Celebration of island culture benefits Malie Foundation

  • Photo courtesy Revive The Live

    Josh Tatofi performs live island music at Na Lei Hiwahiwa on Friday at Aqua Kauai Beach Resort near Hanamaulu.

The community can experience island-style music and storytelling tattoos on Friday, while preserving and perpetuating Hawaiian culture.

Malie Foundation is presenting a live concert and tatau competition, Na Lei Hiwahiwa, with proceeds benefiting the organization’s projects and scholarship fund. Live music will feature Josh Tatofi, a Grammy-nominated, Na Hoku Hanohano award winner for Best Male Vocalist and Best Island Album of the Year.

“We’re very excited to have him come and share his aloha for music,” said Maka Herrod, Malie Foundation executive director.

Born and raised in Hawaii, the solo artist composes, produces and sings island reggae, R&B, and traditional Hawaiian music. His debut album gained him recognition as a Na Hoku nominee for Most Promising Artist in 2011. Since then, he has become one of the most sought-after Hawaiian singers in the islands, performing in Japan for multiple hula halau and every year at the prestigious Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo. He is working on a full-length traditional Hawaiian CD to be released later this year.

The Na Lei Hiwahiwa event has been going for a decade, and this year’s theme is Na Mo‘olelo (Year of Stories).

“We’re going to be featuring some of the participants who have tattoos on their bodies, and they’re going to be sharing their mo‘olelo, or story,” Herrod said, “either themselves creating the tattoo or having their artists share their expertise.”

“It’s the first here on Kauai,” Herrod added. “People here have very good heart, and the story of that life on their body has really deep meaning.”

Featuring Mistress of Ceremony Waipu‘ilani Flores, the show is at Aqua Kauai Beach Resort from 6 to 9 p.m. Cost is $30 in advance or $35 at the door. Children ages 6 to 17 are $5. Tickets are available at Vicky’s Fabrics and Kauai Music &Sound in Kapaa, and Scotty’s Music in Lihue.

“We wanted to tap into this time of the year to connect with the traditional tatau style of making tattoos on your body, and the traditional history of it,” Herrod said.

In partnership with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Kauai, Malie Foundation also invites the community to learn more about the history of traditional Hawaiian tattoo or tatau (also kakau) with cultural practitioner Kamali‘i Hanohano of Waianae, Oahu.

Hanohano apprenticed in uhi (solid tattooing) about eight years ago and did until his uniki (graduation) in 2016. He was given the title of mo‘okane at a traditional school, Pauhi, under Kahuna Ka Uhi Keonehanauna‘ali‘i. His talents praise his kumu Keone Nunes. He will be sharing the history of the cultural tradition of tatau and following up his lecture with a demonstration.

The tattoo workshop takes place from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Aqua Kauai Beach Resort. It is free for Na Lei Hiwahiwa attendees with RSVP. A donation of $10 is recommended.

Info: Iwa Dawbarn (808) 652-4497, www.maliefoundation.org

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John Steinhorst, reporter, can be reached at 245-0435 or jsteinhorst@thegardenisland.com.

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