Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Earth Patriot Productions: News

Earth Patriot: Origins - March 26, 2015

 

 

Earth Patriot: Origins

 'Earth Patriot' Native Hawaiian Super Hero

  Earth Patriot: Origins is a young adult novel that will be released on Amazon's Kindle eBooks on Earth Day. The story involves the interaction within a Native Hawaiian family and how they incorporate the best of Hawaiian and Western culture into their lives. 

Below is a preview from the book.

____________________________________________________________________

 

Prologue 

Many nations and peoples have legends which tell how, when they are in grave danger, a hero is born. When her tribe was threatened by the Romans, Queen Boudica took up arms. When England was in dire need, King Arthur drew Excalibur. Cheng Tang rose to meet Chinas need. Jeanne dArc rallied France. But when the world, itself, is in danger, who shall rise to its defense?  

When danger threatens the entire world, the hero must be someone who can pledge allegiance to the mountains and the sea, to stand for all living things, to defend the stones and streams, to seek justice for the cloud forest. That person is born to be the Earth Patriot…………. 

 Chapter 1

Manu woke drenched in sweat. He sat up, still shaking. He hadn’t been there, but he’d read the police report and the stories in the newspapers. Sometimes he was in the car. Sometimes he was standing on the roadside. Sometimes he was silent. Sometimes he screamed. He begged his dad to slow down, to turn around, to not get in the car in the first place. But the crash always happened. And the dream always ended with the drunk guy who caused it laughing as he walked away.

Manu listened for his grandparents, but there was no sound of footsteps coming toward his door. His screams must have been silent this time.

Despite the open windows, the bedroom felt airless. Manu stood. The old wood floor was smooth against his bare feet. The planks were built from trees that had grown where the house now sat. Manu stepped quietly to the door and took a flannel shirt from the knob. The evening was chilly. Sweatpants and a t-shirt were not quite enough. Pulling on the flannel, he quietly slipped outside.

Night breezes whispered in the trees that clung to the valley walls. A drizzle floated above the rim of the valley, illuminated by a moonbow that hung over the headwaters of the now-calm river which had patiently carved its way through weathered mountains. Ho‘omanawanui. Patience. The valley was patient. It had seen generations come and go. It would see more. Manu sat on the cool grass and leaned against the tree his parents had planted to celebrate his birth.

Manu felt closer to his parents here than at the cemetery where they were buried. Their bones were at the cemetery, but that wasn’t them. Not really. The waxy face in the coffin didn’t look anything like Dad. And the ashes in the koa box sure weren’t Mom.

This was where his parents were. The trees scattered across the farm marked the lives of his ‘ohana. The koa tree planted when his dad was born, the ‘ōhi‘a lehua planted for his parents’ wedding. Tūtū Kai’s hala had been planted to represent forgiveness. His marriage to Tūtū Maluhia was represented by the fragrant miulan that grew by the front door.

Manu squeezed his eyes shut gainst the tears that stung them. He felt his fingernails dig into his palms.

“I’m sorry Dad.” He should have been with them. If he’d been there, another pair of eyes watching the road, maybe they could have avoided the other car. Or if he’d been there to testify as a witness, the killer wouldn’t have walked away. Or maybe if he’d been there they’d have stayed home with him and not even been on the I-5. No. His parents were headed to Washington to testify at the GMO hearings. They’d have gone no matter what. But if he hadn’t argued with Dad on the phone that afternoon, maybe Dad wouldn’t have been too distracted to avoid the oncoming car. “I’m sorry, Dad. I’m so, so sorry.”

The soft rain continued its journey mauka and the moonbow faded. Shadows shifted as the moon continued west. “I’ll be Tūtū Kai’s son, like you wanted. But I’ll be your son, too.”

Manu fell asleep with his back against the koa tree, the branches angling back and forth above him, tiny yellow pompon blossoms falling like stars.

Just before dawn, Manu slipped back into the house and climbed back into bed. He needed at least a little sleep before going to school.

