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Insights into the inspirations behind each of MANAOLA’s original prints. Each design is hand-carved by the designer onto bamboo laths using the traditional ‘ohe kāpala (bamboo stamp) technique known for kapa (bark cloth) adornment.


About ‘Ūwila


About Niho Kū


About ‘Āko‘Ako‘a


About I‘iwi Lehua


About Pe‘ahi Niu


About Ho‘oni‘oni‘o


About Nī‘au


About Pō‘ai


About Niho Manō


About Hulu Nēnē


About Kamehameha


About Kanehoalani


In ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i, “manaola” means “life force.” The designer represents the ‘ūwila, or lightning bolt, as a physical representation of this life force, embodying the strength and raw power of nature. When printed in repetition, the ‘Ūwila print serves as a Hawaiian take on the houndstooth motif.

Manaola created the ‘Ūwila design as a symbol of protection for the wearer. In Hawaiian folklore, the goddess Pele possessed a magic pāʻū ‘ūwila (lightning skirt), which could shield the wearer from dark or negative forces, and leant the skirt to her sister, Hi‘iakaikapoliopele, so that she might journey safely. The designer intended this print to provide the wearer with symbolic protection and the strength to face life’s challenges.


Inspired by the harbor flats from Pāhonu to Māhukona on the Kohala coast of Hawai‘i Island, the Niho Kū pattern is comprised of a set of prints based on the jagged lava rock formations that jut from the sea. As a child, Manaola would paddle along this coastline, and the rugged landscape was a familiar site for the emerging artist. The receding tide displays tooth-shaped rocks, eroded through time by the power of the ocean, reminding Manaola of the sharp teeth of the manō (shark).

The first print in the pattern is called Niho ‘Ai Kalakala, and represents the constant sharpening of a shark’s teeth during the course of its long life. The second print, Nihomanō, refers to the shark-infested waters of Pelekane Bay. The final print, Niho Kū, or “standing shark tooth,” is based on a traditional design found in Hawaiian artwork. Though it may appear to be a basic triangular formation, its essence is tied to a deeper significance within the sacred geometry of traditional Hawaiian thought.


An avid canoe paddler, Manaola was inspired to create the ‘Āko‘ako‘a print one day as he sat in his wa‘a (canoe) and peered into the blue waters near his home in Kohala. As the wa‘a gently moved on the water, Manaola noticed the complexity and beauty of the intricate coral formations visible below him. As he continued to gaze into the sea, the endless variation of the flourishing coral bed opened up before his eyes. The Kumulipo—an ancient Hawaiian creation chant that demonstrates a unique Hawaiian acknowledgement and interpretation of evolution—tells us that coral organisms were some of the earliest creatures to come into existence, marking their importance in Hawai‘i’s ancestral history.

The small shapes of coral species also represent the act of creation itself, symbolically representing the kohe, or the birthing canal of a woman, which is the literal avenue through which new life comes into the world. The ‘Āko‘ako‘a print also honors Haumea, the goddess of fertility, who gives birth to new lands and new life.


Manaola’s Pewa design is his take on a classic wedge pattern found on many traditional Hawaiian textiles. The design is based on the fishtail repair found in traditional Hawaiian woodworking, which was used to prevent wood from splitting or to patch holes in broken calabashes.

For Manaola, this wedge-shaped pattern is symbolic of healing and the mending of wounds of the heart and mind. He places the Pewa print in a fluid, flowing formation as a visual metaphor for the passage of time, which is necessary for growth, understanding and wisdom.

The print takes on even a deeper meaning for Manaola, who believes that by mending one’s cultural past, one can shape an empowered future. Hawaiians, like many other indigenous peoples around the world, have endured spiritual, physical, political and cultural disruptions during the course of their history, making the symbolic healing of the pewa of paramount importance to reconnecting with the past to survive in the modern world.


The Nanaka print mimics the rough skin of the ‘ulu (breadfruit), a staple crop of Hawai‘i and symbol for growth. Though the literal meaning of nanaka refers to the unique texture of its skin, MANAOLA’s interpretation also honors the ‘ulu as a means of nourishment.

In Hawaiian folklore, the ‘ulu tree is revered as a kinolau (earthly embodiment of a god) of Haumea, the goddess of fertility. The designer pays homage to Haumea as well as the beloved breadfruit through the Nanaka print to encourage abundance and growth for those who wear this print.


The skill of of weaving has been revered as one of the most prominent art forms in Hawaiʻi. Manaola honors the tradition of ulana (to weave) with this bold pattern depicting traditional lauhala (woven hala leaves) with intricate design work. The significant woven pattern is symbolizes the weaving of the Hawaiian islands into a tight knit community. Manaola intends to connect the wearer of the Ulana print to the land in the same way that the Hawaiian community is deeply connected with it—woven into the very foundation of the islands.


One of the most profound MANAOLA prints, the Hina engages with aspects of sacred feminine energy, and with creation itself, through connections with the eponymous ultimate feminine deity. As a singular pattern, the carving depicts the full form of a woman standing in the traditional birthing pose found in many ancient ki‘i (petroglyphs). Patterns of line emanate from the figure, representing the powerful vibrations of feminine energy that connect her to creation.

To further represent feminine power, Manaola patterns the Hina print in repetition to form a circle. In doing so, the pattern reflects the cycle of creation and a woman’s unique ability to create life. Hina is also the goddess of the moon and, thus, the cycles of pregnancy are connected to the cycles of the moon, embodied by this circular print.


The Kaimana (diamond) print transforms the simple shape of its namesake into a powerful geometric design that captures the essence of the beautiful, starry Hawaiian sky. The Kaimana print honors the ancient Pacific art of wayfinding, a navigation system employed by Native Hawaiians and other Pacific cultures who navigated their ocean travels using the stars as a guide.


At sunset, looking out across the waters at Pebble Beach on Hawai‘i Island, one can often see the ominous silhouette of a shark’s dorsal fin circling in the sea. This striking visual was the inspiration for the Lālani Kalalea print. The linear, kalalea (prominent) pattern evokes the harsh, sharp edge of the shark’s teeth, the acute angle of its fins and the aggressive nature of the manō itself. To balance these strong angles, Manaola evokes the gentle grace and elegance of the shark’s swimming pattern to create an unexpectedly sensual and profound design that accentuates not only the fluid motions of the shark but also flatters the figure of those who wear this print.


The foundation of MANAOLA’s designs begin with the cultural values of nature and Hawaiian art traditions. As a designer, Manaola Yap seeks inspiration for his original carvings from repetitious patterns found in nature.

The Kapa print transforms simple geometric shapes representing Hale Kua, the womenʻs beating house where the final stages of kapa beating and adornment were completed and hung to dry. The line of negative space between the hale represents water, an essential element used in processing kapa.

By placing the Kapa in repetition, it forms a symmetrical reflection of the hale, a mirror of the indigenous art form and its modern-day reflection in contemporary Hawaiian designs. This print was created as an homage to the time-honored tradition of kapa making and the many kapa masters who have inspired Yapʻs career.


The ‘Upena print is based on another classic pattern found in native Hawaiian design. The art of creating an ‘upena (net) was an important craft in Hawai‘i used in everyday practice to catch both fish and fowl. The traditional ‘aho (cord) was knotted and tied in different sizes depending on the target catch. Manaola’s interpretation of this design was inspired by the carved, wooden anvils used to pound watermark designs into raw kapa. He pays special attention to the pattern, which features detailed pūpū, or hollow depressions forming circular shapes, inside each eye of the pattern.

MANAOLA’s ‘Upena print represents the retainment of love, knowledge and good karma, while also directing the release of energies that do not serve us well. As the purpose of the upena is to gather necessities, he hopes to inspire the wearer to practice mindfulness, to catch hold of positive energy in your net and to let the rest flow through the eyes of the ‘upena.


In Hawaiian culture, Mauna a Wākea—the tallest mountain on Hawai‘i Island, more commonly referred to today as Maunakea—is revered as a sacred place. In mo‘olelo (stories), the mauna (mountain) is considered to be the child of Wākea, the sky father, and Papawalinu‘u, the earth mother. Upon the mountain summit, Wākea charged the creation god Kāne with custodianship over the mauna. Kāne gave birth to four fully-formed water goddess: Poli‘ahu, the goddess of the snow, Waiau the guardian of the lake, Kahoupōkāne, the guardian of both the summit of Mauna a Wākea and the summit of its sister, Maunaloa, and Lilinoe, the goddess of the mists.

MANAOLA honors the four sacred goddesses of the mountain through the Mauna print, which features four different mauna shapes. At the top is the shape representing Poli‘ahu. Waiau’s is placed at the bottom. Lilinoe’s is on the left and Kahoupōkāne’s on the right side of the pattern which, symbolically, is closest to Maunaloa and the older Mount Hualālai.


