Archive for the ‘Hawaiian’ Category

Nanabozhu had been thinking about going to Hawaii Volcano National Park all night. You see, the thing was, tell Nanabozhu that something was forbidden or that he couldn’t do it and that was the thing Nanabozhu wanted to do the most. He figured that Pele’ really couldn’t be that bad, and that with his disguises, she probably wouldn’t recognize him if he ran into her anyway.

Nanabozhu turned himself into his most excellent being yet and changed into a Japanese Tourist! Suitably attired, with Canon Camera, he arranged to take a Polynesian Bus Tour to Kilauea volcano and its local sights. He was very chatty for a Japanese and in between the tour guide’s remarks, kept the people around him on the bus amused for the time it took them to drive to the park.Polynesian Bus

The first place they were able to explore when they unloaded was the Thurston Lava Tube. This is how it looks when he first went in it.

Thurston Lava Tube

`It was pretty big. Nanabozhu found you could stand up in it without hitting your head on the ceiling. Of course this was pretty easy for the Japanese. He figured that the “gaijiins” probably might have a few bruises on their heads when they came out if they weren’t careful. The portion of the tube itself that most people looked at wasn’t that long before they came to the steps that led out of it. But just at the bottom of these, there was a chain link fence which normally had a sign on it that read:

The Original Sign

However, this day the sign was covered over with another sign because Kilauea had been acting up lately for some strange reason. This sign read:

Do Not Enter

Now if you put up a sign that says “Do Not Enter” to Nanabozhu, it was like telling him there was going to be a free feast with unlimited food! So naturally, Nanabozhu waited until no one else was around and changed himself into a bat. He flitted over the fence and flew through the darkness the length of the tunnel, echo sounding as he went. It was quite a lava tube!

Now Nanabozhu wanted to experience the total darkness near the end of it as a human being, so he changed into his Red Laker form. He was so pleased with himself for getting past the signs without anyone naysaying him that he sang his song as he stood there alone.

“I am NanaboZHU!
NanaBOzhu is my name!
I am NanaboZHU!
NanaBOzhen is my game!

Now, he wasn’t really using his Nanabozhu name and this wasn’t in English. It was in Ojibwaymowin and he was using his secret name,  and wouldn’t you know it, right at that moment he heard a sound behind him as the lava tube filled with a bright red light! Looking backward, Nanabozhu’s breath was taken away at the sight of the most beautifully tall Hawaiian woman stately dressed in a flowing white garment.

Now Pele’ was a little shaken because she had seen Nanabozhu change from a bat into a Red Laker and sing Ojibwaymowin in his beautiful Red Laker voice. This was both familiar and strange to her.

“Er, you are not Kamapua’a, are you? Have you ever turned yourself into a Hawaiian pig?” Now Nanabozhu did not know who this Kamapua’a guy was, and he had never turned himself into a Hawaiian pig (even though he had turned himself into different pigs from the mainland many times) so he said “No.”

You see, Kamapua’a was Pele’s old husband and Nanabozhu would have been in hot water—er—hot lava, if he had said “yes”, so he was lucky because not only could Kamapua’a turn himself into a Hawaiian pig but he was a male chauvinist pig, as well.

“Well, you remind me of him,” Pele’ said as she walked around Nanabozhu and examined him, “because Kamapua’a can turn into Hawaiian animals.” Nanabozhu was a little nervous, so he didn’t say anything. The ground shook as Pele’ frowned.

Then she noticed that Nanabozhu’s hair was jet black and realized he must be from the mainland. “E Haule boy! You didn’t think you could come deep underground this close to my home in Halema’uma’u and I not know that you were here did you?” The earth rumbled.

Nanabozhu did not answer; not only because he was awestruck at how breathtakingly gorgeous she was, but also because that was exactly what he thought! (He also  knew it wouldn’t be wise for him to say that). Because Nanabozhu didn’t answer right away and just looked at her with those piercing eyes of his, Pele thought him very wise.

Even though Pele was giving him a hard time, she was secretly enamored with him as well because of both his familiarity, his strangeness and what great shape he was in. So she decided she would see if the possibility of romance was there. “Let me give you a tour of the island so we can spend some time together”. She said as she reached toward his hand.

Nanabozhu, hanging back inside because that’s what Red Lakers do in new situations, decided to play the strong silent type and let her take it.

(To Be Continued)

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Nanabozhu and the Menehune

Some mornings, Nanabozhu liked to sit by the poolside and watch the sun rise. This morning, in the yet moonlit night, it was about four o’clock and the stars were still out.

