‘Humble Beginnings’ and ‘Pahupahu’ on display at VAC Gallery

  • KA‘AU‘A

  • Courtesy photo Pahu drum by Kapua Kaʻauʻa and kapa by Dalani Tanahy.

  • Courtesy photo Dalani Tanahy at work making Hawaiian kapa.

Volcano Art Center is proud to present “Humble Beginnings: A Kapa Journey” by Dalani Tanahy as well as “Pahupahu: Ritual Drums of Hula” by Stacy Ka‘au‘a now on display through May 16 at the VAC Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, demonstrating sacred indiginous art forms unique to the Hawaiian culture.

Admission is free, but park entrance fees apply.


The artwork presents the personal journeys of each artist as they practice traditions of their ancestors. Both women have nurtured and developed their abilities in these arts as true labors of love and dedication, not only to the art itself but to the hands of those who did it before. These beautiful works provide viewers an opportunity to fully appreciate the complex art forms that were customary to ancient Hawaiian lifestyle and rituals.

“As a life-long artist, I am attracted to the many disciplines involved with kapa such as tool making, horticulture, graphic design, natural dye production, education, research and the meditative rhythms of the beating itself,” Tanahy says. “Through crafting my own tools, I was able to work with precious and wonderful natural elements such as smooth warm woods, hand-picked basalt pohaku and opihi shells. I became a scientist in the kitchen laboratory, boiling up the bark, petals, leaves and roots that would become the brilliant blues, greens, yellows and an unbelievable rainbow of colors that our kupuna loved to place on their kapa.”


Ka‘au‘a is a Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner and was raised in the Ka‘au‘a of Kalaoa mauka on the cliffs of Hilo Pali Ku. Carving is a family tradition for her ‘ohana. Ka‘au‘a is a vocal advocate for her people and passionately calls upon others to honor their ancestors through commitment to excellence and understanding of their tradition.

For more information, visit www.volcanoartcenter.org or contact VAC Gallery Manager Emily C. Weiss at 967-8222 or gallery@volcanoartcenter.org.

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