu machen wie viele Gross-Anlässe es tun, auch nicht einfach dass ein Hawai’i Event in der Schweiz mal stattgefunden hat, nein; es geht um viel mehr.
Ich behaupte, dass 99,9% von den Schweizern nicht wissen,  dass Hawai’i ein Königreich war und immer noch ist. Viele glauben und es wird uns gelernt, dass Hawaii zu den USA gehört, als der 50. Staat, was aber beim genauen hin schauen und nach forschen nicht stimmt.  Weiter wissen die Schweizer nicht, dass Hawaii Kingdom und die Schweiz 1864 Verträge unterzeichnet haben, die jetzt eigentlich noch Gültigkeit haben, aber nicht mehr gelebt werden. Hawaii hat eine sehr komprimierte hoch interessante grosse Geschichte zu erzählen, hat eine wunderbare Kultur, ist ein Traum-Reiseziel von vielen Schweizern, aber wir kennen nur das Paradies, nicht aber auch die Schattenseite und überhaupt nicht ihre Geschichte. Dieser Anlass soll ein Informationsabend/e sein, wo Musik, Kultur, Gespräche, Dokumentar- und Spielfilme ausgetauscht werden sollen. Die Schönheit von Hawaii zeigen, aber auch die nicht so goldig, scheinende Seite hervor bringen.  Eine Plattform für Hawaii geben. Mein Text hier ist nur ein grober Abriss meines Vorhabens. Es muss ein genaues Konzept erarbeitet werden etc.. Dies ist mir sehr bekannt. Der Vorteil für das Gelingen dieses Vorhaben ist,  dass ich sehr gut mit Hawai’i verbunden bin und viele Leute kenne wie:

  1. weltbekannte Musiker ;
  2. Hula Halau (Tanzgruppen)
  3. eine der bekanntesten Eventmanager von Hawaii und den USA ;
  4. Diplomaten, Anwälte und Professoren die über Hawaii’s Geschichte sich perfekt auskennen;
  5. Filmemacher und Produzenten


Nun, meine Frage an euch: Wer hat wirklich Lust mich dabei zu unterstützen, mit zu machen, sein Netzwerk zu Leuten die ein Hawaii Interesse haben zur Verfügung zu stellen, können auch finanziell starke, bekannte Leute sein. Ich suche Leute, die nicht nur ja sagen, sondern auch mit machen.
Der „Nachteil“ bei diesem Vorhaben wird sein, dass du Hawaii besser kennen lernen wirst.  Smile
Hast du Lust oder kennst du Leute? Was ist deine Meinung dazu?
Bei Fragen kannst du mich unter TalesOfHawaii@bluewin.ch erreichen.  Ein Einblick über Hawaii kannst du dir auf meiner Webseite www.TalesOfHawaii.net einsehen und es würde mich absolut freuen im neuen Jahr, dein Like und abonnieren von meiner FB-Page https://www.facebook.com/TalesOfHawaii/ zu erhalten.

Danke jetzt schon im Voraus, ich bin neugierig auf eure Reaktionen.

Educated, Engaged, Connected: Kalākaua’s Kingdom of Hawai‘i

Although the story and the exhibition were at the beginning of this year, the story is nevertheless impressive and gives an insight into the history. Therefore, I have allowed this story with a thank you to „Hawai’i Public Radio“ this spread. Enjoy the Story:

Jan 15, 2019

Joseph Strong. Honolulu Harbor, 1886. Oil on canvas. A view of Honolulu Harbor as it looked about midway through King Kalakaua’s reign (1874-1891.) This large painting, and its complement from 1836, are on view at the Honolulu Museum of Art with historical and cultural artifacts from the period. The Ho’oulu Hawai’i, The King Kalakaua Era exhibit continues through January 27, 2019. Credit Noe Tanigawa

Hawai‘i was a hotbed of change in the late 1800’s.  People were moving to the cities, as cholera, tuberculosis, and other diseases advanced, killing 70-90% of Native Hawaiians by the end of the century.  Foreign business interests were growing, and in 1874, Americans thought they had an ally when King Kalākaua ascended the throne.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on the Honolulu Museum of Art exhibition that focuses on his reign.

Zita Cup Choy, historian, docent educator, for ‚Iolani Palace. Credit Noe Tanigawa

The exhibition, Ho‘oulu Hawai‘i, The King Kalakaua Era, continues at the Honolulu Museum of Art through January 27th 2019.

This exhibition irepresents a collaboration between the Honolulu Museum, the Bishop Musuem, and ‚Iolani Palace, with pieces drawn from the Hawai’i State Archives and Hawai’i Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives.

King Kalākaua, who reigned from 1874 to 1891, loved modern technology, and a lot of people in Hawai‘i did too.  A telephone directory from the period includes names familiar today as city streets and thoroughfares:  Wilder, Dillingham, Atherton, Dowsett, Cleghorn, Atkinson.

“One of the messages this exhibit gives to the world is that Hawai‘i was modern, educated, connected to the world.”

Zita Cup Choy, historian, docent educator, at ‘Iolani Palace.

Medals, royal orders, and other signifiers of power and prestige are well represented in this exhibition. Intricate jewelry pieces and personal items are vivid reminders of the times. Credit Noe Tanigawa

“Sometimes I think Hawai‘i was more connected to the world then, than we are now, despite all our modern telecommunications.  Kalākaua was connecting with people all over the place.”

Kalākaua held audiences with important travelers from east and west, inquiring about medical, commercial, and other advances in their respective countries.

How did foreigners see King Kalākaua?

