POW! WOW! Co-Founder, Kamea Hadar Paints a 14-Story Hawaiian Goddess of the Moon Mural

Author: Marguerite Castaneda
07.30 / Art

Kamea Hadar, the co-founder of festival POW! WOW!, just painted a beautiful mural to honor Malama Honua and Hokulea’s return home - not to mention it's the state's record largest portrait of Hawaii, no big deal. The fourteen story tall mural is the Hawaiian goddess of the moon, Hina, who has been said to guide sailors with the moon and stars while they're at sea.

Hadar said of the mural, “The image I am painting is a depiction of Hina, Hawaiian Goddess of the Moon who helps to guide sailors at sea. I felt that this image was fitting not only because of Hokulea but also because of the proximity to Pearl Harbor. The building is directly across the street from the parking lot of the Arizona Memorial, and I felt that Hina could be a universal light that helps guide all sailors of the world home safely."

Kamea had also completed a series of projects honoring Hokulea when she left on Malama Honua about three years ago, so this piece is to honor her return. Malama Honua translates to 'Caring for Our Island Earth' and the voyage spreads awareness of taking care of the earth and all its natural resources. On a canoe, water, food, plants, and other basic needs are in limited supply and are tended to with great care; so too we must tend to our resources on islands, and for all of Island Earth.”

The mural of Hina is also full of symbolism. In her right hand she holds up the moon, and in her left arm, she holds a kalo (taro) leaf to her chest. The two elements represent the balance of land, sea and sky and Hina’s presence within those elements.

Kamea also spoke of who helped advise the project. “I worked very closely on this project with John Hina, aka Prime, who advised me on imagery. Prime is not only a well-respected painter here in Hawaii and around the world, but is an encyclopedia of Hawaiian knowledge. Prime has taught me that we as artists in Hawaii are creating a modern-day form of mo’olelo or ancient Hawaiian storytelling, but instead of using an oral tradition, hula, or an oli (chant), we are using spray paint, brushes, and paint."

Check out the gorgeous mural above and see how it came together in the video below. For those who want to see this masterpiece in person, it can be seen at the Halawa View Apartments.

Photos by: Andrew Tran

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