‘Awa Talk Story at Pani, 2005
The following is a partial transcript of a semiformal ‘awa ceremony conducted at
the pani (closing meeting) on September 1, 2005, which brought to an end the
season of work and began the four to five month period of moe (rest, sleep). Though
normally marked by fairly high ceremony and ritual, this ‘awa ceremony was more
relaxed, and ak¯ anelua allowed me to record it. The men gave their final thoughts for
the year, reflecting on Pu‘ukohol¯a and their involvement in the Hale Mua. There were
feelings of sadness and happiness, and a mix of joking and serious contemplation
throughout. We followed our usual order of serving the oldest member (Carl El-
dridge) first and ending with the youngest (Manu Gibson), and that is how we sat on
the pandanus leaf mats. Then the members of the ‘awa crew, Keoki Ki‘ili and Hoaka
Delos Reyes, drank, followed by Sam Ka‘ai, and, last, Kyle ak¯ anelua. When each
member was served a cup, he gave his mo‘olelo, which ideally would reference some-
thing about the past, present, and future. When done, he drank, and a member of the
‘awa crew, Keoki Ki‘ili, called out ‘‘pa‘i ka lima (clap the hands),’’ and all members clap
three times to honor the speech and drink. This was our own style, based on tradi-
tional Hawaiian thought, Sam Ka‘ai’s innovations, larger Polynesian influence, and
the needs of our men, which, as I have stated throughout, include the creation of a
ritual space for transformation and sharing of stories. I present segments of this ritual
talk story here in order to give the readers a sense of how the process looks and what is
said, though this transcript represents less than half of what was spoken. Not included
are the speeches of the children, about twelve, who drank first before going outside to
play. Transcript here by K¯awika Ki‘ili.
Hale Mua Members Served
carl ‘‘kale boy’’ eldridge : It was great that the boys worked as one team,
yea. Great seeing them at Pu‘ukohol¯a and everything they brought to their sham. This
is the kind of time I hate because now we go into moe period that’s not involved in the
Hale Mua, kind of lose track of each other. I kind of miss it, the boys kind of miss it
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