MAMo Keiki Art Festival

HMI at the Bishop Museum

MAMo (Maoli Arts Month) was established in 2006 by Vicky Holt Takamine and her PAI foundation.  Vicky had been inspired by a visit to the Santa Fe Indian Market in New Mexico, and she came home with a dream for a native arts festival of our own.  She rallied the troops, drummed up funding, and in typical Vicky fashion, turned brainstorm into reality.  MAMo, she says, has three goals: "First, it's our way of celebrating and showcasing the depth, breadth and diversity of the native Hawaiian arts community.  Second, we hope to educate locals and visitors about native Hawaiian art and to create economic opportunities for our artists by increasing their presence in museums and galleries. Third, we want to encourage native Hawaiian artists to meet with and mentor young Hawaiians to ensure the continuation of both contemporary and traditional art forms" ("Hawaii’s Back Yard," Cheryl Chee Tsutsum, Honolulu Star Bulletin, April 27, 2008). 

This yearʻs MAMo activities include a native artists awards ceremony (May 1), the First Friday Gallery Walk in Chinatown (May 2), the Native Arts Market and Keiki Art Festival at the Bishop Museum (May 3-4), four traditional art demonstrations at the Outrigger Waikīkī (May 7, 14, 21, 28), the Wearable Art Show and Dinner at the Waikīkī Beach Marriott (May 16), and the Hawai‘i Book and Music Festival at Honolulu Hale (May 17-18). 

By May 17, HMI will have lent helping hula hands to three of these five hanana (First Friday, the Keiki Art Festival, and the Wearable Art Show).  Māpu was also present (below left) when master practitioner Aunty Elizabeth Maluihi Lee received  a Mamo Award for six decades of dedication to the art of lauhala weaving.  Aunty traveled with us in 2004 to the 9th Festival of Pacific Arts in Palau, and she will join us again this July for the 10th of those festivals, this time in American Samoa.  Pūlelo haʻaheo ke ahi o Kamaile!