Kulāiwi Print

Dimensions14 × 11 in

Paper size is 14 inches by 11 inches. Image size is 12 inches by 4.5 inches. This print comes shipped with a board backing, a mat boarder, and a sealed, clear, acid-free plastic bag.

This Mele Murals project was completed with the haumāna (students) of Ke Kula o ‘Ehunuikaimalino (lead school), Konawaena High School, Pūnana Leo o Kona, Innovations Public Charter Schools, Kanu o ka ‘Āina, and Kamehameha Schools Pre-School at the location of Keauhou Shopping Center, Kailua-Kona on the big island of Hawai‘i.

This Mele Mural print tells teh mo‘olelo (story) of the battle of Kuamo‘o that occurred in Lekeleke, south of Keauhou. This battle signified Hawai‘i’s transition into Westernization and the demise of the Kapu System, Hawai‘i’s primary religion for over a thousand years.

The opposing armies in this battle were both led by heirs to Kamehameha I. Kekuaokalani was in favor of perpetuating the Kapu System while Liholiho (Kamehameha II) believed the Kapu System no longer had a place in Hawai‘i’s governance. The battle of Kuamo‘o ended with hundreds of kanaka falling to their death with Liholiho as the victor. The fallen were entombed with unmarked lava rocks to signify that everyone was equal, regardless of their beliefs.

Depicted in the mural are graves of the soldiers who fell in combat and shows the landscape of Hualālai, the lava flowing down to the ocean, and King Kamehameha, and other Hawaiians behind him.

The mo‘olelo also includes the love story of Kekuaokalani and his wife Manono. She proved her loyalty to her husband by continuing to fight after his death. We see Manono, the great Wahine Koa, looking back at us. In one hand she has a spear, and in the other she is holding her piko (navel, center), which connects us to our ancestors, and others who came before us. Kekuaokalani’s spirit is shown here as the ‘alalā bird (Hawaiian crow) who was said to deliver the war cry.

This mural is a tribute to all who have died in the name of Hawai‘i becoming prosperous as a nation. The mele, Kulāiwi, is by Hawaiian song writer, Larry Kauanoe Kimura. The lyrics of this mele resonate with the actions of Manono at Kuamo‘o: “I live for, and because of, my people, a native right and privilege.”

E ola au i ku‘u lāhui
He kuleana o ka ‘ōiwi

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