Support from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation will allow Marzan to revive the art of creating pe’ahi, the Hawaiian chiefly fan.
Marques Hanalei Marzan is a fiber artist who creates sculpture, wearable art and traditional art. A close look at the techniques of construction, choice of materials and intricate patterns incorporated reveals the work of a traditional arts master. Marzan creates objects of beauty vital to his community’s ability to practice the living traditions of their culture.
His work has appeared in solo and group exhibitions in Hawaii and was featured in traveling exhibitions in New Zealand and Canada. The Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and the Pacific Handcrafters’ Guild have recognized the artist with awards which appears in the collections of Kamehameha Schools, the Peabody Essex Museum and private collectors around the globe. Marzan earned a bachelor’s degree in fiber arts from the University of Hawaii and a certificate in museum studies from George Washington University. As a cultural resources specialist for the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, the artist advises on presentation of Native Hawaiian culture and provides access to museum resources for culture makers.
Support from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation will allow Marzan to revive the art of creating pe’ahi, the Hawaiian chiefly fan, into the consciousness of his community. “There are only 20 known examples of pe’ahi existing in collections around the world. The knowledge of how these fans were constructed was lost to time and we can only guess at how they were made,” said Marzan, who has studied the fans for years in preparation for the chance to be able to create pe’ahi from traditional materials, which are expensive and time-intensive to create.
“Creating new fans is a gift I would like to share with my family and community, a gift I hope to keep alive and share with future generations.”