Da Kine
Thursday, February 5, 1998

Night of hula on Maui

It'll be a star-filled sellout on Maui. So call quickly for one of 40 remaining seats at Saturday's fourth annual "Starry Night Four Hula."

Entertainers Robert Cazimero and Leina'ala Heine Kalama headline the benefit for Kauahea Inc. This nonprofit is developing a Maui-based Hawaiian learning center under kumu hula Hokulani Holt Padilla.

Tickets at $80 include a 5 p.m. cocktail reception at SeaWatch Restaurant in Wailea, entertainment and dinner featuring Kahlua duck and shiso-seared fish.

Kumu hula Uluwehi Guerrero and Friends also will perform along with three halau -- Halau Hula O Ka'onohikala led by Akoni Akana; Na Maile Ku Honua under the direction of Pali Ahue; and Pa'u O Hi'iaka led by Padilla.

Reserve at 875-8080 on Maui.

Poet of the plantation

A weekend program honors the works of Carlos Mario Fraticelli, Puerto Rican poet laureate of Hawaii. The free event is 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Waipahu Cultural Garden Park, 94-695 Waipahu St.

The program features biographer Blase Camacho Souza, who introduces Fraticelli. Translator Austin Dias, University of Hawaii literature and Spanish associate professor, reads some of the poetry in Spanish and English. And Julio Rodrigues Sr. of Waianae sings the poetry while playing the quatro, a small guitar.

Fraticelli emigrated from Puerto Rico to Hawaii in 1901 to become a pineapple and sugar planter, carpenter and plantation supervisor. He worked at Makaweli and Lawai on Kauai, and at Kahuku on Oahu.

An educated leader of Hawaii's Puerto Rican community, Fraticelli (1863-1945) left a considerable literary legacy -- interpretations of the immigrant and plantation experiences from a poet's perspective -- composed mostly in the 1920s and 1930s.

He left more than 100 poems, most as decimas, a folk-art form created in 16th century Spain and characterized by 10-line rhymed stanzas. In the Puerto Rican literary tradition, Fraticelli's decimas -- some 32 stanzas long -- were sung with guitar accompaniment. Themes ranged from ethnic pride to family, love, politics and government, and social change.

"Discovering Mr. Fraticelli's works has taken me back to my plantation roots," translator Dias wrote of Fraticelli's poetry. "It was a very hard life with low wages. My empathy for the man and his work became more and more profound."

For information, call 677-0110.

By Catherine Kekoa Enomoto, Star-Bulletin

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