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Aunty Pinau Kalaukalani

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  • keith2draw@home.com
    Aloha, We ve all wondered about Auntie Pinau...who Blanding mentions in Hula Moons. There is also a character with that name in Stowaways in Paradise. In
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 18, 2001
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      Aloha,

      We've all wondered about Auntie Pinau...who Blanding mentions in
      Hula Moons. There is also a character with that name in Stowaways in
      Paradise. In Memory Room (1935) Blanding dedicates a poem to her,
      which often made me wonder if she died that year. Not so, as
      I've recently discovered.

      Harry Owens, the popular Hawaiian band leader from the thirties and
      forties, wrote an autobiography entitled SWEET LEILANI in 1970. He
      has a chapter entitled `Auntie Pinau.' He met her in 1933
      shortly after he got the job of band leader for the Royal Hawaiian
      Hotel (the old director Johnny Noble had become quite deaf.) He
      wanted to compose a bunch of tunes based on traditional Hawaiian
      songs, and was advised to meet with Auntie Pinau in Pupukea. At that
      time she was described as "a smiling, gracious, adorable young
      lady of eighty Hawaiian summers."

      Pinau was the caretaker of Aikane the Kahuna, venerable last of the
      priests of Polynesia. Harry Owens became friends with both Auntie
      Pinau and Aikane, and in 1946 or 1947, when Aikane passed away, Pinau
      was seen by neighbors "walking slowly, silently and alone, down
      the mountain. In her arms she cradled a package, the size and shape
      of a large book." She had mailed Aikane's Hawaiian Book of the
      Dead, Onipaa, to Harry Owens...a great honor. "Auntie Pinau was
      never seen nor heard from again. And, on the very night following
      Auntie's disappearance, Pele, the Fire Goddess, had paid a visit
      to the mountain and the Long House of Aikane. At dawn, only ashes
      remained."

      So we can deduce that Auntie Pinau Kalaukalani was born circa
      1853...and passed away around 1946...thus making her about 93
      when she died. She seems to have been quite famous in her day, and
      knew all the important people of the time. Surely there's some
      kind of record of her life somewhere.

      ~~Keith
    • Cadia Los
      Keith, Thanks for the intriguing story of Aunty Pinau. The poem you mention was published in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin on June 11, 1935. It carries the
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 18, 2001
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        Keith,

        Thanks for the intriguing story of Aunty Pinau. The poem you mention
        was published in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin on June 11, 1935. It
        carries the following note:

        "Mr. Blanding, former Honolulan, now living in Hollywood, retains a
        strong affection for the islands and for his friends here, to the
        memory of one of whom, a Hawaiian woman he held in deep regard, he
        dedicated these lines."

        Very clearly, the poem speaks of Aunty Pinau's passing. However, I
        have found no documentation of her death in reading the 1935 Star-
        Bulletins. Perhaps Aunty Pinau simply disappeared from public view
        about that time and everyone thought she was dead?

        My next batch of microfilm will concentrate on the 1920s, but I do
        have both 1946 and 1947 on the request list. Eventually we'll find
        her....

        ~~Cadia
      • keith2draw@home.com
        I started looking at the Star-Bulletin microfilm from Jan-June 1922 in an attempt to find more portraits by Blanding, the start of the Ajinomoto ads, and any
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 18, 2001
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          I started looking at the Star-Bulletin microfilm from Jan-June 1922
          in an attempt to find more portraits by Blanding, the start of the
          Ajinomoto ads, and any general news on him.

          On January 7th there is a six-paragraph story about him, with a large
          photograph. The photo is the same as the one from the Rockford
          newspaper which tells of his Mardis Gras Ball participation in 1920.

          DON BLANDING TO TELL WOMEN WHAT COLORS TO WEAR
          ~Local Artist, Creator of Fish Decorations, to Lecture on Hues and
          Shades at Mission Memorial Hall~

          Don Blanding, an expert in color whose work for the Gurrey studio
          during the past season has attracted considerable attention and
          resulted in the creation of Hawaiian souvenirs of a distinct and
          characteristic type, proposes to tell the women of Honolulu just what
          hues and shades are conductive to a proper manifestation of their
          particular and individual style of beauty.

          "Color -- Its theory and Application" is the subject of a lecture
          Blanding will give for women only at Mission Memorial Hall on the
          11th, at 4 o'clock. Tickets will be sold at door.

          The article goes on to explain some of Blanding's theories on color
          theory and fashion. Isn't it amazing that Blanding was lecturing as
          early as the beginning of 1922...almost two years before his first
          book was even published. That man was blessed with the ability to
          self promote himself.

          He also appeared in the Outdoor Circle production of 'Rip Van Winkle'
          in March of that year...but I haven't gotten to March yet.

          ~~Keith
        • MauiBandB@aol.com
          Dear Keith and Cadia I believe that there could be two Auntie Pinau. The word Pinau has several meanings and can refer to one who is very sociable,rascal, or
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 18, 2001
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            Dear Keith and Cadia

            I believe that there could be two Auntie Pinau. The word Pinau has several
            meanings and can refer to one who is very sociable,rascal, or even flighty.
            It was not an uncommon name although it is often one that is earned later in
            life and not necessarily a given name. Thus 1935 and 1946 could be two
            different Pinau.
            Did Blanding ever mention Pupukea in reference to Auntie Pinau. I don't
            remember him mentioning that she lived at Pupukea, Waimea or North Shore when
            she wasn't at Kaupo. But you guys are the scholars. Thus I could believe
            these were two different people.

            aloha
            Tom

            PS I don't remember if I knew Auntie Pinau's last name "Kaukalani" when I
            asked elders in the Hana, Kaupo area if they remember her. I will try again.

            Maui Tom
          • keith2draw@home.com
            Tom, Of course you are right, there could be more than one Auntie Pinau. I know that the one Blanding knew had the last name of Kalaukalani ...so that s the
            Message 5 of 5 , Nov 19, 2001
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              Tom,

              Of course you are right, there could be more than one Auntie Pinau. I
              know that the one Blanding knew had the last name
              of "Kalaukalani" ...so that's the only lead we have.

              Keith
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