Abraham “Puhipau” Ahmad – Na Mamo Makamae o ka Po’e Hawai’i – Living Treasures of the Hawaiian People

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‘Ulu’ulu Archive was very happy to hear that on Kamehameha Day Abraham “Puhipau” Ahmad was recognized as a Na Mamo Makamae o ka Po’e Hawai’i – Living Treasures of the Hawaiian People by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for his pioneering work as a filmmaker. The documentaries produced by Na Maka o ka ‘Aina illustrate the strength and struggles of the Hawaiian people. Puhipau was dedicated to enlightening the world about Hawaiian history, sovereignty and aloha ‘aina.

“These kūpuna are not just keepers of the flame, they are the connection and bridge to our past,” said OHA Ka Pouhana (Chief Executive Officer) Kamana’opono Crabbe. “The more we learn from our kūpuna and apply what we learn from them, the more we maintain that bond with our ancestors, our homeland, and our identity as Kanaka ‘Ōiwi.”

Puhipau was part of the events that transpired at Sand Island from September 1979 to January 1980 in which a predominantly Native Hawaiian fishing community who had moved onto the public land, creating homes, resisted eviction from the Honolulu shoreline by the State of Hawai’i. He sought to give the community a voice in hopes they would be heard and able to remain on the land. In the end, the families and structures were removed. But the struggle is remembered. The documentary “The Sand Island Story”, produced by filmmaker Victoria Keith and her partner Jerry Rochford, captured the moments that unfolded during the difficult months.

After his experience at Sand Island he decided to become a storyteller through film as well, joining forces with video producer Joan Lander, whom he met during the editing of The Sand Island Story, to form Nā Maka o ka ‘Aina.

He made significant contributions to film by allowing issues that remain part of the Hawaiian experience to be explored from their perspective and give a greater understanding of what it means to be part of the Hawai’i islands.

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On behalf of Puhipau and his ‘ohana, we mahalo all of the honorees today. As Puhipau used to say, we the filmmakers are not the stars: the stars are the people like you and many others in our programs who keep alive the culture and history, who string together lei of flowers and lei of islands and continents, who strive to protect sacred ancestral places, and who struggle against the powers  that be to bring about aloha ‘aina.

~Joan Lander, acceptance speech at Na Mamo Makamae o ka Po’e Hawai’i – Living Treasures of the Hawaiian People

Read full acceptance speech here.

‘Ulu’ulu Yearbook

Throughout the years, ‘Ulu’ulu has had many different volunteers, interns and project assistants who have helped facilitate our mission. We are grateful for their contributions! We thought it would be fun to create an ‘Ulu’ulu yearbook that features all the faces who’ve been part of our ‘ohana.

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I’m very proud to have worked on creating access to materials from The Hawaiian Legacy Foundation.  I believe that it has become a part of my own collection of uncanny little moments that will help guide me in my life’s work.

~ Hoku Ka’aha’āina, class of 2017

I feel what I gained from this amazing opportunity was a better skill set to tackle audiovisual material challenges, awareness that establishing relationships with community members can go a long way to being trusted to maintain Native Hawaiian cultural materials, and most importantly friendship that provides the sharing of  knowledge and support of one another.

~ April Rodriguez, Class of 2015

My experience at ʻUluʻulu was absolutely wonderful. The staff are so welcoming, knowledgeable, and competent, and the collection is unique and priceless. I feel so fortunate that I was able to spend the last several months at ‘Ulu’ulu, and I hope to continue my learning of Hawai’i’s moving image history.

~ Keahiahi Long, Class of 2014

Check out blog posts which feature various interns, volunteers, and project assistants to find out more about their experiences and projects they took part in during their time with ‘Ulu’ulu!

