On April 22nd, our Mele Murals team started a community mural at Pālolo Elementary School. The initiative was a part of “Earth Day” and a collaborative weekend with Iolani School, Kaimukī High School,Hālau Kū Māna, Aliiolani Elementary School, Clean Water Honolulu, Tree to Seas, Inc., SEEQS (The School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability), Voyager Public Charter School, and the City and County of Honolulu to restore the clean waters of our ahupua‘a of Pālolo and Manoa. Besides the stream restoration that runs along our office home of Kaimukī High School, our team wanted to provide access to an art project that allowed the students and community to say a message about the history of Pālolo besides cleaning the streams.

The mural painted exhibits the concepts and ideas from the Pālolo Elementary students and participants of our reflection sessions. On the left is Kaʻauhelumoa, the famous mighty rooster and aliʻi of Pālolo. Behind him is Kaʻau crater. There is a spring named in his honor called Kaʻauhelemoa where reddish water from a stream flows from the crater. In the moʻolelo (story), Kamapuaʻa the pig-man/diety fights him for rule of Pālolo valley. Although Kaʻauhelumoa died in the fight, he continues to this day to guard the valley and its inhabitants. The lesson here is that he was too mean and hard on people, and despite his love for them, they wanted him removed. Kaʻauhelumoa is there to tell the students to be brave like a rooster, and to be unafraid to admit oneʻs mistakes, make a change, and have a second chance.

The central image is of a child, representing todayʻs youth, connecting to the heavens and the earth, rising up to the ʻike (knowledge). On the right is an ulu tree that was considered to be a never-ending ʻulu tree that continues to grow. The stream that runs throughout the right of the mural connect us all.

The mural will be finished the week of 4/30. Stay tuned to find out the date of our Unveiling Day where it will be in conjunction with the unveiling of the new sustainable garden that Pālolo Elementary School has started!

Mahalo to everyone in the community that came out to help paint this beautiful Mele Mural project! A special mahalo goes out to Iolani School, Holly from Pālolo Elementary School, Honu‘apo, Ritchie and Sunny Mudd, and City Mill for the paint supplies.

To read up more on all the activities and schools that participated in the Aloha ‘Āina, visit Nawaiekolu.Org!

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