The Alana (“Awakening”) Hawaiian Culture Program

Supported by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Click on the Author's name to access their complete biography and links.


Royal Hawaiian Featherwork: Nā Hulu Aliʻi

Adrienne L. Kaeppler & Christina Hellmich
2:30 pm Sunday May 1. Mission Memorial Auditorium

The catalogue accompanying a major recent exhibition at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, and opening in May at the Los Angeles Count Museum of Art, documents the first comprehensive showing of Hawaiian featherwork mounted on the US mainland. It features rare and stunning examples of some of the finest extant featherwork in the world, including capes and cloaks (ʻahu ʻula), royal staffs of feathers (kāhili), feather lei (lei hulu), helmets (mahiole), and god images (akua hulu), as well as related eighteenth- and nineteenth-century paintings, works on paper, and historical photographs. A unique selection of feather garments, objects, and other works are from the royal Hawaiian collections in the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu. This lavishly illustrated book explores the central role that these sacred works of art played in the culture and history of the Hawaiian Islands, their unparalleled technical craftsmanship, and an aesthetic tradition unique to the Hawaiian archipelago.


Unearthing the Polynesian Past

Patrick Vinton Kirch
Noon, Saturday April 30, Alana Hawaiian Culture Pavilion

Perhaps no scholar has done more to reveal the ancient history of Polynesia than noted archaeologist Patrick Vinton Kirch. For close to fifty years he has explored the Pacific, as his expeditions took him to more than two dozen islands spread across the ocean, from Mussau to Hawai`i to Easter Island. In this lively memoir rich with personal—and often amusing—anecdotes, Kirch relates his many adventures while doing fieldwork on remote islands.


PANEL: Redirecting Hawaiian Archeology

Sara Collins, Moderator
Kathy Kawelu, Patrick Vinton Kirch,
Pūlama Lima
1 p.m. Saturday April 30. Alana Hawaiian Culture Pavilion

This panel discusses the book Kuleana and Commitment: Working toward a Collaborative Hawaiian Archaeology, an attempt to bring together two groups of stakeholders, namely Kanaka Maoli and archaeologists working in Hawai‘i, who seek to ensure that Hawaiian cultural sites and practices are a part of Hawai‘i’s future. Through a systematic examination of the sociopolitical aspects of Hawaiian archaeology, the author presents a history of the discipline’s practice as revealed by written documentation and personal interviews with individuals concerned with the tangible and intangible aspects Hawaiian culture, and serve as the foundation for suggesting a change in the practice of archaeology in the islands, and a move toward a more collaborative approach to Hawaiian archaeology.


PANEL: Hawaiian Sense of Place

Noelani Goodyear-Kaopua, Moderator
Katrina-Ann R. Kapāʻanaokalāokeola N. Oliveira
, Erin Kahunawaika‘ala Wright
10 a.m. Saturday April 30. Alana Hawaiian Culture Pavilion

This panel is keyed to the book Ancestral Places: Understanding Kanaka Geographies, and explores the deep connections that ancestral Kānaka (Native Hawaiians) enjoyed with their environment, the moʻolelo (historical accounts) of the ancestral places of their kūpuna (ancestors), and how these moʻolelo and their relationships with the ʻāina (land) inform a Kanaka sense of place.


Rainforest Pu‘uhonua

Kahikāhealani Wight
11 a.m. Saturday April 30. Alana Hawaiian Culture Pavilion

As a child, Kahikāhealani Wight loved Hawaiian stories and songs and wanted to learn everything she could about her culture, but in those years it was discouraged. Then in midlife, she purchased a cottage near the erupting summit of Kīlauea in a native rainforest and lived there five years. Rainforest Pu‘uhonua is her eloquent and moving memoir of cultural awakening amid the plants and ferns, birds and insects, mist and fires of old Hawai‘i. Wight’s rhythmic prose and gift for mo‘olelo, story, along with 62 exquisite paintings and photos by local artists, convey the depth and magic of the east Hawai‘i bioregion, bringing the ancestral stories to life.


PANEL: Mauna Kea-- Science and Sacredness

Jonathan Kay Kamakawiwoʻole Osorio, Moderator,
Julia Morgan, Leon Noʻeau Peralto,
4 p.m. Saturday April 30. Alana Hawaiian Culture Pavilion

A conversation about the cultural tension between traditional Hawaiian values and the theoretical assumptions of researchers, business people, policy makers and wide sectors of the public that support large-scale scientific research in Hawaiʻi.


Ē Luku Wale ē

1 pm Sunday May 1, Mission Memorial Auditorium

The H-3 project drew more protest and opposition than any other construction project in Hawai‘i’s history. The largest and most expensive public works project of its time, H-3 was symbolic of what many in the community did not want Hawai‘i to become: an extension of a constantly and rapidly urbanizing and commercially developing continental United States. Those who wanted to stop the freeway wanted to preserve qualities of life and land that were unique to Hawai‘i: its Hawaiian heritage and sacred sites, its natural environment, and its rural character.

Ē Luku Wale ē: Devastation Upon Devastation documents the aina ravaged by machinery during the construction of the H-3 freeway. In the devastated landscape, people are eerily absent. The photos were taken after hours or on weekends, when the supervisors and machine operators had gone home.


PANEL: Inside Story

Ron Williams, Moderator
Marie Alohalani Brown, Tiffany Ing, Noenoe K. Silva
2 p.m. Saturday April 30. Alana Hawaiian Culture Pavilion

This panel will discuss the book Facing the Spears of Change, by Marie Alohalani Brown, which takes a close look at the extraordinary life of John Papa Īī. Over the years, Īī faced many personal and political changes and challenges in rapid succession, which he skillfully parried or seized, then used to fend off other attacks. He began serving in the household of Kamehameha I as an attendant in 1810, when he was ten. His early service took place in a time when ali‘i nui (the highest-ranking Hawaiians) were considered divine and surrounded with strict kapu (sacred prohibitions); breaking a kapu pertaining to an alii meant death for the transgressor. As an attendant, Īī was highly familiar with the inner workings of the royal household. He went on to become an influential statesman, privy to the shifting modes of governance adopted by the Hawaiian kingdom. At the end of his life, he also became a memoirist and biographer, publishing accounts of key events in his own life and in the lives of others during the sixty years that he served his kings, his nation, and his people. As a privileged spectator and key participant, his accounts of ali‘i and his insights into early 19th-century Hawaiian cultural-religious practices are unsurpassed.


Queen Liliʻuokalani, the Dominis family, and Washington Place, Their Home

Rianna Williams
3 p.m. Saturday April 30. Alana Hawaiian Culture Pavilion

Rianna Williams starts her book with the personal story of Queen Liliʻuokalani, tells of her husband and his family, and finishes with the story of a great house that has always been an important social and political hub. Rianna Willliams gives much new information about the Queen and her three hanai children, her own comments about her husband and their marriage, her late life almost-romance, her always precarious financial situation, her ability to mix Hawaiian and western cultural and religious beliefs, her kindness and caring along side her negative comments about people.