Calley visited the wall during early construction to get a picture of what it might be like to create a mural to cover the length of a football field.
INTRODUCTION:  : The Kona Airport mural project came about as the result of a public decision to install a major art installation at the new Kona Airport TSA building. The Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts held an international competition that attracted over 300 applicants to produce a monumental work of art as a cultural experience for departing visitors. Every year over three million people will pass the 300’ long mural on their way to departures from the Big Island of Hawai’i.

The Art Advisory Committee unanimously selected local conservation and cultural artist, Calley O'Neil, to create the football-field-long mural. Calley's concept calls for the eight recessed 12' x 40' panels of stained glass mosaic to highlight Malama 'Āina, the heart of the Hawaiian culture: to love and take care of the land.

Deeply committed to the Hawaiian culture, Calley is honored to be guided by such highly esteemed kupuna (wise elders, wisdom carriers). These kupuna stand to share eight aspects (maka’walu) of ALOHA with an urgent message for all of us: It is time to understand the intricate interconnections of life, our role in the balance and health of nature, and rise to take care of the living world. Through the kupuna and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), the mural will strive to reflect the guiding principles and practices of the Hawaiian cosmology, culture, horticulture, and love of place.  

E ola ke Aloha! O wau ke Aloha!
Long live Aloha!   I am Aloha!

Constant throughout time and place, Aloha never changes nor evolves. It encompasses all. All Hawaiian values are within Aloha. It is the source and oneness of life, the HA ~ the breath we all share. Aloha is the living biosphere, the atmosphere, our climate. It is the gentle spirit of life, love, light, and awareness.

ALOHA is not something that can be taught. It is an experience of kindness and compassion that must be shared, and it is deep within each one of us. To experience Aloha, we must express it everywhere with everyone we meet. In so doing, Calley believes that Aloha will save the world.

E ola ka honua! O wau ka honua!
(Long live the Earth! I am the Earth!)

The Hawaiian culture understands the individual as a part of nature. There is no separation. We breathe from the forests and the ocean; thus, they are within us. Aloha ‘Āina, abiding love of nature, benefits humanity, future generations, and all other life forms on Earth. The mural will seek to reflect our oneness with the land through the native eyes of the kupuna and their Mo’oku’auhau (ancestral wisdom).

He wa’a he moku, he moku he wa’a.
(The canoe is our island; our island is our canoe.)

Guided by the stars and currents, ancient Polynesian master navigators first reached the Hawaiian Islands in voyaging canoes after long and arduous journeys. They practiced strict conservation of resources and sharing to survive the ocean journey. This philosophy of conservation and care, Malama ‘Āina (caring for the Earth), is the guiding principle for the Hawaiian people and the foundation for harmony in life. This way of being is shared by all Indigenous peoples who know their place beyond anything we could study.

This is profound yet simple wisdom. The Earth is our island, our only home. Take care of the land, and it will take care of you.


  • ABOUT THE ARTIST:   A lifelong artist, student of ecology, and passionate conservationist, Calley graduated with a BFA Summa cum laude from Pratt Institute and an MA in Social Ecology from Goddard College with a focus on ecological design and biological agriculture.

  • LOCATION:   Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole new TSA Building, departure area

  • SIZE AND MEDIA:  12' by 300' long (8 panels,12' by 40' each) exterior stained glass mosaic mixed media mural with hand-painted fired detailing and Beeck 100-year mineral paint. At least a small part of the glass will be crafted from wine and beverage bottles.

  • THEME, IMPACT, AND PURPOSE:   This mural promise to become a Hawaiian cultural landmark, seen by over 3,000,000 visitors each year. The Hawaiian Kupuna (wise elders/wisdom carriers) featured in the mural will express a vital message at the heart of the Hawaiian culture that is relevant to us all. Malama ‘Āina! translates as "Take care of the land! Take care of that which takes care of one and all!"

  • KEY ELEMENTS:  The first of its kind, the mural will feature 10’ tall mosaic portraits of kupuna and iconic native Hawaiian endangered species (kupuna/aumakua). The detailed mosaic in glass will reflect the beauty, health, and abundance of the land as it once was, can be, and must be again. Love and care for the living waters, forests, reefs, ocean, and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) is at the core of our healthy future. 

  • TIMELINE:  Having completed two years of research, design, and committee reviews and input, the mural is now in the mobilization and construction phase.

  • SPONSORSHIP: Seven of the eight mural panels are being offered for private support through tax-deductible contributions to expand the stained glass mosaic by bringing in elements of nature surrounding the kupuna, as follows:
          1. ALOHA
          2. THE LIVING WATERS
          3. THE OCEAN
          5. THE VOYAGERS
          6. THE CULTURE 
          7. TRADITIONAL FOODS and CULTIVATION ~  A Global Model of Sustainability

PRIVATE SPONSORSHIP IS WELCOME:  You are invited to collaborate with the Hawai'i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and sponsor the enhancement of your favorite wall with a much more extensive stained glass mosaic. You are also invited to be a part of the flow with your tax-deductible donation to support locally reused wine and beer bottles. Your contribution will earn you a place on the mural's THIN BLUE LINE.

THE RAMA TREE (TRT),  our sponsoring Hawai'i 501(c)3, was organized in 2010 to raise awareness about the state of nature and our climate, emphasizing the urgency to restore ecological health and balance. The need for restoration applies especially to Hawai'i ~ the extinction and endangered species capital of the world. 

