The Hawaiian culture is famous for its preoccupation with the integration and adoption of multi-fold meanings and deeply-rooted symbolism. The Flag of Hawaii, or Ka Hae Hawaii in local parlance, is a good example of this distinct Hawaiian character. The Hawaiian flag is all about the symbolic and beautiful depiction of the amazing aspects of the rich and distinct history of Hawaii. Ka Hae Hawaii symbolizes the Kingdom of Hawaii, which is the republic of Hawaii. This is both its former status as an independent territory and current status as a member-state of the United States. One interesting trivia about the Hawaiian flag is that it is one of the oldest flags currently in use. It is displayed with extreme pride in many places in the islands of Hawaii.
The History of Hawaiian Flag
The origins and history of the Hawaiian Flag is very interesting. While there are debates on the details and circumstances behind its origins, historians agree that the person responsible for its inception is Kamehameha the Great.
The best way to understand and appreciate the meaning and significance of the elements of the Hawaiian flag is by studying the life and times of the King responsible for its inception. Kamehameha I is one of the more successful rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii. He is responsible for the ascension of a sovereign territory in the Islands of Hawaii that gained the recognition of major powers worldwide. Prior to the reign of King Kamehameha I, the islands were controlled by different tribal chiefs, and the King was the person responsible in uniting all eight major islands.
The King is known to be a self-driven and persistent ruler. He is reputed to be a highly skilled and brave warrior. He endeared himself to his subjects by his dedication and commitment in protecting their welfare and sovereignty. Non-Hawaiians were barred by the King from participating or interfering in the affairs on his Kingdom. King Kamehameha has effectively represented his Kingdom in the international scene and was able to forge strategic alliances and cooperation with other states. He was able to steer Hawaii effectively to become a major hub of industry. It was during his rule that the export of pineapple and coffee and trade of sandalwood and fur flourished.
The Design of the Hawaiian Flag
Kamehameha the Great commissioned in 1816 the services of a Royal Navy officer for the design of the Hawaiian flag. This is the main reason why UK character is very evident in the design. Particularly, the upper left corner section of the Hawaiian flag closely resembles the Union Flag, which symbolizes the important alliance between the Islands and UK. The design assumes a two-tier meaning with the depiction of the alia, which is mainly a symbol that is created from the crossing of two spears and rooted with a spear that is standing upright.
The eight horizontal stripes that form the main body of the Hawaiian flag symbolizes the eight major islands of Hawaii – the Big Island, Oahu, Lanai, Kahoolawe, Maui, Niihau, Molokai and Kauai. Certain historical records point that the first version of the Hawaiian flag only bore 7 stripes before it was modified with an additional stripe. It is generally believed that the alternating colors of white, red and blue were erroneously integrated in the design, and that the color sequence should have been red, white and blue.
Petroglyhs are rocks carvings of symbols and images made by prehistoric tribes. The literal translation of the word “petroglyph” is rock carving. The etymology of this word takes us back to the ancient Greek civilization, particularly from the Greek words “petros,” which means stone and “glyphein” which means to carve. These ancient art on stone and molten lava material are known locally as k’i’i pohaku. These images in stone provide a look at the old Hawaii, though there are limited evidences as to their real origins.
The actual age of the Hawaiian petroglyphs have yet to be determined, although a chronological pattern can be established based on the styles of these ancient stone carvings. The earliest forms are the simple stick forms and the triangular shapes, which are the dominant styles in Hawaiian petroglyphs, are believed to have been done much later.
After the time that westerners set foot on Hawaii, stone carvings of cattle and horses started to appear and became a popular style during that period. Among the islands of Hawaii, the Big Island has the most number of petroglyphs. The specific locations with the highest concentration of these stone carvings include the pãhoehoe lava, interior sections of cliff walls, cliff faces and in the areas around the Island that are inundated with lava as well as ancient trails.
