"Redefining the worlds perspective of Hawaiian Culture through creative expression, community building and progressive education."
Kaulumaika started with the "Ka Mama Opihi" print, now known as the "Kuu Opihi" print. The design was 100% hand made by Emily States, my wife who was making onesies for our first born. At the time we were in the market for baby clothes and I personally disliked every "Hawaiian design" that I saw on baby clothes. The "Kuu Opihi" print was my wife's way of humoring me. When people outside of our friends and family saw the print and wanted to buy the onesie, we knew we had something.
Kaulumaikaʻs products that you see now have evolved a lot over the past few years as our understanding of Hawaiian language and native Hawaiian plants and creatures have evolved too. We do hours of research before designing and releasing products because we are passionate about appropriate representation of what a "Hawaiian design" is.
Along with our passion for Hawaiian design, we spend a lot of time learning about the Hawaiian language. A language is key to each and every culture and learning it connects us to our ancestors. Weʻre lifelong learners of this language and we share what weʻre learning with the community to encourage those who are interested in learning to learn. To learn more about the specifics of our Hawaiian language journey, watch the videos on this page.
In all of this, the third vital pillar of Kaulumaika is community. To view this work as only our own is taking credit that is not wholly ours. This community is filled with Hawaiians and locals scattered all around the world who share a common thread. That thread binds us all together as we learn, share, and grow together in an open, welcoming, and encouraging community.
No Ko Maua Moolelo: Our Hawaiian Language Learning Journey
Message from Emily
In your lifetime, have you ever had the desire to learn Hawaiian?
I donʻt know you personally, but my guess is that if youʻre reading this then the answer to my question is "yes."
Your desire is probably a result of an experience that resonated with your identity. It could stem from immersion preschool, years in high school, semesters in college. It might come from hearing your tutu speak, reading street signs as you drive by them, having nieces or nephews with names you can't pronounce. You might be a Kanaka, you may not be. You may even live in Hawaii.
For Malu and I, we've had multiple moments in our lives where the thought crossed our minds, but the moment it stuck was the day we decided to have kids. That was October of 2016 and now, years later we're still learning and so grateful that we started the journey.
Thatʻs what our work in our home, my work as an artist, and my husbandʻs work pursuing degrees is all about. We're figuring out 'the how' along the way, but we are committed to 'the why' which is to help others learn and speak Hawaiian in their homes.
This is a safe community, a community where mistakes are often made and a culture of uplifting one another is expected. Itʻs a long process, and compared to what the future holds - we donʻt have much to share now, but we have at least a few years of learning and speaking as a family to be able to say that we know the language revitalization is 100% possible and itʻs worth every moment.
If you have any questions feel free to contact us!
You can fill out this form or find us on Instagram - @kaulumaika - @ka_alala