One of the many classic relationships that exist in the nahele (forest) of Hawaiʻi is that of the ʻŌhiʻa Lehua tree and the Iʻiwi bird. In Hawaiian culture, this scene is an allusion of sensuality between male and female, as the ʻōhiʻa represents the femininity while the Iʻiwi, who sips nectar from the lehua blossom, is the male counterpart. The designer uses artistic license to bring two oppositely placed entities into the same scene as a provocative gesture challenging the symbiotic relationship of the forest.

The designer drew inspiration for this print from the two traditional mele maʻi, Pūnana ka Manu, and Tū Oe, which represents the sacred act of love making through images in nature. Hula traditions practice mele maʻi to encourage procreation amongst royal bloodlines to further the native population. MANAOLA’s Lehua graphic reflects the playful nature of the Hawaiian people, ancient expressions of hoʻoulu lāhui Hawaiʻi (propagation of the Hawaiian Race) and the landscape of sensuality in the modern world.


The Peʻahi Niu is a primitive print honoring the crescent-shaped fans reserved for Hawaiian Royalty. Made of intricately woven coconut and pandanus leaves, these fans are often depicted in lithographs by high-ranking monarchs for both practical and ornamental use.

Denoted by the sophisticated twisting and braiding of leaves and fibers such as human hair, Peʻahi Niu showcased the finest weaving skills of Hawaiian artisans. These native artifacts are highly revered for their royal association and preserved in the likes of Hawaiʻi Bishop Museum as well as a special collection in the British Museum.

The crescent shape of these woven fans are recognized as an icon in various Polynesian cultures and often represented in native tattooing throughout Hawaiʻi, New Zealand, Samoa and throughout the South Pacific. Within these cultures, tattoos inked the genealogy and life experiences of the individual upon the skin, thus the Peʻahi Niu was utilized as a mark of distinction for high ranking Chiefs to wear this symbol of pride.


In Hawaiian mythology, twin-tailed ‘Iwa birds are acknowledged for their connection to Kaiona, a merciful Goddess who resides in Ka’ala and Waiʻanae mountain ranges. When travelers were lost in the dense forests of these mauna (mountains), they would call upon Kaiona for guidance. Known for her kind-hearted and benevolent nature, Kaiona would send high-soaring ‘Iwa birds to navigate their path to safety. Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop is said to have exhibited similar virtues of compassion and was often referenced as ka wāhine hele lā ‘o Kaiona, the lady who walks in the sunshine of Kaiona.

During an afternoon of reflection, the designer found himself at the namesake of the Goddess, Kaiona Beach Park, welcomed by the sight of a rainbow and flight of Iwa birds circling above. He believes that these hōʻailona (signs) were sent by Kaiona to guide his journey and inspired him to create the ‘Iwa print.


MANAOLA honors kapa tradition with the Hoʻoniʻoniʻo print, created as an homage to the guild of women known as wāhine hoʻoniʻoniʻo as well as the goddess Laʻahana. The wāhine were talented graphic artists who worked in the hale kua (the womens beating house where kapa was produced) and were in charge of the final stages of kapa decoration.

Hoʻoniʻoniʻo means “to spot or streak,” a simple geometric style used in ancient prints and often seen in archaic kapa fragments. The 3 center lines of this pattern were created using a lapa tool, or a kapa liner often made of kauila wood, ‘ohe (bamboo) or tortoise shell sewn onto laths. This modern offering is MANAOLA’s interpretation of reimagined Hawaiian stripes.

The simplicity of Hoʻoniʻoniʻo showcases the designer’s affinity for ancient artistry as well as the foundation of kapa design. Through this print, MANAOLA celebrates the women of this tradition as well as the goddess who guided and inspired their creativity, Laʻahana (laʻa meaning sacred, hana meaning work), the patron deity of the sacred arts.


As its name denotes, the Nī’au pattern mimics the literal mid rib frond of the coconut leaf. From this sturdy spine or stem, narrow leaflets form clean geometric lines represented in this print as an homage to the profound niu or coconut tree. Hawaiians, like many Polynesian cultures, hold the coconut tree in high regard for its sustainability and multi-purpose usage, utilizing all parts of the tree which yield materials for medicine, fuel, food and shelter.

Hawaiian mythology also refers to niu as a kinolau or earthly manifestation of the god Kū, who represents fishing, farming and war. This staple canoe plant is key for survival, and wai niu (coconut water) is considered sacred, used in ceremony and special occasions because it exists in the elevation of the gods. Wai niu is also the only water that can be offered to the gods as it is the only water that is not touched by human hands.