Big Island of Hawaii
Pu’uloa – This site is located in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park along the southern section of the Kilauea Volcano. Pu’uloa boasts of the most number of petroglyphs in a single location in all of Hawaii. There are about 23,000 pertroglyphs scattered in an area along the end of the ocean and towards the fringes of the Chain of Craters Road. Pu’uloa, which literally means “long hill,” is also considered to be a place of longevity. The implication of this attribution to this place is directly related to the practice of locals leaving a piko, or navel cord of a baby, to give children the best shot for long life. The most common petroglyphs found in this place include human representations, circles, holes, feathered cape motifs and canoe sails.
Puako – This is another popular petroglyphs site on the Big Island which lies along South Kohala and is a stone’s throw away from Holoholokai Beach Park. You can get the necessary information and area map on the petroglyphs site at Mauna Lani Resort. There is an existing viewing site that offers the most amazing view of the petroglyphs and a trail that provides a convenient access to a section where the most number of petroglyphs are found.
Anaeho’omalu – This petroglyph site is found some 4.5 miles on the southern region of Puako in an area which is near the Waikoloa Beach Resort. It is around half a mile off Highway 19. Information and area map are available at the Royal Waikoloan and several hotels in the area. Anaeho’omalu collection of petroglyphs includes images of canoes, humans as well as circles and abstract forms.
Ka’upulehu – This popular Big Island petroglyphs site is found within the Kona Village Resort grounds. There are distinct features of Ka’upulehu which are not found in other petroglyph locations, and there are indications that this site was used for a purpose which is different from other petroglyphs sites. The dominant stone carvings in the area bear sails which could mean that the place may have been used as navigation or sailing school before.
Kaloko-Honokohau – This is another popular petroglyph site on the Big Island which is found in the National Historical Park of Kaloko Honokohau. The site showcases some of the more recent stone carvings which include a captivating image of a full-rigged ship. You can reach the site from Highway 19 right after the exit going to Honokohau Harbor.
Kahalu’u – This petroglyphs field lies some 5 miles off the southern part of Kailua-Kona. While this petroglyphs site is relatively accessible, it is recommended that you visit the place during low tide as most of the stone carvings lie on a flat lava region that is inundated by seawater during high tide. This amazing set of stone images includes diverse human forms, phallic symbols and other abstract forms. Specifically, this collection of stone art forms is found some 200 yards on the southern portion of the park pavilions.
Island of Maui
The popular petroglyph sites in the Island of Maui include Kahoma, Lahaina, Haleakala and the southeast region of Maui specifically along the Waiohonu Stream. There is also another set of petroglyphs which are located at Olowalu. These are stone art forms that were carved out straight from the face of a cliff. This is one of the most visited petroglyph site in the Island of Maui, although vandalism is an emerging concern of late. You can reach Olowalu by driving south along Highway 30 going to Kahului and turn off along Mile Marker #15. Take the dirt road just behind the Olowalu General Store toward the overall direction of the Olowalu Valley. The petroglyph site is about a mile off Highway 30.
Island of Oahu
The top petroglyph sites in the Island of Oahu are those found in the Nu’uanu Petroglyph Park, which lies along the western portion of the Nu’uanu Stream. The main inspiration of most of the stone carvings is the ghost dog, locally known as Kaupe. Another petroglyph area presents some challenge for those who want to view the stone art forms, as one has to scale a slippery and rocky terrain.
Island of Kauai
This is also one of the more popular petroglyph sites and is found along Mahalepu’s Koloa Beach. One of the interesting aspects of the stone art forms is the presence of human figures with heads facing seaward. Another important petroglyph site on the Island of Kauai is the one that lies along the Wailua River, which is just beneath the Temples of Refuge.
