“Ha” in Hawaiian means “breath,” or more specifically, “breath of life.” Traditionally, Hawaiians greet each other by sharing ha, a process by which two people touch noses and foreheads and share a common breath. This is considered a meeting of souls as much as it is a meeting in person. We see the creative arts as expressions of ha, and to teach and learn these arts as a form of sharing ha. This is the spirit with which we would like to offer classes in traditional and emerging Hawaiian Arts (HA) to the people of Molokai and its visitors.
The HA Program, which began in 2017, has two components:
This component makes up the bulk of the program, and involve employing masters of Native Hawaiian crafts, such as makers of kapa, lei, tools, stone carvings, musical instruments, woven lauhala, etc. to teach classes, workshops and give lectures to the residents of Molokai, especially targeting the Native Hawaiian community. By encouraging Native Hawaiian participation in the HA Program, we will be building a stronger Hawaiian community centered on the arts, and foster a cultural-artistic continuum in Hawaiian art forms.
This component will involve reaching out to the public and visitor populations to educate them on the significance of Hawaiian art, its importance in Hawaiian identity and why understanding it is an integral part of being a respectful visitor. This will take the form of lectures and hands-on classes specifically targeted and advertised to the visitor and visitor-resident population.