Sig and Kuha‘o Zane take the viewer on a journey to Kumukahi on Hawai‘i Island to consecrate Waiola coconut water to the world. In Hawaiian culture a blessing is a paramount act and necessary for anything to be done righteously. With the necessary spiritual protocols–chanting by Kuha‘o and offering prepared by Sig–the essence of the “Waiola Life” is created. This video was shot and edited by longtime Contrast homie, Luke Aguinaldo.
For Hawai‘i residents on Moloka‘i and Lana‘i, and for travelers to those communities – both kama‘aina and visitor – ‘Ohana by Hawaiian will provide safe, reliable, on-time air service, fully integrated with the Hawaiian Airlines network, offering seamless connectivity throughout the Islands, and onto North America and the Asia-Pacific regions. ‘Ohana by Hawaiian will provide convenience, quality and authentic Hawaiian hospitality for all who travel to and from these island communities. The name ‘Ohana, the Hawaiian word for family, also conveys the mission of the new operation: bringing people together from near and far. Through its mission of connecting communities, ‘Ohana by Hawaiian will help provide kinship, promote exchange and enrich local economies. The aircraft design for the new brand has been created by renowned Hawai‘i designer Sig Zane, and incorporates traditional kapa fabric print elements that represent three symbols of our brand values, rooted in Hawaiian culture.
“To celebrate the release of the Mauka & Makai Pack. Kicks/Hi, Sig Zane Designs and Vans Vault took over the Wai’oli Lounge in Hilo Hawai’i during Merrie Monarch Week to party Hilo style.
From the beach to the mountains, Sig Zane for KICKS/HI links with Vans Vault on a pair of releases, which make up the “Mauka to Makai” Pack. The set consists of Vans’ Era LX Premium as well as the Chukka Boot LX Premium, as the Era notes Makai inspiration (the beach) and the Chukka Boot sees a connection with Mauka (the mountains). You can expect the range to become available on April 14 through appropriated retailers such as KICKS/HI in Honolulu and Guam, Sig Zane Designs in Hilo and Saint Alfred in Chicago. They will be available online April 16th at kickshawaii.com.
Merrie Monarch is the prime time to experience the best of Hawaiian language and culture in Hilo. This is when world renown Kumu Hulas, Hawaiian musicians and performers alike gather and celebrate for a whole week. The Wai’oli Lounge release party was no exception, Kumu Hula and Merrie Monarch judge Nalani Kanakaole was the main attraction that night, and at her call her Halau O Kekuhi dancers performed for the guests. We also were graced with Na Hoku Hanohano 2012 Nominee Female Singer of the Year Lehua Kalima, Kumu Hula Napua Makua and her lovely ladies of Halau Na Lei Kaumaka O Uka, Merrie Monarch 2012 winner Kumu Hula Manu Boyd, falsetto singer Bulla Ka’iliwai, and Hilo native Kaumakaiwa Kanakaole to end the night. It was truly an honor to have all of these guests in the same room the night of Kahiko competion!
We would also like to mahalo our sponsors for letting us put on a Hilo celebration! Mahalo to Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Cazadores, Bacardi, Contrast, Vans, KICKS/HI, and Sig Zane Designs! It wouldn’t have been possible with out you and your support!!”
Sig Zane Designs
The following images were shot with an 80’s Leica Mini Zoom point and shoot, 35mm:
Through enriching, and educating the practice and development of hula and its associated arts, the Moku O Keawe Foundation will build, strengthen, and inspire the living cultural traditions of Hawai`i.
Citizen of the Window Seat
By Daniel Ikaika Ito
Inspired by Kūha‘o Zane
Fueled by a doppio espresso,
I navigate the Interisland Terminal
Like a young Nainoa Thompson
In the Kealaikahiki Channel.
Living Ponoholo (Travelwright):
Hawaiian or go!
This Hawaiian will go:
Up, up and away
From #ITO2HNL (Hilo to Honolulu).
The sun is rising
As I board the Bird.
Smiling at the flight attendant,
Saying “Good Morning,”
Looking so fresh on the flight,
My Aloha swag is so frickinʻ tight
Because I just might
Sit next to a super model or a billionaire.
I’d like to share my mana‘o
And pick their brain.
I’m sporting latest Sig Zane.
For I’m a “Citizen of the Window Seat.”
As soon as I sit down,
When the seat belt clicks,
It’s the sound to start
My morning meeting with Inspiration.
I whip out my iPad and Moleskine.
You must take notes
When conversing with a muse.
