Repository Spotlight: Filipino Digital Archives and History Center of Hawaii

Chief Master Leslie (right) Largo and Grand Master Gary (center) Largo practice with student at General Ablen School of Derobio Escrima in Kalihi.

Hmmmmm, you think to yourself.  Who are these people?  What are they doing?  Where can I can get one of those cheerful yellow shirts?

Yes folks, it’s time to spotlight another very special entry from AHA’s 5th Edition of the Directory of Historical Records Repositories in Hawai‘i.  This month, let’s take a look at eFil, the Filipino Digital Archives and History Center of Hawaii, where we’ll find all of the answers to the questions above.  Well, most of them.  We’re not sure where they got those lovely shirts.

efil_logo

 

According to their website,  “eFIL’s mission is to help set the conditions and provide the necessary building blocks for students, educators, researchers and general public to develop an awareness and appreciation of Filipinos in Hawaii’s history.”  They focus specifically on Hawaii’s filipino community because of its geographic isolation, as well as its pivotal role in a people’s migration from the Philippine archipelago to the rest of the world.

With this mission in mind, eFil has collected oral histories from community members, digitized Filipino newspapers printed in Hawaii, preserved the musical stylings of the Julian Yorong Rondalla Group, digitized the WWI service records of Filipino veterans available online….and much, much more.

Richard Bustillo (center) presents United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame awards recognizing eFIL administrator Clement Bautista (left) and General Ablen School of Derobio Escrima Senior Master Carlton Kramer (right) for their efforts to document Hawaii's past and present masters of eskrima.

Richard Bustillo (center) presents United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame awards recognizing eFIL administrator Clement Bautista (left) and General Ablen School of Derobio Escrima Senior Master Carlton Kramer (right) for their efforts to document Hawaii’s past and present masters of eskrima.

According to Clem Bautista, eFil administrator, one of their current projects includes the Hawaii Masters of Eskrima documentary project, which is funded in part by the Hawaii Council for the Humanities.  It is a video documentary of some of Hawaii’s past and present masters of the Filipino martial arts.

Maestros Donald Mendoza (right) and C.J. Tobosa (left) of Tobosa School of Kali Escrima practice sparring with a dagger at Halawa Gym.

Maestros Donald Mendoza (right) and C.J. Tobosa (left) of Tobosa School of Kali Escrima practice sparring with a dagger at Halawa Gym.

The centerpiece of the project are oral histories of present masters and recollections of their past masters.  These past masters include:  Raymond Tobosa, Braulio and Eddie Pedoy, Frank Mamalias, Snookie Sanchez and Floro Villabrille. Among the present masters to be interviewed are Donald Mendoza, Gary and Leslie Largo, Patrick Amantiad, Michael and Josephine Del Mar, Rudy Orlanda, and Richard Bulacan.  Scheduled to be released later this year, the documentary will also include demonstrations by 11 schools of Filipino martial arts.

Interested in exploring their collections? eFil is open 24/7 at www.efilarchives.org.

Repository Spotlight: Hula Preservation Society

For the month of August, we’re highlighting the Hula Preservation Society, a non-profit organization committed to collecting and preserving the stories and knowledge of hula elders and sharing them with the global hula community.

Photographs of hula elders that have contributed materials and shared manaʻo through oral history adorn the wall of the HPS archive.

Photographs of hula elders that have contributed materials and shared manaʻo through oral history adorn the wall of the HPS archive.

Auntie Nona Beamer & Maile Loo. Photo courtesy HPS.

Auntie Nona Beamer and Maile Loo. Photo courtesy HPS.

The Hula Preservation Society was founded in 2000 by renowned cultural educator and Kumu Hula Auntie Nona Beamer and her hanai daughter Maile Loo. They and other community members recognized a generation of senior hula practitioners that were rapidly dwindling. As a way to honor these remarkable people, preserve undocumented cultural knowledge, and share hula resources, HPS began filming their life stories and hula teachings.

Maile Loo conducts an oral history interview with Auntie Hilda Keanaʻaina & Uncle George Naope. Photo courtesy HPS.

Maile Loo conducts an oral history interview with Auntie Hilda Keanaʻaina and Uncle George Naope. Photo courtesy HPS.

Since its inception, HPS has conducted oral history interviews with over 80 hula elders. Through the years, many hula collections from these elders have been entrusted to them, including personal papers with song and choreography, albums, newspaper clippings, hula implements, scrapbooks, photographs, and other historical hula-related materials.

Nona Beamer Papers.

Nona Beamer Papers.

In addition to preserving hula resources and serving the research needs of the hula community, HPS presents hula-related programming across Hawai‘i and beyond. In October, HPS will travel to New York to debut The Hawaiian Room, a film that documents the entertainers and dancers who worked in the illustrious Hawaiian-themed revue, open from 1937 to 1966 in the Lexington Hotel in New York City. A group of original Hawaiian Room dancers will attend and perform at the premiere that will be held at the historic 92nd Street Y on Friday, October 10. Another showing of the film will be held on November 8 at the Doris Duke Theater as part of the ʻOiwi Film Festival.

In November, HPS will present the following 3-day series as part of the International Waikiki Hula Conference (individual tickets apart from conference registration are available):

November 7: Great Masters of the 20th Century: Includes digitized Umatic tape footage of some of the last public performances by some of Hawaii’s most renowned Kumu Hula, Musicians, and Hawaiian scholars

November 8: Hula Kii: Hawaiian Puppetry: Video from HPS’s archive and panel discussion with Uncle Calvin Hoe and Auntie Mauliola Cook

November 9: Tribute to Legendary Kumu Hula Iolani Luahine: Including archival footage and talk story session by some who studied under her.

AHA is very grateful to the Hula Preservation Society for hosting us on August 23!

Front row L-->R: Kauila Niheu, Dore Minatodani, Kealani Makaiwi, Maile Loo, Ruth Horie, Carol Hasegawa; Second row L-->R: Keau George, Dawn Sueoka, Jill Sommer, Kapenaakala Shim, Annemarie Aweau, Margaret McAleavey, Gina Vergara-Bautista, Malia Van Heukelem, and Celeste Ohta. Photo courtesy HPS.

Front row, left to right: Kauila Niheu, Dore Minatodani, Kealani Makaiwi, Maile Loo, Ruth Horie, Carol Hasegawa; Second row, left to right: Keau George, Dawn Sueoka, Jill Sommer, Kapenaakala Shim, Annemarie Aweau, Margaret McAleavey, Gina Vergara-Bautista, Malia Van Heukelem, and Celeste Ohta. Photo courtesy HPS.

Hula Preservation Society

P.O. Box 6274 Kāneʻohe, HI 96744

(808) 247-9440

admin@hulapreservation.org

www.hulapreservation.org