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Local Artist Honored

Community Contributed by Victoria Kapuni

Master carver and local Molokai artist Bill Kapuni will have one of his lifetime achievements on display for the public to enjoy beginning at the end of the month.  A model of the pyramid he and artist Rafeal Trenor co-created was donated to the Molokai Public Library, and is being dedicated Monday, March 28 at 3 p.m. in Kapuni’s memory for all Molokai people to enjoy.  The pyramid was created for an international peace project in 2002 and sculpted on his Kalama`ula ag land – one of eight pyramids of its kind in the world.

Dedicated to help preserve the Hawaiian culture, this model is what he considered to be one of his most significant spiritual art pieces, and is offered for the community to appreciate and learn from. I wish to share this ‘mana’ with people throughout the world and will be able to do so with another recent accomplishment he has earned. In 2010, 15 pieces of his art was chosen for inclusion in the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian for their collection. Bill’s work is the very first contemporary Hawaiian art collected by the Smithsonian, who honored him with a ceremony as the pieces entered the building.  After words of thanks for the gifts, the chant “kunihi ka mauna i ka la `i e” and its response were performed to welcome objects to its home.

Born and raised on Oahu, Bill Kapuni was above all else a humble Hawaiian man, who was almost full blooded Hawaiian, and created a very broad spectrum of subject matter that reflected his deep ancestry in Hawaiian culture. Part of the value of his work is that it is so detailed and varied. You feel his powerful ‘mana’ in each piece and learn of his proud Hawaiian heritage from his art. 


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