Hoku Ka’aha’āina 2017 – present Project Assistant

Marc Matsumoto 2017 ACM Intern

Keala Richard 2016-2017 Project Assistant

Sarah Smith 2016 Roselani Intern

Sage Kaonohi 2016 Intern

Letitia Lavoie 2016 Intern

April Rodriguez 2015 Roselani Intern

Hugh Fleming 2015 ACM Intern

Keahiahi Long 2014 LIS Intern

Peter Kowen 2013 Volunteer/ 2014 Project Assistant

Ashley Hartwell 2013 Volunteer

Koa Luke 2012 Volunteer/ 2013 Project Assistant

Mahalo nui!!

Spring 2017 ‘Ulu’ulu Intern Marc Matsumoto

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We’re sadly saying goodbye to our Spring 2017 intern, Marc Matsumoto. He came to us as a senior from the Creative Media Program and will be graduating in Fall 2017. We were very lucky to have such a quick and dedicated worker helping out with projects within the archive. When Marc applied for the position he said he really liked to organize things, and right then we knew he would be great for assisting with processing our collections.

We had some questions for Marc before he departed to continue his academic journey.

How did you learn about ‘Ulu‘ulu and why did you decide to intern here?

I learned about ‘Ulu’ulu through a list of internship sites provided by Sharla Hanaoka (Associate Director for Creative Media – UHWO) during my search for a place to intern.  I wanted to have a backup plan in case one of my chosen sites didn’t work out. ‘Ulu’ulu ended up being my final decision after communications went south with another location. Out of the other sites listed, I always wondered what ‘Ulu’ulu. I had always seen it at the far end of the library and only visited once before while getting my ACM card.  I wanted to answer that question before I graduate from West Oahu and I’m very happy that I found that answer and more while interning here.

Could you share a little about the work you did as an intern?

I did a handful of tasks, many much faster than what was intended. About halfway through the semester I finished a major project that was to create an inventory of the KHON collection. Otherwise, some of the other tasks I worked on were inspecting and cleaning tapes, scanning cards for collections,  and cross-referencing videos for the Daniel K. Inouye Oral History Project.

Was there anything about the work that was surprising or unexpected?

Seeing the inside of the vault for the first time.  Before I started I never expected to go into the vault. I thought that I would mostly be  stationed in my assigned area . It’s definitely something you would have to see firsthand, walking down the aisles.

Marc and film

Disposing of deaccessioned film

What was your biggest takeaway?

I feel my years at West Oahu are filled with missed opportunities and I’m sad that only this semester I found out about of this amazing resource that was right beneath my nose. I don’t recall any of the professors referencing ‘Ulu’ulu except if there was a screening or event going on in the area.  I would hear about checking out the library as a whole or stopping by the No’eau Center, but nothing specifically about ‘Ulu’ulu.  Seeing it separated by a glass door, I thought perhaps that I needed some kind of permission to go into the area. I didn’t know that it could relate to anything I was working on at the time.  If only I knew then what I know now some of the projects I’ve struggled with could have been alleviated by using their resources.

Pursuit in Creative Media

When I was little to now I enjoyed video games and animated movies, because of this I thought I would become a video game or animated movie creator or director.  Growing up I became interested in film, which I’ve had uncertainties regarding my skill and experience in the field.  During my time in college I dabbled in various techniques and learned as much as I could such as a bit of graphics work, sound design, video editing, animation, coding and screenwriting.  It was an up and down journey finding out what I want to do.  Although, no matter what, I did know that I wanted to pursue this field of study.  I’m sort of a “jack of all trades, master of none” or that is what I call myself nowadays.  I still do not have a concrete plan for the future except taking on any jobs necessary to learn what I can. I’m leaning towards freelancing until I get noticed by someone from the industry and if that falls flat then I’m considering teaching in this field.

Humanities Theme

As one of his projects, Marc put together a theme for our website. He had a great time looking through all the clips on our website and decided to relate it to his humanities course.

Description: What is Humanities? How can you apply Humanities in your field of study? This theme is a collection of videos that relates to the Humanities course as well as ways to utilize humanities in different applications. The videos vary with different groups of people whether background, race or culture in addition to examples of possible ways to express humanities such as art, interviews, talk shows, poetry and music.

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First Friday: The Unauthorized News: Racism and Critical Race Theory (August 1996)

Please be sure to checkout Marc’s curated Humanities Theme!

