Grantee: Pōhaku Kaho`ohanohano
Pōhaku Kaho`ohanohano, a practitioner and preservationist of traditional Native Hawaiian weaving, works and teaches from his studio on family land in Kahakuloa.
His interest in weaving was first kindled by discovery of his family’s weaving lineage. Last practiced by his great-grandmothers, he was stunned to learn his family had abandoned weaving for the previous 40 years. Kaho`ohanohano believes he was indeed fortunate to have been taught by seven master teachers. He joined them in their homes with their families. He ate with them, he wove with them and he took care of them. All women, he says with a smile. “They taught the old way, one-on-one and on their terms.”
In addition to his passion for weaving, Kaho`ohanohano feels a very strong kuleana (responsibility) to teach and perpetuate the cultural practice in its authentic form. Through a combination of weaving styles and perfected techniques that include introducing critical elements like the use of Native materials, knowledge of their names, embodiment of the Hawaiian language within the weaves, and the importance of land conservation, his ultimate goal is for his students to experience a communion with their ancestral past.
Kaho`ohanohano is recognized as a master of traditional Hawaiian weaving. His work can be found in museum collections throughout Hawaii and in many private collections, including that of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the renowned rock star, Mick Fleetwood.
From now to the end of my life, through my students, I will continue to pass on this weaving tradition with the same aloha, generosity and care my teachers gave me.
Pacific Network TV films Pohaku Kaho’ohanohano in his studio, 2012.