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"Kihawahine: Shapeshifting Life and Afterlife of Maui's Famous Akua Mo'o."

October 18, 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Mānoa Campus, Kuykendall 409A

Kihawahine, a daughter of 16th-century ruling chief Piʻilani, was deified upon death and invoked by Kamehameha to unite the islands. My biographical research engages Hawaiian language newspapers, archival documents, chants, hula, oral histories as well as archaeological restoration of her Lahaina home at Mokuʻula, and contemporary kiʻi images carved for Hōkūleʻa’s worldwide voyages. The story of Kihawahine and her many forms (human and non, living and non) complicates genre limitations, offers a queer and feminist historical trajectory, and gestures to the work that life-writing does for current decolonial efforts for the restoration of ʻŌiwi agency.

Māhealani Ahia is a Los Angeles-born Kanaka ʻŌiwi artist, scholar, activist, lineal descendant of Piʻilani and the lāhui moʻo (water deities). With a background in theatre arts, writing and performance from UC Berkeley and UC Irvine, Māhea is committed to creating artistic and academic projects that empower Indigenous decolonial research. As a PhD student here in English, she teaches Composition, Creative Writing, and Indigenous Literatures, and is an editor for Hawaii Review.


Event Sponsor
Center for Biographical Research, Mānoa Campus

More Information
(808) 956-3774, biograph@hawaii.edu, http://www.facebook.com/CBRHawaii

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