Your tax-deductible contribution will fund the highly detailed design and construction to fill out the glass mosaic aspect representing nature elements.
  • Reference photography, free-hand drawings, and watercolors
  • US-made stained glass, materials, supplies, printing
  • Cutting, grinding and fitting thousands of pieces of glass
  • Adherence of the glass to WEDI (high-tech concrete base panels)
  • Permanent installation and documentation

BENEFACTOR RECOGNITION:  Wall benefactors may choose to be publicly recognized on a bronze plaque next to their sponsored panel, and dedicate their panel in honor of their children, the future, or an ecosystem. 

Tiny but helpful, this is the best we could do to show how 300' looks across a span of the page.
AS WE ADD MORE GLASS WE ADD NATURE In the center, the beautiful Ulu (breadfruit) tree, painted in mineral paint, will be transformed with stained glass mosaic later. The Ulu is a spectacularly beautiful tree, symbolic of sustenance, resilience, and abundance.

In the background, the first light of dawn signals a new beginning, our new beginning. The sun will radiate from within the piko (center) in rays of pearlescent, iridescent, and opalescent glass in pale blues, pinks, and lavenders. Some beams may be adorned with rare native Hawaiian blossoms. In the lower Earth, volcanic light from the center of the Earth flows in fiery tones.

Because they lived close to the land, native cultures the world over spoke the language of their place. They had an intimate understanding of plant and animal lifestyles. They knew how to move with grace and ease through the wilderness.

Seeing through native eyes means immersing the senses in nature and discovering heightened spiritual awareness and a sense of belonging.
Jon Young, Master Storyteller,  Nature Connection

KUMU KEALA CHING   This panel features, on the left, Kona's beloved Kumu Hula Keala Ching, chanting to open the mural with Aloha. He represents the kahiko (ancient) roots of the culture. His name means the path or the way, and his path is Aloha.  

A University of Hawai'i graduate, Keala is a Hawaiian language and culture scholar, kumu hula (hula teacher) for his halau (hula school), Ka Pa Hula Na Wai Iwi Ola, a composer of chant and mele (song), and Hawaiian cultural advisor. Fluent in Hawaiian, Kumu Keala lives, breathes, emanates, and teaches Aloha.  

He graduated as Kumu hula under renowned Kumu hula Braddah Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, with whom Calley had the honor to study intensively for several years on Oahu.  

Kumu Keala shares that the Aloha Spirit encompasses all. He advised Calley that the first and last wall must be the same – Aloha because Aloha is constant over time. It is love and harmony. All Hawaiian values emanate from and reflect Aloha. The Aloha emanating from the mural will go around the world and come back again, mirroring the past and future. Knowing history, we can learn to navigate to a healthy future.  
Because we protect what we love, with Aloha, we will learn to take care of life.  

Ka wai ola (the living water) must flow through every wall, connecting them. 
HANNAH KIHALANI SPRINGER is a beloved Keiki o ka‘aina of Kaʻūpūlehu, highly esteemed kupuna, cultural advisor, teacher, and wisdom carrier. Hannah is active guiding a nearly endless array of educational, cultural and conservation projects, such as the Kaʻūpūlehu Marine Life Advisory Committee, which successfully advocated for a ten year, all species rest period (No Take Zone), from the shore out to a depth of 120 feet at Kaʻūpūlehu and Kūkiʻo. The effort, is affectionately called, “TRY WAIT”. Now three years in, there are strong signs of increased fish populations and some coral regeneration.
KEKAULIKE PROSPER TOMICH, the son of Hannah Springer is an active dryland forester, cultural practitioner, and teacher, who successfully advocated with the Kaʻūpūlehu Marine Life Advisory Committee’s (KMLAC) for the TRY WAIT Marine Preserve at Kaʻūpūlehu. He shares that it was the families of the area who created this rest period to rejuvenate the health of the reefs and its species rich community. Kekaulike feels privileged to live and work in his ancestral homeland Kaʻūpūlehu. 
BACKGROUND AND ESSENCE: While 70% of the world is covered with water, just 2.5% of the water is fresh. The rest is saline ocean water. Of the fresh water, just 1% of it is accessible to sustain human, plant and animal life. The rest is locked up in glaciers and ice fields. The kupuna share, above all, that we must take care of the living waters. Water and air are the most important elements. Water is life, precious in all forms ~ the waters of Kane, patron of fresh water. As Hannah shares, we must all become water conservers…water keepers.

Hannah and Kekaulike will stand with the water coming through their hands, sparking the sound of water in the viewers to communicate through their appreciation of water as life.

*AS WE ADD MORE GLASS ~ LIGHT AND COLOR HARMONIES, SPECIES DIVERSITY: For the artist, this is a prayer for the living waters. The hydrological cycle will be featured as a magnification ~ a circle of life. People will be able to see the connection of the trees and the clouds in the heaven, and the percolation down through the roots to the groundwater and how it all cycles together. The time is noon, when no shadows fall.

KUPUNA:  The Moana Ohana - three generations, Ling, and son, Mike Nakachi, and his twins, Kaikea and Alohi

Chad Wiggins (also for fish ponds) Direcor of The Nature Conservancy, Hawai'i Kia'i loko 'ia  (caretaker) and educator, Kiholo Pond.
THE MOANA OHANA: Three generations of this Kanaka Maoli family live, breathe, and work to protect the ocean and its inhabitants. MIKE NAKACHI, USCG Captain and his father, LING, are highly respected reef and ocean protectors, professional divers, and cultural and marine science educators. They were actively involved in the successful TRY WAIT 3.6 mile No-Take preservation zone at Ka’upulehu. Mike’s son, KAIKEA, and his twin sister, ALOHI, both environmental resource management graduate students, join them in the work.

