Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Spirit of True Doll Making



 "Little People of the Secret Power"


Creating a Menehune doll transfers me into a miniature life of my own. 
I start with a clear image of the doll I want to create: its gender, the clothes, accessories, and sometimes even its name and part of its story. The flow of possibilities and creative ideas is endless. Sewing the body, stuffing it, embroidering the face, every step of the way, the Menehune grows and takes on a life of its own. It is almost as if the doll is dictating who he or she wants to become. 
My previous plans of the design don’t seem to apply at all anymore. But I follow these inspirations because now I have entered the place of true doll making, where a deeper part of me takes over communicating with the developing spirit of the doll.
I have reached my inner place of stillness, inspiration, and guidance where I find and lose myself at the same time. It enhances my ability to communicate ideas and feelings in ways where words fail. At this point I know that my new Menehune has a soul and a personality. 

The spirit of true doll making is enlightening. 

The intricate art of crafting 3.5” miniature cloth dolls is something I would have never thought I had the patience to do. But it has become my most cherished and gratifying creation. It is a thrilling experience to look at a finished doll and see that it has come alive.

Through my Menehunes I always try to capture the ancient, magical spirit of Hawaii where I have lived for the past 30 years. Hawaiians are deeply in touch with their creative and intuitive nature. They live in harmony with creation.
The wisdom of Hawaiian culture and spirituality inspires me. I do a lot of research to integrate Hawaiian traditions and symbols into my dolls and their stories which has further increased my deep love and respect for all that is Hawaii.
Hawaiian tradition emphasizes mana or spiritual energy which is expressed in philosophies, symbolism, and culture.
In Hawaiian mythology Menehunes often are referred to as “the little people of the secret power”. The Menehune dolls’ mana connects to Hawaii’s spiritual wisdom which is conveyed through their personalities and inspirational messages.
I commit a lot of creativity, detailing, inspiration, and love to each individual doll. Every tiny configuration is treated with extreme care. Each stitch has to be in exactly the right position. The pattern and design of the clothing and accessories must be in harmony with the doll, enhance its personality and connect it with the wisdom found in Hawaiian symbols and stories. The work is never finished until the Menehune shows its spirit. Only then will I name it and write a story to reflect its personality which conveys messages of guidance, protection, and inspiration following concepts of Hawaiian spirituality and culture.

The creation of Wailani, the little Menehune sailor boy, became an expression of love. Looking at him humbly offering his gift of precious seashells, I feel like he is nurturing my spirit and taking care of me which in turn makes me want to take care of him.


Wailani radiates the Hawaiian Aloha (love) spirit.


Here is part of Wailani's story:

Wailani is named after the heavenly waters of the Pacific Ocean. Sailing his Wa’akaukahi (Outrigger Canoe) in the gentle breeze of Punalu’u Black Sands Beach is Wailani’s greatest pleasure.

Wailani’s Aumakua (ancestral spirit) is Nai’a, the Hawaiian Dolphin. Dolphins are often called the “Angels of the Sea”. Wailani also is an angelic little Menehune Keiki Kane (boy). His Mana (spiritual energy) is Aloha (love) and compassion. Wailani is the most generous little Menehune. Sharing his treasures with his Menehune Ohana (family) brings him the greatest joy. Wailani’s treasures are the precious sea shells he scoops up with his fishing net when he sails his Wa’akaukahi (Outrigger Canoe) through the beautiful bays of Punaluu Black Sands Beach.
Nothing makes Wailani happier than passing out the most treasurable shell gifts to his Menehune Ohana and seeing their joy and appreciation which in turn is the greatest gift to him.
Wailani knows that the more he gives, the more he will receive.

Wailani teaches us to see with the heart and act with compassion...