Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Maile Leaf, Mixed Media and the City of Refuge

Maile Leaf, Mixed Media, 5" x 7"
© 2010 Fannie Narte
The Maile is a traditional Hawaiian symbol representing love, honor and respect.  My brother, Malvin, harvested maile vines from the forest to make a lei for me as a gift of Aloha when I left the Island to return to Texas.  Just as the smell of coffee percolating in the mornings remind me of my mom's kitchen, the smell of the maile lei reminds me of my Hawaiian home.

The fragrance of the maile lei welcomed me with "Aloha" each morning . . . until it dried.  My first thought was "How sad to lose this gift" . . . my second thought was "Yay, dried leaves to use in my fabric paper making!"

One thought led to another and another and another . . . well, I rehydrated the dried leaves--something I magically discovered by experimenting--and painted them gold and added other colors to give them an "aged" look.  This idea was inspired by a gold pendant given to me by my husband many years ago.  The painted leaf was then mounted onto a painted canvas.  The background is a piece of my fabric paper.  "Maile Leaf" is another piece in my "Island Series," which will eventually find its way into my Etsy shop.

Tikis at the City of Refuge

In a previous blog post, I referred to the City of Refuge and posted several photos of the interesting designs found in the lava rocks.  Here are a few more photos of Puuhonua O Honaunau National Park (City of Refuge):

The City of Refuge, Honaunau, Hawaii
"Breaking a kapu was believed to incur the wrath of the gods. Hawaiians often chased down an offender and swiftly put him to death unless he could reach a puuhonua, or place of refuge. There he could be absolved by a kahuna (priest) in a purification ceremony, then return home with his transgression forgiven. Defeated warriors and non-combatants could also find refuge here during times of battle.Aloha-Hawaii

A grass hut among the coconut trees.

Can plants grow on rocks?

This plant found a home, its place of refuge, in the crevice of a lava rock.  This picture has philosophical connotations . . . 
There's always time and space for playing.

"Konane," a Hawaiian chess game.

Konane is a Hawaiian game similar to Checkers.  The board is a slab of lava called "papamu konane," and instead of black or red chips used in the Checkers game, white and black pebbles are used in Konane.  The idea of the game is to "capture men for justice and for sacrifice."  Read more about the Konane.

A team of girls practicing their canoeing skills.

Here they are paddling to shore.
Even crabs take time to play . . . "Peek-a-boo, I spy you."
Nature's pool . . . doesn't it make you feel like jumping in?
The coconut trees are leaning towards the ocean.  Could it be that they yearn to be free and travel across the ocean like the girls in the canoe?
I "Heart" Hawaii . . .



Vicki W said...

What a lovely way to remember your trip!

Scrappy Cat said...

Hi Fannie, What a special gift from your brother, and what a nice way to remember it with your mixed media piece.

Diana Evans said...

oh wow!!! these photos are amazing!!! and that leaf piece...wonderful work!!!