Thanksgiving Ipu 2014

Aloha to Marissa Klug and her Ohana!

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving 2014 to everyone and to all of our Ohanas!

Second, I’m thankful for the great Ipu that Marisa Klug made for me that arrived in the US Mail with a special note about the Mano (“Shark” my family Aumakua), the Lauhala and the Kalo! She says the Ocean of Lauhala symbolizes forgiveness and compassion as well as the interconnectedness of life.

Lau-hala” is the leaf (“lau”) of the hala tree. I have a red hala near the most eastern part of our aina (“land”) in Kahakuloa where we live and farm. It’s a keiki from my Tutu Koko’os tree from Kealia, South Kona on the Big Island. The hala is a tree of forgiveness. Every morning the sun hits that portion of our aina first and everything that happened yesterday is forgiven for the arrival of a “New Day”.

My new Ipu was chosen by Mariisa Klug from the gourd farm of the Wellburn family, Southern California. This gourd was chosen for its magnificent sound when struck. The sharp tone is crisp and clean and will encourage our aumakua and ancestors to join in the celebrations when this Ipu sings and is played. Marisa wood burned my aumakua, the Mano into the face of the kino or body of the Ipu. She says the Mano has a body of spears representing strength, respect for the ocean, and control.

Marisa compared my playing on my 12-string guitar as one of respect, strength and control, like the symbols she etched on “Our Ipu.”

The Mano also had many Koru symbols (Māori for “loop” a symbolic spiral shape based on the shape of a new unfurling silver fern frond) on its fins and face representing inspiration and new life. Marisa writes that my music and Aloha brings inspiration to all those who listen and contributes to the growth of our connections to our Mother Earth, humanity, one’s Spirit and our connections with one another. The lauhala is also echoed in the body of the Mano and the source it rises from, symbolizing more interconnections with life on the land and sea.

She goes on to explain that the kalo (“taro”) leaves adorn the Po’o or head of the Ipu symbolizing the abundance of the aina (“land”) and kai (“ocean”), hard work, manual labor and life. She says,

May your Aina continue to be a source of abundance and nourishment for you and your Ohana.

Mahalo to Marisa Klug for your makana or gift of this special Ipu this Thanksgiving Day.

Today I’m thankful for my wife Nancy, good health, abundance of Aloha, food, family and friends, and all the blessings Akua or God has bestowed upon me and my Ohana. It is my prayer this Thanksgiving Day that we will continue to use our blessings and God given gifts to serve and share with others!

– Uncle George