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Kuikawalakii interrogates Hawaiian ceremonial aesthetics through a 3D printed Kiʻi (tiki) carved out by millennia of moʻolelo (stories). The pewa spine interprets paepae, manamana, or uprights illustrating the endurance of moʻolelo and its plasticity within Hawaiian language newspapers, featherwork, video games, ʻawa, thrownets, hip-hop, and kōnane. The pewa design replicates the opening seven epochs of Kumulipo, a Hawaiian cosmogonic genealogy recollecting the birthing of many different chiefly life-forms.

Kawalakii, an image-structure of a large warrior, which stood atop a ladder on Kauwiki Cliff in Hāna, Maui protecting Lonoapiilani and his warriors for many moons instilling fear in all but one person, Piimaiwaa. Piimaiwaa, a famed warrior of Umialiloa possessed an incredulous war club named Kahuelepo (Revealing of Dirt/Dust and Meaning), which strikes Kawalakii revealing the structure beneath. This strike overthrew Lonoapiilani who was being abusive to Kihaapiilani, his younger brother, for attempting to feed their people. Lonoapiilani saw mutual aid as a move to surreptitiously steal his nation.

This moʻolelo has been weaponized like the war-club Kahuelepo in tumultuous times of Hawaiʻi to reveal sacred meanings and has been in a state of potentia for the last century. Unmasking, dusting, and dirtying make intelligible demarcations of the sacred. Homing in on the moment that violence ceased and non-violent direct action against a structure was activated recognizes the enemy is a structure not a person. Kuikawalakii is the fecundity of ceremony in an Augmented Reality Application. You are Piimaiwaa and Kahuelepo is your phone. How will you play this story?

Use the hashtag #overthrowszn


by Daniel Kauwila Mahi

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