Maori have a long established relationship with our brothers and sisters of the Hawaiian Islands. We share similar cultures, customs, belief systems and also language. Our customs and cultural values have been passed down from our ancestors through the medium and art of storytelling, often featuring the same deities in many instances, for example Maui. There are also many and varied stories retelling the migration and seafaring travel and prowess of our respective ancestors.
It is this deep genealogical connection that we hope to embrace and share within the framework of a cultural and story exchange in partnership with the prestigious University of Hawai’i at Manoa (Honolulu, O’ahu). We hope to create a collaborative environment whereby the sharing and exchange of our stories will reconnect and rekindle our ancestors. Through this cultural and knowledge exchange, we hope to further explore the similarities and differences between our stories to reveal the historical and cultural values within. At the same time, the art form of storytelling will be revitalised.
Over the course of an 8 day visit to Hawai’i, we will share our kaupapa with Hawai’ian storytellers, performance artists and language experts. Practically speaking, this will involve the delivery and presentation of several storytelling and cultural exchanges. The majority of our collaborative works will take place at the University grounds, involving the the Maori Language Program, the Theater Department, the Center for Pacific Islands Studies and the School of Hawaiian Language. We’ll also connect with a variety of community groups outside of UH, including the local Punana Leo Hawaiian Language Immersion Preschools.
This is a wonderful opportunity for our cultures to connect at a creative and spiritual level, with a view to sharing the treasures of our past. We’re excited at the prospect of joining our Hawaiian brothers and sisters to form this collaborative and creative partnership.
This story and cultural exchange will be a tri-lingual affair – Maori, Hawaiian and English.
Our primary host is the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, located in Honolulu on the island of Oahu.
However, we will also engage with the following organisations, groups and individuals:
On the island of OAHU–
- Ka‘iwakīloumoku Hawaiian Cultural Center (Honolulu, Oahu)
- Hawaiian Studies Department at UHM (Honolulu, Oahu)
- Center for Pacific Island Studies at UHM (Honolulu, Oahu )
- Hawaiian Theatre and Language, Pacific and Indigenous Theatre, Playwriting at UHM (Honolulu, Oahu )
- Polynesian Cultural Center (Laie, Oahu)
- Ka Papa Loʻi ʻO Kānewai Cultural Gardens (Honolulu, Oahu)
- Pūnana Leo o Mānoa (Honolulu, Oahu)
On the island of HAWAI’I aka the big island-
- (Aunty) Noe Noe Wong-Wilson (Hilo, Hawai’i)
- Chadd ‘Onohi & Pomai Paishon (Waimea, Hawai’i)
- Allyson Tamura & Mahina Paishon-Duarte (Waimea, Hawai’i)
Nga mihi nui kia Toi Aotearoa!