Hawaiian Prophecies - Na Kupuna Na’auao

Perpetuation & Preservation of Ancestral Knowledge & Practices

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Traditional Hawaiian Sculpture

POUND & SLASH - The Tradition of Hawaiian Sculpture - by Serge Kahili King
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Ku’ikepa, literally “pound and slash,” is the Hawaiian word for the art of sculpting. Like the sculpture itself the word reflects the concrete and practical side of Hawaiian thought. But in dealing with things Hawaiian it is important to remember that nothing is only what it seems. Along with the mana’o maoli, the literal meaning, there is always one or more mana’o ho’onanenane, figurative or poetic meanings. Even the word for sculpture, so literal on the surface, contains roots with connotations of “creating a likeness of knowledge and experience.” Hawaiian sculpture, then, is both general and particular. General, in that it follows certain forms which reflect shared aspects of Polynesian culture; and particular in regard to unique Hawaiian variations as well as the specific communication of an individual artist.


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