McDonald to receive UAa Makaukau Loa Award (Aug. 13)

Marie McDonald (Photo courtesy of Donkey Mill Art Center)


The 2011 Ua Makaukau Loa Award will be presented to Marie McDonald at a luncheon noon-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13 at Donkey Mill Art Center in Holualoa.

McDonald has spent 50 years producing the exquisite lei of Hawaii. She is one of Hawaii’s best-known authorities on the subject and author of the definitive Ka Lei — The Leis of Hawaii and Na Lei Makamae, co-authored with Paul Weissich. 

In the process of researching these books she has brought to light the particular beauty of pre-contact lei.

Through her love of lei art, Marie McDonald has also become an advocate for the preservation of the Hawaiian lands that provide the rare materials for leis and other Hawaiian arts, such as kapa-making.

Her research on native kapa-making has brought McDonald to develop ancient plant dyes for her own pieces, which were recently on exhibit at the Honolulu Academy of Arts.

McDonald has devoted many years to educating Hawaii’s youth as a resource specialist for the Department of Parks and Recreation and as an art teacher in North Kohala on Hawaii Island. Her 10-acre farm, Honopua, on Hawaiian Home Lands in Waimea, is a model program and resource for community members. The farm also provides the materials for her lei and kappa.

Each year, the Holualoa Foundation for Arts and Culture honors elders of Hawaii for their life long dedication to community and art.

The Ua Makaukau Loa Award perpetuates the traditional Hawaiian belief that every person has a kumu who is the source of knowledge and spirit. The recipient of this award is a person who is always well prepared to share the skill of an art form; one who has a generous past and works with good intentions for the future.

Cost for the luncheon is $15 and reservations can be made by calling the Donkey Mill Art Center at 322-3362.

The mission of the Holualoa Foundation for Arts and Culture, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, is to enrich the lives of persons of all ages and abilities through art education. The foundation operates the Donkey Mill Art Center, a gathering place for all to explore, expand and develop their artistic selves in a supportive community.

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