The weaving of lau hala represents a living tradition borne on the great arc of Pacific voyaging history. This thriving tradition is made immediate by masters of the art who transmit their knowledge to those who are similarly devoted to, and delighted by, the smoothness, softness, and that particular warm fragrance of a woven lau hala treasure. The third volume in the Hawai'inuiakea series,?Ike Ulana Lau Hala is an intriguing collection of articles and images about the Hawaiian tradition of ulana lau hala: the weaving, by hand, of dried Pandanus tectorius leaves.`Ike Ulana Lau Hala considers the humble hala leaf through several, very different lenses: an analysis of lau hala items that occur in historic photographs from the Bishop Museum collections; the ecological history on hala in Hawai'i and the Pacific including serious challenges to its survival and strategies to prevent its extinction; perspectives-in Hawaiian-of a native speaker from Ni'ihau on master weavers and the relationship between teacher and learner; a review-also in Hawaiian- of references to lau hala in poetical sayings and idioms; a survey of lau hala in Hawaiian cultural heritage and the documentation project underway to share the art with a broader audience; and a conversation with a master artisan known for his distinct and intricate construction of the lei hala. Rich with imagery, this extraordinary volume will guide the reader to a better understanding of the cultural scope and importance of lau hala, fostering an appreciation of the level of excellence to which the art of ulana lau hala has risen under the guidance of masters who continue to steer the Hawaiian form of the tradition into the future.
Lia O'Neill Keawe was raised on Hawai'i Island in Hilo. She is an assistant professor at Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. A long time admirer of all things ulana lau hala, Keawe has now become a practitioner of this traditional and customary art form.C. Kurt Dewhurst, Ph.D. is director emeritus & curator of folk life and cultural heritage at the Michigan State University Museum, USA and professor of English at Michigan State University, USA. His research interests include folk arts, material culture, ethnicity, occupational folk culture, and cultural economic development, and cultural heritage policy.Marsha L. MacDowell is professor of art and art history, Michigan State University, USA; curator, Michigan State University Museum, USA; core faculty member MSU museum studies program; and coordinator, Michigan Traditional Arts Program (a state wide partnership of the MSU Museum and the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs). Her research is focused on the documentation and analysis of the production, meaning, and use of traditional material culture; the development of educational resources and public arts policies related to traditional arts; the development of curriculum materials related to community-based knowledge; and the creation of innovative ways, including digital repositories, to increase access to and use of traditional arts materials.