The Māhūi is the Culture and Education Subcommittee of the Hawai’i LGBT Legacy Foundation.
The group, formed in 2020, represents a shift in the Legacy Foundation’s efforts in ensuring that the organizationʻs work is place-based, and in particular, that it reflects Kanaka stories, values, and history in its programming.
One of the groupʻs first projects was a series of Rainbow Town Halls, online and at Waiwai Collective, exploring queerness and indigeneity, community building and spirituality. These intersectional dialogues featured cultural practitioners, community leaders, indigenous movement builders, musical artists and diverse members of the community. Several Rainbow Town Halls are being prepared for 2023 and more details will be available soon.
On October 1, 2021 the Māhūi convened the first-ever Kapaemahu Ceremony at Nā Pōhaku Ola, commonly referred to as “the healer stones”, in Waikīkī to honor and pay tribute to ancestors, culture, and Pasefika peoples, and to initiate Honolulu Pride Month.
In 2022, led by board members Sami L.A Akuna, Tati Young, Ha’aheo Zablan, and Ian Tapu, alongside cultural alaka’i Kepa Barrett, the Māhūi ushered in what has become an annual opening ceremony for Honolulu Pride with the Nā Pōhaku Ola Ceremony, in accordance with the 2022 theme “Rooted In Pride”. The group also led the 2022 Honolulu Pride Parade, as a way of grounding and centering the celebrations in indigenous experiences, knowledge and values.
The Māhūiʻs contributions to the Hawaiʻi LGBT Legacy Foundation and the larger community will continue to expand in 2023, engaging LGBTQIA+ youth in cultural and leadership development, in addition to its already established programming.
To learn more about the Māhūi, contact Ian Tapu.