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Beamer describes and demonstrates the kä`eke`eke.
 Click to hear Audio transcript Click to see Video clip
Nona Beamer
Honolulu, 1999
In this clip, Auntie Nona describes and demonstrates the kä`eke`eke, or bamboo pipes.
Length: 3:04

NONA BEAMER: Yes, this is the kä`eke`eke. I remember when Grandma first told me `eke means bag. And you think, why are these bamboo pipes called `eke`eke. Bag-bag?

MAILE LOO: [CHUCKLES] Doesn't make sense.

NONA BEAMER: No, it doesn't make sense. But they were quite portable. And in order to play them, they would have to pack bags with them, of hard packed sand. Then they would have something to-to strike them on. They are fine on the ground, on the sand, but not on the lava. If they're going volcano or something --and they still want to-to have their uh, pipes. So that was uh--[CHUCKLES]--logically, her reasoning, she thought they were called kä'eke because of the --sand bags that were used, uh-huh. And the longer the pipe, the lower the tone. M-hm.

MAILE LOO: May I try this one?

NONA BEAMER: You try.

MAILE LOO: You try. [CHUCKLES]

NONA BEAMER: I scared. No, no, no.

[BEATING BAMBOO PIPES]

NONA BEAMER: Nice mellow tone.

[BEATING BAMBOO PIPES]

NONA BEAMER: Let's sing a song.

MAILE LOO: [CHUCKLES] What song?

NONA BEAMER: London's Burning. [LAUGHS]

[BEATING BAMBOO PIPES]

NONA BEAMER: Yeah, very nice tones, uh-huh. And of course, a special kind of bamboo with a thin um ... uh, wall that makes it more resonant. And of course, the trick in making it too, because longer um ... uh, sections produce the nice tone and if there's a section in the middle, it has to be cut through. To uh, accommodate the sound, m-hm. And some bamboo that you use doesn't resonate. So you have to have the right kind of bamboo, and it has to be dry enough. M-hm. And consider the soil it's grown in and the amount of sun, and the moisture. Oh, my, my. And we talked about the different length of the pipes. And there again, the kind of bamboo. So many different types. The China bamboo, the India bamboo. M-hm. But the Hawaiian bamboo is the best sound, because it's so thin-walled that the resonance is beautiful. Uh-huh. Yeah. So they're kind of fragile. [BEATING BAMBOO PIPES] So the longer the pipe, the deeper the tone. [THUMPING] And the smaller pipe, a high tone. Uh-huh. [THUMPING] Deep, and high. Uh-huh. [THUMPING] Nice, huh? [THUMPING] [HUMS] I can think of some--[CHUCKLES]--some nice love songs that go with that. [LAUGHS]


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