Family

Royal Talent
The Lim Family of Kohala, Hawai‘i Island
Cover Story by Liberty Peralta

Siblings Sonny Lim, Nani Lim Yap, Lorna Lim and Leialoha Lim Amina

 

Cover Story: Royal Talent, The Lim Family of Kohala, Hawai‘i Island

By Liberty Peralta, PBS Hawai‘i

 

Royalty and talent. Chances are, it’s rare you’ve met someone – much less an entire family – who could truly lay claim to both.

 

For the Lim Family of Kohala, Hawai‘i Island, royalty and talent course through their veins.

 

The Lims’ lineage can be traced back to Alapa‘i Nui, the chief who once ruled Hawai‘i Island. As the birthplace of King Kamehameha the Great, and the residence of high chiefs (ali‘i nui), the Kohala district is featured in many ancestral stories.

 

“Kohala’s history had a lot of royalty,” says Lorna Lim. “A lot of the families still exist today. They keep family stories alive through chants and mele.”

 

The musically talented Lims are one of those families, with each family member well-versed in music, chants and hula. The six Lim siblings are: Leialoha Lim Amina, Nani Lim Yap, Charmaine “Minnie” Lim Davis, Elmer Jr. “Sonny” Lim, Lorna Lim and James “Kimo” K.H. Lim. Kimo died in a helicopter accident in 1997.

 

Their mother, the late singer Mary Ann Lim, was hired as a cook, then as an entertainer, at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in the 1960s. Naturally, the performances became a family affair.

 

LONG STORY SHORT WITH LESLIE WILCOX. Get to know two Lim family members through in-depth conversations: entertainer and kumu hula Nani Lim Yap and her son, fashion designer and hula practitioner Manaola Yap.To this day, the Lim children continue to carry the family’s musical torch. Nani, Sonny and Lorna still perform regularly at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, as well as the nearby Mauna Lani Hotel. They also frequent Japan to perform, and have traveled as far as Europe to entertain audiences.

 

“We’re real grassroots,” says Nani, whose husband Ed Yap is also an integral part of this musical family. “We’ve not really advertised what we do, who we are. I think it’s just [people] seeing what we do.”

 

This month, PBS Hawai‘i viewers can see for themselves what the Lim family can do. A new episode of Nā Mele: Traditions in Hawaiian Song, recorded in our Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Multimedia Studio, features the Lims in a new setting, but a familiar scene: surrounded by music and family. Among the songs they perform are: “Ka‘anoi Pua-Pua Olena,” “Lei Ana O Kohala,” “He Hene Ahahana,” “Ka Wahine O Ka Lua” and “Pau Hana Rag.” Among the featured hula dancers are: Leialoha Lim Amina; Lorna’s daughter Wehi; and Nani’s daughter Asia.

 

NĀ MELE: Traditions in Hawaiian Song | Monday, January 28,7:30 pm

 

There’s more. In a new episode of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, Nani Lim Yap reminisces about growing up with her siblings on Parker Ranch, going on long rides in the family’s Rambler station wagon, and overcoming stage fright. “I performed before as a dancer, but not as a singer,” she explains. “I could not look at the crowd.” Today, in addition to her regular Kohala hotel gigs with Sonny and Lorna, Nani is also an accomplished kumu hula.

 

And in a Long Story Short encore, we revisit our conversation with Nani’s son, Manaola Yap. A fashion designer who made a splash at the 2017 New York Fashion Week, he’s also a musician, hula practitioner and chanter.

 

“I do not name myself to be a designer that went to school and did all of that because that’s not me,” Manaola says. “I specifically come from the background and the understanding of the traditions of hula and the dance in its most traditional element.”

 

It all comes back to the Lims’ commitment to tradition and storytelling. “Hula, it is bringing those words to a living form,” says Lorna. “And then you realize that mele are portals back in time. You bring this song [from the past] back to life, and come right back here to our time.”

 

LONG STORY SHORT WITH LESLIE WILCOX: Guest Manaola Yap will be broadcast Tuesday, January 15, 7:30 pm. Guest Lani Lim Yapʻs show will be broadcast Tuesday, January 22, 7:30 pm

 

 

 

 

THE DURRELLS IN CORFU SEASON 3 ON MASTERPIECE
Part 8 of 8

THE DURRELLS IN CORFU SEASON 3 ON MASTERPIECE: Part 8 of 8

 

Leslie and Margo have news about their relationships, and as Louisa and Spiro grow closer, a circus comes to town.

 

Preview

 

 

THE DURRELLS IN CORFU SEASON 3 ON MASTERPIECE
Part 7 of 8

THE DURRELLS IN CORFU SEASON 3 ON MASTERPIECE: Part 7 of 8

 

Writer Henry Miller visits Larry on Corfu and Sven is under scrutiny from the police for being gay. When Leslie is forced to arrest him, it causes conflict in the Durrell household.

 

Preview

 

 

 

 

THE DURRELLS IN CORFU SEASON 3 ON MASTERPIECE
Part 6 of 8

 

It’s Gerry’s birthday, and Louisa wants to have a party and make a fuss, but she’s failed to realize that he’s not a little boy anymore.

 

 

THE DURRELLS IN CORFU SEASON 3 ON MASTERPIECE
Part 5 of 8

 

A new Italian family takes up residence in Corfu, spiriting Spiros away from a jealous Louisa. They sure seem to have left Italy in a hurry…and Lousia is determined to find out why.

 

 

THE DURRELLS IN CORFU SEASON 3 ON MASTERPIECE
Part 4 of 8

 

On Larry’s invitation, the family hosts both an Indian prince and a drunken Captain Creech. The house—and houseguests—are divided on the subject of Gerry’s education.

 

 

THE DURRELLS IN CORFU SEASON 3 ON MASTERPIECE
Part 3 of 8

 

Louisa and Larry arrive in England for Aunt Hermione’s burial while the rest of the family keeps things running not-so-smoothly in Corfu.

 

 

THE DURRELLS IN CORFU SEASON 3 ON MASTERPIECE
Part 1 of 8

 

The series returns for a third season of eccentric family adventures on a Greek isle in the 1930s, based on the memoirs of Gerald Durrell. In the season opener, Louisa tries to persuade Margot to find a hobby and Gerry to give up some of his pets.

 

 

Our American Family:
The Furutas

 

Through hard work, the Furutas, a Japanese American family in Wintersburg, CA established a successful goldfish farm, only to have their business devastated and family separated in the wake of WWII. Following years in an Arizona relocation camp, their indomitable spirit prevails as they return home and band together to pursue the American dream a second time.

 

 

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