There is a rich history of palaka in Hawaiʻi. It's a story that connects us all. Our Papa was born on the Waialua plantation. His father worked at the quarry, and he would share fond memories of his mother making kala soup. It was his favorite, he said. He learned to swim in the water reservoirs as kids, and later became two-time state football champions. Go Bulldogs! Palaka today helps us to recall such memories and connect with our past.
We hope that Kahui Palaka and the products we make remind you of the legacy of hard work, perseverance and community that we share.
There are so many components to Hawaiian culture that make our home special. I believe much of the cultural renaissance of 20th century was focused on a resurgence of ancient customs and practices, while extremely valuable, many of our kūpuna were seemingly walled off from that cultural revitalization, but all the while they were developing and cultivating old customs in their own Hawaiian way of being. I think of my grandmother and mother who grew up in hula studios vs. halau, that was their moʻomeheu. I think of my grandpa telling me of his plantation days as a child, and the way they learned to swim in the reservoirs.
All of these things that may not look like modern expressions of Hawaiian culture are the very things upon which we have built our cultural connections today. Palaka is part of that kahua, and I think thatʻs why Hawaiʻi connects so deeply with this simple pattern of woven fabric. Palaka is a memory to the times that didn't seem deeply cultural as we know today, but I would consider palaka is a part of the native culture of our great grandparents, tūtū, and mākua. Coming from this legacy of cultural practitioners I believe that we are uniquely positioned to continue that legacy of hard work and aloha. We help Hawaiʻi connect to the culture of their grandparents through our modern design and apparel using palaka fabric.
Me ke aloha nui, Kahui Palaka