TO FINISH 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. My teacher, Mary Kawena Pukui told me that the libraries and the museums alone would not take me to the heart of things. I asked her, "What do you mean?" She said, "It's out there. In the valleys and small towns, in the back country. All those places where we have come from. That's where you will find it when you are ready to go looking." So I went out looking.
- 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.
The Foundation believes 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 a set of teaching tools that can be used in classrooms across Hawaiʻi and beyond.
We plan to digitize, catalog, and make accessible the the remaining 1,500 hours of raw footage and other materials found in the archive. The teaching tools we plan to create will be lesson plans for K-12 educators, storybooks for K-3 children, and a printed and digital songbook for post-secondary students, musicians, and the general public.
This work needs your help. We need additional funding to expedite the digitization and archival processing to make accessible the Kamae’s rich archive of cultural knowledge. We also need additional funding to create a set of teaching tools for educators, students, and families.
To support our work, please visit our Support page.