SZKaiao Designs Collaborates with ʻAimalama

Expanding on their place-, nature- and culture-focused designs, the Sig Zane Design team teamed with Kalei Nu'uhiwa, Papahulilani Master, to create a shirt with a design that illustrates the celestial path of the moon and its partner star as they travel from one month to the next. Proceeds from the sales of "Malama Pili" by Nu'uhiwa and Brandy Serikaku SZKaiao will be donated to Kamaʻaha Education Initiative, an organization dedicated to advancing academic success for Native Hawaiians. Shirts will be available exclusively at Sig on Smith in Honolulu starting June 30.  Kalei Nuʻuhiwa will be at Sig on Smith Street on Friday, July 7th between 2pm and 5pm to talk story about her design as well as her study of Papahulilani.  

The idea germinated after Kūhaʻo Zane attended a Papakū Makawalu workshop, a methodical presentation of a wholistic preview of the Hawaiian universe. "Attending the Papakū Makawalu workshops by Aunty Pua and her team is always a learning experience and a bag full of mixed feelings -- ranging from feeling inadequate to disbelief of the pure display of genius of our culture. Then I usually end with an urgency to share or integrate what we just learned," says Zane.

The Hawaiian termIMG_1982.jpg for month is malama. There are generally 12 malama in a Hawaiian lunar calendar year. Each malama has its own guiding partner star that travels in tandem, or pili with the moon when traversing across the sky along the same celestial path. The name of each malama becomes the name of its guiding partner star. ʻIkuā, Welehu, Makaliʻi, Kāʻelo, Kaulua, Nana, Welo, ʻIkiʻiki, Kaʻaona, Hinaiaʻeleʻele, Hilinamā and Hilinaehu are the main names of the guiding stars. There were sometimes two partner stars within a malama. These second stars become guiding stars for the aliʻi who had been born under them.

"Understanding the phases of the moon plays a role in our daily meetings, events, and projects. We worked with Kalei to translate each phase as it relates to business. We have integrated her content into a digital calendar, Pāpālua, that can sync with Outlook and iCal. It shows up as an “All Day” event and displays the month, moon phase and insights for business, as well as fishing and farming," added Zane.

Kamaʻaha Education Initiative is committed to advancing academic success for Native Hawaiians by piloting, implementing and supporting science, technology, engineering, arts and math programs and systems that are grounded in past and present Native Hawaiian knowledge.

Located in Keaukaha on the island of Hawaiʻi, it is uniquely positioned to provide services that meet the educational needs of Native Hawaiians. When its mission is achieved, Native Hawaiian communities will be thriving and empowered, possessing the skills necessary to advance their educational, financial, social and political interests for their sustained success and active participation in the global community. Kamaʻahaʻs primary educational partner is Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo charter school, also located in Keaukaha on the island of Hawaiʻi.

About Kūhaʻo Zane: Kūhaʻo Zane, Creative Director of Sig Zane Designs and SZKaiao comes from a generational Hula family and practice that informs his day to day career as a designer. Zane, who studied graphic design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, was a member of PBN’s Forty Under 40 class of 2015. He’s worked with his father, company founder Sig Zane, on everything from the company’s signature aloha shirts to the designs for Ohana by Hawaiian’s aircraft to Hawaiian Electrics Logo Identity.

With their design studio and creative team SZKaiao, he works to integrate native and cultural perspective that was passed on to him through his ʻOhana Kanakaʻole generational practice into today's modern context.


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