 

Chapter 2

The trade winds blew gently through the lush valley. Light mauka rains created a misty rainbow over weathered mountains. There was a sense of peace and agelessness here. The world beyond this valley with its fast paced lifestyle and its constant need “to be connected” seemed so out of balance with the flow of nature. Here the spirits of those who worked the land with loving respect still permeated the soil, the water, the air. Aloha could be felt here, in every breath taken, in every sight and sound. 

School clothes traded for his old army surplus camo pants and a stained tank top that had once been olive drab, Manu jogged up the path to meet his grandfather. Tūtū Kai heard the footsteps, stopped, and turned toward Manu to wait.

The kupuna’s rugged features told a story of his many years working in the sun, rain and wind. His back was not as straight as it once was, and he needed to rest more often than in his younger years. But he was still strong in body, mind and spirit. His gray hair and beard did not make Manu think of age, but of wisdom.

Manu knew that others considered the man a cultural treasure, his wisdom acquired through listening to his kumu, his kūpuna and learning the inner meanings of the stories and history of his people passed down from generation to generation. Reverence for his ancestors and their traditions, traditions that kept a culture thriving through many years and many struggles, provided the foundation of his life and the lessons he tried to teach Manu.

“E! Manu! Aloha mai!” The deep lines in Ikaika’s face enhanced the smile that lit it when he saw his grandson. “Nānā ka ‘io! Look at the hawk!”

The raptor’s feathers rippled slightly as the bird caught thermals rising from the black sand beach where the valley opened to the sea. “She looks like a surfer on a big wave,” Manu replied. “Look at her take off! What a steep drop!”

“‘Ae,” his grandfather replied. “Yes. And a nice bottom turn.” With a final shrill cry, the bird headed into the valley shadows. “She’s always been a blessing to us. She fledged and took her first flight the day you took your first steps. That’s how you got your name. You were playing in the yard, and when she fell out of her nest you ran toward her yelling, “manu!”

“That would be me,” Manu felt his face rise into a grin that matched his grandfather’s. “Run before I can walk!” But the grin didn’t stay. “I’ve known her my entire life. I feel like she’s part of me. Like she’s the part of me that connects me to this valley. We’re seventeen, now. . . That’s as long as an ‘io lives.”

The older man and his grandson stood side-by-side, silent in the comfort of not needing to speak. Manu felt the air in his lungs, cool salt breeze flowing in and out of his being like the wind in the valley or the waves on the shore. They watched the wind stir the leaves of the ‘io’s nesting tree. The changing shadows reminded them that there were chores to finish before nightfall. The older man picked up his five-gallon paint bucket of tools and Manu did the same.

“So, how was school today?”

Manu set his work bucket on the ground and rearranged the tools for better balance. “I’m glad I transferred to ‘Ike Ag. Mr. Peterson, that’s the science teacher, he’s pretty cool. Kinda like that science guy on TV. Really funny,” Manu replied with a short laugh. “And everyone from this valley goes there. I know it doesn’t have any accredited college prep stuff, but once I get into college I can always try and test out of the hundred-level classes, instead.”

“I like being able to help design my own lesson plans. And I really missed the cousins while I was in my other school.” The muddy path they were walking on suddenly seemed especially interesting, and Manu stared at his rubber work boots, fascinated by how the mud sparkled as it rose over the toes. “I feel bad about leaving, though.”

He felt, more than saw, his grandfather glance at him. He didn’t know if he wanted his grandfather to ask what was going on, to pull his words out like a bottom fisherman hooking kumu, or if he wanted the silence that let him form his own questions and hopefully find some answers. Manu paused and splattered the mud with the toe of his right boot.

“Well. . . well, there’s these guys that like to push around the geekier kids. There’s just three of them, but it’s like they run the whole school. Even the teachers act scared of them. Most of them do whatever this one guy, Clay, Clayton, wants. One time they all got detention and Clay’s mom and dad came to the school and were in the office yelling at the principal that the teachers were out to get Clayton They even threatened to sue the school. . . man. . . The guys were even worse after that.”

Tūtū Kai pulled a sickle from his bucket and cut some overhanging brush back from the path. “Mālama every day. Clean the path a little bit every day and it never gets overgrown. Pull weeds every day, the garden never gets overgrown.”

