The Native Hawaiian printing workshop utilizes ʻohe stamps and ink to decorate various materials with designs. (Photo courtesy of the Kapoʻoloku Native Hawaiian Program for Student Success)

By Cameron Enomoto | Staff Writer

The Kapoʻoloku Native Hawaiian Program for Student Success and Kūlia ma Kapiʻolani welcome all KCC students to participate in its spring workshop series. These workshops will feature three Native Hawaiian practices including oli, ʻohe kāpala, and printing.

“I think these workshops are a great way for students to learn more about Hawaiian culture,” said Noah Tialigo, one of the peer mentors for Kapoʻoloku and Kūlia. “It doesn’t matter if you’re from here, out-of-state, or international because learning about another culture can help you grow too.”

Oli is the Hawaiian word for chant and is an essential part of Native Hawaiian culture. The purpose of oli can vary from prayer and stories to genealogical or ceremonial chants. Students will have the opportunity to learn Oli Holo, the chant of Kapiʻolani Community College, written by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, David Nāwaʻa Napoleon. The oli workshop will take place on April 10 from 2-3 p.m. in the Manono building.

The ‘ohe kāpala workshop will be centered around the ancient art of carving bamboo stamps. These stamps were typically used to decorate kapa cloths or other fabrics. In wā kahiko (old times) Native Hawaiians would harvest ‘ohe (bamboo) while taking only what was needed. This mindful process of harvesting ensured that the ʻohe would be able to replenish naturally. Designs carved onto the ʻohe sticks often represented some kind of moʻolelo (story) or had meaning to the person who used it.

The workshop will be led by Nalu Andrade, a Native Hawaiian carving artist, on April 15 from 1:30-3 p.m. in ʻIliahi 231.

“I used one of the carving tools to make circles for my design,” Tialigo said. “It represented my ahupuaʻa of Kapālama which I grew up in, and I also did one for Kalihi as well. Part of the workshop was understanding what the designs mean and that you can interpret patterns in certain ways.”

The last workshop in the spring series, printing, will allow students to bring their ʻohe kāpala from the previous workshop and print their designs onto kīhei (traditional Hawaiian wrap for formal ceremonies). Kīhei will be reserved for graduating students only, however, non-graduating students are encouraged to bring other materials such as shirts or towels to print their designs onto. Printing workshops will be held in ʻIliahi 231 on April 23, 25, and 29, as well as May 1 and 3 from 10-2 p.m.. Students can come and go during this time period.

“It’s great to put your patterns on kīhei and tell your story,” Tialigo said. “If you ever have any further accomplishments you can continue to add on to your kīhei and it will represent your journey.”

Students who are interested in participating in any of these workshops can register through this Google Form. Questions and concerns can be directed to