Talk Story


The Talk Story Project was a year long project where stories from Southern California’s Pacific Islander community, mostly our elders, were collected. There are ten vignettes each highlighting a specific story. Descriptions of the various stories are below. You can watch all ten stories in the player above or skip ahead to the specific story that you would like to see. This project was made possible by the Cal Humanities Community Story Project Grant. We are grateful to have this opportunity to share our stories.

Aunty Linda Na Pero Pero Wishart (Maori)
Recites a poem remembering her Mother and Auntie and talks about perpetuating culture through dance.

Aunty Puanani Jung (Kanaka Maoli)
Shares her experiences on raising family and starting a hālau hula away from the Hawaiian Islands.

Uncle George and Aunty Greta Briand (Marshallese)
Remeber their favorite food from the island and how radiation has impacted their lives and the land they come from.

Aunty Faifua Vaifale and Marlena (Samoan)
Discuss culture shock moving from Western Sāmoa to California and the challenges of intergenerational communication within a traditional Sāmoan family.

Uncle Sione Uipi and Esiteli Hafoka (Tongan)
Uncle shares his approach to hard work and family member Esiteli shares how that philosophy has passed to the next generation in many forms including a massive genealogy project.

Uncle Steven Fifita (Tongan)
Remembers his Grandfather and how he taught him to garden.

Uncle Chuck Maples (Kanaka Maoli)
Shares his fishing experiences and knowledge gained growing up in Laie Malo`o, Hawai`i.

Uncle Thomas Kalama (Kanaka Maoli)
Talks about his Father and the importance of respect in his outrigger canoe club.

Aunty Sharon Ku`uipo Paulo (Kanaka Maoli)
Talks about her experiences building the Hawaiian Civic Club movement on the continent.

Uncle Lono Kollars (Kanaka Maoli)
Reflects on growing up hapa, a term which means mixed racial heritage, and how that has inspired his community service.

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