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Featured Artist: Keli'i Makua



Hawaiian tattooist, Keli'i Makua, follows the traditional ways of kakau. He apprenticed under Hawaiian tatau artist, Keone Nunes, for nearly 3 decades. In December 2016, Keli'i was recognized as "Kahuna Ka Uhi" (Priest of Tattooing) through a ceremony that, historically, hasn't been performed for over 200 years. He is the only Hawaiian to hold this title. Throughout the years, he has contributed actively alongside Keone Nunes to bring uhi back. Like many traditions in the Hawaiian culture, he and his work belong to the land and people of Hawaii.

 

"My ultimate goal is to take all of this vast amount of knowledge, shared wisdom and skills passed on to me from my family and teachers and share it with not only the people and nation of Hawaii, but with the world and with anyone seeking this knowledge. [...] I feel I have been tasked with this and it is with great humility that I will give it my all to make sure I answer this calling and fulfill not only my destiny, but the destiny of my ancestors and the future generations..."