Moʻolelo

Askew1 mural on Pohukaina Street…


“It’s good to come to Hawai’i and join a few dots. I come from the city that has the biggest Polynesian community in the world, South Auckland specifically, so it’s nice to come here that has a very similar vibe on a lot of levels. I painted a portrait of Tame Iti, who is an activist, artist and a really iconic human being from my country, Aotearoa. He’s very distinctive because he has a full-face tā moko, which I know will resonate with the local people and they’ll understand because obviously the people of Hawai’i and the people of my country are related in language and culture. It was nice to bring a little token of something from my land, and also Tame is Tūhoe . I think he is very symbolic of the struggle and fight of the Tūhoe people. It’s nice to address that because there is a lot of people here that feel the same way about the American colonization of Hawai’i.”
Askew1, 33, Auckaland, New Zealand

The Wall…

Wa’a…

Hōkūleʻa World Wide Voyage Trailer from Oiwi TV on Vimeo.

Senator Dan Inouye often said that the “most important federal dollars he ever put together were those for Hōkūleʻa.” The senator believed in the well-being of Hawaiian children, and wanted them to know that their ancestors were extraordinary. In a few short years the rest of the world will also learn how extraordinary our ancestors were, and what we all need to be doing in order to walk in their footsteps: Mālama Honua.

“Bebeh gurl remember the stories”…


Dr. Elizabeth Kapu’uwailani Lindsey is the first female fellow and Polynesian Explorer in the history of the National Geographic Society.

#SigZaneForHurley…

Hauʻoli lā hānau e Pono…


Most people know December 7th as “a day that will forever live in infamy” because of Pearl Harbor Day, but Paie’a Projects don’t get down like that. Instead of having a moment of silence for what happened in 1941, we want to let out a giant “CHEE-HU” for what happened on December 7, 1981: a day that will forever live in awesomeness because PP CEO, Pono Campbell, was born. Happy Birthday, Pono!

Lepo vs. Pilau…

#mokif2012…

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Blessed…

7th Annual Moku O Keawe International Festival…

Until the Sun Sets…

Paiʻea Projects x FITTED Kepaniwai Pack…

Pack Drops Saturday, September 8, available at the FITTED store and online.

The Bitter Water of Battle

The Pai’ea Projects x Fitted Kepaniwai Pack was inspired by one of the most-bitter battles recorded in Hawaiian History. It is said that this was the most pivotal assault for Kamehameha the Great while conquering Maui. In 1790, Kamehameha (aka Paiʻea) led a brutal campaign to take over the Valley Isle while its ruling Mōʻī (King), Kahekili, was conquering O’ahu. As a result, Maui was under the rule of Kahekili’s son, Kalanikūpule, and left vulnerable to invaders. Kamehameha and his peleleu (armada of canoes) landed on the shores of Kahului, Maui with approximately 1200 warriors.

“I mua e nā pōkiʻi a inu i ka wai ʻawaʻawa (Forward, my younger brothers, until you drink of the bitter water of battle),” yelled Kamehameha to his warriors as they advanced from the shores of Kahului.

With firearms blasting and kanaka maoli hitting the ground like ripe ‘ulu falling from the breadfruit tree, Kalanikūpule and his defending-forces were pushed back into ‘Iao Valley. The Maui warriors may have stood a chance were it not for the Western weapons of Kamehameha’s haole homies, Isaac Davis and John Young.

During the bloody encounter, Kalanikūpule escaped to O’ahu, but his warriors were not as lucky. Outgunned and overpowered, the defeated defenders attempted to elude the invading army by climbing the cliffs of ‘Iao Valley, but they were shot down with the cannons of Davis and Young. “Ka‘uwa‘upali” (cliff-clawing) is another name for this violent encounter, which describes the Maui warriors as they attempted to desperately escape the cannon balls.

Ke ʻīnana la me he ‘ōpae ‘oeha‘a (Active like freshwater shrimp), which is said of the scattered warriors who climb rocks and hillsides to escape death.

The Maui forces’ dead bodies dammed the ‘Iao River, and the water ran red with blood. Hence this battle’s more popular name, “Kepaniwai” (dammed waters).

