Hawaiian Culture & The Aloha Spirit
With as much as there is to be learned in the fields of science and technology, there is a balancing force that permeates life in Hawaii. It is the ancient wisdom of the Hawaiian culture and the power of the Aloha spirit. The Hawaiian culture — known for its generosity, hospitality and warm sharing — embodies a giving nature that is grounded in the principle of reciprocity. When given, the Hawaiian people will give back in equal measure or more, be it a gift or a smile. We who live in this special paradise, must help support and preserve the Hawaiian culture and language for future generations. The spirit of aloha contains much wisdom and compassion.

The Aloha Spirit is the coordination of the true self's mind, heart and soul, manifested by thinking good thoughts, emoting good feelings, and sharing goodness with others. It is ineffable, i.e., too great to be described in words. Like a sunset or God, Aloha must be experienced.

A - AKAHAI Lit., careful offering; kindness, modesty, gentleness,unpretentiousness, being unassuming,unobtrusive, tenderness

L - LOKAHI Lit., to obtain oneness; unity, agreement, accord, unison, harmony

O - 'OLU'OLU Lit., cool, refreshing; agreeable, pleasantness, amiability,contentment, happiness, graciousness,congeniality, cordiality, affability

H- HA'AHA'A Lit., low; humility, humbleness, self-effacing, modesty

A - AHONUI Lit., great breath; patience, perseverance, endurance, suffering, tolerance

The Hawaiian people practice Aloha — the heritage from their ancestors — and are ever mindful of the virtues of akahai, lôkahi, `olu`olu, ha`aha`a, and ahonui.

Lokahi in Health and Healing
As modern day medical professionals, we recognize the importance of treating our patients as whole individuals – body, mind, spirit – in context with their family, their culture, and their community. In addition, we here in Hawaii also have learned another important lesson — that of the balance of mind, body, spirit, nature and community. This concept is known as lokahi and was the basis for this ancient, yet advanced society that lived in harmony with their land, themselves, and each other.

BODY – the importance of the physical plant and layout. Hospitals used to be likened to “warehouses” for sick bodies, or “garages” for machines that were breaking down.

MIND – the importance of the elements of interior spaces, and their effects on our emotional well being, comfort levels, feelings of safety, privacy, respect.

SPIRIT - the importance of the intangible, of honoring our past and the Hawaiian host culture, and each individual's basic human dignity and/or personal spiritual practices.

NATURE - the healing forces of the beauty of nature that surrounds us.

COMMUNITY - the importance of relationships (with self and others) cultural sensitivities, of being close to home.

These essential elements of a lokahi – body, mind, spirit, nature, community in balance — influence and overlap to bring about a total healing environment.

Ali'i Nui
In February 2005, Earl Bakken was bestowed the title of Ali'i Nui (High Chief) by four distinguished Hawaiian leaders. A traditional hand-carved fish hook, or makau, was presented to him to acknowledge his extraordinary leadership and strength, and to honor his continued efforts to support the well-being of the Native Hawaiian community.

Some of the other Hawaiian cultural honors and contributions Earl's received include:
Kako'o 'O Kalaniana'ole Award from the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, for the Outstanding Non-Hawaiian for Service to the Hawaiian Community.
Living Treasure of Hawaii Award, Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii
Gathered and supported cultural input, opinions, and suggestions for the proposed Mauna Kea 30 meter telescope project planned by University of Hawaii (UH).
Scholarship support for Native Hawaiian college students pursuing education and careers in engineering.
Support of the UH Astronomy Center in Hilo-encouraged inclusion of Hawaiian navigators in study and presentation of astronomy. Supported Center with donation designated for student education.
Support of halau (schools) of canoe building, paddling, music, dance and other cultural and health practices.
Support of the Punana Leo O Waimea Hawaiian language immersion preschool.
Community trainings on “The True Meaning of the Aloha Spirit,” bringing together leadership from a cross section of our business community.

Earl's Home — Kiholo Bay
My wife, Doris, and I both grew up dreaming of living in the tropics. This is surprising since for Doris (who is from North Dakota) and me (a Minnesotan), the possibility of seeing anything like the tropics was remote. Retirement, however — after some 67 winters of fighting the cold, of slipping and sliding and getting stuck in frozen cars that started painfully, if at all — has brought us to the realization of our youthful dreams.

From among the many places we visited, we chose the Hawaiian Islands because of their excellent climate and the strong spirit of aloha and sense of community. We spent time and enjoyed all the islands in Hawaii; but our decision to live on the Big Island was inspired by a stay at the Kona Village resort. In fact, we were married at Kona Village. We fell in love with the resort and with the entire west coast of the Big Island and began looking for a home. It was not long before a small advertisement concerning a piece of land on Kiholo Bay came to Doris' attention. We liked the property and bought it.

Kiholo Bay is exceptionally beautiful. Animal life surrounds us: we have feral goats and pigs, donkeys and sheep—the descendants of livestock that escaped many generations ago or were scattered by the tsunamis. We have hundreds of razorback and green sea turtles living in the bay.

We soon found out that Kiholo Bay was sacred to the early Hawaiians. King Kamehameha spent time here, and marvelous ancient royal fishponds exist to the north and south of us. The many caves nearby were used for living quarters and burial grounds. Early settlers built stone houses here, the foundations of which still remain. Our beach is shaded by a hundred palm trees planted in the 1920s by a previous owner of the property.

Over time we heard more and more remarkable stories about the history of Kiholo Bay and set about to record them. Doris took the lead in this project, discovering people such as Hannah Springer and the Hind Family who could contribute their knowledge. Eventually we were directed to an authority on the history of the Big Island: Marion Kelley, Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. She is the author of several ethnohistorical reports published by the Department of Anthropology, Bishop Museum. We commissioned her to write a history of Kiholo Bay and, with the assistance of free-lance writer and researcher Helen Wong Smith, this book (see link below) is the result.

Please enjoy and learn of this beautiful place we call home.

Click here to download the PDF A Brief History Of the Ahupua'a of PU'UWA'AWA'A

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