We are so pleased to be unveiling our new Hawaiʻi History Day Logo, which was thoughtfully and lovingly created for us by Haley Kailiehu, an artist and activist grounded in her sense of place and history. Before creating our new emblem for Hawaiʻi History Day, Haley asked teachers, parents, and volunteers why the program is important to them, because listening to community is an important part of her artistic process. Words like knowledge, light, keiki, makua, enlightenment, pathway, and intergenerational came up again and again, so Haley wove these words into the many layers of this art piece.
Gracing the top right, you find Māhina traveling through her phases. This transformation of Māhina shows the passing of time between generations. It also demonstrates one way we are connected to our ancestors—we have all witnessed the moon as she travels across the sky, changing the way she reflects the light of the sun, telling us one way time continues to pass. Māhina grounds us in who we were yesterday, who we are today, and who we will be tomorrow. All generations have a relationship with the past and the future.
Behind Māhina, particles of white dust the landscape. What do you see in this gentle scattering of light? Haley says she imagines this as many things: stars, rain, snow. Stars guide us. Rain feeds us and gives us life. Snow graces the tops of sacred mauna, where earth meets sky.
The central focus of this piece is the face of a keiki entwined with a kukui tree. The kukui embodies knowledge and enlightenment. The keiki and the tree grow strong and sure with a deep roots, a sturdy trunk, and thriving branches full of leaves. Interwoven with the keiki and kukui is makua—the parent, the older generation nourishing the youth. The lines running across the forehead of this elder reference the connection of mauna, the water that feeds the roots, and the paths that interlace us together. All of these layers give us a thriving ecosystem of moʻolelo, a prosperous waterway of wai, which is the perpetuation of filling our children with knowledge. The interwoven keiki and makua also reminds us that each person is a story and spending time with our elders, our mākua, our kūpuna builds a strong root system of connecting generations to the past, present, and future.
This is where this story begins. This is how Haley tells this story, this history, this moʻolelo, but now she has given it to us. She says, what do you see here? What speaks to you? What story do you want to tell? How do you see your story woven into this image? How do you care for our history?
Watch Aiko Yamashiro tell some (hi)stories about Hawaiʻi History Day Logos.