The engaging and ever-popular Kaliko Beamer-Trapp returns to Malalo i ka Pō Lani, Hawaiian Culture Night on Mauna Kea, to present on the importance of preserving language to preserve culture. The talk will include an overview of Hawaiian etymology, and how words shape our thoughts.
The one-hour program is on Saturday, January 19, at the Ellison Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Malalo o ka Po Lani program at 6:00 pm in the facility’s lecture hall.
Beamer-Trapp joins host Manu Josiah and his wife in a family-oriented presentation which blends music, storytelling, science, history, and culture. Multi-faceted educational programs are an important part of Beamer-Trapp’s life. He wrote, coordinated, and recorded two internationally known sets of CDs for teaching Hawaiian language: one a set of three CD-ROM computer games for Eurotalk Interactive (UK); and the other a unified set of eight audio CDs for Topics Entertainment (US), which won the US National Audie Awards Judge’s Choice Award in 2005. He also maintains a website for teaching Hawaiian language, `Ōlelo|Online.
Beamer-Trapp is the hānai (adopted) son of the late Winona “Aunty Nona” Beamer, a respected cultural authority, composer, author, and storyteller. He is mindful of the fact that he stands not as an individual, but with the spirit, thoughts, knowledge, and kindness of all of those kūpuna (elders), kumu (teachers), `ohana (family), and others who have helped him along the way.
Born on the Isle of Wight, England, Beamer-Trapp moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, California in 1982 where he began to perform with a Polynesian music and dance troupe. The group toured California, England, Spain, Mallorca, Hawai`i, and Fiji, as well as on cruise liners.
After attending junior college, taking flying lessons, teaching martial arts, and working as everything from Land Rover mechanic to film projectionist to scuba diver, he moved to the island of Hawaiʻi in 1994, at the invitation of well-known Hawai`iana expert and cultural historian Aunty Nona Beamer (1923-2008). Being in Hawai`i instilled even greater affection for things Polynesian, and he focused his studies at the University of Hawai`i on the languages and cultures of Hawai`i and the Marquesas Islands (Te Henua `Enana). In 1996, he became the editor for Hawaiian language curriculum at the Hale Kuamoʻo, a Hawaiian language center on the university campus. That same year, Kaliko was adopted into the Beamer family in Waipiʻo Valley, after the late Louise Beamer, Aunty Nona’s mother, suggested privately to Aunty Nona, “I wish Kaliko could be my moʻopuna (grandson.)” Beamer-Trapp continued to work closely with Aunty Nona, learning about chanting, traditional protocol, Beamer family songs, as well as storytelling. Much of Aunty Nona’s teaching was integrated with her dynamic storytelling, which she shared with delight.
Beamer-Trapp also taught at Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu Hawaiian Language Immersion School in Keaʻau, Puna, Hawaiʻi, conducting science, anthropology, computer graphic arts, French, Marquesan, and aquaculture classes in the Hawaiian language. It was there he honed his well-known, unique, fun-loving, and animated teaching style.
In late 2004, after an 18-month hiatus during which he focused on his work as an editor and translator for Alu Like’s Hawaiian Language Legacy Journal, Ka Ho`oilina, he returned to the University of Hawai`i at Hilo to work once again in the Hawaiian Language College, Ka Haka `Ula o Ke`elikōlani.
Beamer-Trapp has taught Hawaiian language classes for Hilo Community School for Adults, Aloha Music Camp, Nā Lei Hulu i ka Wēkiu, at hula competitions, and in many other venues over the years. He occasionally writes Hawaiian songs, and has been the Hawaiian language judge at many hula competitions, both in Hawai`i and the Continental US. He has performed with the Beamer Family in Japan, the Continental US, and Hawai`i; has lectured on Hawaiian culture with Aunty Nona on countless occasions; and has appeared in many magazine articles. He is also a long-time member of the Hawaiian Language Lexicon Committee, a group of eight educators who coin new Hawaiian words for use in the Hawaiian language immersion school system as needed.
Beamer-Trapp wrote, coordinated, and recorded two internationally known sets of CDs for teaching Hawaiian language: one a set of three CD-ROM computer games for Eurotalk Interactive (UK); and the other a unified set of eight audio CDs for Topics Entertainment (US), which won the US National Audie Awards Judge’s Choice Award in 2005. He also maintains a website for teaching Hawaiian language, `Ōlelo|Online.
Kaliko is mindful of the fact that he stands not as an individual, but with the spirit, thoughts, knowledge, and kindness of all of those kūpuna (elders), kumu (teachers), `ohana (family), and others who have helped him along the way.
Those who come to the Maunakea culture night talks should wear layers, including a nice, warm jacket. Socks, shoes, and gloves are recommended. Bring a bottle of water to drink, and a flashlight. Be polite to those who are stargazing and cover the light with a red lens or filter. Tissues for those whose noses run in cold weather are good, as well. Please read this link for more safety information.
For those unfamiliar with the island, there are no streetlights on the road up the mountain. We must preserve our beautiful dark skies! And, Mauna Kea sticks her head up above the clouds, which means you will be driving through them, so plan for at least an hour of travel time from Hilo. Please read this link for driving information.
Hawai`i is now in Ho`oilo, the stormy winter months, and also Makahiki, the rainy New Year season. We are also in the Hawaiian month of Makali`i. Kona (south) winds can bring cold, wet weather which softens the soil and prepares it for planting. The month is said by some to be named for a great farmer who cleared his land in this month. The core of the tree fern starts becoming firm and sweet.
It is winter now, and the snow goddess Poli`ahu may spread her white kapa over Mauna Kea at any time. Those driving up Maunakea for the program should prepare accordingly.
Some prominent stars and constellations this month are: Pūnana (Nest), also known as Hōkū Pa`a (Fixed Star), in English called the North Star; `Iwa Wahine (Lady Frigate Bird), known in English as the Big Dipper; and Makali`i (Eyes of the Chief), known in English as the Pleiades.
For more information on the Malalo i ka Pō Lani culture night programs at the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy, contact the Mauna Kea Visitor’s Information Station. Phone: (808) 961-2180 Fax: (808) 969-4892.