In this high altitude,
Where there is no oxygen
When I was still young boy,
My pops told me:
Ideas are floating above us.
It just depends who goes and gets it.
I’m a go-getter.
I’m a jet-setter.
Seeing the islands pass by below
Is a thought-provoking process
Similar to people watching at a coffee shop.
Instead of pedestrians though,
I prefer watching landmasses pass by
While I effectively use my time
As a “Citizen of the Window Seat.”
On the tarmac–
The familiar screech of the plane’s wheels
And the cabin shaking means
Meeting is adjourned.
The pen and paper are temporarily put away,
Yet the new ideas are still swirling in my mental.
Going to change the game again
What’s the point:
Of doing the same damn thing over and over again.
A culture needs to grow to survive
And I want Hawaiiana to thrive.
Walking off the jetway
With a pep in my step
Ready to make this day my bitch.
Too early to feel tired.
I’m feeling so very inspired
A very proud “Citizen of the Window Seat.”
An airport is a noisy place, yet a Travelwright knows how to harmonize in this environment. They navigate the terminal ike a John Legend song– smoothly with classic charm and modern appeal. Time is a factor. Being alert and conscious of your surroundings and others make everybody’s life a little easier. Nalani, Sig and Kuha‘o routinely make interisland and international business trips. They are masters of moving through airports quickly without hassle. Whether it’s Hilo to Honolulu, or Honolulu to Haneda, this family knows the ins and outs of traveling. Here are 10 tips on how to Ponoholo (Travelwright):
1. Check-in online. Get on your laptop, mobile or iPad and lock down that seat at least 90 minutes before your flight. An experienced “Citizen of the Window Seat” will always reserves their favorite chair on the plane in advance.
2. Pack lightly and travel with quality luggage. “When you’re packing you really need to identify what you have and try to do it in as small a container as possible,” suggests Nalani. “My tip for traveling is: If you’re going to buy luggage then buy the best because it lasts a long time, you won’t have any problems and the problems usually arise when the luggage arrives.” Cheap suitcases or bags are easily mishandled by the airlines and that’s when your luggage shows up with missing wheels or broken handles. “Buy the expensive stuff,” she says about luggage.
3. Get rolling luggage that spins. Kuha‘o takes it to the next level and demands a suitcase with a functional innovation. “You need a suitcase with four wheel,” he says about luggage that can spin. “Whenever you have your hands full and you need to shuffle something around you can just kick your suitcase and it will move on your own and you can pick up where you left off.”
4. Sunglasses are a must. Not only do they make you look stylish, they are necessary for a comfortable nap on a flight. “There is no way you can look cool sleeping on an airplane without sunglasses,” says Kuha‘o. “You can have your mouth open on a plane and if you have a good pair of sunglasses you would still look cool sleeping.”
5. “You need to always be ready,” says Sig about what to pack. “We don’t know if we’re going to swim in a special waterfall that we’ve never been to, or if we’re going to be at a Baby Lu‘au […] and you have to be ready for the cold. The Travelwright is the savvy guy who knows how to be prepared.”
6. Don’t get it twisted, homie: Pack electronics, chargers and cords in a separate pouch. “Take along a really good travel pouch and make sure it’s as thin as possible,” says Nalani.
7. Parking a vehicle at the airport is a necessity. It’s a tax write off and allows the Travelwright to seamlessly transition from ground to air says Sig Zane. Why inconvenience somebody just to save money?
8. Be sweet and courteous to others. Whether it’s the ticket agent, TSA officer, keiki or kupuna, there is always an opportunity to make someone’s day better while voyaging. Politeness opens doors– first class seats, a free drink or great conversation. “Etiquette and courtesy to the fellow human being is so important,” explains Sig. “In travel we so often have very close encounters and you have to be giving […] you respect their space and you honor their age or if they have any disabilities. We can all make it easy for everybody.”
9. Don’t wear any metal when going through security checkpoint and your footwear should be easily slipped on and off. “Don’t wear your jewelry when you’re going through the TSA line,” says Nalani. “If you’re gonna use sneakers, tie it up so you can slip it off and slip it off. Only amateurs beep going through the metal detectors.
10. A moleskine, notebook, laptop or iPad is necessary. You need something to take down notes and ideas because the terminal and plane are inspiring places. “The time that we spend in the airport and the time that we spend in the airplane, we can all make use of that consciously,” explains Sig.
For Nalani Kanaka‘ole, Sig Zane and Kuha‘o, hula is like photosynthesis– a natural chemical reaction which stimulates growth and nourishes life. This Hawaiian dance/cultural practice has allowed their ‘ohana to thrive thoughout the years. Spiritually. Emotionally. Professionally. Hula is the carbon dioxide, water and sunlight of their family tree.