Cup Choy:  Well educated, well spoken, handsome, dressed really well, spoke English fluently.  One comment I absolutely love, “Kalākaua is well versed in international law.”   He was admitted to the bar in 1869, so he was not just what a lot of people think of him as being a party animal.  A real intellectual as well.

Many of the pieces in the Ho‘oulu Hawai‘i show relate to Kalakaua’s ten month trip around the world in 1881.  He was the first head of a country to circumnavigate the globe, and he was careful to do so in a manner that would inspire respect for his kingdom.

“By the 1870’s and 1880’s, the Hawaiian Kingdom had over a hundred consulates and embassies in cities around the world.“

Ron Williams Jr. is a PhD in Hawaiian history, and an archivist at the State Archives.

Credit Noe Tanigawa

Williams:  Pretoria South Africa, Chile, Australia, San Diego, Seattle, they had consulates and embassies on six of the seven continents of the world.  They weren’t just show, they were doing things that protected Hawaiian kingdoms subjects in those cities.

Williams:  The easy narrative we were telling thirty or forty years ago was that the white man came to Hawai‘i and took over.  The problem is, we create this binary of foreign and native:  things were great or idyllic, they were Hawaiian.  All of a sudden these foreign things came in and changed Hawai‘i.

Williams:  Yes, they changed Hawai‘i, but often they were foreign appropriations of Kalākaua and others, used to defend or prop up the nation.  That’s what this exhibit’s about, is the fact that Kalākaua was a master of taking quote foreign things and using them to represent the Kingdom.

The medals, the coins, these accoutrements of power, the flags, the outfits, they meant something to him, to the people?

Williams:  Yes, and to the world.  I know that he increased the visibility, the strength, the place, the respect, of Hawai‘i around the world enormously.  He also endangered it in certain ways.


Williams:  Well, through not being careful with the budget.  Debt means you’ve got to borrow money, means you’re beholden, means you’ve got influence here.  But I think, I know, that he was constantly looking for ways to defend the kingdom.

Williams:  The Kingdom had sovereignty since 1843, but he was reminding the world, through his Declarations, through Royal Orders, through all kinds of stuff, Hey, if something happens here, you got our back because we’ve got a treaty with you.  He was reminding the world of Hawai‘i’s place.

Ron Williams, Jr. Archivist, Hawai’i State Archives, historian specializing in Hawaiian history. Credit Noe Tanigawa

Williams:  Even myself, when I talk about debt, there’s a truth to that, but there’s even another side to that story.  The sugar plantations, in the 1880’s, over a three year period, the Hawaiian Kingdom government spent a million dollars in 1883 money importing labor for the sugar plantations.  That’s the Kingdom, public funds going to help a private corporation.  So when we talk about debt and the King spending money, put that against a million dollars helping out the sugar planters.  So it was complicated.

Williams points out that Kalākaua allied himself with American interests to secure the throne, but how do you think he changed in his role?

Williams:  Well, he did change, I like to call it his Saul moment, because, to be frank, I’ll say, some of the newer work on Kalākaua is almost hagiographic.  “The haole papers say he was evil, he was really a saint.”  Neither is true, of course.

He came to power kind of trying to have to prove himself, and he did that by aligning himself with those who were on the rise in power, which was the Americans in Hawai‘i.  He was pushing for the Treaty of Reciprocity, he had the support of local American-linked businessmen, and so forth, and he was a landowner himself, so he was making money on sugar and so forth.

Williams:  There comes a moment, this is my interpretation, when I think he started to understand, these guys are getting so powerful, they don’t necessarily need me anymore.  That’s when you see this shift, you see this intense nationalism and this intense patriotism and so forth coming out of that point.

All of a sudden, it’s ho‘oulu la hui and it’s him travelling the world and claiming Hawai‘i for Hawaiians and so forth.  He was a very pragmatic man, and I think he saw the writing on the wall and became intensely nationalistic.

Cup Choy:  Kalākaua’s idea of Ho‘oulu la hui was not just preserve and perpetuate the race, but preserve and perpetuate cultural knowledge about traditional cultural practices.  So he collected Hawaiian artifacts, he promoted hula which had gone underground.  He also wrote a book, the publisher insisted that it be called the Legends and Myths of Hawai‘i but it’s actually the oral history, the writing down of the chants so you can read stories in there about his ancestors or kūpuna, Umi and Liloa, and all the people who preceded the Kamehameha and Kalākaua line.

By 1890, Kalākaua’s health was failing, and his physician advised treatment in San Francisco.  The King was also said to be interested in direct steamer service from the West Coast to Hawai‘I, so he boarded the steamer Charleston for a 4-5 week tour that began in southern California where he visited San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico.  American newspapers at the time printed rumors that the King was on a mission to sell the Hawaiian Islands to the U.S., but nothing came of that.

By the third week of the trip, newspapers reported the King was looking healthier and might return to Hawai‘i sooner than expected.  Instead, the King declined, and died on January 20, 1891, in the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.

Cup Choy:  Can you imagine?  He’s coming home! There was stuff all over the place.  The regent, Lili‘uokalani had sent out invitations, “Her Royal Highness, Princess Liliuokalani Regent, invites you to a ball to be held on the evening of Kalākaua;s return.”  The community was really excited about having him home.

Then, one day, seeing a ship on the horizon, Lighthouse Charlie called the phone company to say the Charleston’s flags were at half mast, the yards were draped in black.

Cup Choy:  There’s a quote from Curtis P. I’aukea talking about Kapi‘olani, just bereft, on the lanai on the Palace second floor, watching her husband’s casket conveyed from Honolulu harbor’s pier, up to the Palace.

Mahalo to „Hawai’i Public Radio“
The audio file you will find on: