Ka wa ma mua, ka wa ma hope

Date
2003-05
Authors
Ching, Lena Lei
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Volume
Number/Issue
Starting Page
Ending Page
Alternative Title
Abstract
Hawaiian navigators oriented themselves without instruments by using a system based upon knowing where they came from and by having faith in the words of their ancestors. As a Hawaiian artist, I am embarking on a journey in which I orient myself in much the same way. When translated from our language, "ka wa ma mua" literally means "the time in front." However, in Hawaiian thinking, it describes the time that came before this time in which we live. In the same vein, "ka wa ma hope" literally means "the time in back" or from a Hawaiian perspective, the time which follows this time in which we live. "It is as if the Hawaiian stands firmly in the present, with his back to the future, and his eyes fixed upon the past, seeking historical answers for present-day dilemmas." (Kameʻeleihiwa, 1992) We Hawaiians view the world looking to that time that came before us because it is rich in knowledge. Looking to my ancestors and knowing the history of our people strongly influences how I view the world and contributes greatly to the forming of my relationship with it. I look to the past also to learn more about my Hawaiian identity. As a Hawaiian in today's world, I realize that part of the process requires that I engage in the task of decolonizing my mind. My thesis exhibition is an attempt to express through imagery one aspect of this decolonization. It is only one part of the process and one avenue of many through which an artist can express resistance to further erosion of our life ways. Looking to the past, recognizing that I was raised as a colonized person is one step towards better understanding the importance of my Hawaiian identity. Awareness of this part of my past is another step in the process of decolonization.
Description
iii, 35 leaves
Keywords
Citation
Extent
Format
Geographic Location
Time Period
Related To
Theses for the degree of Master of Fine Arts (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Art; no. 438
Rights
All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Rights Holder
Collections
Email libraryada-l@lists.hawaii.edu if you need this content in ADA-compliant format.