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Finishing The Work

I thought I was going to make one film. But along the way, I met so many people and learned so many stories that I had to keep on making more films. 

—Eddie Kamae

Over the past three decades, Eddie and Myrna Kamae’s Hawaiian Legacy Foundation produced ten award-winning documentaries. Each one preserves and perpetuates stories about Hawaiian music, culture and history through the voices and sounds of the many kūpuna, musicians, and cultural practitioners that Eddie spoke with in the valleys, small towns, and back country. In making the documentaries, the Kamaes shot over 1,500 hours of footage. Only thirty-five percent was used in the final ten films. The in-depth interviews and songs performed, in addition to many other materials found in the Kamae Archive, still remain.

We believe that the preservation and perpetuation of cultural heritage is best accomplished through education. It has been a priority of Eddie and Myrna Kamae to ensure that the Hawaiian Legacy Foundation’s films, raw footage and archival materials can be used by educators to teach children about Hawaiian music and culture. 

Given the fragility of the archive and the mission to connect this body of materials with educators and students, there is an urgent need to finish the work. Myrna Kamae and her dedicated team are working to digitize the archive and develop teaching tools that can be used in classrooms across Hawaiʻi and beyond.

We are digitizing, cataloging, and making accessible the the remaining 1,500 hours of raw footage and other materials found in the archive through the hard work of our partner archive ʻUluʻulu: The Henry Kuʻualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive. Seven out of our ten films are now available through our collection: Hawaiian Legacy Foundation: Eddie & Myrna Kamae.

 

On May 1, 2022, we are releasing the digital online Eddie Kamae Songbook: A Musical Journey that features 34 songs that played an important role in Eddie's life.  We hope this songbook keeps the music so special to Eddie alive and is used as a source of curriculum across disciplines, grade-levels, and schools. We are now aiming to work with educators to further promote and integrate the songbook in our schools. If you are interested in collaborating with us, please let us know.