Little Haiti Miami, Florida

North East 2nd Avenue x 59th Street

Collaboration with Tatiana Suarez for Olukai.

Inspired by Polynesian Voyaging Society their two canoes Hokulea and Hikianalia and Malama Honua, a three year voyage around the world using only non-instrumental navigation.

Mural of Hawaiian goddess of the moon Hina who is said to guide Polynesian sailors and the conoes Hokulea and Hikianalia, and the Afro-American goddess of the sea Iemanja.

The mural also inlcudes images of flowers, which were given as offerings to Iemanja. In the mural she is seen with white roses and the leaves of sea grapes. Behind Iemanja Hina wears a red hibiscus, which is a species of Hibiscus that has only recently been introduced to the islands. Although the yellow Hibiscus is the official state flower, the red variety is an iconic flower and found in much of modern Hawaiian imagery. I like the red Hibiscus because it represents a more modern Hawaii that is a hybrid of tradition and contemporary culture that has been introduced, and is beautiful regardless.

Also incorporated into the mural are the stars and moon. The Hawaiian goddess Hina was said to have lived in the moon, and with the help of the stars help to guide sailors through the night. Next to the moon is the constellation Iwi Kuamo’o (which translates to ‘the backbone of the lizard’), which is the constellation that includes the North Star and the sister stars Hokulea and Hikianalia which break the horizon and rise together and are where the two canoes get their names. Iwi Kuamo’o is the constellation that sits above the Hawaiian Islands, and will help to guide the two canoes Hokulea and Hikianalia home after their trip around the world.