Explore and celebrate how people tell stories and apply knowledge through different mediums — like the written or spoken word, visual arts, cultural practice, and the environment — at Moʻo ʻŌlelo, a series of presentations hosted by the James and Abigail Campbell Library at the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu.
Moʻo ʻŌlelo presentations will be held 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting Tuesday, March 22, via Zoom. All presentations are free and open to the public.
Moʻo ʻŌlelo is part of the Big Read Hawaiʻi, a collaborative effort between UH West Oʻahu, Kapiʻolani Community College, Windward Community College, and the Hawaiʻi State Public Library System to broaden our understanding of the world and the people who inhabit it through reading, conversations, art, and connections. Click here for a full list of Big Read Hawaiʻi events.
Big Read Hawaiʻi is held in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read. Showcasing a diverse range of themes, voices, and perspectives, the NEA Big Read, in partnership with Arts Midwest, aims to inspire meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in each community.
UH West Oʻahu’s Moʻo ʻŌlelo series will explore the ways that we tell, preserve, and apply moʻolelo (stories and histories) through ʻāina (land), kai (ocean), cultural practice, written words, and art. Presentations will address questions such as: How do we tell our stories? How do we tell the stories of our kūpuna? How do we ensure that the next generations will remember our stories? How do we apply the lessons of these moʻolelo to the modern world?
“I encourage people to attend Moʻo ʻŌlelo because through conversations, reading, and learning moʻolelo, we can get a better understanding of ourselves, our history, our future, and most of all, each other — which is something very much needed with everything going on in the world,” said Kawena Komeiji, events coordinator for Moʻo ʻŌlelo.
Komeiji, who is also the Hawaiian Pacific Resources Librarian at the James and Abigail Campbell Library, continued, “As the ʻōlelo noʻeau says, ʻaʻohe pau ka ʻike i ka hālau hoʻokahi — we learn from different sources and spaces, not solely in a classroom.”
According to the Moʻo ʻŌlelo website, the series’ title has multiple meanings. Moʻo can mean story or legend, but also succession, in genealogical terms. ʻŌlelo means language, words, or to talk. Combined, Moʻo ʻŌlelo can mean the succession of stories.
Komeiji added that presentation attendees can enter to win a tote bag and a book: either the selected book of the Big Read Hawaiʻi, “An American Sunrise” by Joy Harjo, or one of the companionship books selected by UH West Oahu, “Nānā i ke Kumu, Vol. III,” or “Living Nations, Living Words: An Anthology of First Peoples’ Poetry.”
Click here to learn more about the Moʻo ʻŌlelo series or to register for presentations. The following are details and descriptions of the upcoming Moʻo ʻŌlelo presentations:
Moʻolelo Kai with Uncle Kaipo Pomaikai
Tuesday, March 22. Register here.
Uncle Paul “Kaipo” Pomaikai Sr. (Nānākuli, Oʻahu), a retired Merchant Marine officer and tug boat master, will share his moʻolelo and lessons learned from growing up as a keiki o ke kai, ʻōpio, and makua on the beaches of Nānākuli on the island of Oʻahu. He will also share how Ke Kai has shaped his personal, social, and professional career life, allowing and opening so many doors of opportunity throughout his professional career, and life, as a Native Hawaiian tugboat captain.
Moʻolelo Hoʻoponopono with Aunty Lynette and Kaʻaiʻai Paglinawan
Thursday, March 24. Register here.
Loea hoʻoponopono, Aunty Lynette Paglinawan and Kaʻaiʻai Paglinawan (Kahaluʻu, Oʻahu), will share their moʻolelo as hoʻoponopono practitioners.
Kaʻaiʻai Paglinawan is a second-generation Native Hawaiian social worker for the past 13 years at Liliʻuokalani Trust.
Creating Local Superheroes with Chris Caravalho (Mana Comics)
Thursday, March 31. Register here.
Join Chris (Oʻahu) from Mana Comics as he discusses the journey to becoming a self published comic book creator and how to create your own superheroes!
Christopher Caravalho is a local comic book creator, writer, co-artist, and founder of Mana Comics. Chris always had an obsession with comic books, loved to write stories, and would often draw his classmates into superheroes. Little did he know at the time he would be laying the future foundation of an idea to create a team of heroes from Hawaiʻi.
In 2014 with the help of family, friends, and online Kickstarter supporters, he was able to achieve a lifelong dream by creating Issue One of the ‘Aumākua Guardians of Hawaiʻi, which showcased a team of present day local style superheroes saving the day. Since then, Chris has self published several other ‘Aumākua books including several spinoff series such as Mana Double Feature, Sistah Shark, and the ʻĀnuenue Warriors.