 

Tūtū Kai was old school. He rarely said anything negative, but found other ways to express his opinions - like pulling weeds.

“I didn’t like it there.”

Tūtū Kai stopped and looked straight at Manu. “They bother you?”

“No, no. I’m bigger than any of them. They pretty much stick to hassling anyone they figure won’t fight back. And they know the teachers can’t really get physical with them. That’s why I feel bad about leaving. They don’t make trouble with anyone I’m hanging out with.”

“Maopopo. I understand. You know how your Tūtū-lady is so good on the Internet, she started subscribing to the newspapers on-line. She showed me some stories about bullies in the schools.” Tūtū Kai pursed his lips.

Manu looked down. “Yeah. Sometimes the bullying gets so bad that the kids commit suicide.”

“Um hmmm. Yeah. You feel bad about leaving, but you can’t be there to save everyone. . . What do you think can be done?”

Manu sighed in exasperation. “Everyone’s gotta step up. I think people kill themselves when they feel alone, like there’s no one to turn to. Teachers, parents, your friends. . . everyone needs to get over themselves and look around, say something! Every time those guys get away with it and no one says anything, it’s like telling them it’s ok.”

“So,” Tūtū Kai replied, “You think it takes more than just not being a bully, yourself? You think everyone has to step up and let people know it’s not ok?”

 “Exactly!”

“I think you’re right. That school needs to figure out how to get everyone on board before someone gets hurt. But for your situation, there will always be bullies, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to help other people and deal with them. But for now, focus on your education. Education is important! Whatever you do. If you’re a scientist, if you’re a farmer, you need a good education.”

Manu could tell the family’s traditional lecture on the importance of education was coming, and prepared his ears.

“Hawaiian people have always valued education. You know, learning doesn’t just happen between four walls! Real education is when you apply what you learn.” Tūtū Kai was on a roll now.

“You know, in the old days, there was no difference between the word for a workplace and the word for a school. You learned where you worked. These days, people say things like ‘hālau hula’ is a hula school. But it was really a place where you did the work of the hula. Just like a hālau wa‘a. It was a place to do the work for canoes. And you learned while you worked. You learned your ‘āina, you learned your kuleana. You learned to take care of your land and be responsible for your actions.”

“But you cannot only learn in your own hālau. That would just make you very narrow minded and one-dimensional. That’s why the haole style education is good. It’s a different style of learning. It brings information from other ‘āina. Remember the ‘olelo no‘eau, ‘A ‘ohe pau ka ‘ike i ka hālau ho‘okahi. ‘All knowledge is not taught in the same school.’ You can learn from many sources.”

By the time Tūtū Kai, wrapped up his talk, they were at the lo‘i. As they pulled out the tools they would need for weeding the young taro in its water-filled paddy, more advice came from the older man. Manu knew it all by heart, but as he worked he listened respectfully. Tūtū Kai’s voice was rhythmic, like the bass line of a song, and the melody was the sound of birds flapping their wings and singing in the forest. To be Hawaiian was to savor each word of the kūpuna, and Manu felt most Hawaiian when weeding the lo‘i, the source of kalo, the food of his ancestors.

Manu’s earliest memories were of the lo‘i, making piles of weeds at the water’s edge as his parents waded out, singing, laughing, pulling weeds, replanting any kalo dislodged by the work. Every day they had come to take care of the broad paddies filled with kalo in various stages of growth. Manu’s favorite were the paddies in their final year before harvest. Hide and seek was made for the lo‘i.

Memories: Manu held as still as he could, completely hidden by the huge leaves of the kalo. Oopu tickled his legs with their pectoral suckers, exploring this new surface in their domain. He could hear the splash of water and slurp of mud as his parents stepped through the loi looking for him. Peering under the leaves, he could see their reflections in the water. With each step they took, the mud gave a squelchy burp and released an earthy fragrance, wet and rich, and filled with the gaseous interactions of the millions of microscopic beings which maintained the health of the loi. Dad gently began to pump one foot slowly up and down, then suddenly lifted his foot out of the water, bringing with it all the fragrance of the lois fermentation process, and an appropriate sound effect. Swamp fart! Manus fit of giggles immediately gave him away and he was dragged from his hiding place into his fathers arms. The first memories of Dad were much better than the last ones.

