Eia Ke Kumu
Eia Ke Kumu
Lum, Nanea Jordan
This paper introduces literary resources for education about Hawaiian culture and resistance to settler colonialism and militarism in Hawaiʻi. Eia Ke Kumu, 2021 is a ceremonial creation of artworks that honor the materiality and spirituality of the ‘āina of Mānoa. As a series of paintings and documentation videos, Eia Ke Kumu talks about my creative process as it is related to Hawaiian conceptions of creation. I consider Mānoa, not solely a place for my education, but a Kumu, a teacher of the process of becoming centered spiritually, materially responsible, and navigating through ambiguity. The title roughly translates to: here is the reason; the lesson, the beginning, the teacher, and the main stalk of a tree. This work is my navigation of place, a methodology of making connections, and meaning as a Kānaka artist; a person identifying the politics in existentialism of Hawaiian culture in Hawaiʻi. The title also refers to Nānā I Ke Kumu = Look to the source, a three-volume literary compendium of traditional principles and values of Hawaiian epistemology collected since 1970. These scholars' works of a deeply political origin engage with the foundation of the Hawaiian language as the sustaining element of discourse. The materials of visual language I use articulate (not just passively represent) the cultural compositional conversation with ʻāina—a sense of knowledge coming from a relationship with the Indigenous lifeworlds.
Art history, Art criticism, Language arts, Ceremonial, Decolonial, Hawaiian, Kapa, Painting, Process
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