The family spent yesterday visiting their ancestral roots. First, a stop at great-grandfather’s grave, and then a visit to the University of Hawaii for the Wee Wons to get a look at their grandmother’s other legacy to the human race:
The University of Hawaii’s East West Center was showcasing an exposition of Stanley Ann’s “pioneering work in the field of microfinance and gender equity in Indonesia.”.
I think we can say we’ve reached nirvana on those two fronts:
Although Wee Won One seems to be getting the hang of the micro concept:
Whoa Big Guy! Can’t you issue a signing statement regarding the length of skirts in public? I’m not talking a full burka, just maybe another couple of inches?
And even though she
ditched the kid sent Barack back to Hawaii to be raised as an American by his grandparents while she pursued her passion for third world crafting, she apparently passed on to him some of her love for the skills she pursued so passionately.
“Ann Dunham spent many years studying village iron forging, blacksmithing, iron, copper, bronze, and brass casting, welding, the metal repair industries, and tool sharpening and mending.”
Stanley Ann’s progeny has demonstrated an interest in metal casting.
And he’s already combined his love of alchemy with his inherited knowledge of micro-financing in order to make the world a better place:
He also shares his mother’s appreciation for the art of hand wrought daggers:
“Because the Indonesian tradition is so venerable, there is much legend and
lore about the power of the blacksmith and in fact blacksmiths who know how
to make the traditional and symbolic daggers—keris—are thought to be imbued with great spiritual powers.”
Of course, being raised by Alinsky’s Rules, Big Guy knows that where they bring knives, we need to bring guns. Also hand made, right here in the good old U.S. of A.
And apparently Big Guy shares his Mom’s love of textiles as well.
“Ann Dunham was a passionate collector and lover of textiles. She had learned to
weave in the University of Hawai‘i Art Department and carried this love of
handwork into her academic and professional life. In Java, where she first
encountered life in Asia, she found the extraordinary textile traditions very
And I should mention here that the love of fabrics in general, and upholstery fabrics in particular, is something that Stanley Ann also passed on to her daughter-in-law, who has embraced it whole heartedly:
And finally, one last native craft for which Big Guy has always shared Stanley Ann’s fascination: the Javanese craft of constructing leather shadow puppets, which she studied for years:
“In order to make a shadow puppet, the buffalo hide must
be cleaned, the fur removed, and the hide dried and tanned. The better the
transparency and the smoother the hide, the more valuable for shadow
I must admit: not bad really, for a first attempt.
Of course, we did get a little “micro” financing in order to put a professional sheen on it.