Native Hawaiian carve out their own part of world reknown event
Hilo, Hawaii – Video by David Corrigan
As the thousands arrive in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii to celebrate the Merrie Monarch hula festival, Hawaiian culture takes center stage. And in a small building, right next to the much larger Edith Kanakaole Stadium where the televised spectacle takes place, cultural practitioners and skilled masters of Hawaiian descent are putting on a cultural showcase for their own craft.
The PIHA (Perpetuating Indigenous Hawaiian Artists) Native Hawaiian Art Show is more than fine paintings and culturally significant woodwork. Some of the pieces, so important to the Hawaiian presentors that they are not allowed to be photographed, are generations old and worthy of any museum display.
“It was phenomenal to have gathered nearly 50 Native Hawaiian artists last year to display their arts at the Prince Kuhio Plaza however we intend to surpass that number of participating artists this year,” said Terri Napeahi, an artist and founder of organization, in a media release, “It will be a site to see.”
The show feverishly set up in the days leading up to Good Friday, and then opened to the public after proper Hawaiian protocols.