Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Apr 14, 2022

Hanaʻoʻoleʻa 2022

Tilling the land, the soil, and the earth to make way for a decent loʻi kalo to feed his family for the first season was necessary.

After that, more plots would expand through the first half of the valley, and by then, he would have already been sharing with his neighbors, who would lend a hand in the process. It was easy to understand the turns of seasons, years, cycles, and the primary law of cause and effect. How beautiful life was, born from the hands of his ancestors who left the loʻi kalo for his labor and peace of mind. Today was the most arduous task, committing his son's body back to the earth from which it came, but not in a church graveyard or cemetery, but to the lo'i kalo. His little Akamu died from brain cancer, but up until then, the boy loved the lo'i kalo. He loved to play in the mud next to his father and mother while they labored to plant or harvest kalo. During his hospital stays, the boy would talk about going home to play in the lo'i. Now, he would become a permanent part of it, and one day, his parents made a commitment that they too would join their son in the same way. Today, Hanāle and Kea still labor in the valley with acreages of loʻi that grow tall and rich with vibrant green. The poi it yields is the sweetest and the most sought after. Akamu has a younger brother who now sits in the mud like he once did, squeezing the damp earth through his fingers and toes and laughing with utter delight. When the corm is steamed correctly and ready for kuʻiʻai, it will take on the consistency of paʻiʻai and then poi. Through this labor of cause and effect, Akamu feeds and nourishes his little brother, Akamuliʻi. The recipricol cycle continues until the day when Akamuliʻiʻs parents will nurture himself and his children, and he, in turn, will do the same.

Credit: FineArtAmerica



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