The Archive Project



“Kūpuna teach us all, but are especially important for the young, who need a foundation of where they come from, what their culture is and what it means to keep it alive.”  


- Eddie Kamae

Eddie committed his life’s work to building an archive of the stories and music of Hawai‘i. He devoted many decades of his life searching archives and interviewing Hawaiian kūpuna. His research details first-hand experiences and brings to life an older time and way of thinking that is reminiscent of the way his parents and grandparents lived. His vision was to preserve and share these stories in hopes that future generations would continue to learn from them.


Over the past 30 years, the Hawaiian Legacy Foundation has created over 1,500 hours of raw footage from the ten documentaries, 200 hours of additonal footage, 200 hours of recorded songs, chants and music, 3,000 photographs, 200 pages of lyrics, and 6,000 pages of transcripts.

These materials include original music passed down to Eddie or composed by him, many handwritten notes, interviews with Hawaiian cultural practictioners and kūpuna in either Hawaiian or English, scenic and location shots, music performances by the Sons of Hawaiʻi and other Hawaiian musicians, candid and posed photos of many kūpuna and the Sons of Hawai‘i, and all the production, education, and outreach materials from each documentary film.

The Hawaiian Legacy Foundation is working to establish this archive. We have hired an archivist to process our collections and to coordinate the digitization of our fragile-at-risk analog materials. We have partnered with ʻUluʻulu: The Henry Kuʻualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi to digitize the raw footage and to make them available for education and research.


With this partnership, we have successfully completed the digitization of production materials from 4 documentary films: Listen to the Forest, Kī Hōʻalu: The Hawaiian Way, Words Earth & Aloha, and The History of Sons of Hawaiʻi.

Our goal is to digitize, catalog, and preserve the production materials from the remaining 6 documentary films and the 200 hours of additional footage. We also have a goal to complete the processing of the remaining archival materials. We hope that our archive will be a foundation for students, educators, and researchers to uncover the stories of Hawaiʻi's past through the voices and music of those that Eddie devoted his life to preserve and share.

To see the digitized footage available at ʻUluʻulu, please visit