Nā Wai ‘Ehā Collection

Taking it back to summer of 2015 with Kūlua's first MAMo Wearable Art Show collection, Nā Wai ‘Ehā.  All of the pieces were one of a kind.  Four of the looks were put back in the natural surroundings that inspired them.  Photography by Anna Kim.  Makeup by Ry-N Shimabuku.  

     This collection was inspired by Central Maui's four waterways known as Nā Wai `Ehā.  The names of these waters tell the story of the Battle of Kepaniwai between Kamehameha and Kahekili’s son, Kalanikūpule, in addition to alluding to the natural elements and older mo`olelo tied to the wai and the life of our kūpuna.  They are a wonderful example of the poetic "but also" that describes the meaning of our `ōlelo makuahine.  The fabric textures, garment details, and colors have been designed to bring the layered, rich story of our Nā Wai `Ehā to life.  

    Included in this collection are lauhala creations and accessories made with the help of Master Weaver, Pōhaku Kaho`ohanohano.  Pōhaku learned some of his craft from Anna's grandmother who was one of his seven Kumu.

    We begin in Waikapū and remember this as the place where the pū was blown by Kamehameha to start the battle, by some accounts marking this wai as kapu.  But also this is where the mysterious pū could be heard from a cave in the valley across the islands until the dog, Puapualenalena, stole it away.

    We continue to Wailuku, the destructive waters that turned blood red after two days of battle and numerous casualties.  These waters are the most recent to be returned to a flow reminiscent of their true force, a win attributed to the decade long battle by the aloha `āina warriors of Hui o Nā Wai `Ehā.    

    Waiehu's North and South streams are named for the water spray and `ehu color.  When Waiehu was more verdant than it is today, the stream was so full of ‘ōpae that when you stood in the stream and looked at your feet they appeared ‘ehu in color.  It is also here that the warriors were smoked with dust and perspiration, and were scared away like hogs or hens.  

    Finally, we make our way to Waihe`e, the slippery waters.  It is here that the kāne dispersed in total defeat.  It is here that the sisters Eleile and Wailua dwelled, and where the lā`ī would either float or be sucked in, indicating the presence of the mo`o wahine.  And it is at the muliwai of this waterway that the he`e are so plentiful it is one of the best places to fish.  

   E Ola `o Nā Wai `Ehā!