Island of Lanai
Ancient stone carvings on the Island of Lanai are found in several locations. Most of these petroglyphs are located in the regions of Luahiwa and Kaunolu. These are the specific sites that are believed to have played an important role in the past. Interestingly, the boulder Keaohia bears many stone art forms while other boulders nearby don’t feature any stone drawings at all. Majority of the petroglyphs in the Island resemble birds and evidences tend to point to its reference to a particular local mythology, Halulu, which is a man-eating bird.
Island of Molokai
Majority of the important petroglyphs in the Island of Molokai are found in a small area which is near the Ka Ule o Nanhoa, the famous phallic rock. This is found in the Pala’au State Park along the northern shore of Molokai.
First time trips are always exciting, especially if your destination is someplace like Hawaii. However, before you start packing your bags there are a few things you should be aware of, like the best way to get there, the best places to visit and of course the thrilling Hawaii activities to try.
By Boat or By Air
To get to Hawaii, you basically have two options. It is either by plane or by boat. Coming there by boat means cheaper fare and a longer trip, depending on where you will be coming from. But no matter how near or far you are from Hawaii, traveling there by boat would still take you hours or even days to get to your destination.
On the other hand, if you choose to travel by air it can be a little expensive but the ride will be more comfortable and definitely much faster. Most people prefer riding a plane, especially those who are too excited and who cannot bear to wait much longer to set foot on this paradise.
No matter which transportation you choose, try to get some rest and relax a little on your first day in Hawaii. Enjoy a good meal and take pleasure in the serenity of the place. Whether you arrive there at noon time, evening or early in the morning, getting some sleep will refresh your mind and body and give you enough energy for a more enjoyable stay in Hawaii.
Top Attractions, Fun Hawaii Activities
For every traveler or vacationer, it is important to have a list of the top attractions of the place one will be visiting. Well, Hawaii can give you a handful of stunning and breathtaking places to visit.
If snorkeling is your kind of thing, then Hanauma Bay should be on top of your list. Snorkeling is just one of the many fun-Hawaii activities you can consider. Hanauma Bay is situated in Oahu and is one of the most visited places in Hawaii. Aside from snorkeling and taking amazing photos, you can also do fun stuffs like scuba diving and the Hanauma Bay duck adventure.
Your visit to Hawaii will never be complete without their stunningly beautiful beaches. Lanikai beach is hailed as one of the finest beaches in the planet. Numerous couples prefer to have their wedding here in Lanikai Beach. Other lovely beaches to check out are Kailua Beach, Sandy Beach and Waialae Beach park, and do not forget to put on your list the ever famous Waikiki Beach.
If you think their beautiful beaches are not enough to satisfy your thirst for fun, then a stop in Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park should do it. This is known to be the number one family attraction in Hawaii. The highlights of this adventure park are Keiki Move, Hurricane Bay, Shaka, Waterworld, Kapolei Cooler and Volcano Express. This is suitable for all ages so no matter how young or old you are you can definitely find a spot for you here.
Other fun Hawaii activities you can do are parasailing, kayaking, helicopter and air tours, sunset cruises and a lot more.
The sight and sound of ukulele is really hard to miss when you visit Hawaii. This is pronounced as YOO-ka-LAY-lee if you are a native of Hawaii and is spelled as ukulele. This is Hawaii’s most prominent musical instrument. You can find people playing this instrument on the streets and in some local restaurants. Visiting Hawaii will never be complete without hearing any rendition from a ukulele.
Normally, ukuleles are made of wood; however, nowadays it is no longer odd to find a ukulele partially or even completely made by plastic. Cheaper ukuleles are often made of spruce or ply, while the more expensive ones are typically made from mahogany and other exotic woods.
How it all started
It was in 1880 when ukulele was developed. It is a guitar-like instrument, but is smaller in size. Macaronesian immigrants were the ones who introduced this instrument to Hawaii. The first ukulele makers were Augsuto Dias, Joao Fernandes and Manuel Nunes. It was reported in the Hawaiian Gazette that Madeira Islanders had been entertaining the Hawaiians with their concerts every night playing with their ukuleles.
