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Beamer describes the ipu heke in her background.
 Click to hear Audio transcript Click to see Video clip
Nona Beamer
Honolulu, 1999
In this clip, Auntie Nona describes her ipu heke background ? caring for the gourds, and the construction and parts of the ipu heke.
Length: 2:31

NONA BEAMER: Here are these beautiful ipu heke. M-m. And these are like precious children, you know. The head and the body. M-hm. And we were always taught to respect the instruments, that they were not uh, toys. And this is like the head of the baby, the head of the child, that you shouldn't whack it, you know. That the sound comes from the piko end, to the side. [KNOCKING] Not hitting the head of the ipu. M-hm. I realize there are lots of traditions and lots of different schools of thought, but I can only honor my own. M-hm. The ipu heke and the ipu heke `ole, without uh the top, is uh ... very popular. I think I was the first in 1948 to do the ipu, standing up. These are very sweet. M-hm. Yeah, isn't this darling? Uh-huh. It's hard to find the right shape ipu that would match when you put them together. And some were sewn. Uh-huh. But most were glued together. And some were lashed. You could see the lashing like uh, almost like canoe lashing. Uh-huh. M-hm. Yeah, but now of course, they use the uh, glue. And then the handle is always a matter of convenience to wind it around your wrist so you feel secure when you're using it. Uh-huh. You don't feel like it's going to drop out of your hand. Uh-huh. So the ipu heke `ole would be the bottom without the top. And the ipu heke with the top and bottom. I saw my great-grandfather lash one in the field. Where he tied it, and then it grew into that shape. He tied a big ipu, uh-huh. And then, gosh, was it four months, five months later, it popped out with uh, the head on the body. Yeah. Uh-huh. So maybe the ancients did that. I also saw uh, `ul`ul. And he said that [CLEARS THROAT] he had put a net around it, and buried in the-[CHUCKLES]--in the l`. And when he pulled it out of the l`, it had that nice netting mesh design, you know.


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