Kaimukī High School

Kaimukī, O‘ahu

There are several mo‘olelo told in this Mele Mural, but the overall theme is “Ho‘okahe Wai Ho‘oulu ‘Āina,” meaning when the water flows, the land thrives. The wai (stream) that flows next to the Kaimukī High School campus flows from Ka Papa Lo‘i O Kānewai, and the source of the water is at the top of Mānoa Falls. Therefore the portrait of the rainbow maiden of Mānoa, Kahalaopuna, was painted.

The hala tree roots were painted to depict a non native plant that came to Hawai‘i, similar to all the nationalities of Hawai‘iʻs melting pot. However, hala trees are now a part of the land, as well as all the different people that live in Hawai’i. The pueo (owls) fly overhead and remind us that there are still pueo that protect the high school campus.

In the past, the water would flow continuously from Manoa to the ocean, prior to Waikiki being built. Now with the water being diverted via the Ala Wai Canal and all the underground aquafers being depleted, our land has been changed by hotel buildings and concrete. The he‘e (octopus) represents the ocean diety of Kanaloa and how ocean life is strong to swim freely when the channel of ocean water connects with fresh water from the mountains.

The two voyaging wa‘a (canoes) of the Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalea travel across the ocean and are honored. As this mural was being painted, the Hōkūle‘a was in the middle of itʻs second year of itʻs 3 year Mālama Honua worldwide voyage. The sky above it is broken into eight sections to represent makawalu (the eight different perspectives).

These visuals are now used for Kumu Kaleo Hanohanoʻs social studies and Hospitality Academy classes as well as educational visuals for visiting students from other schools. After the mural was completed, the practice of “mālama ‘āina” (taking care of our land) is now practiced with wai (stream) clean-ups and invasive species studies. This Mele Mural not only touches the hearts of the haumāna, staff and campus of Kaimukī High School, but can be seen by tourist buses, Kaimukīʻs community and everyone driving past it on the H1 freeway overpass.

‘ŌiwiTV video: https://vimeo.com/145697883

2783 Kapiolani Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA

Mural Name

Ho‘okahe Wai Ho‘oulu ‘Āina (When the water flows, the land thrives)

Date Completed

November 2015

School Served

Kaimukī High School

Lead Artists

Estria Miyashiro, Jesse Velasquez, Beethoven Villarmo, Lindsay Lander

Cultural Practitioners, Kūpuna, Community Orgs

Ka Papa Lo‘i O Kānewai, Jenn Gonsalves, Kumu Kaleo Hanohano, Lori Chun, Principal Wade Araki, Vice Principal Ken Agcoaili, Hawai‘i DOE

Sponsors & Supporters

Hawaii Tourist Authority, Montana Cans, Housemart Ben Franklin Kaimuki, Elenaʻs Restaurant

Documented By

‘Ōiwi TV

We Need Your Help

Your tax deductible Annual Membership provides much needed support for arts education in Hawaiʻi.

Help purchasing much needed supplies for our wall murals.

Assist in funding cultural advisers for our youth workshops.

Help stage events surrounding our public mural unveilings.

We Need Your Help

Your tax deductible Annual Membership provides much needed support for arts education in Hawaiʻi.

Help purchasing much needed supplies for our wall murals.

Assist in funding cultural advisers for our youth workshops.

Help stage events surrounding our public mural unveilings.

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