- Nov 3, 2012The University of Hawaii emailed me back and said they found nothing on Auntie Pinau in their research help for me. I suspect as Maui Tom said that this is not her real name. I did read the biography of Harry Owens (Sweet Leilani) the 1930s band leader and he mentions her through out his bio. He first met her in 1934 (she was 80 Hawaiian summers old) and she helped him preserve the old Hawaiian music chants by singing them to Owens. Her date of death is somewhat of a mystery. Blanding has a poem dedicated to her in Memory Room published in 1935 and it was thought that this was about the time she passed. However, Harry Owens bio. has her still living as of 1946/47. Owens bio says that Aikune the Kahuma (Pinau's great uncle) died in 1946 and Auntie Pinau sent Owens Aikunes original writings of his old Hawaiian history. When the book was sent, Aikunes long house was mysteriously burned to the ground and Auntie Pinau was seen coming down the hill with something that looked like the book then sent to Owens. This all happened on Oahu around 1946/47. Auntie Pinau would have been in her 90's in 1946. I can't put credibility to the 1946 death of Pinau though. Folklore has a way of recreating it's own lore. I suspect Auntie Pinau died in/around 1934/35.
We are at a dead end for now on this research piece. I'm thinking I will write this up and send it to the Advertiser hoping that they might put an article together helping us search for the mysterious missing Aunti Pinau. I'm positive there are relatives still surviving that would help uncover her real name and history. So, is there anyone in Hawaii reading this that has connections to a newspaper columnist that might create an article about her? I can't give up this research as she is a center piece for information about Blanding and a other very interesting history of that era. Thanks for any help in this one.....tj
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