Every workshop is different. Every workshop spent in the Armory Court on behalf of Huraiti Mana is a different experience. They're each exciting and each a beautiful moment of community. Today, I returned to participate in the 5th Annual Seattle Children's Festival, Saturday, September 22, 2018. But no matter how many times we return to the Seattle Center with Northwest Folklife, I learn something new and amazing, whether it be the curiosities of children, the insight they have, the understanding they possess for their cultures and cultures not of their own in our storytelling workshops; or whether it be the cultural exchange shared among people of all walks of life in our kahiko and language workshops. I am so grateful to those who organize the many events Northwest Folklife creates year-round - all free, all jam-packed with cultural performances, and all the perfect family outing excursion. Mahalo nui loa for your community work and dedication to building our families in Seattle!
Over 100 community members packed into the small basement event space of the Elliot Bay Book Company on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, September 19, to celebrate with Sharon H. Chang the launch of her newest book and first memoir, Hapa Tales and Other Lies. Sharon kindly invited me to perform opening and closing ceremonies as well as share a couple mele (specifically, a couple hula performances). This experience was powerful, inspirational, and fulfilling regarding womxn and femme power, a force of indigeneity, vulnerable sharing and deep cultural exchange, a multi-racial community's pains and triumphs, and a breath of fresh intellectual enlightenment and prosperity.
I feel so blessed to be in the company of greatness. Sharon's excerpts chosen in her book reading were equal parts eloquent and down-to-earth, simultaneously humorous and bluntly painful. Although she and I have very different relationships to Hawai'i - I being Native Hawaiian and she being mis-identified as such - I find my questions and emotions completely seamless with her own. For example, she questions the changes in expectations and justifications from having dark skin in the tropical places where she had grown up - she in California while I was on O'ahu - but now living as a light-skinned mixed person in cloudy Seattle. People treated us differently than when we had been growing up elsewhere. We have been identified, misidentified, claimed, and disowned and singled out. Where is home?
I can't wait to sit down and read voraciously through this memoir. Stars Marian Macapinlac, Selena Velasco, and Moonyeka feel the same. Marian's voice began the set of performances with sweet rock and roll - her voice echoing smooth melodies throughout the room. Selena's slam poetry piece with artistic interpretive dance moved me - her vulnerability is her strength; her body is her own, now. And so is mine. And Moonyeka smashed onstage with a super-chill-cool dance set and disturbingly great video montage. Watch them. These individuals, led by the community Sharon H. Chang is drawing together, will shake the world as we know it.
Mahalo nui loa to Sharon for the opportunity to share in such an incredible night I will always remember. Me ke aloha e ku'u 'ohana hou!
Event: Lei-Making Workshop
Date: Sunday, November 11, 2018
Time: 11:00AM - 1:30PM
Location: Wing Luke Museum 719 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104
Fresh flowers, fragrant greens, and endless results. Join us!
One of the four Pacific Islander artists featured in the Wing Luke Museum’s Visions of Pasifika Light from Another World, artist and lei-weaver Kalei'okalani will direct a 2.5-hour lei-making workshop with fresh lau and pua (leaves and flowers), woven together in the wili or wrap style at the Wing Luke Musuem in Seattle's Chinatown-International District.
Participants will learn about the significance of lei-making and how this Polynesian tradition is integral in the perpetuation of cultural values. This is a challenging exercise and is recommended for 12+. No experience necessary.
Lei are not simply decorative pieces; they share a spiritual connection with and are representative of the land they come from, the people who create them, and the people for whom they are made. Lei is a cultural, personal, and spiritual exchange of aloha (love), mana (spiritual power), and mana'o (knowledge). Learn about how lei-making strengthens our connections to the land and to each other. Share in company, stories, and laughter in this labor of love.
What to bring:
Sharon H. Chang is an award-winning renowned activist, author, and photographer whose works and perspective shed light and insight on the racial relations of the Asian American and Pacific Islander diaspora. Her first publication, Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children In a Post-Racial World, is a critically acclaimed academic work focusing on the contradictorily underrepresented children of color that make up the vast majority of the under-5 population. Now, she's launching her first memoir book Hapa Tales and Other Lies, a beautifully woven story of mis-identity, hidden histories, and a search and understanding of home. For this highly anticipated work, Sharon, in her usual fashion, has curated together a community-collaborative, which, by sheer power of community, features many artists with whom Huraiti Mana has performed across the Asian American, Womxn/femme, Pacific Islander, women of color, and social justice art activist scene.
Huraiti Mana (Kalei'okalani) last collaborated and shared the breath of life with Selena Velasco for the Wing Luke Museum's Visions of Pasifika exhibit and with Moonyeka as a peer teaching artist for Arts Corps. Alongside the amazing performance artist Selena, dance artist Moonyeka, and musician Marian Macapinlac, Kalei'okalani of Huraiti Mana will be performing hula and sharing ceremonial oli as a part of Sharon's book launch and opening.