As kanaka and scientists, the Moana Ohana  works to mesh traditional practices with contemporary methods to unobtrusively research the ocean, particularly sharks. The family’s mission is to perpetuate the culture of aloha ‘aina by putting the well-being of sharks and the ocean first in our efforts of research and conservation.
BACKGROUND AND ESSENCE:   Coral reefs are ancient, spectacular and of the utmost importance to the health and abundance of the oceans and the people. In the 2015-16, there was a massive global bleaching event of coral reefs due to a Pacific warm water mass known as “The Blob”. Around the world, given the critical state of the fresh water systems and the ocean, the kupuna remind us that it is the time to protect the reefs, and the ocean.

There are 7,000 known forms of marine life in Hawai’i’s exquisite yet fragile reefs. The ancient Hawaiian coastal kupuna intimately knew the ocean, currents, reefs, sharks, a vast array of marine creatures and their mating and reproduction cycles. They cared for the prized fishing spots called ko’a (distinct fish aggregation sites). As they were dedicated to preservation, they developed a strict code of conduct to protect the longevity of every species.
YVONNE YARBER CARTER and KEOKI APOKOLANI CARTER, kupuna for the Ka’upulehu Dryland Forest Restoration and Education Project. In their own special way, through awakening the people to sounds ~ to listen to the land, Keoki and Yvonne are working to restore this remnant endangered dry forest ecosystem. Their quest is to share its unique historical, cultural, and scientific aspects to educate and benefit Hawai’i residents and visitors from around the world. Standing with them are their dedicated alaka’i (lead students), Wilds and Lehua, to who they are passing the torch. This is a great responsibility and honor.
THE ANCIENT FORESTS OF HAWAI’I: Elegantly beautiful, in times of old, much of Hawai’i was a dense forest extending from mauka to makai, except on fresh lava flows, kekaha (dry) lands, beaches, and elevations above 10,000’.

Fed by healthy life giving streams on the east side, and ocean air moving inland condensing and being absorbed on the forested slopes, intermittent rains, and groundwater on the west side, all the Hawaiian Islands were forested at pre-contact time. Developed on volcanic islands in the middle of sea in isolation over 35 million years, the forests were planted by the winds, waters, and birds that carried 10,000 plus known plant species to the most remote lands on Earth. Imagine, the forest species that we have identified are miniscule in comparison to the plant communities that exist. More than 90% of these species are found nowhere else on Earth (endemism). There are an astonishing 48 types of forests here, with at least 175 species of native trees. 

Once upon a time, the forests were habitat for at least 140 distinctive species of birds, 70 of which are extinct, and 30 endangered. Thus, the combination of antiquity and isolation (radial adaptation) created some of the most spectacular biodiverse (a multitude of species) treasure troves found anywhere on Earth. In a process known as adaptive radiation, one species became many here, again, more than anywhere else on Earth. Nature kept creating. Native forests are magical, mystical, gorgeous places with extensive biological and cultural significance. They are sacred places, legendary, and celebrated places. If the oceans were akin to ancient Hawaiian refrigerators, the dryland forests were akin to their toolboxes and medicine chests.

Amazingly, the dryland forests of Auahi on Maui and Pu’u wa’awa’a on the Big Island were the most biodiverse forests in Hawai’i, more diverse even that the rain forests. YVONNE YARBER CARTER and KEOKI APOKOLANI CARTER, kupuna for the Ka’upulehu Dryland Forest Restoration and Education Project. In their own special way, through awakening the people to sounds ~ to listen to the land, Keoki and Yvonne are working to restore this remnant endangered dry forest ecosystem. Their quest is to share its unique historical, cultural, and scientific aspects to educate and benefit Hawai’i residents and visitors from around the world. Standing with them are their dedicated alaka’i (lead students), Wilds and Lehua, to who they are passing the torch. This is a great responsibility and honor.

*AS WE ADD MORE GLASS ~ LIGHT COLOR HARMONIES: This panel will feature the exotic and sophisticated beauty of Hawaiian endemic and unique native trees and understory plants, found nowhere else in the world. Calley will seek to show the trees as kupuna, the elders that made the atmosphere. The people are kin: the newest descendants, learning to take care of the ancestors once again and restore their place. Morning light streams in from the upper left side. In a reversal of the norm, the foreground native trees may be dark and lush with predominantly greens, browns, ocres, siennas, purples. The background may be immersed in light with paler greens in many shades.

KOA AND KING KAMEHAMEHA: The beloved endemic, highly valued Koa tree (Acacia koa) is Hawai’i’s largest native tree (up to 115’). Found between 330’ to 7,500’, Koa played a significant role in Kamehameha’s quest to bring the islands together. Koa means brave, bold, fearless, valiant; courage, warrior. Koa symbolizes Kamehameha Nui (the Great). ‘OHIA: Beloved is the sacred ‘Ohia (Metrosideros polymorpha ~ meaning many forms). ‘Ohia is Hawai’i’s dominant forest tree, comprising approximately 80% of our native forests. From a tiny seed growing out of lava ~ springs the life of the land. The ‘ohia tree’s fuzzy leaves capture fresh water from the air and bring it down into ground. Ranging from sea level to 8,250’, ‘Ohia is an amazingly diverse and adaptable keystone species. The anchor of native Hawaiian forests, ‘ohia is the primary source of fresh water and provides most of the habitat and nectar for countless insects and birds. Over countless generations, ‘Ohia helped transform raw lava into soil, building the land and shaping the Hawaiian culture.

LAMA means torch, lamp, light, and is symbolic of enlightenment. A beautiful mostly dryland endemic hardwood tree in the ebony family, Lama (Diospyros sandwicensis) lives from sea level to 3,600’ +-. Carbon dating reveals Lama can live up to 1,600 years.

