Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Shaka sign

Following a conversation some months ago we were wondering over the origins of the Shaka sign...(borrowed from wikipedia)...
Shaka sign is a hand signal commonly associated with Hawaii.
The sign is made by extending the thumb and little finger, generally of the right hand, then waving as a greeting or acknowledgement.
Shaka sign began to appear in the 1930s or 1940s, in honor of Hamana Kalili, a respected leader in the town of Lā‘ie, on the northern shore of Oahu. Kalili, who lost the first three fingers of his right hand, often conducted services of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The unusual appearance of his hand was imitated by local children, who would fold over the index, middle and ring fingers of their hand and say "right on," one of Kalili's common phrases. The sign and phrase spread across Oahu, and eventually all of the Hawaiian islands.
Kalili provided the fishing nets used for the early hukilau celebrations which eventually led to the founding of the Polynesian Cultural Center, and which were the inspiration for the "Hukilau Song," made famous by Arthur Godfrey.
Eventually known as the shaka sign, this gesture has become a traditional form of greeting between Hawaiians and also those who have attended or been associated with the Brigham Young University of Hawaii, which is located in Laie.

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