Gradually, his quiet reverie was interrupted by a faint splashing on the pool surface. Leaning over, Nanabozhu observed the water at first rippling occasionally as if minnows were feeding on it’s surface.

Then it became agitated all over its surface as if a school of piranhas were having a feeding frenzy. Even as he watched, the water level began to drop as a multitude of wet baby-sized footprints appeared at the ladder and went from the poolside, over the grass and headed toward the beach which was a good half mile away!

Nanabozhu began to hear sweet Hawaiian tenors sing which were accompanied by an orchestra of ukuleles as all of this was going on! Now this was all in Hawaiian of course, so Nanabozhu changed into a Hawaiian so he could understand what was being sung. What he heard surprised him. Roughly translated it was:

“Hai Hu, Hai Hu,
It’s Mene-hune work we do!
Hai huuuuuuuuuu!”

Now Nanabozhu could barely make out a multitude of forms whizzing by, like “the Flash”! So then he changed into an animal form that could slow his sight down to make out that these forms were actually those of Little People. The Hawaiians had them too! Only they were called the “Menehune”!

Little Miniature Hawaiian men and women and little, little children were all carrying those sandbox plastic pails you buy at Walmart for your kids when you go to the beach. Hanging tightly to them, they would do canon balls, or swan dives, or other splash dives into the water while laughing, and yelling good naturedly, and teasing each other. Then they would fill their pails with water and climb out of the pool and run toward the beach to empty them which was the cause of the agitated water and wet footprints Nanabozhu had seen earlier.

Nanabozhu changed back into his human form to think about this.

Now Nanabozhu was greatly intrigued, so he decided to find out what was going on, but the Menehune were moving so fast that he could not catch them in his human form, much less see them clearly to do it. So Nanabozhu changed into a giant chameleon.

He saw that one of the Menehune was dressed as a chieftan and was giving orders to the others as they emptied the pool. He hid in some guava bushes and when the chief whizzed by, Nanabozhu flicked out his long chameleon tongue which stuck to the Menehune like glue and rolled the chief up in his tongue as he reeled him in. The chief, held captive by who he thought was Kuna Mo’o, was terrified because he thought he was soon going to be eaten.

“Please!” he pleaded, “I’ll grant you one wish, if it is in my and my people’s power; if you will not eat me and let me go!”

Now Nanabozhu was amused by this because he had no intention of eating the Menehune and he just wanted to know what was going on. However, you never knew when a favor would come in handy.

“Ah wi’ le’ you go if you te’ me was goen ahn.” Nanabozhu tried to say. (As he still had the chief wrapped up in his tongue)

The Chief understood Nanabozhu well enough and said “Ok”.

Whereupon Nanabozhu gently unrolled him and set him down on one of the lounge chairs and changed back into his Anishinabe form. The two introduced themselves.

“Every night, we empty the pool, and then fill it up again with fresh sea water,” the chief said. “In exchange, we get our own condos, full use of the facilities, and vacation time shares in any of the Hilton and subsidiary REI resorts worldwide in all perpetuity.”

“Wow,” exclaimed Nanabozhu, “That’s a good deal!” as the Menehune filled the pool back up again. The Menehune people, finishing their chore, packed up and left, leaving Nanabozhu and the chief to talk alone.

“Thank you for letting me go Nanabozhu!” the chief said, “We will remember our promise.” and vanished!

The whole encounter took less than fifteen minutes.

(To be continued)

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Nanabozhu greets the dawn

In the dark and quiet, Nanabozhu is constitutionally unable to miss greeting the dawn.

This morning the sky is pretty, light. Pale light blue at the horizon. With cirrus/horsetail clouds undulating in the sky.

The silver white half moon directly overhead greets the sun as well.

Slowly, the few score remaining twinkling street lights on the mountainside gradually disappear.

The palms wave in the morning zephyr as two Hawaiian groundskeepers compete in a race to see who can mow the golf course lawn the slowest.

Already some old codger has slowed the traffic coming down the mountain on the big island’s main two lane highway to a crawl. People are still driving with their lights on.

The singing birds greet the sun, then go silent as Nanabozhu mimics them. As if to say in typical 1960’s Hawaiian subculture, “Dude! That’s my song!”

Hawaii’s equivalent to a Least Bittern flies low over the condo’s artfully arranged mini lava field.

The breeze is cool without being humid.