Ukulele also means jumping flea. It was given that name because people who play this musical instrument have hands that look like they are dancing from the fingerboard. This had really impressed the natives and this had started their love and amusement for the instrument.
However, the last monarch of Hawaii Queen Lili’uokalani had given a different translation to the source of ukulele. She said that it simply means the gift that came here, basing it from uku which means the gift and lele which also means to come.
The Spread of Ukulele in Hawaii
The reason why there is a widespread use of ukulele in Hawaii is all because of the endorsement and zealous support of King David Kalakaua. The king’s first encounter with this popular instrument was by Fernandes. However, he learned to play the instrument with the help of Diaz.
Since King Kalakaua was very fascinated by this enthralling instrument, he suggested that this guitar-like instrument be played during important gatherings. Being the patron of arts, it was not hard for the Hawaiians to wholeheartedly accept the ukulele. In fact, many royalties had taken time to learn this musical instrument. Some of the crowned heads who trained to play the ukulele are Princess Likelike, Queen Emma, Prince Leleihoku and also the last Hawaiian monarch.
The use of ukulele was not only limited to royalties. Even the farmers and fishermen had the opportunity to enjoy the sheer bliss of just playing and listening to the ukulele. Because ukulele had been warmly accepted in Hawaii, just after a few years, ukulele’s popularity had reached other places and slowly captured the hearts of the whole world.
Your visit to Hawaii will never be complete without being serenaded with a ukulele. So do not be surprised if, all of a sudden, a group of men just sings you a song accompanied by their famous four-stringed musical instrument.
Hawaii does not only offer fun water activities; it also has some of the most interesting historic sites to visit. One of the most famous historical places worth visiting in Hawaii is the Pearl Harbor. Before it was only a reminder of a great war, but now it is considered as a main attraction that draws the attention of many travelers and tourists.
A Brief History
Pear Harbor was initially a far-reaching, shallow headlands and bay. It was known as the Wai Momi, which means pearl water or sometimes called as the Pu’uloa, meaning long hill. In Hawaiin legends, Pu’uloa was considered as the dwelling of the goddess of shark.
It was in 1898 when Hawaii was invaded by the United States, and it was agreed that they get exclusive privileges to Pearl Harbor. In the year 1914, the once quiet and peaceful embayment has become the homes of Army personnel and US marines. It started to be filled with military barracks and shelter for artillery units, infantry and cavalry. In the turn of 1941, Pearl Harbor has served as the place for exercise of the US Navy.
1941 seems to be a very eventful year; this was the start of the Japanese-American war. The death of almost 2300 soldiers and civilians had pushed the United States to another bloody war.
In our day, only a few hints of what had taken place in the olden times can be seen. The place had been renovated and has been opened to the public to have a feel of what had transpired in the 19th century. Today, it is now regarded as the most astonishing naval bases in the world. People who visit the place can only admire and bring to mind the gory details they read in their books.
There are three attractions that are open for public viewing. The first attraction is the Battleship Missouri. This is where General Douglas McArthur had signed the peace treaty, thus ending the war between the United States and Japanese. It was in September 1945 when World War II has finally ended. The Battleship Missouri displays the different wars that took place from the 20th century, offering us at least 50 years value of the olden times.
Next historical attraction is the Bowfin Submarine. This attraction showcases the captivating ability and competence of submarines. This Bowfin Submarine is believed to have submerged at least 40 opponent ships and was believed to be instrumental in ending World War II. This submarine had surely done its part in making history.
Another Pearl Harbor attraction is the Arizona Memorial. This is said to be the symbol of the start of the World War II. When you take a look inside this memorial you will find the names of the crewmen who had sacrificed their lives. Visiting this memorial is really heartbreaking knowing that 1,117 men were buried in that place. To relive the events on the Second World War, the Memorial Center has a short film viewing of what had happened in the war.