Join us for an amazing conversation about the complex identities of, in, and with Hawai'i that so many people share in so many different ways. We are so incredibly honored for this amazing opportunity to participate with our community of "Pacific Islander, Indigenous, Asian Am, and Mixed Race womxn/femme performers" and with Sharon H. Chang; her brilliance is an inspiration to us all, and her leadership drives a path for our voices and our stories.
Huraiti Mana is looking for Tahitian drummers to join or partner with us as we continue our journey as one of Seattle's newest Polynesian dance troupes. We're looking for the following drummer talents and leads including but not limited to:
If you are interested or know of groups that may be interested, please contact Kalei at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mauruuru roa!
Huraiti Mana brought Ori Tahiti and Hula for the first time ever to Rainier Beach Community's annual BAAMFest celebration on Sunday, August 19, 2018! We rounded out our summer months with this amazing festival that had three performance stages that featured Huraiti Mana, Deems Tsutakawa, Taiko Drumming, Belly Dancing, and so much more; tons of food trucks including Full Tilt; activity booths and cultural vendors; a pop-up traveling exhibit with the Wing Luke Museum; and horse-mounted Buffalo Soldiers.
A big mahalo to all those who have made BAAMFest possible year after year - especially to Cindi Laws! Volunteers work tirelessly to create a multi-cultural and cross-cultural event to showcase the communities of the Rainier Beach neighborhood as well as to highlight the histories of the area through a social justice lens. This year, the festival focused on the experience of Japanese Americans in the neighborhood and in Seattle at large, educating visitors about the Japanese American incarceration during World War II through pop-up exhibits and the arts.
While at a vendor booth, a little boy mentioned about his love for Chinese dragon mythology, for the Hawaiian State fish the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a, and other fascinating facts. His father smiled: "Yah, we try to raise him to appreciate other cultures. Because if we don't appreciate other cultures, than no one is going to appreciate ours."
This feels like it's been the longest summer yet, filled with so many Hula and Tahitian performances and workshops across Seattle and beyond, all with the mission to showcase the cultures and communities of which we consider Huraiti Mana a part. We are all connected. This year, we've danced our way with ori Tahiti and hula in the Seattle Center, Chinatown-International District, Tacoma, Burien, Auburn, Wallingford, and so much more. Mahalo, mauruuru.
Our festival performances are coming to the end as we head into the Fall season - this is a great time to join Huraiti Mana, build a strong foundation in our Ori Tahiti (Tahitian dance) and Hula dance classes, and become a part of this community of aloha in Seattle. We invite you, e manava!
The amazing folks planning the Duwamish River Festival invited Huraiti Mana again for another cross-cultural celebration to honor the Duwamish peoples, the Duwamish River, and diverse indigenous peoples that share a common love and connection to the earth and its life-giving waters. This event is always so warm and caring, filled with interactive and educational booths and a line-up of talented performances all day long. This year, some of our youngest huraiti graced the stage in a first-ever all tamari'i ote'a (children dance number)! Together, we danced Ori Tahiti (Tahitian dance) in Seattle's South Park in recognition of the peoples and places that have come before.
Duwamish River Clean Up Coalition is a non-profit organization and was founded in 2001 by efforts of the community. The coalition serves to restore and protect the Duwamish River while also supporting sustainability for the lives of the communities and neighborhoods in the area. During this year's festival, part of the programming included kayaking along the river! Programs such as these are available throughout the year, serving to educate the community using culturally-responsible means and through an equity lens.
Our deepest mauruuru to the hard-working team of the Duwamish River Festival and Duwamish River Clean Up Coalition - your tireless work lifts up these communities. Haere mua!
Northwest Folklife is kindly inviting Huraiti Mana back again to participate in the Our Big Neighborhood summer series to bring hula to the Seattle Center! As an event sponsor, Families of Color Seattle presents Hula Dancing with Huraiti Mana for the 5th Annual Seattle Children's Festival on Saturday, September 22, 2018. Join us for a fun workshop full of Hawaiian story, history, song, and dance! Learn how we can all share in a deep connection with the land and with each other through the values of 'ohana (family), ha'aheo (pride), and aloha (love).
Huraiti Mana was invited to perform hula and share Hawaiian story-telling at the University House in Wallingford, Seattle for their annual lū'au celebration! We shared stories about our home in O'ahu where we were born and raised with E Wai'anae; we shared about ourselves through our mele He Hawai'i Au - I am Hawaiian; and we shared in a brief activity with a hula-hands workshop. Mahalo nui to this fun-loving senior community for inviting us for a sweet evening of sharing in hula dance and performance! Hana maika'i!
Huraiti Mana will be doing back-to-back performances in mid-August, rounding out the summer with BAAMFest 2018.