The Films of Eddie and Myrna Kamae, From the Heart – The Hawaiian Legacy Foundation

Eddie Kamae

PBS Hawai‘i is partnering with The Hawaiian Legacy Foundation to present a televised and online film festival, The Films of Eddie and Myrna Kamae, From the Heart. This showcase will feature all 10 award-winning documentaries in Eddie and Myrna Kamae’s Hawaiian Legacy Series, released between 1988 and 2007.

This past March, ‘Ulu’ulu Moving Image Archive completed a project preserving and making accessible production materials, raw footage and interviews from Listen to the Forest, one of the films from the documentary series. In total we have digitized 84 tapes from this title.

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Our Archives Project Assistant, Hoku Ka’aha’āina, was tasked with creating descriptions of the files. Below she discusses her experience and highlights moments captured by Eddie and Myrna Kamae that is now preserved for future generations.

Some people believe that they can choose their own fate and control every aspect of it.  Some find that their path has been chosen for them. Others discover that life is made up of a collection of uncanny little moments that help guide them in their life’s work.  Eddie and Myrna Kamae are two such people who fall into this last category with their creation of The Hawaiian Legacy Foundation.

Weaving together the knowledge of kupuna, the stories of the land, and the voices of the Hawaiian people; The Hawaiian Legacy Foundation produced a wealth of documentaries dedicated to preserving Hawaiian culture.  In an effort to make the entirety of that wealth available to those who seek it, The Hawaiian Legacy Foundation has donated the raw footage (over 400+ tape’s worth!) of all their documentaries to ‘Ulu’ulu to house and digitize its materials.

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Interview with ethnobotanist Beatrice “Bea” Krauss tape 1 – Listen to the Forest

As for my part in the process, I worked primarily with Listen to the Forest, a program dedicated to the first Hawaiians: the flora and fauna of this land.  Luckily, I began my work just after all the digital files had been created and returned to ‘Ulu’ulu, so my first experience in archiving was rather enjoyable.  After briefly checking the digital files for quality control, my next job was to watch and create descriptions for each file.  This meant giving a 2-3 sentence summary of the content, noting any places or people shown in the video, and assigning subject tags for every file.  I also chose a section of the video that would be used as a clip on ‘Ulu’ulu’s website.

Watching all the footage has been an incredibly enlightening and gratifying experience.  Ever since graduating from high school, I’ve always only been home in Hawai’i in passing, on my way from one moment in life to the next.  Now that I’ve taken up residence a bit more permanently, my experience with watching Listen to the Forest really spoke to me. It reminded me of who I was as a Hawaiian, while also bestowing me with new knowledge and the curiosity to learn more.  In a few weeks, a kupuna told me stories about the Kumulipo, the creation. Academic experts informed me about the lives of happy face spiders.  The Sons of Hawaii taught me the lyrics to a song about a flower that the birds love to feast on.  I visited islands I had never set foot on.  With so much going on, I couldn’t help but get caught up in the excitement that each contributor brought to the project.

Some of my personal highlights in the Listen to the Forest include watching footage of birds such as the `i`iwi.  I’ve never seen or heard one in person before, so I was happy to see and hear it crank out its raucous song.

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Speaking of birds and songs, before The Sons of Hawai`i starts playing “Sweet Hāhā`aiakamanu” in one video, Braddah Smitty cracks a joke about needing to make sure they tune up well because the birds will know if they sing and play off-key.  I giggle a bit every time I think about that, but it must be true.  Have you ever heard a bird sing out of tune before?