Pai‘ea had many ties to the second largest Hawaiian Island. His mother, Keku‘iapoiwa II, was a princess from the Valley Isle, as well as many of his wives.  The Kepaniwai pack commemorates his conquest of Maui: the red in the basketball jersey and New Era rip-stop snapback pays homage to the blood that was spilled at “Kepaniwai” and the royal bloodline that links Kamehameha to the Kekaulike Dynasty. Many believe Pai‘ea’s biological father was Kahekili, who was one of Kekaulike’s 15 sons. The #23 on the basketball jersey is a shout out to Kekaulike, who was the 23rd Mō‘ī of Maui.

Mixed Martial Artist Ilima Maiava—who is proudly wearing the Kepaniwai Pack in these images—also has a noteworthy lineage. The 29-year-old, Wai Side native is the grandson of pro wrestler Neff Maiava, nephew of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and brother of Cleveland Browns linebacker, Kaluka Maiava. The 6’2” kanaka maoli recently defeated Wesley Golden via TKO in the main event of the Unorthodox Industries Championship 8 at the Lahaina Civic Center. He was undefeated as an amateur fighter, and has a 2-2 professional record. Although the 205 lbs. division was challenging for Ilima, he dominated the 195 lbs. weight class (try ask Wesley Golden) and is planning to drop to 185 lbs. division. As a warrior of the octagon, the native Hawaiian tasted the “bitter water of battle” firsthand, and has a modern-day warrior’s blood running through his veins.

Kepaniwai o ʻIao

No Stone Unturned…

The moʻolelo of the FITTED x Paiea Projects HILO Jersey
(Releasing Saturday, September 10 at FITTED)

Today we live in a modern world where facts are only proven by science, and truths are only believed when witnessed. We don’t believe in the unseen and miracles are mere coincidences. How then, do we connect to the mo’olelo of our kūpuna? Days of mo’o as big as houses, of kupua that turn into fish, of Maui slowing the sun and of Pele creating land. If one were to sit down and read all the mo’olelo Hawai’i with today’s beliefs on what is true and what is possible, they would seem to be a long list of “fairy tales.” But to those of us who believe in these mo’olelo as our history and truth, the stories give valuable insight to the life of our kūpuna, their values, and their belief systems.

Based on many events that can only be described as kupaianaha, we chose to tell the story of the Naha stone. It is a story that connects two worlds, one of the unbelievable and one of real fact. It is a fact that the 5,000 lb Naha stone now resides in Hilo, Hawai’i at the public library. It is there, living, resting and real. Anyone can go visit the large, magnificent pōhaku and rationalize that no man could ever lift it.

It is said that the Naha Stone could determine if a child was of the royal blood of the Naha rank. Newborns of the Naha line were placed on the stone and a ceremony was enacted. If the child was silent, he was of true Naha descent, a royal prince destined for greatness. If the child cried, he would be thrust among the commoners and his life filled with shame.

Another ancient prophecy says that only chiefs of Naha blood could violate the sanctity of the stone by moving it, and he who moved it would conquer all the islands. Kamehameha was not of Naha descent, he was a Nī’aupi’o. Had he failed it would have resulted in death.

Thou hast spoken the truth indeed, for I have come to try and move the Naha Stone, for by that symbol I shall attain success and live, or shall meet that which will bare my bones.

So goes the story of how Kamehameha overturned the stone, and went on to unify the islands.

Original Image by Dietrich Varez

However, a different moʻolelo gives insight to another account of the history of this sacred stone. An oral tradition speaks of the stone actually being a man named Naha, a family ancestor. It is said that Naha was a kanaka hume malo (loincloth binder), responsible for dressing aliʻi (royalty). This was a sacred job reserved for families of the aliʻi, for the malo (loincloth) contained the mana (power) of the man who wore it. In an unsucessful attempt to take the aliʻi’s malo and assume power, Naha was caught, and as punishment turned to stone.

Until today the ‘ohana that shared this mo’olelo continues to care for this famous stone at Hilo Public Library, as their kupuna have done. For them, this is not just a tale, it is an account of their family’s history that lives on til this day. With this FITTED x Paiea Projects Hilo jersey, we hope to honor the Naha ‘ohana, Kamehameha the Great, Hilo Hanakahi and all the precious mo’olelo that have survived because of our kūpuna. Mahalo nō!

Mahalo to Kuhaʻo and Malani for showing us the ropes in Hilo!