Funny how memories changed. He remembered the lo‘i as smelling sweeter in those days. Mom had said it smelled like silage, fermented alfalfa fed to the dairy cows her grandparents had in California. Now, it smelled faintly rank.

Lost in thought, Manu had not noticed how large his pile of weeds had grown, but his grandfather had.

“Little bit, every day, every day.”  Tūtū Kai’s musing kept pace with his movements. That’s how you get things done. Try to do it all at once, you make mistakes. Worse, you don’t notice the mistakes, so you make more, and they pile up. Little bit, every day, every day.” They continued to work accompanied by the gentle splashing sound of weeds being pulled from the lo‘i and tossed to the embankment surrounding the taro paddy. When the deep shadow of the valley walls made it too dark to easily see the weeds, Tūtū Kai and Manu gathered their tools for the walk back to the house, and dinner.

 “Aue! The hō‘i‘o! I’ll catch up with you!” Manu stepped back into the water to cross over to the trees on the hikina side of the lo‘i. He heard a splash, and looked around, but saw nothing out of place. He continued on and found what he had almost forgotten.

On the ground, under the trees, ferns grew, fibrous rhizomes lying thickly across each other, or rising from the dark moist earth. Glossy deep green fronds with thin purple veins decorating the midrib unfurled in abundance. Manu stepped carefully through the fern patch, quietly chanting as he headed for the opposite side. “Noho ana ke akua i ka nāhelehele.” Respect, it was all about respect. Showing respect to the plants and the forest that nurtured them. He would gather the tender and tasty fiddleheads of the fern on his way back out. “Pūpū weuweu au e ke Akua e, o kona weuweu e kū ne,” he chanted as he harvested. Maluhia, his grandmother, would be pleased that he remembered to bring back hō‘i‘o to eat with the ‘ōpae, the little river shrimps, she had salted the day before.

Just before stepping back into the water, he heard the strange splash again. He paused. Ripples undulated from under a kalo leaf. He slowly reached down to lift it. A flurry of wings launched into his face, beating at him and quacking! He jumped back, almost losing his footing in the deep mud! A soggy koloa struggled weakly, trapped in rotting cattail leaves. His mate returned, frantically tugging at the leaves, trying to free him between furious attacks on Manu’s boots. Manu pulled off his t-shirt and caught her, wrapping her carefully in the fabric so she would not injure herself while he freed her mate. As he worked, a stench of rotting vegetation and dead fish bubbled from the water. An ‘o‘opu, belly up, slowly floated away.


  

Earth Patriot Graphic Art Competition - October 2, 2013

Earth Patriot Graphic Art Competition

Volcano, Hawai`i – October 1, 2013 - Earth Patriot Productions LLC is sponsoring the Earth Patriot Graphic Art Competition. The competition is open to aspiring young artists from Hawai`i between the ages of 13-22. The goals of the competition are to increase knowledge and understanding about the concepts of sustainability and biodiversity and to promote environmental awareness and action by youth in Hawai`i. The winner of the competition will receive a $100 cash prize and products from the Earth Patriot Productions.

Earth Patriot Productions is committed to creating art and multi-media projects that promote empowerment and positive change. Their creative team consists of social entrepreneurs and artists from the island of Hawai`i. Through their artistic creations and intellectual properties they strive to increase community awareness and to motivate individuals to collective action to achieve positive solutions to social and environmental issues. They actively promote collaborative efforts with local, national and international, writers, performers, fine artists, filmmakers, producers and educators. They strive to create products that Entertain, Educate, and Empower.

Their company works in partnership with Performing and Fine Artists for World Peace, a non-profit art and education organization and the recipient of the United Nations Peace Messenger Award. They are currently working with other non-profit organizations, businesses, schools and government agencies promoting the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity.

Other educational projects that they are working on include the interactive storybook Earth Patriot: Origins - Nana i ke Kumu (Look to the Source). The storybook, appropriate for intermediate and high school level students, will be distributed to schools in Hawai`i in 2014. Copies of the Earth Patriot CD, recorded by the Hawai`i Island group Kumanu, will be given to teachers to accompany the storybook.

