Papa Tony Tamba - Wainiha 1975

Papa Tony Tamba - Wainiha 1975

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Papa Tony Tamba, a taro farmer in Wainiha Valley, was born in the Philippines. His first job in Hawaii was field laborer at the Makaweli Plantation on Kauai's Westside. He later married into an extended Hawaiian family on the North Shore, learned to grow taro, and became a renowned fisherman and net maker. Note the phonetically spelled "Kawai" tattoo on his right arm. After the advent of the Hawaiian studies program in the 1980s at the University of Hawaii, it became politically correct among students to pronounce Kauai as Kaua'i, making it rhyme with Hawaii by adding an "okina" that their parents and grandparents never used. After that breach began the deluge, and okinas proliferated in written and spoken Hawaiian like spilled rice.

Papa Tony's photo appeared on the January 2016 cover of The Sun magazine.