PIDGINMOJI is 100% Kānaka Maoli [Native Hawaiian] owned and operated. PIDGINMOJI has expanded to include a non-profit arm celebrating the Hawaiian culture and educating Hawaiians on ancestral traditions through technology. These are traditions that tightly bond us with our brothers and sisters across Polynesia including Samoans, New Zealand Māori, Tahitian Māʻohi, Tongans, Niueans, Cook Islands Māori and Marquesans. This non-profit is called HAKA which stands for Hawaiian Academy of Knowledge and the Arts.
ʻŌlelo [Hawaiian language] forms the base of the Pidgin language with many local expressions originating from Hawaiian words so PIDGINMOJI is embracing its Polynesian roots with HAKA.
PIDGINMOJI founder, Kaʻohele, partnered with Kumu Hula Kauila Kawelo to form HAKA and together, they are bringing the world The Ahuʻula Project.
The Ahuʻula Project [TAP] is a multi-platform traveling exhibition that brings ancient Hawaiian feather capes and the Polynesian community together through portrait sittings. HAKA has already scheduled the first TAP exhibition on the island Maui in partnership with the Maui Historical Society in October of 2022 at the Hale Hoʻikeʻike building. Below is an illustrated rendering of The Ahuʻula Project exhibition.
HAKA is creating a hands-on experiences through photographic sittings, building a stronger relationship with our ancestral past. These portraits create new heirlooms, never before images, engaging mo‘olelo [family stories] in one-of-a-kind portrait experiences.
Below are actual portraits for TAP photographed by Kauila for MANTA STUDIOS.
The TAP exhibition is a collection of ancient Hawaiian ancestral and Aliʻi [royal] feather capes, cloaks and a rare pre-contact collection of battle capes, making it the largest private collection in the world. These exquisite capes come from Kumu Hulu Nui Rick San Nicolas [Hawaiian Feathers]. HAKA is creating a unique hands-on experience with these feather capes in the physical world. For those who are not able to attend the exhibition or want to relive the experience, HAKA will create an online destination that provides an in depth virtual tour of the feather capes and features the portraits taken at each location.
The portraits are printed and stretched on premium canvas. These portrait exhibitions will help HAKA to stimulate cultural conversations and encourage strong relationships with our communities in Hawaiʻi and around the world. Each portrait exhibition provides an opportunity to share HAKA’s initiatives and promote upcoming HAKA events.
HAKA will take the TAP exhibition global, focusing on countries visited by our Hawaiian kings, queens, princes and princesses of old Hawaiʻi. HAKA will take the exhibition to countries where feather capes are in private collections or museums such as Museo de América in Madrid, Spain, Germany Dresden museum, Bern museum, Cologne museum, Staatliche Museen Berlin, British museum London, Edinburgh Scotland museum, Pitt Rivers museum Oxford, Hastings museum and Art Gallery, Ulster museum Belfast, Ipswitch museum Colchester, National museum of Denmark Copenhagen, Musee du quai Brandy, Paris. Museum fur Volkerkunde Dresden, Auckland War Memorial museum Aukland Smithsonian museum, Washington National museum and Australia to name a few.
This will provide amazing opportunities for Hawaiians living abroad to reconnect to their Hawaiʻi roots, and themselves by visiting the exhibition. It will also create an experience for everyone around the world to learn more about other sacred aspects of our Hawaiian culture. The exquisite nature of the Hawaiian feather capes opens up the dialogue to educate the public further to increase cultural awareness and appreciation.
HAKA will host a gala on the opening night for each location TAP has an exhibition. This opening event will feature special guests, community and cultural leaders, celebrities, award winning entertainment, culinary leaders, skilled artisans and social media influencers. Guests will enjoy amazing food and drinks that will be catered and served by Hawaiʻi businesses.
Mahalo nui loa for taking the time to learn about how Kaʻohele and Kauila are using the wealth of their experience to elevate the Hawaiian community through HAKA. Their initiatives are made possible by the wisdom of their kupuna and teachers who led the way and the generosity of their supporters who share their vision of using technology to educate the world about our Hawaiian culture.