Hāʻena, Hawaiʻi…

Amidst the hustle and bustle of bright lights, hula, and craft fairs which remind Hilo that the Merrie Monarch is here, a small group of us were lucky enough to slip away with some of Hawaiʻi’s best entertainers and kumu hula to a place that has inspired countless mele, oli, hula and thought since the time of Pele and Hi’iaka.
Hāʻena is a place of mystery, history and dreams. Originally this land fell under the King Lunalilo Trust, but was sold in an auction to the highest bidder, which just happened to be the hapa haole Shipman ʻohana. This pie-shaped piece of land encompassed 72,000 acres of Hawaiian history and natural beauty. Ancient moʻolelo and oli speak of the famous hala and lehua groves of Hāʻena. It was said that this was where Peleʻs house, Maoliola, stood. Today, the Shipman ʻohana strives to maintain the natural beauty of the land, with most of it used for agricultural use.
Hāʻena is also the setting of the epic moʻolelo of Hiʻiaka and her best friend, Hopoe. The story goes that Pele fell asleep at Hāʻena and traveled to Kauaʻi to find her lover, Lohiʻau. When she awoke, she asked Hiʻiaka to retrieve Lohiʻau and bring him back to her. In return, Pele was to watch over Hopoe and her garden. When Hiʻiaka had not returned for 40 days, Pele grew enraged and turned Hopoe to stone while she was dancing in the waves at Hāʻena. She was described as “ka wahine lewa i ke kai,” with a head and a paʻū, or hula skirt. She could be seen dancing in the surf until the tsunami of 1946 washed her away, and her location is presently unknown.
Hāʻena was also frequented by legends such as Helen Deshea Beamer, as well as Queen Liliʻuokalani, who would come to play the piano, while enjoying her cigars as well. The Shipman ʻohana explained how the revival of hula has breathed life back into Hāʻena. While we were there, the hālau payed tribute to the hula masters that have danced and chanted before us, to the home of Pele, and to a historic place that will live on forever. Mahalo to the Shipman ʻohana for letting us visit.




One kahakaha, a unique blend of black and white sand.

The point you see is part of Mauna Loa, while weʻre standing on Kīlauea. Hāʻena lies on the boundary of the two volcanoes.

Aunty Mapuana De Silva paying tribute. Hopoe, the Dancing Stone of Puna, was said to have danced in the surf right here.





Pēpē checking out the nēnē.


Genealogy of the FITTED x Paiea Projects Hawaiian Throwback Pack

Images by Ito, Kema. Paintings by Herb Kane.

Retracing the footsteps of our King Kamehameha (a.k.a. Paiea) led us on a path that culminated with the birth of our first release, the FITTED x Paiea Projects Hawaiian Throwback Pack. As they say, “You don’t know where you’re going until you know where you came from.



2010 December 15 – The Fitted x Paiea Projects Hawaiian Throwback Pack is born as a commemoration of the achievement of King Kamehameha unifying the Hawaiian Islands 200 years ago.

At Puukohola National Historic Site, sporting the jersey and Kam hat included in the pack. Available at FITTED.

The text on this jersey contains no diacritics (okina/kahako), just as it was printed in the old Hawaiian newspapers.

2010 August 14-15 – Bicentennial celebration of the unification (hookuikahi) of the Hawaiian Islands by Kamehameha aka Paiea at Puukohola National Historic Site. The celebration and ceremony conjured up 200 years of excitement and emotion for everyone in attendance.


1810 – 200 years ago, Kamehameha unifies all the islands into the Kingdom of Hawaii after the chief of Kauai acknowledges Kamehameha’s supremacy.

1795 – Kamehameha takes over Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Oahu.

1792 – Keoua, a rival of Hawaii Island, is enticed to meet Kamehameha at Puukohola to discuss a peace treaty. By the time Keoua arrived, he already knew Kamehameha’s warriors would try to kill him. Most accounts say he disfigured himself prior to his arrival so he would not be a perfect sacrifice. Regardless, Keoua’s death gave Kamehameha complete control of Hawaii Island. The painting above by Herb Kane depicts Keoua arriving at Pelekane beach, just below Puukohola Heiau.

1791 – Puukohola Heiau construction is complete. Thousands of people were said to have formed a human chain, carrying stones from Pololu Valley to Kawaihae. No one was exempt from the labor, from high chiefs down to the commoners. Even Kamehameha himself participated in the construction.

Around 1790 – A kahuna (priest) from Kauai named Kapoukahi prophesied that building a heiau at Puukohola and dedicating it to the war god Ku would end the war in Hawaii, uniting the islands under one rule. Tired of the warfare and strife, Kamehameha follows the prophesy of Kapoukahi.