For more information about the competition, contact them at artpeace@hawaiiantel.net; 808.985.8725 or www.earthpatriotproductions.com

 

 

 

 

 

Earth Patriot CD Release - November 21, 2010

"Earth Patriot CD Addressing Social & Environmental Issues"

Hilo, Hawai`i - Kumanu, an innovative music group from the island of Hawai'i, has released a new CD entitled “Earth Patriot”. Kumanu’s global fusion music is the driving focus of this recording and their message comes through loud and clear. It is vibrant music with a positive take on a world facing global environmental and social problems. It is also a call to action at a time when these issues seem insurmountable.

"In 1990 with the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Earth Day there was a reawakening of environmental awareness across the United States and around the world," stated Howard Shapiro executive producer of Earth Patriot. “I thought an album addressing environmental and social issues would be of importance at the time."

Shapiro continues, "Although I've waited a long time to see Earth Patriot completed, I feel the same reawakening today.  Many of us have come to realize that we must face global challenges through a cooperative effort of our political leaders and, more importantly, as individuals, collectively around the world."

The eclectic and innovative new sound of Kumanu is created from the vast reaches of the Pacific and bridges boundaries of race and nationality. Kumanu consists of an ensemble of musicians, vocalists and dancers blending several musical genres to create a new "global fusion music" that reflects their diverse multi-cultural background. Guest artists include Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Kenny Loggins, Emmy Award winning singer/songwriter Faith Rivera, Pamela Polland and Mikuak Rai.

Many of the vocalists and musicians from Kumanu were members of the group Hawai`i Island Performing Artists which performed on the “We Are `Ohana - Songs of Hope” CD.  We Are 'Ohana was highly acclaimed and local music critic John Burnett stated, "It is the best written, conceived and produced pop CD recorded to date on the Big Island."

Recycle Hawai`i and Performing and Fine Artists for World Peace are co-sponsors of the Earth Patriot CD. All proceeds support the programs of these 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations.

For more information about ordering the Earth Patriot CD, please phone 808.985.8725 or e-mail artpeace@hawaiiantel.net.

 

 

 

 

Earth Patriot Hip Hop Music & Dance Concert - February 14, 2010

“Young Hip Hop Artists Bust da Moves”

 Written by John Lyle for the Big Island Weekly

Hilo, Hawai`i - Students from schools and dance studios around Hawai`i Island dazzled an enthusiastic audience at the Earth Patriot Hip Hop Music and Dance Concert held Saturday, January 17 at Hilo's Palace Theater. The free concert celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and promoted The National Day of Service. In addition to performing, students were encouraged to commit to a service project in their community as well as to help those less fortunate by bringing canned goods and other non-perishable items to the concert.

Using 'positive conscious rap' music by artists such as NAS, Common, Sudden Rush, Kumanu and I. A., the performers represented the High School of the Pacific, Waimea Middle School, Honoka'a High-Intermediate, N2 Dance Studio and Cataclysm.  Leilehua Yuen, who did the opening oli, was very impressed: "Those kids were just amazing!"

Well-known O'ahu hip hop artist I. A. acted as emcee and performed some of his award winning music.  In addition, awesome performances were given by Ace Espejo and 'Bolo' and a sensational impromptu encore with Bolo and I.A. sent the audience into a frenzy.

Artistically integrated into the show were clips from the movie 'Rize', featuring young hip hop dancers from inner city LA sharing their compelling story of how they overcame gang violence through perseverance and mutual support to become world class hip hop dancers. Segments of Dr King's “I Have A Dream" speech were also shown, reminding the mostly young audience of the significance of the day's event in the context of America's long, painful struggles with equality and justice for all.

"In addition to promoting the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the concert supported efforts of The Food Basket (Hawai`i Island Food Bank) to feed Hawai`i Island families", said Howard Shapiro, Executive Director of Performing and Fine Artists for World Peace (PFAWP).  Roberta DeMotta, Director of The Food Basket commented on the importance of partnering with events and organizations such as this in order to raise awareness about hunger and the importance of good nutrition in our communities.

