“This Mele Mural project with Aliamanu Middle School connects us with the land and mo‘olelo (story) of Mo‘oanaloa on O‘ahu and is respectively titled with the same name of “Mo‘oanaloa.” The mo‘olelo behind this mural takes us back to the ancient Hawaiian days when there was no buildings, roads or overdevelopment.
Kamanui Valley was once teaming with life and home to many unique plants and native creatures. Currently, the plants and living creatures of the valley are rapidly declining. As a reminder of what used to thrive in the valley, the haumāna (students) painted a Hawaiian bird, called the O‘o (honeycreeper), which has now been long extinct.
In the center of the mural, there are three mountain peaks that bear names of the ancestors of Kamawaelulani. He is the rift in the heavens and the split in the clouds, visible from under the valley. Kahikilaulaniʻs three children were Keana‘akamano (the cave painted by the shark on our wall), Maunakapu (the sacred mountain), and Kaho‘omoe‘ihikapulani (meaning to be put to sleep with all heavenly possessions).
What once used to be in the valley, animals, vegetation, and water, is now being depleted. As the future generation, we need to preserve the valley so that all living things, mo‘olelo, and Hawaiian culture can live on and perpetuate.
Weʻre proud of the 30 alaka‘i haumāna (junior leader students) of Aliamanu Middle School who led over 750 of their school mates to paint this mural. It is one of the biggest Mele Mural projects to date. Mahalo to Gabe Man and the Roddy Akau family for allowing our staff and haumāna to learn on their huaka‘i (field trip) in Kamanui Valley. Mahalo to our lead artist Luke Pomai DeKneef, who lead the team of artists of Ran Noveck, Danielle Zirk, Justin Vasconcellos, and Olona Media for their documentation. Lastly mahalo to Tina Tagad, Rob Asato, and Pio Tagad for all their kokua.”