Ka Waihona o Ka Na‘auao

Nanakuli, O‘ahu

Our Mele Murals team executed a project with Ka Waihona o ka Na‘auao public charter school that was in the works for three years. In work with the City and County of Honolulu Parks and Recreation department, the wall chosen for the mural was Kalaniana‘ole Beach Park in Nānākuli. The 8th grade (pana 8) was the selected class, with 10 alakal‘i (junior leaders), to work with our team during January and February of 2019.

All visions on the mural came from the meditation sessions with the students. Since Nānākuli is known for the best sunsets on the west side of Oahu, it was natural for the sunset to be the background of the mural. The giant silhouette painted shows the outline of a i‘o (Hawaiian hawk). Nānākuli was also known for the golden i‘o that used to protect the area from natural predators. The golden i‘o were the protectors of the land.

In the silhouette of the i‘o, the mo‘olelo (stories) of the demigod, Maui, and his mother, Hina, are shown because they resided in Nānākuli. The umeke (bowl) was also painted to enforce the message that Nānākuli is also a gathering place of Hawaiian families, where we come together, eat, and share ohana time. The a‘ali‘i plant was also painted to show how it survived the natural disasters of fires and draught that have hit Nānākuliʻs land and community. The na‘u plant was also painted, were only two of these plants are on Oahu, and a large one exists in Nānākuli. These plants represent the how native Hawaiians will always survive.

A family was painted where a father is teaching his son how to net throw to catch fish. The left side shows hands carrying water to the mauna (mountain) side and the right side shows how Nānākuli will be taken care of. Hina is also represented as the mahina (moon), shining over the wahine paddler. The haumāna working on the project explained that the wa‘a (canoe) was painted always going forward and not backward because they are always moving forward in their journey.

The constellation of Makali‘i (Pleiades) was also painted because Nānākuli was also an area of the island where navigators were trained. During Ho’oilo (the winter season from November to April), the stars of Makali‘i are visible for most of the night. Hawaiian navigators remember the seven akua sisters when they look for the seven stars of Makali‘i.

To continue the story of Maui lassoing the sun to slow down, the peak of Heleakalā was painted on the far right, perpendicular wall. Heleakalā was the peak that Maui stood on and slowed down the amount of time that the sun passed over the Hawaiian islands so that Hina could have more time to dry her kapa (pounded mulch paper) in the sun.

A big warm mahalo to all the haumāna, teachers, and staff of Ka Waihona o ka Na‘auao, Maile Naki, Pumehana Henderson, Ikaika Vinta, Principal Alvin Parker, the City and County of Honolulu, Parks and Recreation department, our artists, Estria, Luke Pomai DeKneef, Danielle Zirk, Libra, Justin Vasconcellos, Zully Davila, Kahu Kamana‘o Agres, and the community of Nānākuli.

TITLE: “Nānākuli Ea”
Lyrics by Papa Ewalu Sy 1819
E ō Nānākuli
Stand tall as Plikea
We, the protectors of our land and people
Heleakalā
Strong and proud
United as one, one ‘ohana
Nā ‘Elele
We, the protectors, will always stand strong.
One Kaiāulu
Legacy of our people
lies within this land
E ō Nānākuli
Kū kahi kākou

Viewer can find this mural below…

89-269 Farrington Hwy, Waianae, HI 96792, USA

Mural Name

Nanākuli Ea

Date Completed

February 2019

School Served

Ka Waihona o Ka Na‘auao

Lead Artists

Estria Miyashiro, Luke Pomai DeKneef, OG Libra, Danielle Zirk, Justin Vasconcellos, and Zully Davila

Cultural Practitioners, Kūpuna, Community Orgs

Maile Naki, Pumehana Henderson, Ikaika Vinta, and Kamana‘o Agres

Sponsors & Supporters

City & County of Honolulu Grant In Aid, City & County of Honolulu, Parks & Recreation Department

Documented By

Pono Media

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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