Makakilo Elementary students help paint the latest Mele Mural in the Kapolei area.


In October, we completed the 8th Mele Murals project this year with Makakilo Elementary School. This mural, titled “Ahahula Puuloa, He Alahele Na Ka‘ahupahau,” reflects on the past and what the land used to look like. It also shows the shark goddess, Ka‘ahupahau, who watched out for other bad sharks and provided safety for the people of Pu‘uloa. The mo‘olelo (story) reminds our children that it’s their kuleana (responsibility) to be watchful and protective of their community and surroundings.

Our new staff members, Luke “Pomai” Dekneef in white at bottom Left & Kristie Okimoto 
kneeling at bottom right – Group photo with Hālau Pāheona afterschool class
We would like to welcome our new Hālau Pāheona art instructor, Luke “Pomai” DeKneef, and Mele Murals coordinator, Kristie Okimoto, to our Estria Foundation staff! Luke has a great amount of experience teaching adults and keiki how to paint for the past 17 years. Kristie comes from an environmental and social justice background. They have also worked with Malama Loko Ea and the Hawaiian culture-based education of the Explorations (Ho‘omaka ika‘i) Program at Kamehameha Schools.
We look forward to the rest of the Hālau Pāheonaʻs school year and future Mele Mural projects with both Luke and Kristie. Welcome them the next time you visit our hālau at Kaimukī High School or see them painting with our team!

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