View the full exhibit now on display online at Five Oaks Museum!
We chose Matsui’s work because of her strong commitment to the Pasifika community and organizing here in the Pacific Northwest — one of the overarching themes of DISplace. Through her work with the Huraiti Mana Polynesian dance troupe, lei-making, and her work as a whole, Matsui’s dedication to keeping culture alive through authenticity and resilience is prevalent in her handiwork, language teaching, and building of community relationships. Leaders like Matsui and others are important pillars in the Pasifika network as we navigate the challenges of being away from our homelands.
Te Pū Fenua is the thousand year old Polynesian tradition of burying the placenta upon a child's birth, continuing our eternal relationship between our people and Te Mama Fenua, Mother Earth. A rite that had survived attempted erasure by colonizers. Too often women, their bodies, and the creation of their bodies, are deemed vile & sinful, biohazard and lesser than. Many mothers have fought for decades to revive the rite to carry home with them the incredible creation that had come from their own body and had protected their babies before birth - their placenta - so that it may be buried in their homeland, in the fenua, beneath a tumu, or with the moana, by whatever means to connect their children to the land that raised their tūpuna. I lift my hands to these metua vahine who have paved the way that one day I may also take part in te pū fenua, and my child may know the roots of their ancestors. Māuruuru mai tō'u mafatu te mau metua vahine!
4th place ages 25-34
As the incredible Ra'atira Tiana Liufau explains a dancer should be, have the grace of Hina and the power of 'Oro! Ua te'ote'o roa vau ia 'oe e Pūpahu! Your dedication and love and commitment is the soul of Huraiti Mana! On to the next!
Save our Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in Washington State! So proud of our Huraiti who have worked so hard throughout quarantine, with 100% of practices unfortunately via zoom. We have had only virtual classes for the past 7 months since the loss of our studio due to COVID measures taken by building management as well as huraiti's joint efforts & conscious choice to minimize the spread of this deadly illness. Across Washington, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders continue to have the highest contraction and highest death rate due to COVID - more than any other ethnic group and by extremely high margins. Though we long to be together, myself side by side with my Tamari'i, we are proud to continue our part, in what little steps or big we can take, in saving our people.
We are proud to participate in an event advocating for the same, remaining socially distant but culturally close. Opportunities such as these throughout 2020 has been unprecedented and invaluable in keeping our spirits high, our goals aligned, our bodies moving, and our ā'au fulfilled. Māuruuru from the bottom of our hearts. E fa'aitoito!
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