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Sunday, May 19, 2013


When I was young - I use to listen to a wise old man - his name was Richard Leakey - a world famous Anthropologist - his study of  man and evolution.

This was in Nairobi, Kenya - not far from the primary school I attended was a museum - and in this museum - I garnered many first impressions - of human beings and how they traversed Mother Earth.

My respect for the indigenous people is deep - so deep that in my advocacy I represent the First People of San Francisco - the Muwekma Ohlone together with Espanola Jackson.

The Polynesian are indigenous people and in my travels to Australia, New Zealand, others places - my name has preceded me - as one who writes and has written so much on the Polynesian - for so many years.

Doctor Richard Leaky was a world class Anthropologist - he studied the evolution of man; as I said - but, he also studied - most everything he saw and read about.

I say this because he had a sharp mind, was humble - and never said "NO" - to the many questions I asked. Today, when young people ask me questions - however foolish others may deem them, trivial - I answer and learned this from this man of great, wisdom - Dr Richard Leakey.

Some years ago - I visited Auckland, New Zealand - and there through a good friend Luan Marks I met his good friend Alice Meredith - who works at the Auckland Museum.

Earlier I had met Luan Marks a Samoan and a group of other young men from Auckland - who visited San Francisco. We all rejoiced having met the second time - this time in their home land and city Auckland.

The Auckland Museum is a large museum and does great and true justice to the history, culture, and tradition of the Polynesian people.

The many, one of kind artifacts - can only be found in the Auckland, Museum.

When Thor Heyerdahl tried to tell us that man could use the trade winds to travel from place to place - many point blank decided not to believe him.

Then Thor Heyerdahl proved them wrong - when he risked his life and completed his voyage - from South America to Easter Island - with his famous ship that he built - simple but efficient - the "Kontiki".

I saw some of the ships built by the Polynesian - massive and able to store food - and stand the inclement weather.

This, when the Polynesian sailors - using the stars - navigated the waters - and traveled the Ocean Blue for days on end and thousands of miles.

These seasoned Polynesian sailors - could smell the ocean and from the color of the ocean - knew a lot. This the did for thousands of years. They also knew a lot about the Trade Winds.

Scientists are prone to take the route; that is - of least resistance - when it comes to studying the early human race. This more so when the White scientist puts on his thinking cap - and thinks - if he says something - that must be the truth - more when it comes to indigenous people.

Some call the Polynesian the lost tribe as mentioned in the Bible.

Others with gusto say that the Polynesian - spread out from - what is now Taiwan.

Others say that the common denominator is that the Polynesian is a robust person - and has survived for thousands of years - in an environment that is blessed - and that is a generality - that makes all feel good.

The Polynesian starchy diet was used in more than one way to sustain life,hard work,  and long travel.

The carbohydrates from the Toro plant; helped the Polynesian survive the long distances - facing inclement weather but surviving all the same.

The Polynesian sailor and people may have drunk the NONI juices - not the ones we have now - diluted with raspberry and other choice colors and taste - but; NONI soaked in water - pure and fresh - that sustained the sailors as they did the population - restoring health and vitality.

There has been a study of the Polynesian linked to certain DNA - and this study points to the Polynesian following the route that Thor Heyerdahl had in mind - experimented - and proved to be viable. From South America to Easter Island and beyond.

In recognition; Thor Heyerdahl was made a Chief of Easter Island.

When in Auckland - I sat down with a scientist from Easter Island - the good thing was he was a Native and this astounded me - because he had to study and more jump the many hurdles - Society put he his way - on earning his Masters.

I met him for a short time and my discussion with him - was deep - and I often wish that I could spend more time with him. The last time that was not possible - but the next time, around - it will.

Here in the Bay Area we have so many Polynesian from Hawaii, from Tonga, from Samoa - American and Western; from Tahiti, Cook Island, Easter Island and more.

Some years ago; we would celebrate the dances at Balboa High School - with John and Neo two ardent dance teachers - putting their best foot forward.

It was at times like this - that I saw the best the Polynesian community had to offer.

A joyful people whose hospitality is second to none. A giving people and a people  that it has been my privilege to advocate. And here lies the mystery.

The Polynesian are a noble people - steeped in culture and deeply respectful of their Elders, their Chiefs, and in recent years the pastors who are revered as do the Polynesian - their Chiefs.

So deep is their respect and in the presence of the Chief and the Pastors - the Polynesian will say nothing - not a word - until prompted to say so.

I noticed this immediately in the Army - when strong Polynesian soldiers came to me and appointed me as their spokesperson.

I made things happen - but never once thinking - the appointment was special; so special - that my command was their order.

 In course of time I realized - when appointed - you are appointed to be all things to all men. This was serious business. I had won their - respect - even as I do today.

My advocacy work today in San Francisco - has brought me in close proximity to many Polynesian young adults.

My relationship has been deep and lasting. One group once testified in the Church before the Bishop of Grace Tabernacle Community Church - that they would lay their lives for me.

The Bishop Ernest Jackson questioned me about this - and I told him that was not necessary for them to do so; may be a figure of speech.

The Bishop assured me - they meant it. He asked me what is it that made them be - so close to me.

Simply put - respect. This one word "respect" the Polynesian gives to few - once boned you are bonded for life.

I have good friends in John Nauer, Cedro, Simi Lulio, Mike Lefiti, Pastor Alex Toeaina, Pastor "Sweetie" Williams, Elder Joseph Kaulave, the Elder Matai David Siataga and his wife Ursula;  Gaynor Siataga, Nane Ofa, Ursula Ann Siataga Jr., Christina Siataga, Jennifer Siataga, and David Siataga Jr., Natasha Saelua, Larry Solaita, Harry Tupuola, Maya Suisala, George Vea, Tia Suema, and her husband David, Big Shaun Siolo and Saane Siolo his wife, Marina Latu, Fui Niuneitoulu, Loa Niuneitoulu, and the list goes on.

On occasion - folks comprehend that when you have the Polynesian on your side - you better watch out. 

It is a paradox and it is not difficult to comprehend - right here in the Bay Area - we have the Royal Families - that live here because opportunities - back home have been adversely impacted by outsiders.

We often talk - my Polynesian friends; have land - and often dream of going home - but; when questioned hard - they pause - can you come with us and make things happen - just as you do here.

The question to that is deep - but if I set my mind - very possible and doable. 

The journey has been a good one - trails and tribulations when it comes to incarceration. Joy and fulfillment when it comes to graduation day and weddings. Joy when we can provide work - and most everything is on track.

When we lend a helping hand - we put our trust in God. When we have some - we share - when we have little - we smile and are happy. Most of all - we enjoy the company. God has been good to us - all.

This journey is a spiritual journey and the Pastors I know - are men of God.

We have respect for each other - the Polynesian I know are family - and if some touches them - they do me dishonor - and those in the know - know what I mean.