A Hawaiian Aesthetic

In her essay “Carving a Hawaiian Aesthetic,” Mahealani Dudoit describes how traditional and modern Hawaiian art differ. According to Dudoit, traditional Hawaiian art attempts to recreate or rediscover something from the past by reaching backwards towards what is currently in front of us. Additionally, according to Dudoit, traditional Hawaiian art is a method of thinking about time. According to Dudoit, modern Hawaiian art refers to the past, forcing the Hawaiian people to interpret their traditions into modern language. According to Dudoit, the Hawaiian people can use their native past as a guide for their present by using it as a road map.

Imaikalani Kalahele stated in the article, “For me, art is ‘ono (sweet).” Do you understand what he means by this? Why compare food with art?

In his poetry, Imaikalani Kalahele refers to art as being tasty (‘ono). I have a feeling that he is making the analogy between art and a filling meal that one would like to eat repeatedly. When used in reference to art, the word delicious suggests that one would want to examine or listen to a work of art repeatedly due to its attractive and distinctive features. I believe he makes the comparison between food and art in order to highlight how important or how necessary art is in our life.

Describe the variations between Western and Hawaiian views of art in light of Dudoit.

Pikea, a lecturer who teaches Hawaiian culture, serves as the ideal example of how Dudoit conveys the Western ideals of art. Pikea, who does not belong to the Hawaiian culture, offers talks about it. In other words, he instructs in a culture that he does not completely comprehend. This is the ideal illustration of how the importance of Hawaiian culture is eroding. In Western culture, an artist is seen as someone who creates something new or gives it life. According to Hawaiian tradition, an artist is someone who arranges and composes something like a lei (Pokui and Elbert 1986).

Hoala Hou explains why these artists continue to pursue Hawaiian art styles in the video.

Hawaiian art styles are still being practised by artists to aid in daily living utilising even the most basic equipment. The majority of these technologies are beneficial for carrying out daily tasks that are essential. Hawaiian painters created works of art to depict Hawaiian deities with contemporary meaning. Even now, the Hawaiian people continue to weave as a kind of art. The products that are woven include hats, baskets, mats, and other very high-quality goods. To ensure that Hawaiian culture endures, Hawaiian artists continue to practise Hawaiian art forms.

Make a unique work of art inspired by nature. This could be represented by a poem, a song, a dance, a sculpture, or any other art form.


A coconut tree softly sways.

taller than surrounding trees,

carrying out the hula hula,

The wind is blowing.

Scan or photograph your piece.

Include a statement describing your work, how it was inspired by nature, and its significance to you.

A poem called “The Coconut Tree Hula” was influenced by the Hawaiian coconut trees. This poem was created as a result of my intense fascination in the Hawaiian coastline. The coconut palms that line the coastlines create an entire gallery, which I like. I also adore coconut, which is what inspired me to write the poem.


“Carving a Hawaiian aesthetic,” Mahealani Dudoit. 1 (1998): 7 in Oiwi, A Native Hawaiian Journal.

‘Olelo No’eau: Hawaiian proverbs & poetical sayings, Vol. 71, Bishop Museum Pr, 1983, Pukui, Mary Kawena.

Amy Ku’uleialoha Stillman. Remembering the Hawaiian Hula’s History Historical Memory


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