The favorite shop for nearly every dancer and hula fan is Sig Zane’s place in Hilo town. Sig and his son, Kuhao Zane, are in the shop whenever they aren’t dancing or watching hula. Count on new fabric designs, old favorites in aloha shirts, dresses, plus surprises like the opportunity of the weekend, a chance to chat with Dr. Pualani Kanaka’ole and Robert K. Iopa about their new book, “‘A’ama Nui, Guardian Warrior Chief of Lalakea.” It is part of their Hawaiian Architectural Book Series for Children but one quick read and I can see it is as much about teaching the adults. The book is illustrated by WCIT Architecture with the mo’olelo by Dr. Pua. The line for autographed copies moves quickly. (Their book won two honorable mentions for children’s books at Thursday’s Ka Palapala Po’okela book awards, sponsored by the Hawaii Book Publishers Association.)
Sig and Kuhao have done many creative projects with their pal MaryLou Foley of the Waikiki Aquarium. Dressed in a “Sig,” she stopped in to say hi and mentioned that she was hungry. Sig sent us all around the corner to the newly opened Full Moon Cafe. Chefs Mark and Tedd Pomasaki are making food magic. Sig even suggested what to order. More about the menu and the chefs later.
Walking in the door we saw a group at the first table. Honestly, they looked like a magazine ad for a power lunch in downtown Honolulu. Couldn’t resist asking, “Who are you wearing.” John Roth, on the right, was wearing Nakeu. Kumu Belcher, center, was wearing Sig Zane, and on the left, Robert Williams was wearing Hina (just purchased for him by his wife, Stacey, direct from the designer at the Merrie Monarch Arts & Crafts Fair). The first two are trust and estate attorneys and Robert is in financial planning.
The aforementioned craft fair was still calling our names so we dined and headed out, running directly into Kaliko Beamer Trapp and Maile Beamer Loo, hanai son and daughter to the late great Nona Beamer. Maile is the head of the Hula Preservation Society and a kumu, her daughter is a budding dancer. Usually a presenter at ‘Imiloa astronomy center, this year she is expanding her research. Kaliko is a scholar, language wiz and musician.
Raining now, good time to head into the arts and crafts fair. Fair boss and artist Nelson Makua will tell us what is new. The credit card will speak to how many treasures can become ours.
Lynn Cook is a freelance arts and cultural writer who has studied hula for 25 years.