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Hamana Kalili “Shaka Man” memorial

Jul 26, 2009 | Family Life | 5 comments

Hamana Kalili had his three middle fingers cut off in the Sugar mill. Then when they started doing the Hukilau at the beach for tourists to raise $$ to build a new chapel, Hamana dressed up as King Kamehameha and they did a hukilau. He would wave at the tourists with his right hand and since he was missing his middle fingers it turned into the sign we have today. He would also chase the keiki around saying “sharka gonna get ya” meaning the shark was going to get them and he would chase them with his two fingered hand. Most of the Kupuna in Laie say this is where the phrase “shaka” came from. Now the entire world, even our President, throw the Shaka and have no idea of its origin…A 6″5 290lb Mormon Hawaiian with an even bigger heart!! I love the history of our home and love teaching my kids how their ancestors lived and loved this Earth that we are allowed to inhabit.

People got mad at the artist who carved the shaka because he had no middle fingers and it was his right hand not his left like shown above. the girls were trying to give attitude and I caught it at the wrong moment.

Getting ready to huki the Lau. (pull the lau rope) this rope scares the fish into the area with the net then we trap’em in and pull forever……we had over 3 football fields of net out there. In the 60’s they would pull in over 3 tons of fish. When the large schools of fish would enter the bay Hamana would walk his net out into the water (it weighed over 300lbs) walk along the bottom of the ocean carefully laying it out and letting the weight of the net keep him down. He would surface from time to time and then call the entire community out to the bay. Everyone stopped everything…school, sugar plantation etc. They would all line up and then he would yell…HUKI (pull). they would pull it all in and then every one would open their shirts and they would fill them with portions of the 3tons they would bring in. Everyone would get a shirt full and Hapai (pregnant women) would get two shirt fulls…That was the towns welfare system at the time…hahahaha

Uncle Harlan teaching Klai, Shae and Ryk to Huki the Lau properly. His Family have been the ones who have kept the tradition pure. I have helped out in many Hukilau and Paipai net fishing outings and have even caught sharks in the net in this bay at midnight when it was only the 4 of us…anyone wanna come out and play with us?

Rykel was the Limu picker. She hung-out under the net and as we pulled it in she would pull all the limu out of the net so it was clean by the time it got to the top of the line. She was so proud to be able to play an integral part. She LOVED IT! The adults loved that she did it too, because the adults hate trying to get their awkward hands caught in the net while trying to pull out all the limu. All the tourists behind us were clueless but stood there none the less pretending to pull the net.

All da haoles loved this one..look at the lady behind me. In my defense I said “I missed breakfast and sushi is too expensive these days!! and … my pockets are aready full up!

Lots of bone fish we had to get out of the net. None of the tourists would touch the fish. But they loved taking pictures of it.

This fish would not stop wiggling and Shae was not sure if he wanted to keep his new found friend anymore. This did not stop him from pulling as many wiggling fish out of the net that he could get his hands on!

But Rykel sure was happy to take him off Shae’s hands. (no I am not sure this fish was a “him” so all you that care can replace him with a more neutral word)

Rykel stayed here for over an hour learning how to scale the fish using her thumb and then ripping the heads off and gutting it… again with only her thumb! This was one of my old scouts and he loved teaching her. She loved learning it even more. I loved that she loved it even more than she loved that he loved teaching her. (you still with me?)

This event reassured me as to how much I love living in this place that respects the Family, the Land, the Ocean and all life forms that live here with us. There is a great sense of Ohana that exists nowhere else on the planet and I am so blessed, grateful and humbled that I am allowed to raise my children with these high moral standards with people that we love so dearly!

(This is my Heaven…Family, Friends, Fish, Fun and Fish again)


  1. The Bennetts

    what a perfect day – i agree (well almost) family – friends – fun – fish (only if all i have to do is to eat them) i will leave everything else to do with the fish up to you and your kidlets and dad! but i will definitely eat them. i gutted enough of them in my day and i am definitely done with all of that! so glad to pass it along!

    we are going to come for an extended stay i hope you realize!

  2. Rach

    I am glad to kick out the renters for a semester and you can have the middle rental for a few months. It even has a new a/c. Hahahahahahaha Be careful mommacita I hold people to their word!

  3. liko

    love paipai at night, sooo fun! and you can see the phosphorus glow!!! looks like a fun hukilau. and it is always so inspiring to hear my grandma's stories about growing up. life was different back then. simpler yet harder in ways.

  4. echo

    how awesome! i wish we would have known about it. we are out of the loop over here in hauula.
    i love that rykel loves scaling the fish too. that is awesome.

  5. jase

    I only knew about it because richie called me when it was happening and I threw the keiki in the car and hauled over there. Sorry I did not call you guys and initiate the coconut wireless. There was tons of free food.


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rach and jase cut

Rachel is a vlogger and stay-at-home mom! When she's not filming fun videos for the "Ohana Adventure" and the "Rach Bennett" channels, she is sharing amazing lifestyle, travel, parenting, and homeschool tips here on the blog.

Jase is an entrepreneur, surfer, skater, fisherman, and the best dad ever! When he’s not creating silly Reels (@jasebennett), you can find him sharing adventures on the blog & great entrepreneurial tips on his podcast: The Decode.


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