About the Artwork & the Artist

Kealiʻimakamanaʻonalani Parker Poʻoloa is a wahine kanaka ʻōiwi artist from the valley of Kuliʻouʻou and the uplands of Waiākea Uka. While Kealiʻi has some formal training in artistic expression, she has always loved to draw, from the tender age of four, when she took a pen and a pencil, and drew on all the walls of her house, much to her motherʻs chagrin. The next day, her mother came home with a huge box of scratch paper and Kealiʻiʻs love of drawing has never stopped. She draws inspiration from the ʻāina, and her relationship with the plants and environment around her. Kealiʻi worked for 8 years in the field of indigenous birth work and much of her art is informed by her passion for birth as a revolution. Kealiʻi lives in Hilo, Hawaiʻi with her husband, two sons and baby girl.

In the beginning of the ʻUlu DRS Project, four members of the Māpuna Lab would gather every Thursday, Kealiʻi, Katherine, Kuʻulei and mama Innocenta Soundkikku to talk story, share of their lived experiences and dream of what healing looked like in the context of the training they were creating.  Inspired by the stories of resilience and community mama Innocenta shared with us, Kealiʻi saw the life of the ʻUlu DRS webinar trainings in the fractals of the skin of ʻulu, or breadfruit.  ʻUlu is the main staple of carbohydrates to the people of Oceania and told in the stories of famine to the people of Hawaii.  And thus, ʻulu became the framework that informed our webinar trainings.  

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Māpuna Lab

Hū ka wai māpuna
Māpuna kapu ka hāhā
Haʻa inu, haʻa ola
Haʻa kapu, haʻa noa e
E nā kupukupu o nā kūpuna
E mālama ka māpuna
mālama ka māpuna
mālama ka māpuna e
I ola loa e, I mauli ola e
The spring water swells
Sacred spring
Bend and drink bend and live
Sacred bend common bend
Sword fern of the ancestors
Care for the spring water
Nourish the spring water
Protect the spring water
For long life, for optimal health
Deeply rooted conflict is coming to
surface; this is a step toward
More conflict to surface, less to hide
This is regenerative and I am held
I am remembering my support
systems and the ancestral resilience I
come from, to sustain the process of
truth-telling, healing, and emotional
To heal generational trauma and
disparity to go beyond performative
health and to truly be well