Nalani Kanaka‘ole is a kumu hula (hula teacher) of Halau o Kekuhi. Martial arts have dojos where practitioners train in a particular kind of combat. In the same vein, hula has halau where a certain style of dance is practiced. Halau o Kekuhi practices a style of hula called aiha’a, which literally means: To be low to the ground. It has been perpetuated for seven generations. While their art form is ancient, Nalani is widely known to incorporate contemporary ideas in order to evolve the Hawaiian culture.
“I think the school of hula that I come from is ongoing,” explains Nalani who is the third generation of modern kumu hula in Halau o Kekuhi. She is also a judge at the Merrie Monarch Festival. “It has dances that were choreographed 300 years ago and is kept in that form, but it doesnʻt mean that you cannot create on that same form or format. The thing about the school of hula that I come from is it’s ongoing and we do have volcanoes that happen now in this period, and mele (songs) that are written for that so I do incorporate that.”
Nalani, who is the daughter of legendary Hawaiian scholar and kumu hulaEdith Kanakaole, says her approach as a kumuhula is holistic. She not only teaches Halau o Kekuhi dances and songs, but all of the related arts to hula.
“You need to walk the talk,” she says of being a hula teacher and an indigenous fine artist. “When [the students] start to design their ohe kapala (bamboo printmaking) and they make their own stories it becomes them at this time so that’s how I incoporate modern design.”
During this year’s Merrie Monarch Festival on Ho‘ike night, Nalani’s students are using‘ohe kapala (bamboo printmaking) on kapa(bark cloth made from the wauke tree) for their regalia/costumes. This fabric is significant because it is made by modern practitoners like Aunty Marie McDonald andDalani Tanahy, and it’s also an example of Nalani’s intergrated teaching style in Halau o Kekuhi.
“Usually my son does it on the computer better than he does on the bamboo,” jokes Nalani about Kuha‘o and ohe kapala.Kuha‘o dances withHalau o Kekuhi and is a widely recognized graphic designer. Both mother and son know that hula and the related arts are the foundation for Kuha‘o’s career.
“It’s all about the process, especially if you’re a designer,” says Nalani of her son’s work. Kuha‘o echoes his mother’s statement, attesting much of his professional success to creative processes he learned in Halau o Kekuhi.
“Learning all of that process definitely has a part into the graphic design process because I know how to achieve certain looks that I want to get and certain textures,” explains Kuha‘o. “If you can weave together the concepts that were already culturally practiced way back in the day then that just makes your Aloha shirt that much more relevant to the culture.”
Kuha‘o dances front and center when Halau o Kekuhi perfoms. This spot on stage is reserved for the most skilled dancers in the troupe. His place in the halau and family carries a lot of prestige and kuleana (responsibility). Kuha‘o is the only child of Nalani and Sig Zane.
“When you’re born into a hula family you have a choice or don’t have a choice– and most times you don’t have a choice,” says Nalani. “We tell the kids you have to own it in order for you to have it.”
As a kid Kuha‘o didn’t own it. He was actually over it for a long time.Kuha‘o shunned hula because of the social stigmas associated with the cultural practice. It’s widely– and falsely– believed that all men who dance hula are homosexual.
“I started late because I told my mom that hula was for mahu (homosexuals) and I caught cracks,” admits Kuha‘o who started dancing when he was eight. That was a long time ago, and he dispels the gay misconception of hula with every pretty girl dated.
“I wish more guys would dance hula because it would put you more in touch with your culture,” laments Kuha‘o.
His father, legendary Aloha wear designer Sig Zane, was immersed in Hawaiiana through hula as a member of Halau o Kekuhi. In addition, Sig and Nalani fell in love through this culutral practice, and conceived Kuha‘o. Aside from the family bonds that hula has brought Sig, it has also provided professional success. Sig Zane Designs is an Aloha wear staple for professionals, performers and everybody who values looking good in Hawai‘i.
More than financial gains, Sig’s work as a fashion designer is to share the Hawaiian culture. Like Sig Zane Designs Aloha wear, hula is also a cultural exchange. What Sig, Nalani and Kuha‘o bring to traditional fashion and art forms is a breath of fresh air and new energy.
“I think I’m very traditional,” says Sig Zane, “I’m very tough on keeping that mold I learned, but at the same time I’m definitely open to the new because I think that in that new we continue to attract other people to view and then they get to hear that story.”