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Another favorite was Pualani Kanaka`ole Kanahele chanting the Kumulipo out on the lava fields.  I enjoy seeing colors brighter than real life, so the vibrancy of my video player was set high when I first started watching the footage. The atmosphere was dark, and the sky was stained red, and there Kupuna Kanahele was, donning her kīkepa and haku lei. I was wondering what she could be chanting out there, what message could deserve such a background, and then when I listened closely to the words, that was when I realized that it was the Kumulipo.  It was perfect that they could get such a great shot of nature that truly looked like the creation of the world to reflect the chant.

kumulipo frame grab

Now that I look back at some of my favorites, I feel like I should’ve included deeper ideas, more about nature conservation and culture and less “I liked this because it sounded nice/was funny/looked cool.”  But on closer inspection, all of my picks include music and song, whether it be produced by bird, stringed instrument, or through a person’s voice.  Music is a huge part of Hawaiian culture, and I’d like to think that that was the reason why I was drawn to those moments.  With Eddie’s lifelong experience with music, I’m sure the Kamaes crafted their documentaries with exactly that in mind.

In the end, I’m very proud to have worked on creating access to materials from The Hawaiian Legacy Foundation.  I believe that it has become a part of my own collection of uncanny little moments that will help guide me in my life’s work.

In conjunction with PBS Hawaii’s film festival, for the first two weeks of April, ‘Ulu’ulu will be playing recently digitized footage from Listen to the Forest in the exhibit space. Please be sure to stop by or contact us to request the footage in full!

You can view clips and request full streaming access through our website.

More resources will be added, so always check back!

Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month and we decided to reflect on the resources in our archive that demonstrate and acknowledge the strength of women in Hawaii’s history. This selection of videos highlights the contributions of women and their engagement in changing the understanding of where women are situated within the social and political landscape of Hawaii.

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Hanapbuhay Filipina: Looking for Work in Hawaii

Description: A look at Filipino immigrant women and their problems with finding suitable employment in Hawaiʻi.

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Hannah Springer Interview May 30, 1995

Description: Hannah Springer interview May 30, 1995. Hannah discusses topics such as women in Hawaiian leadership roles, subsistence living, origin of Hawaiian pig hunting, transmission of Hawaiian knowledge, and tradition.

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First Friday: The Unauthorized News: Native Women Poets (July 1991)

Description: Poetry Readings by Native Hawaiian Women Dana Naone Hall and Haunani-Kay Trask and Native American Woman Joy Harjo. The reading was presented on June 6, 1991.

Her_Majesty

Her Majesty: Lili’ukalani

Description: Documentary about Queen Liliʻuokalani and her life; before and after the overthrow. Features interviews with people who knew her intimately including Aunty Alice Namakelua.

View our web theme on WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH for more archival footage!

Paid 2017 Summer Roselani Media Preservation Internship

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Applications are now being accepted for the 2017 Roselani Media Preservation Internship at ‘Ulu‘ulu Moving Image Archive!

The student selected as the 2017 Roselani Intern must be committed to the preservation of our media history and enrolled in a moving image or archival academic program. Working side-by-side with experienced archivists, the intern will gain practical experience in a moving image archive.

The intern will receive a $3,000 stipend.

Application Form and Instructions may be downloaded here.

Key dates:

January 15 – March 15: Applications accepted

April 1: Selection made

May – September: Internship takes place over 6-8 consecutive weeks (200 hours)

Interested in what a Roselani Media Preservation Internship is like? Meet some of our former interns:

2016 Roselani Intern – https://hkgarchives.org/2016/08/15/introducing-our-2016-roselani-intern/

2015 Roselani Intern – https://hkgarchives.org/2015/09/08/roselani-intern/

ʻUluʻulu 2016 Highlights

Aloha!

Looking back at 2016 we wish to congratulate University of Hawai’i – West O’ahu in providing quality education to the people of Hawai’i for four decades. ‘Ulu’ulu, Hawai’i’s moving image archive officially opened to the public in 2012 when the university moved to its permanent location in Kapolei. Four years have passed quickly since we opened on the ground floor of the library and we continue to grow everyday. 2016 has been another banner year thanks to you, our donors and supporters!

We’d like to take a moment to share some of the highlights of 2016 with you. Click here to view the ʻUluʻulu 2016 Highlights report on our new collections, digital preservation projects, television and film premieres and more.

We have accomplished a lot in 2016 and just wait for what we have in store next year!  Mahalo piha for your support!

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