CHADD ‘ONOHI PAISHON is the highly respected Captain of the Big Island’s voyaging canoe, Makali’i and Executive Director of the Waimea based voyaging and education organization, Na Kalai Wa’a Moku o Hawai’i. Chadd is a Master Navigator under Master Papa Mau Pialug. He is a beloved teacher whose dedication to bring forth love and care of the ocean and the Earth knows no bounds.
POMAI BERTELMANN is a beloved local and global educator, cultural advisor, Ohana Wa’a member, Hokule’a and Makali’i crewmember and Captain. Pomai’s family has been instrumental in establishing Na Kalai Wa’a community and building the Big Island’s 54’ double hulled voyaging canoe, Makali’i to educate people from around the world to Malama Honua. An inspiring local teacher, Pomai is dedicated to the perpetuation and restoration of the native forests, and activating local and global sustainability.
MILTON “SHORTY” BERTELMANN is the co-founder of Na Kalai Wa’a Moku o Hawai’i, a Mentor Captain, canoe builder, and Master Navigator with 32 years of apprenticeship under Master Papa Mau Pialug. 

He is President of the Board of ‘Oiwi, dedicated to restoring and sharing ancestral knowledge. He is the older brother of Clay Bertelmann. From 1994 - 1995, Shorty and Clay led the effort to build the 54-foot voyaging canoe, Makali‘i for the Big Island. The canoe was launched in 1995 at Kawaihae under a double rainbow, a great blessing!

KU'ULEI KEAKEALANI is Keiki o ka’aina from North Kona, and revered lineal descendant of this land, Ka’ulupulehu, Ha’i mo’olelo (master storyteller) poet, educator, wisdom holder, Light Carrier. Former Curator at Kalaimano Interpretive Center, north of Four Seasons Hualalai Resort. A deeply moving speaker, Ku’ulei is called upon to share the stories of beloved lands in a wide variety of events around the island. She will be accompanied by her three daughters, Kamehanamauloa Keeshewa Tachera, Ku'unahenani Kiowa Tachera, and Kahaka'ioikamala'e Kapakonaneipalikapu Case.

SONNY KEAKEALANI has been described by Waimea’s Dr. Billy Bergin as ‘a traditional native Hawaiian cowboy.’ A man who knows and loves his roots, Sonny taught his children to care for the land and the animals with love and respect for the balance of nature and all living things. He taught them who they are and where they came from, and to appreciate where they are and what they have. In the tradition of true paniolo (cowboys), Sonny has carried these values throughout his life and passed them on to the community and future generations.


KUPUNA:  Pond guardian and planter, Ruth Aloua, planter Clayton Punihaole, and fisherman, Junior Kanuha

ADVISOR:  David Chai, kia'i loko, Waiakauhi Pond, Ka’upulehu, Natural Resource Manager, Four Seasons Hualalai Resort
RUTH ALOUA: Organic farmer, educator, Po'o Kia'i loko (pond guardian and caretaker), writer, poet, community leader, as well as researcher/educator for Kaloko Pond through the National Park Conservation Association. Ruth’s family, the Hoapili Ohana, has been Kia’i loko for generations. She discovered this only after working on her MA in Archeology at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada with a focus on the Kaloko Pond Restoration project.
CLAYTON BRUCE PUNIHAOLE: (1948 ~2015) Clayton was a lineal descendant of Ku’kio, highly respected planter, ‘opelu and aku fisherman, and pond manager for 6 years for Ku’kio resort.  Clayton restored 6 acres of anchialine ponds overgrown with invasive plants, trees, and fish species and brought them back to life. When Clayton went blind, it was his bountiful Hawaiian style food and fiber garden that brought back his spirit and his joy.  He strung fishing lines to each of the garden areas so that he could navigate the garden.  
WHERE WE ARE ~ KEAHOLE: Chauncey Wong Yuen asked “that the mural tell the stories, especially of this place and its name” because place names hold immense mana, culture, history, and meaning, felt but not seen. These names were given for special reasons by Hawaiian kupuna and must be remembered. The airport is at Keahole Point, the western most point on Hawai’i Island on the leeward side, in the district of North Kona, on the northwest rift of Hualalai, in the ahupua’a of Kalaoa, in Pele’s kekaha (arid) lands, and named for ke ahole (the ahole fish).

Notably, half the anchialine ponds in the world are in Hawai’i, and in the days of old, the Hawaiians had thousands of meticulously cultivated fish ponds. Kamehameha’s famous Pa’aiea Pond (1.5 miles wide by 3 miles long). Fisherman of old going south to Kona used the pond as a shortcut to avoid the rough waters at Keahole.

The gardens and fish ponds grew abundantly with a great variety of nutritious food plants, limu and fish. Hawaiians of old worked with nature to elevate the functions of nature without ever disturbing or disrupting the ecosystem’s health and balance. 
Ku’ulei Keakealani

KA PO’E KAHIKO: The people of old were farmers, not fighters. There were no kings or need for warriors. They lived in harmony with all that is, with an attitude about life that gave them great mana (power) over their surroundings ~ the power of love and kinship.

Source: Tales of the Night Rainbow, Native Planters in Old Hawai’i.

HAWAIIAN DIET AND HORTICULTURE: Decades of research indicate that the Hawaiians had the most nutritious diet in all Polynesia. They stand with the most highly sophisticated horticulturists and aquaculturists throughout history. Nearly all highly developed ancient civilizations evolved around fertile river flood plains, where the geography was favorable to intensive agriculture. Annual flooding renewed soil nutrient and fertility levels without farmers having to figure it out ~ a difficult challenge. They didn’t need to develop the practices to sustain soil fertility and water quality while producing surplus yields to feed growing populations. The ability to grow a surplus of food was and remains the foundation of bountiful cultures and a most important field of science.

