SeanChron - Maui Mana'o

Flowers in Makawao. View more photos from Maui Mana'o photo album here.

7.23.11. I'm now on my eighth trip to Maui and although it is always wonderful to touch down on the valley isle, this trip is a little bittersweet. As I mentioned in an earlier post, a good friend on Maui, Charles Kaupu, recently "crossed over into the spirit world" as they say in Hawaii. Luckily, my trip coincides with one of the services honoring Charles so I am very pleased that I will be able to attend. One thing Charles knew how to do well was celebrating life...every last minute and every last detail so I'll be trying to do just that during this trip for sure.

As often happens, I left for Maui fresh from the annual Tribal Journey. I barely had time to pack before the Maui trip this year but somehow I made it. I didn't pack a single Aloha shirt this year as one of my first stops on Maui that I always make is to the Savers store (known as Value Village to some of us on the mainland) to look for 'gently used' Aloha and other shirts...and shell leis of course. This year I tried on 23 shirts but was strong and only bought seven of them...and four leis.

Sunday morning I hit some of the other usual at Hawaiian Village Coffee and some shopping in Lahaina that always includes Pacific Whale Foundation and Maui Hands where I've had my eye on a necklace by Aweepano Vivian Satow for over a year now.

Monday was full day of activities as well. I went in to Paia to check out the Aloha Bead Company and the Paia Maui Hands. Next it was up to the Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center on the road up to Makawao from Paia. I've been wanting to visit the Hui for years and I've heard it offers fantastic workshops ranging from painting and pottery to photography and printmaking. It also happens to be on the grounds of Kaluanui, a former Baldwin estate...a beautiful backdrop for an arts center indeed. By chance, I ran into Dane Kalai'one Ward of Lokahi Ceramics in the ceramics studio and had a wonderful chat about the Hui, her ceramics, weaving, and even outrigger paddling. She gifted me one of her beautiful lauhala motif plates and offered some suggestions for paddling so a big MAHALO NUI LOA to Dane. I've seen her work in Maui hands and other shops so I look forward to growing my collection.

Ceramics at Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center

After the Hui it was up to Makawao where I had a fantastic lunch at Casanova followed by more shopping. Including the new Makawao Maui Hands, Aloha Cowboy (Makawao is horse country on Maui), and Designing Wahine where I spotted this fantastic t-shirt featuring a Rick Rietweld 'Albert Einstein meets Aloha' design...very appropriate for the science/design/culture geek that I am.
But the day wasn't over yet. Finally, it was off to Wailuku to check in on the latest fab t-shirts at Maui Thing (I picked up this awesome black T) and spend some quality time at the Native Intelligence store. I cold buy everything in the shop, but must constrain myself...just a couple things this time around. Then it was back to the nest to re-string some new leis and work on some other projects.

The next big highlight of the visit was two days of working with Maui master weaver Pohaku Kaho‘ohanohano. I met Pohaku last April at the Celebration of the Arts event in Kapalua and made plans to connect up with him during this visit. Pohaku works with many materials but specializes in lauhala weaving. Below is a great video on Pohauku:

Both of of the classes were actually held at senior centers on Maui so I am very grateful to Pohaku and the other students in the class for the chance to learn from Pohaku and weave with them. Below are a couple photos of my projects, a lauhala bracelet and a small mat. The workshop on Thursday also resulted in a tasty mango and a bamboo weaving tool! There is a cleaned lauhala leaf in the first photo. This what is cut into different sizes for the various projects. Lauhala actually is very similar to cedar and cattail as far as a weaving material. Mahalo nui loa again to Pohaku and the weavers. I look forward to connecting up in the future for more lauhala lessons.

After the workshop on Thursday, it was time to buzz over to the airport to pick up my brother and new girlfriend. Then, just enough time for a cocktail up at Cafe O'Lei up in Wailuku before heading back to the airport to pick up my Mother. The next day, Friday, was full of museum stops and shopping before heading off to the Old Lahaina Luau for one of the best Luau's on Maui. I particularly like this Luau because before dinner and hula begin, there is about an hour to stroll around and learn all sorts of things about the Hawaiian culture and tradition in several demonstration areas that have been set up. As usual - and as expected by the luau hosts - I ate WAY too much.

On Saturday and Sunday, I attended a Reiki workshop by my dear friend, Diane Larsen. Diane recently became a Reiki Master and this was her first Reiki training class so I was pleased and honored to be one of her first students. I've had several Reiki treatments by Diane in the past so it really was fun to be part of her taking the next step in her practice and to learn more about Reiki myself. More information on Diane's Reiki treatments and training can be found on her website,

Sunday was made extra awesome by the fact that I had a chance to paddle with the Hawaiian Canoe Club Sunday morning recreational paddle group, aka 'The Breakfast Club'. The invite came through Dane Ward (mentioned above), who also happens to be a competitive paddler with the HCC. There were many kupuna in the group so it really was an honor to paddle with them all. Good luck to Dane and all the HCC canoes in this weekends HCRA State Championships!!!

Monday was my Mother's birthday so to celebrate, we went to two incredible places on Maui...the Iao Needle State Park and Haleakalā National Park. My Mother, coming from the zoo and botanical garden world, was especially eager to check out Haleakalā to see the very rare Haleakalā Silversword. Below is a picture I snapped:
We finished up a great birthday schedule with dinner at the fantastic sushi restaurant in Kapalua, Sansei.

more to come...