Now thru November 2018, visit the Wing Luke Museum and be transported from traditional museum galleries into a space that is very personal. Very vulnerable. Very warm and comforting. Step into this living room-style exhibit space featuring art installations of four different Pacific Islander artists. Perhaps the living room transports you to another world. Perhaps it reminds you of home, the way you remember it, as it was. This is Visions of Pasifika: Light from Another World.
I am so honored to have had the opportunity to participate in creating this exhibit and weaving together lei to be shared with all who walk into the space. I feel what's most rewarding, is when I am able to give lei. To give lei to someone to celebrate them, to thank them, to love them. And the lei lives its purpose. To carry the aloha spirit, happiness, and mana from myself to someone else. I ask myself, how can I continue my indigeneity outside of the land to which I'm indigenous. Of my lei, though the pua and lau, the flowers and leaves, are of plants not native to Hawai'i, they still represent a Hawaiian tradition. And they speak of the land where I live, now. The Pacific Northwest. It is a sign of traditions adapting. It is a sign that the aloha spirit can live in many forms. It is indigenous to Hawai'i and transcends across all lands and people. And it continues to connect us all.
My visions for Pasifika? That all our huraiti, dancers, teachers, and artists, will in our own way perpetuate traditions and create new ones as we are each stakeholders in our communities. Like the keiki I teach and learn from. All mixed. All different faces and eyes and complexions, but all right, all true, all pono. The faces of our future express the growing, shifting, expanding expressions of our selves. Our people. And I’m not afraid anymore. I’m not afraid that my traditions will look slightly different than that of my ancestors. Because I am slightly different. Pasifika will always be changing. But the people of Pasifika will be stakeholders in commanding, nurturing, growing and weaving a positive change. It will no longer be that others alone will change us. We have the righteous belonging to our culture, our people, our language, and our ways of life. Join in this conversation and ask yourself, what do you envision for the future of our Pacific Island communities?