Without the advantage of yearly flooding, the Hawaiians skillfully discerned it. They developed a rich peaceful culture based on ancestral knowledge and love of the land.  Masters of observation, they became adept in soil science, weather wisdom, plant selection, hand pollination, botany and botanical classification, crop diversity, precise mulching practices, lunar planting, and ingenious irrigation strategies. They successfully selected for hundreds of distinctive varieties of kalo (taro) and uala (sweet potato). They successfully planted in virtually every terrain, climate, and soil, guided by mo’okuauhau (ancestral knowledge) and traditional ecological practices. They nourished themselves and the land well through a highly sophisticated system of intensive sustainable horticulture and aquaculture ~ a model for the world.
I Aloha Ho‘okahi, I Uhane Ho‘okahi, I Lāhui Ho‘okahi ko Hawai‘i pae ‘āina...Kūkaniloko eō
One Aloha, One Spirit, One Nation, ko Hawai‘i pae ‘āina...Kūkaniloko eō

AUNTIE ELIZABETH MALUIHI LEE,(1929 - 2016) The late master weaver, child of this land, was honored as a living treasure of Hawai’i by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) in 1993 for her invaluable contribution to weaving. She was taught by her hanai (adopted) parents when she was 5. Weaving was her life and she shared it broadly. In the 1990’s, she reached out to the kumu to come together to preserve and perpetuate weaving. There are now scores of master weavers and teachers thanks to her dedication. 
Roll over to see the color hints, and notice the updated features since the colored version was presented for final approval.  We now have approval of the drawing as presented here in black and white.
REGGIE LEE, a highly respected native son of this land, wisdom carrier, and lineal descendant of the famous master weaver, Kupuna Auntie Elizabeth Maluihi Lee, is a highly respected Kupuna and Hawaiian Cultural Advisor at Kohanaiki. Reggie is very close to his mo’opuna (grandsons), especially Ha’a, who will appear as a child of the land filled by his Bowl of Perfect Light.  This indicates a transference of generational knowledge.
A RAINBOW OF CULTURES: The background is essentially the same as in the first panel, because the spirit of aloha perseveres. Reggie and his grandson sit at an ancient Konane board, with Reggie looking up at his mom, Auntie Maluihi and Reggie looking into the eyes of viewer. The thin blue line runs through their hands.

Aloha never changes nor evolves. Aloha is the field of love and light in which we live and thrive as one. Kupuna and the global scientific community share that together we must take care of the land, the ocean, and the climate to take care of the children and their future.

The Hawaiian Nation is a Light Carrier. I want the people who see this mural to experience the true spirit of aloha and take it home to share with their family and friends. When I relate to people with aloha, they feel it. When we send out ripples of aloha, the ripples go on and on forever, just like tossing a stone into a pond. People come here from everywhere! We want to share the aloha spirit all the way to Minnesota, Japan, and the Middle East. Since aloha goes on forever, and the Earth is round, it will come back to Hawai’i over and over.

Earl Regidor

We are creating our life conditions. When we wish to change our circumstances, all we have to do is release our present conditions.  All things are possible when one’s power is strong.

Tales of the Night Rainbow, Koko Willis, Pali Jae Lee

BACKGROUND: One of the most ethnically diverse states in the US, Hawai’i is a rainbow of cultures. Everyone is a minority. There are more people here who claim mixed racial backgrounds than in any other state. The people that make Hawai’i an exemplar of peace and cooperation came here in waves, bringing a bounty of cultures, religions, languages, knowledge, skills, traditions, agriculture, foods, music, dance, and art.

At first the immigrants came as single male contract laborers, brought in by English and American sugar plantation owners. In 1852, a half century earlier than the rest, Chinese workers came, increasing to 50,000 strong by 1887. Between 1885 and 1924, more than 200,000 Japanese farm workers immigrated to Hawai’i. From 1878 to 1911, more than 16,000 Portuguese immigrated with their families to stay. Most came from the Azores and Medeira.  

Out of work due to devastating hurricanes in their homeland, Puerto Rican coffee workers immigrated to Hawai’i starting in 1900. They were 7,000 strong within two years. In 1903, the first Koreans arrived. The Filipino sacadas (seasonal farm workers) arrived next, starting in 1906, making up half the plantation labor force as sugar peaked in the early 20th century.

The rainbow of cultures continues to expand with Pacific Islanders, Hispanics (now the fastest growing ethnic group), African Americans, and people from all around the world.

AS MORE GLASS IS ADDED: Auntie Malu’ihi and Reggie are sitting with all three of Auntie’s great grandsons. This ohana encompasses the world, as well as future generations, because the family encompasses a wide diversity of races and religions, holding the promise of a healthy, happy, abundant future based on Aloha. The night rainbow arc may arc above Auntie weaving and her Maka Pueo (Eyes of the Pueo) at the center, symbolic of the weaving together of our many gifts. This asks us to see through native eyes, and see the long view. In the golden light of Aloha, the children and their great grandmother are looking out at the people to invoke a feeling of love, caring, unity, and hope to all who see them.

A BOUNTY ~ KONA’S WORLD FAMOUS AGRICULTURE TODAY: In subsequent layers, a side border of ethnic local foods will appear. Kona farmers grow a rich diversity of delicious tropical fruits, avocados, vegetables, macadamia nuts, flowers, foliage plants, and Kona coffee. In 1928, Samuel Reverend Ruggles planted the first coffee tree seedling in the rich volcanic soils of Kona, now Hawai’i’s most renowned crop, with over 650 Kona farms producing over 95% of the delicious beans.
Symbolized by what the astronauts call THE THIN BLUE LINE, the living world called the Biosphere connects all eight panels. The biosphere is a veil of life so thin, you could drive its full extent to the apex of the troposphere in 12 minutes. There you will meet the cold black space of the Universe. The thin blue line is both the water that connects and creates all life and the life world itself. We are holding the thin blue line in our hands, determining the health of the foreseeable future by virtue of our actions, and our desires.

