Polynesian Studies Conference Postponed

A series of events titled Atua: Polynesian Ancestors, Stars and Temples scheduled to be held at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and Brigham Young University–Hawaii over the next two weeks has been postponed out of an abundance of caution due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus and COVID-19. Organizers say Māori and Tahitian scholars expected to attend have decided not to travel to Hawaiʻi for the conference. 

The events were scheduled March 17–18 at BYU-Hawaii and March 24–25 at Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies at UH Mānoa. The mini-symposium has been rescheduled for this fall.

Kamakakūokalani Professor Lilikalā Kameʻeleihiwa is the current Gladys Kamakakūokalani Brandt Chair of Comparative Polynesian Studies, created this series to gather Tahitian, Māori, Tongan and Hawaiian scholars to discuss topics related to ancestral Polynesian knowledge.

“We understand that during this time of uncertainty it is prudent to be cautious in regards to travel and gatherings of people,” Kameʻeleihiwa said. “We look forward to gathering and sharing our knowledge with each other.”

A series of online webinars may be provided for people who were scheduled to attend the conference. Those will be announced at a later date.

Native Hawaiian Arts Market Presented by Waimea Artists’ Guild for MAMo, Maoli Arts Month

Waimea Artists’ Guild (WAG) will be included in the prestigious Maoli Arts Month (MAMo) in May, with a Native Hawaiian Arts Market May 12, 2012 at Kahilu Town Hall.  The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a wide variety of arts media, music, “keiki corner” and more.  Admission is free and plate lunch and refreshments are available for purchase.

Intricate carved cultural jewelry by Tom O'o Mehau, Waimea Artists' Guild

MAMo is an annual celebration of the breadth, depth and diversity of Native Hawaiian arts, with multiple exhibits, entertainment, a wearable art show and an arts market featuring work by Native Hawaiians from across the Islands.  Their goal is to create economic opportunities for Native Hawaiian artists and cultural practitioners by increasing their presence in museums and galleries, and educating residents and visitors about Native Hawaiian art.

The WAG Native Hawaiian Arts Market will showcase Big Island artists and their work in fine arts, cultural jewelry, traditional wood and bone carvings, photography, fiber arts and more.  The event provides the community an exceptional opportunity to meet and interact with the artists themselves, and to own an original Hawaiian creation.

“We couldn’t be more proud to continue the annual market event that HOEA began in 2010,” said Co-Director Beth Mehau, “And it’s a great honor for us to be included on the events calendar for MAMo.  Waimea Artists’ Guild is in very good company, with some of the most acclaimed indigenous artists in Polynesia.”

“Our over-arching goal is to build awareness, to help elevate these artists to the status they’ve earned and deserved, as with other fine arts disciplines,” she said.  The roster is limited to 30 artists from Hawai’i Island, and interested vendors should contact WAG as soon as possible.

Featured artists already on board for the WAG Native Hawaiian Arts Market include:

  • Master woodcarver Toma Barboza
  • Beau Jack Key, a lifetime fisherman and modern-day lure maker who he appreciates the art, functionality and evolution of the ancient Hawaiian fishhook and expresses that in museum-quality work.
  • Auhea Puhi recently turned her attentions to jewelry in copper, silver and legally-obtained walrus ivory after 42 years of distinguished feather lei creations.
  • Geoffrey Mundon, printmaker and creator of bone jewelry, enjoys making art “on the fly” with anything available to capture those fleeting, otherworldly moments that happen daily.
  • Acclaimed kapa-master and artist Roen Hufford
  • Kauanoe Chang, watercolorist, is a D.O.E. Hawaiian Studies Specialist, inspired by the people, places, things, events, physical and emotional and spiritual experiences of Hawai’i.
  • Tom O’o Mehau, known for his highly detailed pen and ink renderings and illustrations, most recently working in small-scaled carving under the tutelage of Maori Master Carver Stacy Gordine

WAG is an association of professional artists whose intent is to produce art and promote education in their community.  A project of The Pantry 501(c)3 non profit organization, WAG is located in the industrial complex adjacent to Mama’s House thrift store, just past NAPA Auto.

The Guild was created by graduates of HOEA, the Hawaiian ‘Ohana for Education in the Arts, whose mission is to “increase the number, accessibility, and visibility of Native Hawaiian Arts and Artists.” Although Native Hawaiian ancestry is not required for membership in the Waimea Artists’ Guild, sensitivity for cultural themes, materials and practices is of primary concern in the operation of the program.  For additional information, contact: Beth or Tom Mehau at 887-2289, email waimeaartists@gmail.com or visit www.waimeaartistsguild.com