Count Down 1 Day- Storytelling at Paepae o He’eia


Today is the big day! Each Skins Video Game Workshop begins with a storytelling event and before the start of each workshop, we have invited elders, storytellers, historians and singers to share their knowledge and experience with us.  We always try to hold these events in significant locations.

For this event, participants, their families, coordinators and presenters arrived at the reclaimed 88 acre fish pond where we formally requested our intention to enter the territory of our hosts. As we respectfully sent our greetings to the Kῡpuno (Ancestors) of Hawai’i, the clouds opened up and the sun shine gave her consent lighting our way into the sacred space of Paepae o He’eia. Together, we gathered into a circle to sing an Oli (chant) and to share a little about ourselves.

The resource team

We were fortunate to have a story told to us by Lilikala Kame’eleihiwa who is a Native Hawaiian professor at the Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies.  Lilikala’s family akua is Pele. Lilikala told us the fascinating story of the Goddess of Fire: Pele who was born in Tahiti. After angering her sister, the Goddess of the Sea: Na-maka-o-kaha’i, Pele was banished from the island. Pele embarked on a long and lonely journey in exile in pursuit of a fiery dwelling and finally finds the and settles on the island now called Kilauea.


Jamaica Osorio is a passionate singer/ performer who along with her father Jon Osorio, their songs and stories are a form of resistance and remembering. As we listened to their grass-root stories and songs, John and Jamaica spoke about the great losses of the connection to the lands and the loss of people, and the importance of telling the stories so that they are never forgotten. Their stories helped to set the atmosphere for the next three weeks.


In the background fish jumped out of the water as if to give their approval as we shared a meal with real foods grown and harvested locally. Paepae o He’eia is an ancient Hawaiian fishpond and a private non-profit organization dedicated to rebuilding and maintaining a thriving and abundant He’eia Fishpond for their community Ko’olaupoko, O’ahu.

I can say everyone is excited to explore story telling, technology, the experience and to learn and to create together.

Mahalo Nui

Neolani, Matt, Dominic