“To take into care what is precious and sacred to indigenous people and facilitate the passing of

indigenous knowledge and cultural values from one generation to another”.

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Advisory Council Member. . . Keona Nunes

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Keone Nunes  is Hawaiian and a lifelong resident of the Wai’anae Coast on the island of Oahu, Hawai`i.  A graduate of Wai’anae High School, Keone has been involved in many aspects of community empowerment locally, nationally, and internationally through working with the Polynesian Voyaging Society, Hale Ola Ho’opakolea, and CHP International. 

Keone is one of Hawai`i’s leading experts on the Polynesian traditions of kakau (tattooing). As a kahuna ka uhi (expert tattooist), he exclusively uses traditional Hawaiian tools in his work which are rooted in a long lineage of practice, genealogy and protocols. He studied under the late Su`a sulu`ape Paulo (Samoa) in the use of traditional Polynesian implements. Keone received the title of Su`a Sulu`ape in Falese`ela, Samoa.

Keone is a graduate of the University of Hawai`i, Manoa with a degree in Anthropology and a certificate in Hawaiian language. Keone is a respected cultural resource and a fluent Hawaiian speaker and a cultural consultant to the Bishop Museum (Honolulu, HI), Peabody/Essex Museum (Salem, MA), and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (Washington D.C.) - in addition to being an adjunct staff at the Bishop Museum and Project Manager for ACKCO Inc., the Pacific Region of the Administration of Native Americans (ANA).

Photo by: Olivier Koning

Photo by: Guy Sibilla

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