NATIVE INTELLIGENCE GRAND OPENING: A HAWAIIAN CULTURE AND DESIGN STORE

May 4, 2009, 7:00 AM HST · Updated May 5, 1:23 PM
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Photo by Wendy OSHER.

Photo by Wendy OSHER.

Hundreds of people attended the grand opening of the Native Intelligence store in Wailuku Town on Friday.   The new culture and design store celebrates Hawaiian craftsmanship and design and carries items made using traditional means.

Dedicated to the preservation and evolution of Hawaiian culture, Native Intelligence, is the newest retail experience to champion Hawaiian artisan, craftsmen and designers.

Located on North Market Street in Wailuku, Maui, Native Intelligence is neither a gallery nor a traditional retail store. Kumu Hula and founder, Kapono’ai Molitau, refers to it as a ‘cultural resource center disguised as a store’.

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In addition to selling merchandise, Molitau is planning workshops, presentations and special events throughout the year to emphasize the academic component of the store.

With a background in Hula, Molitau wants to provide dancers and chanters with a central location to acquire supplies and specialty items. Another goal of the store is to generate an environment that is attractive to both locals and visitors of Maui.

Cultural practitioner, Artist, Kahuna Nui and Kumu Hula Kapono’ai Molitau can now add ‘entrepreneur’ to his title. Mentored by Kumu Hula John Keola Lake, Molitau is steeped in the nuance of the Hawaiian culture. With this information, Molitau’s goal is to bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary Hawaii.

Native Intelligence is an experimental venture to aggregate quality goods crafted, grown or designed in Hawaii which reflect the cultural values and sensibility of the Hawaiian people.

Photo by Wendy OSHER.

Photo by Wendy OSHER.

Kumu Hula and founder, Kapono’ai Molitau, refers to it as a ‘cultural resource center disguised as a store’. File photo by Wendy OSHER.

Kumu Hula and founder, Kapono’ai Molitau, refers to it as a ‘cultural resource center disguised as a store’. File photo by Wendy OSHER.

Along with his wife Jen, family and Halau, Molitau’s support system runs deep. Native Intelligence is poised to bring the best and brightest of Hawaiian design to the forefront.

The Grand Opening Coincides with the May Day Celebration and First Friday festivities in Wailuku Town. The store will be open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday May 1st, and then daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., but closed on Sundays.

Native Intelligence will be representing a select group of artists and craftsmen throughout the State as well as contemporary designers whose work best represents the native Hawaiian culture.

Below is a list of contributors to Native Intelligence: Ni’ihau shell leis by Ku’ulei Akeo; Carvings and weaponry by Kenneth Hiraoka; Umeke by Maui woodsman Milton Rollins; Ulana Lauhala by Lauhala Lady Linda Scweitzer; Kalaepohaku by master carver Hoaka DelosReyes; Lei Hulu by Makanaaloha San Nicolas; Papa Holua by cultural practitioner Tom Pohaku Stone; Papa He’e Nalu – Hawaiian Surfboards by Tom Pohaku Stone; Traditional woven materials by Kumula’au Sing; Hawaiian Kapa by Ka’iulani DeSilva and Dalani Tanahy; Papa Mu and Konane by Kaipo Jenkins; Pahu Koa – Hawaiian Koa boxes by Dellara Woodworks; Handcrafted woodwork by maui designer Michael Neal; Hula supplies by Kumu Hula Kapono’ai Molitau; Feather Kahili work by Kumu Hula Kapono’ai Molitau; Pahu Drums made by Kohala carver Ika Vea; Ingeniously scented products by Indigenous Soap; Apparel by supreme canoe paddling label ‘Oiwi Oceangear; Finely crafted stationary by Kanaka Prints; Na manu maoli no – Images of Maui’s indigenous birds by Michael Neal.

Hundreds of people showed up for the grand opening of Native Intelligence. Photo by Wendy OSHER.

Hundreds of people showed up for the grand opening of Native Intelligence. Photo by Wendy OSHER.

Seasonal goods to include: ‘Awa by Jonathan Yee of Hawaiian Kawa Company; Dry land Kalo by Dain P. Kane; ‘Eke Poi – Maui poi from Maui farmers; Native Hawaiian Plants by Ho’olawa Farms; Custom Flower leis by Kumu Kapono’ai.

(Posted by Wendy OSHER © 2009; Photos by Wendy OSHER © 2009)

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