Now a short woman appears 100 feet away, a few yards down, with her two mini toddlers. Mumbles something which he doesn’t hear, and pops back inside again.

Planes fly in the distance overhead and Nanabozhu can hear cars-driving-on-the-highway sounds.

Four squat black stone Tiki gods give Nanabozhu toothy grins as they stand around a black stone table; an alter to the two barbecue grills cable tied together to prevent them from walking off.

Now pale pink/rose colors appear on parts of the island’s foot hills which can see the sun before Nanabozhu does.

A motorcycle, now two, rev down the highway.

Now trees, valleys, greens appear on the surrounding mountainsides.

Surprise! Without any warning, the silver white sun crests the mountain and in less than ten seconds Nanabozhu will need a visor to keep from going blind in the bright light.

Atop the distant volcano Kilauea, Pele greets the same sun. The zepher stirs her hair as well. She appears as a tall young woman; her body framed in the Hawaiian way, handsome, light nut brown, and stately.


Copyright RandyJayBraun.com

She tilts her head inquisitively. “I sense a great chief has come to visit from the mainland. I will meet him soon”. Her smile is hard to read.


(To be continued)

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Nanabozhu visits Hawaii

Nanabozhu was under cover. Since things were pretty quiet in Red Lake, he decided to visit the Big Island. Yep, he decided to see Hawaii.

Now Nanabozhu being a gizhi manidoo–a great spirit (Not The Great Spirit) or someone people night call a demigod, had super powers. He could take any form he wanted. However he was constrained by the limitations of those forms just as any natural possessor of that form was. So if he chose the form of an eagle, he could see things clearly many miles away but he wouldn’t be able to see as far away as the Hubble telescope could. He could fly so high in the sky that you wouldn’t be able to see him with your naked eye. However, he couldn’t fly to the moon. You get my drift.

So when he wanted to go to Hawaii he decided that the fastest way to get there was to become a sardine! And sure enough, before he knew it; he was packed into a sardine can and got there in seven hours–with an hour layover in Phoenix.

When Nanabozhu reached the big island he didn’t want to be found out by the locals. For instance by Pele who was a beautiful demigoddess but who was fickle and had a terrible temper and could throw lava when she got mad and you got on her bad side.

And Nanabozhu knew that as an Anishinabeg he wouldn’t fit in, therefore Nanabozhu decided he had to assume some form that allowed for his idiosyncracies but still be somewhat accepted by the locals, so he became a “haole”. A haole was an ideal form to take because they did such strange things. Haoles would often do things that would make the Hawaiians roll their eyes in exasperation, or shake their heads in disbelief. They would sprain their ankles learning the Hula, or get eaten by sharks, break an arm falling out of a tree when learning to climb them for coconuts.

So Nanabozhu knew he could get away with asking ignorant questions and doing things like falling off a surfboard a lot or wandering into strange places.

Since Nanabozhu wanted to take it easy this trip, (actually Nanabozhu always wanted to take it easy) he found out he could pay for a Cherokee to take him around the island. And as long as you brought one back in good shape, people were fine with that, but if you dinged one up, you had to pay a fortune! He had his pick of a few, so he chose a grand one!

Nanabozhu was always looking to find some mischief to get into but he saw many different things along the way in Hawaii. On the evening of the first day he was very tired (because of the time difference) so he couldn’t get into too much trouble. Here is a picture of his first sunset in Hawaii.

On the way to the haole houses (places where haoles paid large sums of money to stay only a few days) Nanabozhu saw large areas of land, which from a distance looked like clumped earth which had been disrupted by bulldozers but upon closer examination, turned out to be a’a fields of lava rocks.

Looking over the distance, and the way the houses were arranged on the foothills,the landscape reminded Nanabozhu of Salt Lake City, or Montana, or Mars.

Now the interesting thing about these fields were the messages the Hawaiians left in them. No billboards here! Just small white sea smoothed skeletons of coral which looked like rocks you could read from the highway that were artfully and carefully arranged into messages such as sad ones like “Johnny D. RIP” and happy ones like “Billy hearts Julie forever!”

Locals Graffiti

After getting settled in his haole house, Nanabozhu and the Cherokee went to the haole store in Waikola to see if he could pick up some apples, milk and some Raisin bran Total. Apples were about the same price but he was amazed to find that cereal was twice as much and milk was ten bucks! The cheeky Hawaiins even sold the haoles chocolate covered “Donkey Balls”. Clearly the Anishinabeg could learn a few things from them.

(To Be Continued)

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