‘Kapaemahu’ expands with book, exhibition and documentary film

The acclaimed and award-winning 2D animated short, Kapaemahu, expands across multiple mediums to tell the beautiful and traditional Hawaiian story of the four healing stones and the hero they are dedicated to. The planned expansion includes a children’s picture book, an interactive museum exhibit at the Bishop Museum and a documentary, all designed to shed light on this repressed and hidden part of Hawaiian history.

Native legend tells how four extraordinary individuals with dual male and female spirits, known as mahu, came to Oahu bringing wisdom and saving many lives with their healing abilities. The people of Oahu then placed four large stones on Waikiki Beach in memory, and the mahu heroes imbued them with their healing spirits before disappearing. But these stones remained sacred to the people of Oahu for hundreds of years until outside settlers sought to hide the legend, and for a long time this story of wisdom was forgotten.

Today, Waikiki Beach in Oahu is one of the most famous spots on the planet, its crisp white sand and beautiful turquoise waters make it a destination for millions of people each year. But this beach has more than beauty; it holds an ancient and inspiring history and hopefully, through future artistic exploration of its ancient legend, people will pay homage to this history and to the sacred stones discovered that have given hope to the natives of Oahu .

Penguin Random House publishes a large-format picture book telling the ancient story. Richly illustrated by Kapaemahu Animation Director, Daniel Sousa, this is the first-ever bilingual book in the ancient Niihau form of the Hawaiian language. “Kapaemahu is a monument to a native Hawaiian legend and a classic in the making,” said Namrata Tripathi, editor of the Kokila Penguin Young Readers imprint. It should hit shelves in early 2022.

The animated legend will also be the centerpiece of an immersive multimedia exhibit at the Bishop Museum of Hawaii, the largest collection of Hawaiian and Pacific culture in the world. Occupying the entire 8,500 square feet of Castle Memorial Hall, the exhibit will feature 30-foot replicas of the four mahu healers standing in front of glowing facsimiles of the stones dedicated to them on Waikiki Beach. An animated timeline will document the removal and resurrection of their history, as well as the ongoing work to restore the stones as a permanent monument. The exhibition is scheduled for June 2022.

Watch the Bishop Museum exhibition teaser here:

PBS will premiere the feature-length documentary Kapaemahu healing stones on Pacific Heartbeat, bringing this hidden Hawaiian story to life for millions of viewers across the United States. point of view,” said director and producer Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, a native Hawaiian who is herself. mahu. “It’s exciting now to see this vision expand, dive deep into the story and bring it to view on multiple platforms that have the ability to reach so many new and different audiences. It will be transformative.”

The photo of Samuel Patrick Bannon

Sam is a part-time English teacher, full-time journalist and fiction writer, and if he writes one more word, it will be the most he has ever written.