The totality of life, known as the biosphere to scientists and creation to theologians, is a membrane of organisms wrapped around Earth so thin it cannot be seen edgewise from a space shuttle, yet so internally complex that most species composing it remain undiscovered. The membrane is seamless. From Everest's peak to the floor of the Mariana Trench, creatures of one kind or another inhabit virtually every square inch of the planetary surface.
                                                                                         Legendary conservationist and kupuna, E. O. Wilson

Indigenous wisdom is fundamental. The elements are our literally our ancestors. As Kupuna Fred Cachola says, the Hawaiians got specks of land. Everything that came here, including them, became Hawaiian. Never separate from the land, the land made them Hawaiian. 

Hawaiians of old would never harm their ancestors, for the ancestors created the atmosphere for life. Indigenous wisdom carriers around the world understand that the elements, especially water, are true wealth. They have taken care of the land for countless generations. Now they are seeking to reach us ~ to stir us to awaken. “Take care of the elements and they will take care of you!” This is their clarion call to us to fulfill our kuleana (responsibility) as stewards of the biosphere:

*BIODIVERSITY means the vast array of life forms on Earth. This complex web of life is the foundation of stability, health, and resilience in every ecosystem. We want people to take this realization to heart and act upon it. One of the most bio-diverse places on Earth, Hawai’i is a treasure trove of species found nowhere else. Tragically, Hawai’i is also well known as the extinction and endangered species capital of the world.

In times gone by, birds by the millions were Hawai’i’s top predators. As keystone (foundational) species, they were essential fertilizers of land and sea. Two thirds of Hawai’i’s forest birds are now endangered or threatened. 95 of the 142 species of the native birds have gone extinct since the arrival of humans. We have good work to do.


Final design of the Thin Blue Line is underway. Calley envisions the use of blue glass from repurposed bottles to create the line. Creative experimentation will determine the size, shape, and thickness of these tiles as they are formed in the kiln. The entire length of the line will be determined by its course as it flows across the entire mural, through the hands of the various kupuna on each panel. The height of the line is yet undetermined, but will be very thin in relation to the height of the mural, perhaps 4 to 5 inches tall.

Donations to the creation of the Thin Blue Line will be honored by inscription of names or uplifting quotes chosen by the donors, etched into the glass. A grandparent could purchase a tile for each of their grandchildren, inscribed with their name, or with prayers for that child. Cost of engraving each panel will be a factor in determining the donation amount.

This blue line represents our answer to "the writing on the wall" that we must all stand together to make a difference that counts in preserving, protecting, and rejuvenating the Earth for our children and theirs.

Click here to learn more about The Thin Blue Line, to donate, or to submit your sentiments for the wall.

Design changed to add ahu in place of text boxes, and ulu arches
Design changed to add ahu in place of text boxes, and kukui arches.  Hualalai is in the background.
Enhancements include wilwili arches, Ling moving forward and addition of Mike and Alohi, as well as ahu text boxes.
Enhancements include lama arches and ahu in place of text boxes.  Mountain is Haleakela
Enhancements include koa arches and ahu in place of text boxes.  Mountain is Kohala Mountain Range.
Enhancements include ohia arches, and ahu.  Mountain is Mauna Kea
Enhancements include addition of Junior Kanuha, taro, palm arches, and ahu.  Mountain is Mauna Loa
CLEMENT KELI‘IPO‘AIMOKU KANUHA, JR:  (1949-2010) Junior was owner of Sunlights Hawaii, a commercial fisherman, a historical preservationist, and one of the family members who created the Betty C. Kanuha Foundation in honor of their mother.  Legendary among his fellow kanaka, Junior was a provider of great quantities of seafood, which he gave freely to the kupuna.   A non-profit, Hui Pa'a Na Keiki O Hawaii Nei, was created by family members to promote Hawaiian Cultural values and knowledge with emphasis on the ocean and near ocean resources through events, field trips and funding for all children of Hawaiʻi.
Enhancements include addiiton of hau arches and ahu.


ESSENCE:   Kumu Keala’s opening panel represents Pa’a iluna: the realm above, infinite beauty, the sky, and the field of awareness. It is the Universe ~ the celestial dome, with ka lewa: the air, space, atmosphere between pa’a iluna (firm Heaven) and pa’a ilalo (solid Earth).
ELEMENTS: High noon. The kupuna stand in a teaching stance, Pomai may be holding a young Koa tree to express the essential connection of the wa’a to the forest and the essence of He wa’a he moku. He moku he wa’a.

ESSENCE: The Ancient Hawaiians were master navigators and highly skilled mariners with powers of observation of ocean conditions and seasonal changes second to none. They navigated throughout all Polynesia using their knowledge of the elements, and keen observation of the Sun, stars, winds, waves, clouds, ocean life, and seabirds.  Made up of more than 1,000 islands scattered over the vast reaches of the central and southern Pacific Ocean, Polynesia is considered by some to be the biggest country in the world, with 600 times more water than land.