Cindy Navarro Bowman, teacher at Honoka`a High-Intermediate said her students hugged and thanked her for bringing them.  "Teachers often don't get that kind of appreciation, at least that way", she said.  "They told us
they really wanted to participate again next year."

Michal Anna Carrillo, dance teacher at Waimea Middle School said, "These kids had an awesome experience and loved the opportunity not only to perform for a live Palace Theatre audience, but to meet an artist as talented as I.A.". She added that the event opened peoples' hearts and minds to peace, a genuine tribute to Dr. King.

For his part, I. A. had this to say: "Mahaloz for this opportunity. Ya know, who would of thought Hip Hop culture could have such an impact in Hawai'i, a place almost completely the opposite of NYC where it was birthed. I was proud to be part of this Hilo event cuz it displayed the positive message that hip hop possesses, especially in a time when it's stereotyped in such a narrow, negative way. Hip Hop is very much alive in Hilo, Hawai`i ".

The concert was a joint project of the Artists in Action for Human Rights Program, sponsored by PFAWP and Amnesty International, one of the leading human rights organizations in the world. Adiyah Ali, Field Organizer for the Amnesty USA's Southern Regional Office, was an enthusiastic supporter of the Hilo event.

"Amnesty International is honored to partner with Performing and Fine Artists for World Peace (PFAWP) using human rights education as a tool to bring about positive change, especially as the world celebrates the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights", said Ali.  "We join Performing and Fine Artists for World Peace in honoring Dr. King's legacy as one of the world's great human rights leaders and defenders."

Booths in the Palace lobby included the Food Basket, Hawai`i Island United Way, Recycle Hawai`i, Big Island Dance Council, United Nations Association Hawai`i Chapter and Truth 2 Youth.  Major sponsors for the concert were Recycle Hawai'i, The Big Island Dance Council, KHBC Radio, Peck Tunes, Perryscope Records, The Palace Theater and Kumanu Music.

The Earth Patriot Hip Hop Music and Dance Concert was an alcohol and drug free event funded in part by a Healing Our Island Community Fund grant, administered by the Hawai'i County Resource Center.

For more information contact Howard Shapiro at 808.985.8725 or e-mail him at artpeace@hawaiiantel.net.

 

 

See the Flame CD Release - January 1, 2009

See the Flame  - Music for Human Rights

Hilo, Hawai`i - Kumanu, an innovative music group from the island of Hawai'i, has released a new CD entitled See the Flame. Kumanu’s global fusion music is the driving force of this recording and their message comes through loud and clear. It is vibrant music with a positive take on a world facing global environmental and social problems.

See the Flame was recorded in support of the work of Amnesty International and to promote the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. See the Flame carries on the vision of Kumanu to address issues that affect our local and global community. 

In 2004 Kumanu released the CD We Are `Ohana-Songs of Hope to support others in Hawai`i who were working on the treatment and prevention of substance abuse and addiction. We Are 'Ohana was highly acclaimed and local music critic John Burnett stated, "It is the best written, conceived and produced pop CD recorded to date on the Big Island."

In 2007 the group released Earth Patriot that spoke about our collective responsibility to protect the earth and to address global problems such as climate change, hunger and war. In April 2008 music from Earth Patriot was played at Earth Day events across the country.

Kumanu strongly believes that music can be a catalyst for change and empowerment. They believe that See the Flame can help motivate others to take action in the cause of justice and human rights.

“As a member of Amnesty International I am honored to be involved with the recording of See the Flame,” said Howard Shapiro executive producer for the CD.  “I have been writing and recording music for over 30 years about issues such as human rights.  I believe that our country should live up to its ideals concerning the human rights of our citizens and those around the world.”

Copies of See the Flame have been sent to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and to Amnesty International offices around the world.  Copies of See the Flame have also been sent to schools in Hawai`i to share with students the importance of learning about human right issues.  Music from See the Flame was used to inspire others to take action in the cause of justice and freedom and at events around the world December 10, 2008, the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For more information about ordering Kumanu’s See the Flame CD please phone 808.985.8725, e-mail artpeace@hawaiiantel.net or visit www.artistsandpeace.org.

 

RSS feed