Manaola presents the Pōʻai design honoring the power of divine creation. This portal of time and space represents the three piko – the fontanal, naval, and reproductive centers of the body. These sacred places of energy connect us to the past where we receive insight from our ancestors, ground us to the present where we focus our presence and intention, and guide us into the future where the generations will enter into this earthly realm. The circular symbolism of the pattern mirrors the ʻami, the revolution of the hips in hula (dance). This movement is a representation of creation in and of itself. The dancer is a full embodiment of the poetry and story that is being told and the chants and songs that carry the dance become an access point to the time and place that they were composed. It is that very ceremony of the hula that guides Manaola in his expression and creation of modern day ʻaʻahu (attire) and what inspired this particular design. Found within the circular pattern is the hoʻoniʻoniʻo print which is a geometric style used in ancient stamping often seen in archaic kapa fragments that is made with ’Ohe Kāpala bamboo stamps and lapa kapa liner tools. The use of the hoʻoniʻoniʻo here is an ode to the ancient artistry of these lands and the foundation of kapa making and printing. It is with this remembrance of the ancestral ways of artistic expression that we present Pōʻai to this time with the intention to “hoʻi i ka piko” to return and align to our individual and collective source, center, and divinity.

E ala ē nā piko.


In his Niho Manō print, designer Manaola returns to the sacred geometry of repetitious pattern found in nature that connects people to art, no matter the culture. Niho Manō literally translated means shark’s teeth. Manaola presents the design in geometric rows of teeth moving in ocean wave patterns across the textile.

In Hawaiian culture, the shark, a fierce species that includes the Lālākea (Great White shark) and Niuhi (Man-eating shark) inhabiting our living ocean, is revered as an `Aumakua, an ancestral guardian spirit. When the manō (shark) bites down or clenches its jaw – we witness its strength, determination and laser focus.

Rows of niho (teeth) are used in Hawaiian weapon clubs and in `ihe laumeki barbed spears. Ancient warrior ancestors wielded these weapons and, then as now, they still protect and guide us today. The Niho Manō print represents and imparts strength, protection and being steadfast in purpose and intention.


In this special collection of designs, Manaola honors and pays homage to the great warrior chief, Kamehameha, Pai`ea. Born on Hawai`i Island in secrecy and taken to safety by a swift runner to the high cliffs of `Awini Kohala, the infant king was hidden in the caves to escape the order of Alapa`i Nui that the infant be put to death. The Designer gains his inspiration from ancestral chants, and stories speaking of the youthful years of the royal child.

In Hulu Nēnē (Hawaiian Goose Feathers), Manaola embraces the traditional sayings of our ancient ones – “`O nā kānaka Hawai`i, he po`e make`e haku, he po`e nēnē `ili kapu,” the Hawaiian people are people who cherish their lords, people constantly thinking of the sacred skin [of chiefs].“ (Mary K. Puku`i). Thus, the feathers of this noble bird represent the sacred covering of royalty. Such poetry is found in the oli chant “Mehe hulu Nēnē la ka haki manawa o ka pali e kū nei” meaning “Like a goose feather, the child was plucked from the arms of his mother and taken to the sheer cliffs.” Manaola uses the imagery of repetitious patterns found in the Nēnē goose feathers to depict the separation of children who are being weaned from parents. It is a print of independence and courage for our youth. In the evolution of life, a child must walk on his or her own to learn and to have the strength and will to embrace his or her greatness.

For the Designer, the Hulu Nēnē also represents what a mother will do to protect her child. A mother’s love and their vigilance in protecting their babies from harm is part of a mother’s innate nature. This protective instinct is depicted through the imagery of the humble Nēnē bird. The Hulu Nēnē pattern is symbolic of protection in its most intense quality. At times, we are called upon to sacrifice for a higher good or purpose to achieve the potential which has been bestowed upon us.


He Kapa no Kamehameha Pai’ea
(First of 2 in Honor of Ke Ali’i)

In a trio of carved motifs, this namesake pattern pays homage to the great warrior chief of Hawai`i, Kamehameha Pai`ea. Born in secrecy and raised in Kohala, Hawai`i, he became one of the most revered monarchs of ancient times uniting all eight islands under one rule.

Designer Manaola, a Kohala descendent, was inspired by two royal birth chants that spoke of his greatness. Manaola recounts the story of Kamehameha’s mother Keku`iapōiwa having strange cravings while with child. The King at the time, Alapa`inui, received word that she had been craving the eyes of the Niuhi, the Tiger Shark. This strange phenomenon urged the King’s priest to suggest he destroy the child upon birth least he grow to become the slayer of kings.