VOYAGING RENAISSANCE: Thanks to artist Herb Kane, waterman Tommy Holmes, California surfer/anthropologist Ben Finney PhD, and the early students of navigation, the art/science of celestial navigation, as taught by Papa Mau Pialug, has returned to Hawai’i and gone around the world.  The journey began in 1975, a time of cultural extinction and pain for the Hawaiian people.  The revival started with the construction and celebrated maiden voyage of the double hulled canoe, Hokule’a to Tahiti. Later, directed by the crystal vision he had of the Earth from space, Hawai’i born astronaut, Colonel Lacy Veach called to his friend, Nainoa Thompson to chart a path around the world to sail and spread the knowledge that it is time
to unite to take care of this fragile living Earth. Now, we celebrate the successful journeying of the navigators around the world, in seas that Polynesian voyagers have never seen.

ELLISON ONIZUKA (1946 – 1986) Here, in the heavenly realm, we will symbolically honor a different kind of voyager for whom the Kona Airport is named. Born in Kealakekua, Astronaut Ellison Onizuka was the youngest son of Masamitsu and Mitsue Onizuka. A graduate of Konawaena High School, the first Asian American and first Japanese person in space, he successfully flew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery STS-51-C, bringing his abundant aloha spirit into space. In 1986, Mission Specialist Onizuka was lost in the Challenger tragedy. before. MALAMA HONUA ~ THE WORLDWIDE VOYAGE was the single most epic sailing journey ever undertaken. The journey gained international media attention, sparking connection to and global understanding of the practice of MALAMA ~ to take care of, HONUA ~ the Earth, our home. This panel honors the world’s greatest navigators and the renaissance of the Hawaiian culture.

Everything is connected. Without the forest, there are no canoes or voyages. Pomai emphasizes the connection of the voyagers to the forest, the mighty Koa tree, the ‘aina (land), and the imperative to restore the native forests.
AS WE ADD MORE GLASS: LIGHT AND COLOR HARMONY of siennas, ocres, browns, greens, blues reveal the forest, the heart of the culture and their relationship. The light will be softly streaming in at a low angle with a soft sunset glow. People learn best from stories. The stories of indigenous wisdom, culture, imagination, innovation, and aloha/love that will enable future generations to live in peace and harmony in a healthy environment. Take care of the families, respect the elders, preserve the culture and the arts, expand the speaking of ka ‘olelo Hawai’i, restore traditional ancestral knowledge, tell, chant, and dance the stories. Follow the protocols. We must steward and malama our kuleana (responsibilities, rights, privileges).
The most important message of the mural is Aloha 'Aina - to love the 'aina shows the highest perfection of love and reveals this to us, for 'aina has no imperfections; just great beauty, abundance, and potential. In seeing this beauty and feeling this nourishment, our senses awaken. We learn to cooperate. We learn to be kind. We learn to love fiercely yet without violence. If we love 'aina, our place, then we can really love ourselves and others.
Ruth Aloua
This panel will seek to convey the beauty and mastery of the advanced horticulture and aquaculture practiced by the people of old and found nowhere else in the world.

LIGHT AND COLOR HARMONIES: This panel will predominantly be filled with lush greens, fish of many hues, blues and silver blues for the water, and dotted with Swarovski crystals to portray the stars in the heavens with the fishes.

KAMEHAMEHA, A KONA PLANTER: Kamehameha’s birth name was Paiea (hard shelled crab). It is said that later in life Kamehameha found solace in bending over and lovingly tending his kalo, thus his nickname Kua’ele’ele (black back). He will be symbolized in this panel by a male planter bending over planting.
O na hoku o ka lani, o Pa’aiea ko lalo.

TRANSLATION: The stars are above, Pa’aiea below.

MEANING: Famously said to have been crystal clear with an abundance of fishes in the pond greater than there are stars in the sky,

Kamehameha’s Pa’aiea pond inspired this olelo no’eau.

What you call resources, we call relatives.
Nainoa Thompson
Every generation has the obligation to free men’s minds for a look at new look out from a higher plateau than the last generation.

Hawai’i Astronaut, Ellison Onizuka

"It will be art that exponentially expands the reach of this knowledge  to conserve nature."

Legendary Conservationist, Edward O. Wilson to Calley O’Neill

Note the rollover drawings to see the underlying color theme and compare improvements of the drawings. Over two years, Calley received sage advice from her Art Advisory Committee. As you can see, the drawings were greatly enhanced by their suggestions, including enlarging some of the kupuna, adding clarifying elements, transforming geometric arches into native tree arches, text boxes into stone borders, and finding the Century Supra C font.

E nānā i ke kumu, ʻO ka Honua ke kumu. No laila, E nānā i ka Honua.
Look and seek the source, the Earth is the source, therefore, look and seek the knowledge within, upon and surrounding the Earth.”

One can feel the mana connecting to the Āina here.” Āina is another Hawaiian word that defies simple translation.   It loosely means “the land,” but it’s really a sacred value, a way of co-existing with the natural world. 
Uncle Earl Regidor

Aloha is at the center. Without aloha, we wouldn’t malama. The dominant culture does not understand the value of water, although now there is a perceptible shift in consciousness happening. The mural has to create an indelible imprint on the people to conserve the land and water. One must slow down to feel this and be inspired to take care. First, come into peace. Realize that water is precious in all of its forms. Water is life. Waiwai (water twice) means wealth. 
Hannah Kihalani Springer
Ua ola loko i ke aloha.
TRANSLATION: Love gives life within.
MEANING: Love is essential to one's mental and physical well being.

The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time. They are kneeling with hands clasped that we might act with restraint, that we might leave room for the life that is destined to come. To protect what is wild is to protect what is gentle. Perhaps the wilderness we fear is the pause between our own heartbeats, the silent space that says we live only by grace. Wilderness lives by this same grace. Wild mercy is in our hands. 

