Kaniakapūpū means “the singing of the land shells” in Hawaiian. Featured in this print are kāhuli snails, ’ōhi’a lehua bursting into flower, and nectar feeding i’iwi birds. This print has layers of meaning, or ‘kauna’: The songs of the snails bring Hawai’i into being.
Kaniakapūpū is the name of the summer palace of Kamehameha III who said in 1843, ‘ua mau ke ea o ka ’aina i ka pono’ or ‘the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.’ The Hawai’i state motto to this day.
“Kāhuli (tree snails) are attributed with song and are featured in oli, mele, and mo’olelo. They are considered hō’ailona (omens or signs) when encountered in the forest. Their colorful forms adorn plants and people alike, as their shells were used in lei. Unfortunately, they are under threat of extinction by the appetites of introduced invasive predators. Hawai’i’s Snail Extinction Prevention Program and their partners are rearing Kāhuli for reintroduction and are protecting their habitats.“
- David Sischo, Ph.D. Snail Extinction Prevention Program Coordinator.
A portion of proceeds from this purchase will go towards the Snail Extinction Prevention Program.
- David Shepard
Nonohi ka lehua a’i hōpoe
A ka nui manu i ’āhui a’e
Luana pū mai e ka pololei
Ke kāhuli leo le’a i ke ahe
Aheahe ka Hali’ala i ka wao
Ho’opē onaona i ka nahele
He ’ala nō ia e ho’ohihi aku
I ku’u ’ia a pau pono ka nani
He nani ē a he nani nō
The full bloomed lehua are vivid in color
Where the birds congregate above
Being joined by the singing snails
Whose voice sing joyous in the breeze
The fragrance bearing breeze blows
Imbuing the forest with fragrance
It is a scent that is enthralling
That expresses all of its beauty
Beauty, such great beauty
Devin Kamealoha Forrest, Kumu Hula