With this news, Kamehameha’s mother devised a plan to have Nae`ole, a swift runner, take the child high into the sheer cliffs of `Āwini, Kohala. The mother’s cousin, Kaha`ōpulani, who was also expecting a child, would become his guardian and wet nurse. With the help of careful planning and the protection of the people of Kohala, the young chief would defy death and would be raised in secrecy.

As the child grew into maturity, his uncle King Alapa`i Nui heard of the heroic efforts of Keku`iapoiwa and the secret raising of this impressive young royal. The chant “Aia O `Āwini Pali Ali`i Hula`ana” tells of this and is the inspiration for Manaola’s print design. The news softened King Alapa`i Nui’s heart and the Ali`i welcomed the young prince to court.

Three profound patterns decorate this regal design. Strong poetry parallels Kamehameha’s stature. The majestic heights of the sheer sea cliffs, only accessible by birds, protected and hid the young royal.

The Designer has captured the cliff-side view of Pololu Valley in his narrow and pointed triangular shaped pattern. The dramatic cliff view is from `Awini at the frontal peak back towards Keahialaka where the valley ridges meet. The second design represents the steep descent Kamehameha Pai`ea traversed as he ascended to his full potential as a prolific, powerful and visionary monarch.

The last of the three graphics symbolize the Niho Manō or Shark toothed pattern showing the fierce strength of the warrior King. The barbed like motif mimics the razor sharp edge of the `ihe laumeki barbed spear, and Leiomanō, the shark tooth studded club.

Kamehameha was a ferocious master of the art of spear catching making him invincible and aiding him in conquering his adversaries in epic battles. He was determined to achieve his vision of a unified nation and his skill in war and battle tactics made it possible. Known as the great Alexander of the Pacific, it was said that no man in the islands could match Kamehameha’s strength.

The inspiration for this pattern springs from the determination of Kamehameha Pai`ea to achieve his destiny for the betterment of his people. The people of Kohala also chose a destiny to be the protectors of the royal child allowing him to flourish under their watchful eye. Manaola, inspired by the courage of the Ali`i, pays homage to the Warrior King through powerful motifs. The Artist hopes his design will connect us to the spirit within each of us, in symmetry with Kamehameha Pai`ea and the people of Kohala, to become the best of whom we wish to be.


(The Water of Kāne)


“He ui he ninau, e ui aku ana au iā `oe Aia i hea ka wai a Kāne?”
(This question I ask to you. Where dwells the waters of Kāne?)

Designer Manaola presents the Kāne design in honor of the god of water. Kāne is revered as the male deity of procreation and manifests in many powerful earthly forms with many names – from the life giving fresh waters that flow from the uplands – Kāne i ka wai ola, to the radiant light of the sun – Kānehoalani, to the brilliant flash of lighting, and resounding rumble of thunder – Kānehekili. He is the guardian and father of the snow goddess, Poli`ahu, who embodies the most sacred waters of the majestic mountain peaks of Mauna a Wākea.

Kāne and Kanaloa (god of the ocean) are often mentioned in chant and stories as companions in the ceremonial revolution of water cycles joining at the confluence of elemental synergy. They work together to open and release punawai (springs of fresh water) throughout the islands of Hawai`i. Like the cleansing power of the ocean waters of Kanaloa, ka wai kapu a Kāne, the blessing waters of Kāne are also used in the ceremonial practice of pī kai (to purify a place or person with sea water or salted fresh water). The spiraling kāpala print channels the graceful and powerful movements of wai (water) in its many expressions of continuity and reflects these sacred relationships between the gods and goddesses. The geometric lines of each individual stamp are open on both ends representing the constant and eternal pulse of creation. The circular design embodies Kāne in both his liquid and solid water forms, honoring the spheres of life he exists in. Manaola expresses a deep reverence for the cleansing and healing powers of Kāne with this pattern.

“He waipuna, he wai e inu, he wai e mana, he wai e ola, E ola nō ea.”
(Here is to the life giving waters that feed and sustain us.)



