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The Eternal Canoe: Honoring the Legacy of Kāhuna Kālai Waʻa Raymond Bumatay

The Eternal Canoe:Honoring the Legacy of Kāhuna Kālai Waʻa Raymond Bumatay 

Virtual Exhibtion December 8, 2020 - January 24, 2021

Live wa'a carving events December 8, 9, 15, 16, from 10 am - 4 pm

Kahilu Theatre Galleries are free and open to the public Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 10am – 1pm 

Kāhuna Kālai Wa’a Raymond Bumatay, Photo Credit: Dino Morrow

Kahilu Exhibits will present a virtual exhibition and live wa’a (canoe) carving event at Kahilu Theatre with Alika Bumatay and Alexis Ching in honor of Alika’s late father, Kāhuna Kālai Wa’a (master canoe carver) Raymond Bumatay, on December 8 & 9 and 15 & 16 from 10am-4pm. This event will be the completing process of carving a replica inspired by the outrigger canoe Queen Kapiolani gave to the Smithsonian in 1888. The process was started by a group of women canoe carvers led by Ray and Alika Bumatay at the 2019 Merrie Monarch festival. The program was sponsored by the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and Smithsonian American Women History Initiative and will be continued during these sessions at Kahilu Theatre. 

Lashing the canoe. Photo credit: Dino Morrow

Alika Bumatay and Alexis Ching will be carving on site as well as sharing their knowledge of the process. The canoe is carved from the invasive Albizia tree, which is ideal for learning to carve on, as it is abundant on the island, of little commercial value and a soft wood that is easy to carve.
In addition to the carving event and question and answer sessions, there will be a virtual exhibition presented free of charge on Kahilu.TV, "The Eternal Canoe: Honoring the Legacy of Kāhuna Kālai Waʻa Raymond Bumatay’" The virtual exhibition will include photography and video showcasing Uncle Ray's craftsmanship, from his model sailing canoes to traditional Hawaiian outrigger racing canoes carved from a single log. The photographs and video highlight Bumatay's life's work as a teacher perpetuating the art of canoe carving.  He led numerous demonstrations in Hilo and Kalapana as well as annually traveling to Japan to teach and carve canoes with the Japanese Hawaiian Canoe Association, and he represented Hawai’i every year at the International Festival of Canoes held on Maui.

Koa canoe carved by 
Kāhuna Kālai Wa’a Raymond Bumatay. Photo credit: Dino Morrow

The canoe will be on display, along with information about the process, in the Kahilu Galleries alongside the "Our Ocean, Our Canoe, Ka Moana Kākou Student Exhibit" from December 7, 2020 through January 23, 2021. 
The event will be open to the public with social distancing protocols in place, as well as live-streamed and recorded. Tune into Kahilu Theatre’s Facebook, their website, and Kahilu.TV to watch the live-stream video.

Kahilu Galleries are free and open to the public Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 10am – 1pm. For more information, call (808) 885-6868.

The Kahilu Exhibits program is generously sponsored by Mollie & Jim Hustace, Keolani Keawe, Pau Pizza, Kamuela Hardwoods, Woodbury Inspection Group and the Fairmont Orchid.


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