The 1st Annual Mele Murals Aha, MOKU, was held in the ahupua‘a of Keahuolū in Kailua-Kona from July 11-15, 2016. Haumāna (students) from seven different high schools attended the 5-day aha (conference) that also brought together Indigenous Artists, Cultural Practitioners, Community Leaders and Business Owners who collectively support and nurture the Mele Murals process of Āina-Based, ‘Ike-Based and Na‘au-Based education.
During the 5-day aha, students between the ages of 12-17 years old, completed “the NUI” – the 125 x 25 foot Mele Mural on the wall of HPM Kona which communicates the moʻolelo (story) of the ahupua‘a. Within the wings of the pueo, who once flourished in Keahuolū, are reminders of this once thriving community: its fresh water springs, ‘uala (sweet potato) and ‘opelu koa (fishing grounds).
In addition to working alongside Indigenous Artists, haumana also participated in a 2-day KUKAX2 (kukakuka – discussion) with Cultural Practitioners, Community Leaders and Business Owners from the Kona community who provided a space of empowerment and encouragement for haumana to pursue their passion. Mahalo to our partners of Queen Lili‘uokalani Trust and Childrens Center and HPM Hawaii.