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Making Ma`a (Hawaiian Slingshot)

MAC News Release

The Hawaiian Arts Program at Molokai Arts Center (MAC) will be hosting a series of workshops this month on the making and skills of ma’a, or the “Hawaiian slingshot.”  The ma`a was the long range weapon of choice in ancient Hawaii, being easily portable and renewable, as well as accurate and effective. While relatively simple in concept, the ma`a requires some special skills to make and much practice to master. Hawaiian weapons maker Kini Burke will be the instructor.

All Hawaiian Arts Classes are free of charge, but space is very limited, so register early. To register, contact molokainuiahina@gmail.com.

The first workshop will be on the making of the ma`a itself on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The second will be on Saturday, Sept. 23, focusing on the making of ma`a pohaku, or sling stones. The third will be on Saturday, Sept. 30 on the use and practice of ma`a. The location of the workshops will be confirmed upon being registered.

The Hawaiian Arts Program is in its pilot year, and is focusing on fostering, teaching and preserving traditional and emerging Native Hawaiian art forms, and doing so in a Native Hawaiian way. This program has been generously supported by the Hawaiian Tourism Authority, Hawaii People’s Fund and private donations. Past workshops have included a tools and weapons talk story, a workshop on making niho oki, a cutting tool, and `upena, or net making. There will be a lot more to come, so stay tuned!

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