A’o Cultural Center Presents Hawaii’s Rich Culture

Outrigger Reef Waikiki has opened a new cultural center to expose Hawaii’s cultural heritage to visitors – the A’o Cultural Center.

This month, Outrigger Reef Waikiki, in partnership with the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS), unveiled its brand new A’o Cultural Center. It aims to introduce and showcase Hawaii’s rich culture to visitors and guests.

Located in the hotel lobby, the A’o Cultural Center presents a collection of arts such as a model outrigger canoe, paddles, shells and traditional feather lei.

What to see at the A’o Cultural Center?

Hope I Ka Wa Ma Mua, Ka Wa Ma (Through the past is the future – – a mural by Kamea Hadar

One of the rooms that you will see right next to the new cultural center is the “I Ka Wa Ma Mua, Ka Wa Ma Hope” which means “through the past is the future”. This mural by the famous Hawaiian artist Kamea Hadar depicts a traditional wa’a (sailing canoe) crewed by children of important Hawaiian personalities such as Hana Kakinami, great-granddaughter of native Hawaiian writer, poet and cultural historian John Dominis Holt IV; La’iku Blankenfeld, the grandson of PVS navigator Bruce Blankenfeld; Steel Scott, the great-grandson of Elmer Scott. founded in Hawaii in 1932; and Kawena Kamakawiwo’ole, the great-niece of the great musician and songwriter Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. Nova Hadar, Kamea Hadar’s daughter is also pictured driving the wa’a.

Another work of art that you can admire is the woven sculpture called the Eia Hawai’i, He Moku, He Kānaka (Here it is Hawaii, an island, a people). This distinctive artwork was created by fiber artist Hanalei Marzan. The sculpture shows the stunning Hawaiian Islands stretching across the living room.

Inspired by the navigation stick charts of the Marshall Islands that were used to teach oceanic maritime practices and Hawaii knot-making practices, this work proves the connection of various communities on the island. It also recognizes the ancestral ties and long-lasting relations with Oceania.

Where can I find this work of art? At the Herb Kane Lounge. The newly renovated living room presents the legacy of the after artist, historian and founding member of PVS Herb Kawainui Kane. The earthy texture and updated modern design of the living room are very pleasing to the eye and exude a peaceful atmosphere. In addition, the Eia Hawai’i, He Moku, He Kānaka is not the only work you will see here, you will also find four original paintings by Kāne and an extensive mural of a traditional sailing dinghy that stretches the entire length of the check-in counter.

A stay at Outrigger Reef Waikiki will allow you to see and experience Hawaiian culture first-hand. He also maintains his commitment to the conservation of the oceans and reefs. In partnership with marine scientist and artist Ethan Estess, the entrance to the complex features the sculpture Coming Home, which is a partnership with the Marine Debris Research Center at Hawaii Pacific University. By collecting mounds of discarded fishing nets, Estess was able to create this colorful Diamond Head mural. The mural encourages and inspires people about the importance of consuming less single-use plastics.

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