LIHU‘E — “We want people’s mana‘o,” said Nikki Cristobal of Kamawaelualani, Mo‘olelo Murals program. “We want people, especially the youth from 10 years and older, to be involved so we can teach and mentor them about culture, arts, and the community.”
The Mana Wahine, translated to mean “powerful women,” Mural Project welcomed its first member of the community, Nani Holroyd, Monday after spending a week preparing the blank wall to receive the mural.
The Mana Wahine Mural Project is a collaborative partnership between the YWCA of Kaua‘i, and Kamawaelualani, Mo‘olelo Murals with funding provided by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority Kukulu Ola grant, and the Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Summer Health Academy.
“We did a lot of collaboration with talks with people like Kumu Sabra Kauka, Kumu Hula Leina‘ala Pavao Jardin and her Halau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leina‘ala, and we’re even using Bree Blake’s neice who started preschool today,” Cristobal said. “This is an educational experience, and everyone is invited to share about Mana Wahine O Kaua‘i.”
Work on the mural started last week, and due to the public being asked to be a part of the project, the mural led by Mo‘olelo Murals artists Holly Ka‘iakapu, Bethany Coma, and Blake is expected to be worked on throughout September.
“Painting by the public, including youth and kupuna, are done in two-hour blocks from 10 a.m. to noon, and then again from 3 to 5 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays,” Cristobal said. “Signups are by calling 808-346-2944, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or online through tinyurl.com/manawahinemural.”
Work started with Shioi Construction providing the scaffolding from which the girls work from in the ceiling to ground project.
“Do you know I’m afraid of heights?” Blake asked while inking the final design elements. “I conked my head, already, and some of my toes are broken. It was so painful I had to tape three of them together.”
That is the mana that Cristobal invites into the mural, the conversation being interrupted when Coma reacted to winning overnight stays at the Waimea Plantation Cottages through a local radio station promotional campaign.
“Community members will paint alongside us and put their mana into the mural,” Cristobal said. “They will also learn about the contents of the mural, powerful women of Kaua‘i, kanaka art forms such as hula and kapa.”
A mural unveil will be planned following the mural’s completion.
Source: The Garden Island