Our Project Lead,
Keala Kahuanui was raised in Waimānalo, Oʻahu, where she nurtured her love of the ocean. Puʻukapu, Waimea on Hawaiʻi island is where she lives with her wife ʻEkela Kahuanui and where she met her mama waʻa Makaliʻi.
Project Hanana Mau is a partnership between Nā Kālai Waʻa and Constellation Fellow Keala Kahuanui. Keala is a crew member, quarter master and watch captain for Makaliʻi. “My passion is fueled by my commitment to do my very best in this generation of our voyaging culture to enhance our health, relationships and interdependence to each other, kanaka (man) and ʻāina (land), by re-connecting to our ancestral ways of growing and storing our own food for home and voyage and realizing our food sovereignty."
About Hanauna Mau
Project Hanauna Mau's goal is to restore and perpetuate real and native foods in our diet, aiming to heal and empower Native Hawaiians to feed themselves - physically, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually and even economically. Eating, preparing and cultivating a restored native food system aims to grow healthy families and communities with reduced dis-ease, expanded cultural practices and a strong connection to place. We believe the voyaging canoe to be a symbol of our indigenous excellence, hope and possibilities of the positive outcomes reached when we pool our strengths together.
Our Project Partner
Funding and support for Project Hanauna Mau comes from the Constellations Culture Change Fund and Initiative Fellowship and Nā Kālai Waʻa.
The Constellations Culture Change Fund and Initiative (a.k.a “Constellations”) is housed at the Center for Cultural Power and support and inspire BIPOC Artist Disruptors, Culture Bearers, and cultural organizations to create a world where power and culture are distributed equitably, sovereignty and self-determination are honored, and humans are in alignment with nature.
In April 2023, Keala was is one of the ten individuals chosen to be a part of the 18-month fellowship funded in part by the California Arts Council. Her role is Cultural Bearer defined as a cultural steward helping us understand traditional ways of knowing and creating paths to community health and healing and artist holders of indigenous, ancestral and/or traditional knowledge weaving past, present, and future stewardship of land, culture, community, and spirit.
Keala's partnership with Nā Kālai Waʻa creates place-based projects through this intiative, aligning with their mission to build narrative and cultural power in communities.