Haliʻa of Hawaiʻi: A Legacy of Language
Frances Nelson Frazier
Softcover, 244 pp.
This memoir takes us adventuring on sailing ships through flying boats to jet airplanes, exploring the authors Hawai'i vignettes, Letters from Dacca, travel stories, and stories of her sea captain father--his own nautical story embedded at books end. We learn how life events led to rediscovery of the Hawaiian language, the authors 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 Oʻahu. 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 Hawaiʻi that became entwined with her passion for learning and correctly translating the Hawaiian language, especially relating to land deeds and rights to the ʻāina, 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 Hawaiʻi.
The individuality of Aunty Haliʻa's life ʻōlelo (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.