This design created by Nelson Makua depicts the many aspects of Puna, home of Pele with the fragrance of the hala and lehua in the winds and the ongoing battle between the lava and the sea. inspired by a ‘ōlelo no‘eau about the Puna district. “Hune one o Paia‘ala, ‘Āina Kilohana a ka Wahine,” which translates to, “The sands of Paia‘ala, now a revered prize land of Pele.” Although it is not a traditional ‘ōlelo no‘eau, it was created in honoring the district of Puna. It reminds us of a very important saying amongst the kūpuna, “If you have not seen Paia‘ala, you have not seen Puna.” Paia‘ala was a beautiful beach in Kaimū. The shores of Paia‘ala have since been covered by Pele’s flow. Although we are now not able to visit Paia‘ala’s sandy shore, this ‘ōlelo no‘eau reminds us that through the knowledge held in the many mo‘olelo aloha ‘āina, we are able to visit Paia‘ala still, and say we have truly seen Puna. Nelson and his ‘ohana reside in the Puna district where his ancestors first migrated from Tahiti and settled in Puna.
Nelson is a two time Nā Hōkū Hanohano winner for graphic design and was honored as a MAMo Awardee in 2016 in recognition of his artistic contribution as a Native Hawaiian artist. Nelson and his son Kainoa are both artists and designers and have a line of casual Hawaiian wear under the brand of Nā Mākua. “Nā Makua gives us a visual voice to express our views and feelings as native Hawaiians, creating images that speak out to other Hawaiians and honor our rich heritage.” They retail their apparel and art on their website www.namakua.com.