Ola (i) ka moʻolelo: Living (because of) Moʻolelo | Navigating Pacific Culture Through Poetry with Brandy Nālani McDougall and Craig Santos Perez
Thursday, April 7. Register here.
Brandy Nālani McDougall (Aʻapueo, Kula, Maui) will focus on ancestral moʻolelo as life-giving and life-saving. As part of that, McDougall will share moʻolelo of being an ʻŌiwi poet and scholar as well as the ways she incorporates moʻolelo into her work while Craig Santos Perez (Guam) will explore how poetry can help us navigate the complexities of Pacific culture, identity, and politics.
From Kula, Maui, Brandy Nālani McDougall (Kanaka ʻŌiwi) is the author of a poetry collection, “The Salt-Wind, Ka Makani Paʻakai” (2008), the co-founder of Ala Press, and the co-star of a poetry album, “Undercurrent” (2011). Her book “Finding Meaning: Kaona and Contemporary Hawaiian Literature” (University of Arizona Press, 2016) is the first extensive study of contemporary Hawaiian literature and the 2017 winner of the Beatrice Medicine Award. She is the director of the Mānoa Center for Humanities and Civic Engagement and an Associate Professor of American Studies (specializing in Indigenous studies) at UH Mānoa. Her second poetry collection, “ ʻĀina Hānau, Birth Lands,” is forthcoming in 2023. She lives with her ʻohana in the ahupuaʻa of ʻAiea on Oʻahu.
Craig Santos Perez is an indigenous Chamoru from the Pacific Island of Guåhan (Guam). He is the co-editor of five anthologies and the author of five books of poetry and the monograph “Navigating Chamoru Poetry: Indigeneity, Aesthetics, and Decolonization” (2022). He is Professor in the English department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where he teaches Pacific Islander literature, creative writing, and eco-poetry.
Moʻolelo Honouliuli with Uncle Shad Kane
Thursday, April 14. Register here.
Join Uncle Shad Kane (Mānana, Oʻahu) as he shares some of his favorite moʻolelo of the ʻEwa moku with special focus on the ahupuaʻa of Honouliuli!
Uncle Shad Kane was born in Honolulu but spent his early childhood years in the Pearl City Peninsula, Mānana. He graduated from Kamehameha in 1964 and went on to Utah State University for two years. Uncle Shad served in the Navy from 1966 to 1970 serving on the USS St. Paul and River Divisions on the Van Co Tay River. He then graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi in 1972 and got a Masters Degree from Central Michigan University in 1976. Uncle Shad served in the Honolulu Police Department from 1970 and retired as a lieutenant in 2000. He has served in many community organizations including the Oʻahu Island Burial Council, the Makakilo-Kapolei-Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board, Western Advisory Council to NOAA, and was a cultural writer for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Go Kapolei Magazine. Uncle Shad also authored the book, “Cultural Kapolei.”
He is currently a board member on Ka Papa O Kākuhihewa and the Kalaeloa Heritage and Legacy Foundation, a coalition member to the Kapolei High School E Ola Pono Ma Kapolei and Ali’i ʻAi Moku of the Kapuāiwa Chapter of the Royal Order of Kamehameha, and many other organizations.
Hana Noʻeau with Kaiʻili Kaulukukui
Thursday, April 21. Register here.
A talk story with Kanaka Maoli artist, Kai’ili Kaulukukui (Hilo, Hawaiʻi), about working to navigate the waters of the contemporary art world, while keeping one foot on the ancestral homeland.
Kaiʻili Kaulukukui was born on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi in September 1981. As a young child, Kai had a great interest in creating art and began drawing at a very young age inspired by Hawaiʻi’s natural beauty, rich native culture, abundant ocean life, and of course, cartoons and comic books. An adolescence spent chasing the perceived contemporary art scene of the ’80s and ’90s led to a stint in graffiti, and the desire to paint on walls and eventually mural painting. A classically trained oil painter, Kai studied fine art at Windward Community College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Today, he is based out of his private studio in Keaau, and Lana Lane Studios in Kakaʻako, Honolulu. Kai holds a volunteer position as Ground Operations Manager for the “Seawalls: Artists for Oceans” event, an international mural festival by PangeaSeed Foundation, a marine conservation organization that utilizes artivism (art+activism) to inspire ocean stewardship.
Kai draws often and enjoys painting in watercolor, acrylic, aerosol, and oil. As a muralist, his work can be seen in Hawaiʻi, California, St. Croix U.S. Virgin Islands, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, Nepal, China, Hungary, and the Bahamas.