(BIVN) – Seven treasured kupuna were honored during a Native Hawaiian community-driven event held at Dole Cannery on Monday.
The inaugural Nā Mamo Makamae o Ka Poʻe Hawaiʻi: Living Treasures of the Hawaiian People, a collaboration between OHA and the PAʻI Foundation, recognized master practitioners and knowledge keepers. Four of the seven honorees were from Hawaii Island.
The Living Treasures awardees are:
- Patience Nāmaka Bacon of O‘ahu – for hula
- Josephine Fergerstrom of Hawai‘i Island – for lauhala weaving
- Sam Ka‘ai of Maui – for carving
- Marie McDonald of Hawai‘i Island – for lei making and kapa making
- Nainoa Thompson of O‘ahu – for navigating
This inaugural cohort of awardees also includes two posthumous recognitions:
- Elizabeth Malu‘ihi Ako Lee of Hawai‘i Island – for lauhala weaving
- Abraham “Puhipau” Ahmad of Hawai‘i Island – for videography, documentary
According to an OHA media release, the honorees were nominated and selected by a group of nine cultural experts and practitioners.
“These kūpuna are not just keepers of the flame, they are the connection and bridge to our past,” said OHA Ka Pouhana (Chief Executive Officer) Kamana‘opono Crabbe. “The more we learn from our kūpuna and apply what we learn from them, the more we maintain that bond with our ancestors, our homeland, and our identity as Kanaka ‘Ōiwi.”
PA‘I Foundation Executive Director Victoria Holt Takamine said, “The PA‘I Foundation is pleased to provide partnership support to this important event, which aligns well with the PA‘I Foundation mission of preserving and protecting Native Hawaiian culture and arts for future generations.”