The LGBTQ+ History Series – Honolulu and The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu
OUTtv hosts Christian & Kim attend Pride in Honolulu, Hawaii and interview Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu and Bishop Museum historian DeSoto Brown to learn about Māhū identity, the “I Am A Boy” buttons and The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu.
Aloha! In this History UnErased episode, you will hear the story of The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu, learn about their erasure in the age of American imperialism, as well as current efforts to restore the monument to the healer stones – and the story of the mahu – to their rightful place in Hawaiian history. This History UnErased podcast is funded by the New York City Council. It was developed by History UnErased and produced and edited by Dinah Mack; Kathleen Barker; and Deb Fowler. Tremendous thanks to Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson for their generous support of this podcast episode. Both Kapaemahu and Healer Stones of Kapaemahu are directed by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson, and Kanaka Pakipika.
Hawaii’s Māhū—and Their Ancient History—Are Finally Re-Embraced
The restored history of a Native Hawaiian monument elevates part of the rich, sacred story of māhū—those who are of dual male and female spirit–and whose powerful roles in Hawaiian culture are still present today.
Exclusive: ‘Kapaemahu’ Filmmakers Debut LGBTQ Romantic Adventure ‘Aikāne’
The team behind the acclaimed animated short Kapaemahu is debuting a new film inspired by Hawaiian culture, titled Aikāne — an ancient term for intimate same-sex friends that has taken on new relevance with the worldwide resurgence of anti-LGBTQ hostility. The film will premiere at the Animayo and Seattle International Film Festivals in May, followed by a series of screenings during Pride Month in June.
Hawai’i Congresswoman Jill Tokuda Shares Legend of Kapaemahu on House Floor
While celebrating O’ahu native Sasha Colby – winner of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ – on House floor, Rep. Jill Tokuda alludes to the history of Kapaeumahu: “In ancient Hawaiian days, Mahu were considered extraordinary individuals of male and female spirit who brought their healing powers to O’ahu from Tahiti,” Tokuda said. “Today, trans people are among the most revered members in the Hawaiian community.”
“Amidst ongoing attacks on our LGBTQ+ rights that particularly target trans people and drag queens, Sasha’s win is not only well deserved, it gives us all hope,” she added.
Waikiki’s Healing Stones Celebrate Native Trans History
Experiencing Honolulu Pride is sublime: the sweeping Pacific views and myriad food options at the Prince Waikiki Hotel, the comforting humid air, the perfectly temperate ocean water, and the welcoming faces at the Pride festival and local gay bar Bacchus Waikiki. But the pinnacle experience of the queer aloha spirit last October wasn’t found on the parade route, at after-parties, or even on Queen’s Beach. Instead it was found at the 134-year-old Bishop Museum, where I was lucky enough to catch the incredible exhibit, “The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu,” on its closing day, which coincided with Pride’s start.
New Cultural Exhibit at Hawaii Convention Center
If you missed Bishop Museum’s exhibit on the Healer Stones of Kapaemahu you can head to The Hawaii Convention Center to view replicas of The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu outside Theater 320. “This exhibit shines a light on the deep history of these stones and furthers the Center’s sense of place by showcasing this important Waikiki landmark, which is just minutes away,” said Dean Hamer, a film director and curator of The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu exhibit.
Convention Center Unveils Hawaiian Cultural Exhibits
The Hawai‘i Convention Center unveiled two new Hawaiian cultural exhibits — an extensive featherwork installation and a display exploring the Healer Stones of Kapaemahu — Thursday on its third floor with a blessing ceremony. “The work of these renowned artists brings to life the stories of Hawai‘i’s rich culture and history, enhancing each guest’s experience and appreciation for our islands,” Hawai‘i Convention Center General Manager Teri Orton said in a statement. “As a gathering place for our communities and thousands of visitors from around the world each year, we are pleased to make these exhibits accessible for everyone to enjoy.”
Kapaemahu Wins Stonewall Book Award
Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, or Kumu Hina for many, is known for work in the art of Hula. She is a filmmaker, an artist, and an activist and now an author after the release of her book “Kapaemāhū”. The book tells the traditional story of four legendary mahu or individuals with dual male and female spirit, who long ago brought healing arts from Tahiti to Hawaiʻi and imbued their healing powers into four large stones in Waikiki today. The book is written in both English and in ʻōlelo Niʻihau.
Judith Light to Executive Produce Animated Short ‘Falling’ (EXCLUSIVE)
Emmy and Tony winner Judith Light has signed on as an executive producer for “Falling,” an animated short film from the filmmakers behind “Kapaemahu” — Daniel Sousa, Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson and Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu — which was shortlisted for the best animated short Oscar in 2021.
While “Kapaemahu” focused on Hawaii’s legendary gender-fluid healers (and expanded into a children’s book, feature documentary and immersive museum exhibition), “Falling” follows the romantic adventures of a valiant island warrior, a handsome young man and an octopus brought together by a twist of fate. The story is described as “an epic romantic adventure that instills hope in a time of rising prejudice and hate.”