Haumea: Wāhine Well Being

*Excerpts from The Office of Hawaiian Affairs online article.*

THE MOSAIC MURAL COLLABORATION with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hoʻomaikaʻi LLC, and Salted Logic created the cover and internal visuals of Haumea honors the role and legacy of wāhine through original artwork. This mosaic mural was conducted and facilitated by kanaka ʻōiwi artist Naiʻa Lewis. For 20 years, Naiʻa Lewis has worked with people and communities to address pressing personal and social issues and thrive. She uses creative strategies to successfully engage, empower, and express the voices of vulnerable, marginalized, and disenfranchised, particularly those of women, indigenous peoples, and minorities. She blends contemporary expressionism with indigenous identity and belief systems through multiple media. Her work has been invited to show at artistic events and galleries from Manhattan to Honolulu, including the recent CTRL+ALT Culture Lab on Imagined Futures series, curated by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and Ford Foundation. By her philosophy, “Inspiration is birthed in the soul but only transforms our world when we manifest its potential through a creative process.”

THE REPORT, Haumea: Transforming the Health of Native Hawaiian Women and Empowering Wāhine Well-Being, is a primer exploring the exemplary assets, strengths, and wisdom of Native Hawaiian females and their mana according to traditional Hawaiian culture. Yet today, wāhine experience various inequities across different generations of pēpē, keiki, mākua, and kūpuna that cannot continue to be ignored. The health of Native Hawaiian females is influenced by contemporary indicators of wellness embraced by social determinants of health initiatives. This report is a call to action in order to improve the health of our next generation of wāhine: we must continue to advocate for better methods of integrating cultural values and resiliency across state agencies, uplifting community-based programming and expert coalitions. Major content has been organized into six chapters, each with a consistent framework that begins with an overview of the roles of wāhine in Hawaiian society and historical strengths that contributed to thriving communities while hearing from wāhine leaders by means of testimonials. Direct recommendations for equity efforts across all sectors, in all policies, should lead a movement which prioritizes women and girls in the 21st century while simultaneously honoring their indigenity as the ʻōiwi across the kaiwahine. Read the summary of the Haumea Report, become involved in the discussion, and learn more.

Naiʻa Lewis