TITLE: Ho'onani: The Wahine With Ku
GENRE: MG - Narrative Non-ficiton
A young girl in Hawai’i dreams of leading the boys-only end of year high school performance while having to prove to her older sister, there is nothing wrong with being a tomboy.
I spy one of the school’s soprano ukuleles leaning in the corner of the hall and jog over.
Spinning in my brain is this brand new song, and I have an idea.
With one foot against the wall, I twist my favorite baseball cap backwards and check the clock. Seven minutes until our next class, Hawaiian Culture.
Finding G on the fret board, my fingers settle and with a flick of my wrist, the strings vibrate.
“Faam-i-ly,” I sing softly.
I like how the word rolls, but want to hear it in F.
Whoaa! That's way too deep - even for me!
My friends hover around. Most of them like my songs, even the boys who consider me as one of them.
“Ho’onani,” a boy calls out, “don’t be late, Kumu Hina has an announcement!”
I nod thanks and strum out the remaining song.
Kumu Hina’s very special. She was born male, but grew up in a time boys couldn’t be girlish. She got bullied a LOT.
But then she learned about our ancestors who, like her, were also people in the middle. One gender outside, another inside.
They were, Mahu, respected as teachers and healers.
Because of her, I’m not teased for being a wahine-kane, tomboy.
Almost everyone accepts me, everyone that is, except my older sister, Kana. The day she understands me will be a Hawaiian miracle.
The bell rings and with a tinge of regret, I leave the ukulele where I found it.