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Mural sprouts in Alakoko

“We’ll be here on Mondays and Fridays,” said Malia Chun of Na Pua No‘eau, a program at Kaua‘i Community College. “As the mural progresses, we’ll be hosting students in the older grades, including students from the Kaua‘i Community College.”

Na Pua No‘eau partnered with Malama Hule‘ia to host the Mo‘olelo Murals artists Friday in launching the mural that will, when completed, serve as not only an enhancement of the Alakoko (Menehune) Fishpond, but an educational tool depicting some of the traditional practices used by Native Hawaiians.

Friday, a group of 20 to 30 home school students ranging from preschool to seventh grade descended onto the site of the Alakoko Fishpond to start the process that the artists estimate will take about a month to complete.

The young artists used their hands to impart their individual mana‘o onto the canvas to form the base coat in varying earth tone shades of the valley. This is similar to the mana‘o reflected in the mural on the Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity ReStore building in Hanapepe, and the Namaho‘e, Kaua‘i’s sailing canoe, that received its mana‘o from the many hands that went into the construction of the canoe and sealed with the final coats of paint and sealer.

“What this means is we’re going to be here for the next month,” said Holly Ka‘iakapu, one of the Mo‘olelo Murals artists. “No more Kress Street (and Friday Night Art) unless you come to the Paint Paina on the third Wednesday of the month.”

Ka‘iakapu and Kamawaelualani Corp.’s Nikki Cristobal were immersed in a totally different environment Friday after participating in the community work day, where they were nearly neck-deep in mud, muddy water and the lo‘i located a bit upstream from where the mural is being set up.

“Yeah, Bethany Coma, you missed out,” the group laughed during the lunch break before the home school students adjourned the Alakoko campus in anticipation of the next group’s arrival.

Chun said among the groups wanting to participate, the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i is asking for an appointment.

“But they don’t want to paint,” Chun said. “They just want to hear what is happening.”

Helen Cox, former KCC chancellor, also expressed an interest in joining the group of painters to experience the Alakoko site.

The Mo‘olelo Murals artists will be doing a live mural Saturday when doors to the Kaua‘i Brewers Festival open at the Po‘ipu Beach Athletic Club.

“This is a fundraiser for Kamawaelualani Corp.,” Ka‘iakapu said. “We’re part of Kamawaelualani, and we need to raise funds for all of the projects we do.”

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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