"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 PiÊ»ilani, 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 MokuÊ»ula, and contemporary kiÊ»i images carved for HÅkÅ«leÊ»aâ€™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 Ê»ÅŒiwi agency.
MÄhealani Ahia is a Los Angeles-born Kanaka Ê»ÅŒiwi artist, scholar, activist, lineal descendant of PiÊ»ilani and the lÄhui moÊ»o (water deities). With a background in theatre arts, writing and performance from UC Berkeley and UC Irvine, MÄhea 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.
Center for Biographical Research, Mānoa Campus
(808) 956-3774, email@example.com, http://www.facebook.com/CBRHawaii