Kua`aina Associates was established in 2005 as a result of a Hawaiian and Maori recognizing that it was time and their kuleana (responsibility) to bring together their collective years of experience as cultural stewards – to take into their care what is precious and sacred to indigenous people and facilitate the passing of indigenous knowledge and cultural values from one generation to another.
Kua`aina provides capacity building assistance to Native cultural and art organizations, individual artists and produces special art & cultural projects. To provide these services, Kua`aina draws from a pool of associates who bring to a project an array of expertise such as: program development, project coordination and management, technical and cultural writing, marketing and public relations, fund development, visual and performing arts, traditional arts and indigenous knowledge, languages and healing arts. Kua`aina operates under the notion that working collectively on a project provides an opportunity for a more monumental outcome, thereby contributing to the maintenance and sharing of the life ways of cultural and artistic expression.
Throughout time, indigenous people, have maintained a deep respect and love for their environment, honoring each plant and stone as a living creature like themselves. Their understanding of the intrinsic connection between the earth and their existence upon it resulted in a naturally “sustainable” way of living, rooted in concepts of non-wasteful consumption and nurture of the environment as they in turn were nurtured.
This connection also manifested in art forms that reflected the importance of their natural surroundings - from cave paintings and petroglyphs depicting animals and fish to kapa (bark) cloth pounded from wauke (mulberry) bark and dyed with kukui nuts.
These ancient arts tell the stories of peoples and cultures—not only in historical terms of how they lived, but on deeper levels of what they believed and what they valued.
Kua`aina acknowledges the timeless wisdom of indigenous knowledge and the value of the Cultural Bearers of today and the importance of a new generation of indigenous artists who are the modern-day storytellers. that will continue to carry the whispers of the ancestors. See more