Terry Tempest Williams

Through innovation in science and technology, and the spirit of Aloha, everything is possible. The POWER of the ALOHA SPIRIT and the ancient wisdom of the Hawaiian culture, known for its generosity, compassion, hospitality, and warm giving nature, is grounded in the principle of reciprocity. We who live in this paradise, must help support and preserve the Hawaiian culture and language for future generations. The spirit of Aloha contains so much compassion and wisdom.

Earl Bakken (1924 ~ 2018) Engineer, Medtronic Founder,  Philanthropist
Malama o ke kai! Throughout my life, I have known nothing else except the ocean and its inhabitants. We are the official Malama ‘aina for all species in the Kai (sea).  Every species works for the benefit of the entire ecosystem, except humans.

Mike Nakachi
*AS WE ADD MORE GLASS ~ AUMAKUA, SPECIES DIVERSITY, LIGHT AND COLOR HARMONIES:   It is morning with clear light and a monumental scale kaleidoscope of ocean species radiate out from The Moana Ohana. The brilliant colors of the larger-than-life coral, marine life, mano (sharks) and other species of fishes in a variety of textured streaky purples, lavenders, grays, pinks, yellows, and oranges, in contrast with the sea in ultramarine dark and thalo and the Kona Kai Opua clouds in whites and pale blues.
The ocean’s destiny and our destiny are one. 

Sylvia Earle
Hahai no ka ua i ka ulula’au.
TRANSLATION: The rain follows after the forest.
MEANING: Destroy the forest, the rains will cease to fall,
and the land will become a desert.

Think in tree time. Think in forest time. Think in ocean time. Take the long path.

Yvonne and Keoki Carter
He wa’a he moku, he moku he wa’a.
TRANSLATION: The canoe is our island, and the island is our canoe.
MEANING: There are finite resources aboard a canoe, an island, and on our island Earth.
We must work together to conserve and share all that nature provides for us.
To love and take care of oneself, one’s people, and the Earth is everything. Long before
there was sustainability, there was Aloha ‘aina (love of the land). What you call resources,
we know as relatives. All life was experienced as one. The rocks, the soil, trees and plants,
and the creatures in the sea are our ancestors. They had to come into being first to create a
healthy atmosphere and nourishment for the people to live. 

Master Navigator, Nainoa Thompson

Without navigation, there is no culture.

Herb Kane

We spent the first forty years showing the world that we are master navigators.
Now we must spend the next forty showing them that we are master naturalists, land managers, and agriculturists.

Nainoa Thompson
These lands are known as kekaha wai ole o na Kona (the waterless plains of north Kona). This is the furthest thing from the truth, as there is ample evidence of underground anchialine ponds. The Hawaiians of old knew the source of the water.

 Ku’ulei Keakealani
Aloha is Source, Origin, Akua, Aumakua. The light that emanates from the center of the Earth is Hawai’i’s origin ~ Pele ~ the five volcanoes that created the land and aquifers, source of Ka Wai Ola (The Living Waters). One hotspot. One Kilauea. These kekaha lands are the domain of Pele.  
                        Ku’ulei Keakealani 
What you call resources, we call relatives.

Nainoa Thompson

He ali’i no ka’aina, he kauwa wale ke kanaka.
The land is chief, the human is but a servant.
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant.

We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.

Albert Einstein

As my kupuna taught me, ALOHA is the UNIVERSE.

Aunty Pilahi Paki (1910-1985)

There is no separation between the physical and non-physical worlds.

Kumu Keala Ching
EARL REGIDOR On the right, Uncle Earl represents Aloha's perpetuation now and into the future. Earl represents the continuation and auana (contemporary) expression of Aloha to all people now and into the future. Born in Pa'auilo, Earl is kanaka maoli (native), musician and inspiring teacher, and a Kona resident for over 40 years.  

Earl has directed the Hawaiian Cultural Center at Four Seasons Hualalai for over 20 years. Through his ever-present joyous spirit, stories, and songs, he is loved by every visitor he meets. Earl is dedicated to and active in planting koa trees, native forest restoration, and the health and happiness of future generations. 

ESSENCE: The stories are still told in ‘oli (chants), mele (song), protocols, and hula. Here, three generations of the Keakealani ohana show the transference of ancestral knowledge.
KING KAMEHAMEHA’S FAVORITE ~ PA’AIEA PONDThere once was a most extraordinary pond under the Kona at Keahole Airport, which some stay still exists underground. It was Kamehameha’s beloved pond, destroyed by the high velocity 1801 Ka’upulehu volcanic flow from Hualalai. That flow entered the ocean through two distinctly visible lobes. The story was told that in these two flows, Pele made one thing very clear -- you may be the King. I am Akua. Two of the greatest fish ponds in existence that were Kamehameha's favorites, Kaloko and Pa'aiea were completely filled in by Pele. Pa'aiea was so grand and so immaculate, that the fishes were said to be more numerous than the stars in the heavens. There were ponds next to ponds and within ponds. The water was crystal clear. 

One day, the konohiki (land manager/caretaker) Kepa'alani, denied Pele fish to eat when she appeared to him as an old woman begging. It is said she first asked for 40,000 fish, then 4,000, then 400, then 40, then 4, then 1 fish, then just the gills (which no one ate) and still he said, "No, these are the King's fish." (There are many different accounts of this story.) That night Pele received sustenance from an upland family and told them to put a kapu sign in front of their door and go inside. Pele destroyed the two ponds, yet the lava flowed around the generous family’s home, sparing it. 
                                                                                                        Ku’ulei Keakealani
Art and Soul for the Earth
 Big Island of Hawai'i
Art and Soul for the Earth
 Big Island of Hawai'i