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  • Writer's pictureMarissa Villescas

Tiny World Hawaii Project

E Komo Mai- Welcome

Six years ago my family and I were privileged to move to Hawaii. It was magical and wonderful and everything you think it would be and so much more. It was also a beautiful time of learning and growing in understanding the people their culture and the world. It was our first move and I will admit it took some getting used to, living on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

After living on the island of Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands, I wanted to create a tiny world art piece of it. I let it sit for a long time after leaving, mostly because I wanted to represent a different side than the one people see when they go on vacation. My time in rural Hawaii was so much more of an enriching experience than surfing, beaches, palm trees, and pineapples. It is a culture rich in history, heritage, connections, and customs. I wanted to make a Tiny World that honored what I saw of it, from the outside looking in. I researched, I listened, and I tried to understand. In the process, I got to know the culture, the people, the plants, and the creatures that call this place home. Home, that piece that connects me and my art to this tiny world. I hope you will look at the piece, smile, and walk away wanting to learn more about the history of the Hawaiian people.

With this Tiny World art, I chose; buildings and places of historical and cultural significance, plants and animals mostly endemic to the islands, folklore and beliefs that run a line through its people, and symbols and images rich with history.

I made an artist's decision to not separate island from island but to have them flow together with the island shapes rising above the scene in solid colors. Each of the eight islands has a different landscape and history but together, they are the Hawaiian Islands. I tried to include as many things as I could from my initial list but an artist's work is never done and they just wouldn’t all fit.

Can you spot these things?

  • Bishop Museum and the Honolulu Museum of Art- Priceless objects from Polynesia and the Kingdom of Hawaii

  • Diamond Head - as a ceremonial structure

  • the Hawaiian State Capitol with its iconic architecture

  • Iolani Palace and the history of the last reigning monarch

  • Pearl Harbor National Memorial

  • Washington Place Palace

  • Hānaiakamalama or Queen Emma Summer Palace

  • Huliheʻe Palace

  • Waimea Canyon

  • Kilauea Point Lighthouse

  • Rainbow Falls

  • Taro Fields

  • Sea Arches

  • Constellations and the ancient way of navigation

  • The State Flower

  • The State Butterfly

  • The State Mineral

  • The State Fish

  • Green Sea Turtles

  • Hawaiian Monk Seals

  • The Hawaiian Flag

  • Ioa Valley

  • The tradition and significance of the lei

  • Volcanos

  • Pele

  • Lava Rock

  • Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa

  • Captain Cooks Landing

  • Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park

  • Surfing

  • Snorkeling

  • Whale watching

  • Nēnē

  • ʻaumakua

  • Island flowers and fruits

  • The architecture of the region

  • the outrigger canoe in keeping history alive

  • last but not least is the blue ladybug I found one day on my trashcan

I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into Hawaii and its big part in a Tiny World


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