Archive for April, 2010

Kumulipo - UH Fashion Show

April 30th, 2010

Kumulipo - UH Fashion Show

Drawing inspiration from this Hawaiian creation story, fashion design students at the UH showed off their creations.  Designs by six seniors and ten juniors were featured on the runway at the 44th annual University of Hawaii Senior Fashion Show, located on the grounds of Honolulu Hale. Director, Johnny Lombardi, an avid fan of the fashion events of Paris and New York, wanted this year's show to focus on the "art" of fashion.  In previous years these shows had been held in hotels where guests watched the models during a luncheon. On this night, however,  guests were invited to come early to mingle. Like changing media Lombardi's focus was interaction with the audience. When the show started all eyes were on the runway.

"Other shows are more casual," said Lombardi. " That's why I wanted a separation... I wanted people to be seated watching the show... more of a presentation, an entertainment."

The senior's creations covered 3 categories: Nocturnal Romance was a modern interpretation of the little black dress, Age of Adornment featured garments decorated with embellishments and ornamentation, The 5th Dimension showed off clothing distinct in shape and silhouette.

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Therapists make music

April 29th, 2010

Therapists Making Music

Music has always been an integral part of Hawaii with the hula and kanikapila-style jam sessions that add to its diverse culture. But today a local non-profit is playing a slightly different tune by using music as a form of treatment for people with disabilities in the state.

Sounding Joy Music Therapy, Inc. started in 2002 and is the only organization in the state providing such therapy. It’s considered as a profession worldwide with the exception of Hawaii, says President Keiko Kajiwara. That’s why Sounding Joy plans to introduce a bill next year to  recognize this treatment as an official profession for therapists.

“We have to figure out a new way and pattern of communication beyond words, and that is music,” said Kajiwara, who now has about 200 clients and 150 more wait-listed.

Qualified therapists use different musical elements (sound, rhythm, melody and harmony) and instruments to promote better communication and mobilization for clients, most of whom are autistic.

Dr. Reiner Haus recently visited from Germany to speak to college-aged students on the importance of the study. Hawaii Pacific University students role played in order to understand music therapy better.

“Self-experience is the key experience to being successful at this profession,” said Dr. Haus, who has been visiting from Germany for the past four years. He is in strong support of creating a bachelor’s of arts degree for Hawaii students interested in majoring in music therapy.

For more video visit the News Channel at More information on music therapy can be found at

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Niihau Shell Lei Making - A Priceless Art form

April 24th, 2010

A Priceless Art form

The average experience of one's first shell lei certainly is special but as for the lei themselves? Most all of these are crafted overseas using questionable labor practices and non- local materials. Their worth is often in pennies while their artistic credibility may dip even lower. Not so for the exquisite and singular necklaces that hail from our reclusive northern neighbor island, Ni'ihau.

The process of assembling a single lei is a work of love and artistic ability that can take a week to a year or more to complete. Prices start in the high hundreds and can range to many thousands of dollars. It is an art form that has been passed down from generation to generation among families of that secluded isle. Today Niihau shell lei have garnered such widespread recognition that the shells used to create these necklaces are the only ones in the world classified as gems. They certainly are too!

A rainbow of colors, and rarer than gold, the shells that comprise each necklace are gathered from Ni'ihau beaches each winter when whole families go out in search. Then they are sorted by size and color, shells with imperfections are discarded, until enough are collected to create the artist's imagined art work. Crafted in a style similar to that of our better known flower lei, these necklaces are considered by some to be the finest of Polynesian art forms--in the past they adorned the kings and queens of royal Hawaii.

So the next time you find a strand of white shells placed around your neck, let it remind you of this unique and beautiful piece of our Hawaiian culture. The art form of Ni'ihau shell lei-making is a legacy of generations past and each new necklace created is a legacy for the future.

Isaac K. Warsh, Pacific Network

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Hula Helps Keiki Grow

April 19th, 2010

Hula Helps Keiki Grow

Tiny feet pitter patter to the rhythm of a pounding ‘ipu as parents and toddlers practice hula motions during a class at Baby aWEARness in Manoa.

The weekly keiki hula class is one of several offered by this sustainable clothing store for children. Kumu hula Malia Helela translates the Hawaiian culture through a sensual experience particularly focusing on the visual and auditory senses.

“Most babies are born musical and get a huge sense of accomplishment from clapping or waving,” said Helela, who has been teaching hula to toddlers for the past year. She uses cold cowry shells to give toddlers a sense of touch and musical instruments like the ukulele and ‘ipu to help increase sensitivity and their sense of hearing.

Baby aWEARness, which opened last year, sells eco-friendly products and is the only cloth diapering retail store on the island of O‘ahu. As part of a resource center that helps families live greener, healthier and happier lives, the store also offers a full-time lactation consultant who helps mothers who breastfeed. Other classes include baby yoga, healthy cooking, organic gardening and keiki sign language.

For more video, visit the Pacific Network -- Keiki Channel at

Alyssa S. Navares,

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Just Another Day in Paradise - Tahiti

April 12th, 2010

Another Day in Paradise - Tahiti

You found us! We're not sure how long we'll be up but you can always go to to find our video stories and Life is Good because just how much bad news can we handle these days. Our thoughts go out to families who suffer losses from the mining accident, the disaster in Haiti, the recent quakes felt all along the Pacific's Ring of Fire, to families separated from loved ones stationed in the Middle East, to colleagues affected by local mergers and sale of media companies, and to many Americans struggling through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

We don't discount the hard harsh reality of what's going on in the world and in our backyards because all of us have a role in making this a better place and a better world. I think of my grandmother who always reminded me to "look for the silver lining" and that was very good advice. So I turn you toward French Polynesia...and a big mahalo to our Pacific Network - Tahiti studio where Johann Bouit and crew continue to document what's happening in the Pacific and in the Isles de la Societe including the Marquesas, birthplace of people who sailed north in hand hewn canoes sometime very long ago to inhabit the Hawaiian Islands.

This clip is a glimpse of life in Mo'orea one of the 130 islands located a short boat trip away from Tahiti. They may not have all the choices we've got in the U.S. but I think they've got something else.
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