Showing posts from May, 2015

The History of Royal Hawaiian Heirloom Jewelry

When I first moved to Hawaii, I was quite impressed with the amount and quality of jewelry that many of the older Hawaiian women wore. It was not uncommon to see four or five solid gold bracelets and three or more golden necklaces adorning their arms and necks. I was curious as to why these pretty women had to wear so many at the same time, and learned later that it was more of a tradition. So, here I will tell you about the beginnings of Royal Hawaiian Jewelry.

In 1887, during the Victorian Era, Queen Kapiolani and Princess Liliuokalani were invited to attend Queen Victoria's Jubilee in England. They were both presented with precious solid gold bracelets. Each had their own names engraved on them in Old English lettering which were filled with black enamel. They treasured these beautiful gifts, and upon their return to Hawaii, had similar bracelets made for other members of the Royal family for special occasions.

Thus, a tradition had begun. To celebrate special birt…

Traditional and Modern Tongan Attire

In the early 70s we moved from a democratic society to one which was ruled by a reigning monarchy. It was very interesting to observe the cultures and traditions of Tonga. Although in the last few decades some things have changed, the way the people of Tonga dress at many events and ceremonies has not.


The female gender in Tonga dress modestly, usually wearing a dress and sometimes with a skirt (tupenu) under it to cover their legs and ankles. Around their waist they wear a ta'ovala, which is often woven or crocheted. This particular piece is worn to show respect to the royal family. To keep it in place, they wear a kafa which is often woven out of rope, inner fibers of coconut husks or even out of human hair. They add beads or shells for decoration. At times they wear a kiekie, which is smaller than a ta'ovala, and is tied around the waist. It is usually very light and is made out a variety of materials, including strips sugar sacks which have been undone.

Traditional Chinese Medicine, A Holistic View

Traditional Chinese Medicine takes a holistic approach. Whereas in the West diseases are specific to a certain part of the body, Chinese believe that all the systems of the body are interconnected. If there is a problem with one part of the body, it can affect other areas in the anatomy. Also, changes in the environment can have an affect on the body rhythms and cause illness.

My first experience with Chinese Medicine was when I first moved to Hawaii 18 years ago. I went to a Chinese friend's home for dinner. I had just moved here from a third world country and had experienced a few health problems. He brought out an instrument that he told me would give him a diagnosis of anything wrong in my body. He is a school teacher, so I was a bit skeptical about it, but thought it might be fun anyway.

He explained that the human ear is just like a reverse fetus. According to the theory of Chinese Traditional medicine, each human organ has a corresponding point on the ear. If a…

Why exposing your children to another language is one of the best things you can do | Deseret News National


Elayne's Travel Blog: Amazing footage

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