(The Sea of Kanaloa)

Designer Manaola presents the Kanaloa design honoring the god of the ocean. The artists patrilineal descent is linked to the esteemed ancestor Naukana, also known as Naukanaloa, meaning belonging to the ocean – whom guided him to create a tribute to our innate sacred ancestral connection to the sea realm. The imagery of way-finding navigational knowledge passed down through the currents of time, ebb and flow throughout the resplendent layers of this pattern, capturing an optical illusion that shifts from a flat to three-dimensional form. This imagery depicts the view of the sun rising over the mountains seen from out on the ocean to an elongated diamond representing the wa`a (voyaging vessel). The lines of color dimension traveling across the design shift from dark to light, symbolizing the cleansing mana (power) of Kanaloa. Manaola created these strong defined lines by use of the lapa tool made of `ohe (bamboo) and the string dipping method achieved by holding the string taut and dipping it into dye to then print on material. This part of the design exemplifies seafaring rope and cord, poetically reflecting the long lines of ancestors that link us back to the source of all creation and ties in Polynesian motifs representing our oceanic migration stories.

The horizontal droplet pattern symbolizing an i`a (fish), tells the story of Kanaloa, Kāne (god of water), and Haumea (goddess of creation) and their epic voyage from Kahiki across the Moananuiākea (vast ocean). On their journey they happened upon two fishermen who presented  ho`okupu (offering) of white fish and `awa hiwa (dark kava root). These offerings were first received by Haumea in reverence and respect of her divine power as a portal of life. This infinite feminine presence brings a duality to the energy of this design. The stories and deep layers of meaning within the seascape of this ode to Kanaloa encourages us to return to the ocean for strength, to take a journey of our own to the quiet places within ourselves that teach us the healing art of release and renewal, and to continue to navigate our way through this world by knowing deeply where we come from to have a clear sense of where we are going.

“Ola i ke au a Kanaloa.”
(Life to the ocean realms of Kanaloa.)


Manaola presents the Kialoa pattern in honor of the long lineage of voyaging the Kanaka Maoli people of Hawai`i descend from. The Kialoa is a long, light, and swift wa`a (canoe) that also has a figurative meaning for a tall well proportioned woman, both in which are reflected in the elongated diamond shape in this pattern design. There are two prints within the wa`a, the `Upena and Kalae. The `Upena print unfolds into the kākā fishing net that is knotted in a square fashion to catch smaller fish. This net along with the wa`a are symbolic for making a swift, focused, and intentional journey to gather just what you need.

The Kalae print represents the mooring holes found along the coastal cliffs of Ka`u that were used to anchor the wa`a to the land. The layered meaning is a profound reminder to be your own anchor in your journey. To trust deeply in who you are and remain pa‘a (steadfast) in that truth so that your walk in this world continues to be navigated by your inner compass. This will guide you to where you are meant to go.


Mai ka lā hiki a ka lā kau – from the rising to the setting of its golden rays, KANEHOALANI is the shining symbolism of the sun. Like other ancient civilizations, the Lā (sun) represents the presence of enlightenment and godlike immortality. Each day as KANEHOALANI rises, we chant; welcoming the Lā life giving heat as it bursts forth at the eastern gates of Kumukahi at Haʻehaʻe and we acknowledge the setting into the horizon as it bathes in the seas to the west. Like our ancestors, we give praise and thanks to the sun cycle, acknowledging its place in the universe, keeping the balance of night and day.  

In the Fire mythologies, Kanehoalani is known as the father alongside his wife Haumea (Mother Earth) to Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanic activity. Kane- Ho’a-Lani or Kane who ignites the heavens; Hōʻā (to burn, to ignite) references his connection to the Fire element and Lani (Heaven) his placement in the universe.  As a loina Kane (male principal) Kanehoalani pierces mother earth with his golden rays giving life to all vegetation. His heat permeates onto the land causing moisture to rise from the earth’s surface moving the element of water through its cycles while feeding the earth with energy rich nutrients.  

Designer Manaola’s depiction of Kanehoalani pays homage to traditional sacred geometry. The radial pattern represents an overhead view of the sun’s rays at kau ka lā (twelve noon), a time of great spiritual significance. Circular shadows in the center of the design reflects our aka, or shadow body. A wise saying goes:

 “Kau ka lā i ka lolo, a hoʻi ke aka i ke kino” 

When the sun rests on the brain, the shadow retreats entering the body” a time of great mana when we are at our fullest potential. Special cultural ceremonies are still held today at this auspicious time because of this reason. 

Manaola’s Kaneholani motif shares our connectivity to the warmth of the sun as we receive its energy. Today as the sun follows along its ecliptic path, we gaze into its brilliance, setting our intentions of our greater life purpose, following the path of its golden rays, a symbol of enlightenment and the light of the future.