Ua Mau ke oka ’Aina i ka Pono, a Hawaiian saying that imbues a balanced statement of sovereignty, that strongly reflects the past, present and future realities of the Hawaiian people.
In 1843 Great Britain returned sovereignty back to the Hawaiian Kingdom. After the hand over to King Kamehameha lll, he was recorded as saying “Ua Mau ke oka ’Aina i ka Pono”…………spoken then as a triumph of justice and common sense in the face of history.
Ua Mau ke oka ’Aina i ka Pono translated; says ""The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness," and so happens to be the state motto of Hawaiʻi, appearing on the official Hawaiian State seal to this day.
However in 1893, the constitutional government of Hawaii was overthrown illegally, in what was the subversive and underhanded actions of a small calculated group. What followed was the sad passage of history, that saw Hawaii annexed to the United States and Queen Liliuokalani forced to give up her throne, in turn the queen that fought so wisely for the independence of her land and people eventually died in 1917, though not without the planting of a seed within the psyche’ of all Hawaiians that were to rise in her wake!
Ua Mau ke oka ’Aina i ka Pono is a saying for all people, no matter our back grounds or race, that we come from the land and so must see our relationship to it as central to our existence, the Hawaiians in this saying acknowledge in their struggle for sovereignty the importance of life to the land, but not only that, it speaks of ones life lived in favour to the land and not of ill character or selfish intent in exploitation of the land.
Here “Ua Mau ke oka ’Aina i ka Pono” is reflected not only in the writing that appears in this collage, but in the elements that adorn this image, the colour of the natural environment, the subtle shapes of flora and fauna, the direction and foundation of culture and the balance of these things in the face of insurmountable odds.
That in span of time and in judgement of history and our temporal place upon this earth, that truth out lasts………………………. eventually!
This is a celebration of what is to be, not an ode to what was!