Prince Jonah Kuhio Elementary School

Honolulu, Hawaii

This was a special Mele Murals project because it started with our lead artist, Luke Pomai Dekneef, teaching art to the alaka‘i haumāna (student junior leaders) from Prince Jonah Kuhio Elementary School at our afterschool program of Hālau Pāheona. After a huaka‘i (fieldtrip) to Ka Papa Lo‘i O Kanewai, the students learned how the water flows from Manoa and Pālolo to the streams past Kuhio Elementary School and to the ocean. In turn, the alaka‘i haumāna became the junior leaders to teach their classmates how to paint.

After a session of reflection, Luke and the students envisioned the following concepts. The triangle pattern in the bottom center of the mural represent patterns in the lo‘i (taro patch) and shows what an ahupuaʻa creates when it functions properly from mauka to makai (mountain to ocean).  This simple theme shows us that the land and ocean are life giving when we take care of it. The mountains in the shape of kalo (taro leaf) represents the effect of our diligence in taking care of our ahupuaʻa. We always need to be mindful of taking care of the water. If the water flows from the mountains, the plants and food below it will flourish.

On the sides of the mural are an ʻio (Hawaiian hawk) and a mo’o (lizard shapeshifter), which are ‘aumākua guardians that watch over the Moiliili area and serve as a reminder that we also need to watch over the ‘āina (land) and be mindful of how we use it. 

Finally the manu ‘o ku (birds) flying inland return to the ʻāina (land) represent that we may rely on the ‘āina when it is thriving.

 

2759 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96826, USA

Mural Name

I Mua I Ka Mea Ho’oulu I Ka Na’auao

Date Completed

March 16, 2018

Schools Served

Prince Jonah Kuhio Elementary School

Lead Artists

Luke Pomai Dekneef, Nicole Makaahinaalohilohi Jack, and Estria Miyashiro; the students of Kuhio Elementary: Kahea, Kendra, & Aislin

Cultural Practitioners, Kūpuna, Community Orgs

Ka Papa Lo‘i O Kanewai, Principal Lynn Kobayashi, and Alan Lau of Prince Jonah Kuhio Elementary school

Sponsors & Supporters

City and County of Honoluluʻs Grant-in-aid Program, Glidden Paint, Montana Cans, and Housemart Ben Franklin Crafts Hawaii

We Need Your Help

Your tax deductible Annual Membership provides much needed support for arts education in Hawaiʻi.

Help purchasing much needed supplies for our wall murals.

Assist in funding cultural advisers for our youth workshops.

Help stage events surrounding our public mural unveilings.

We Need Your Help

Your tax deductible Annual Membership provides much needed support for arts education in Hawaiʻi.

Help purchasing much needed supplies for our wall murals.

Assist in funding cultural advisers for our youth workshops.

Help stage events surrounding our public mural unveilings.

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