Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum (PIEAM), Long Beach
The Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum's exhibit, "Out of Taiwan: Shared Connections in the Pacific" with photographs by Danee Hazama of Tahiti, showcased Taiwan's Austronesian connections with other Oceanic peoples of the Pacific Islands. Guest curated by Mother Tree Sanctuary's Founding Mother and Vision Keeper, Wennifer Lin-Haver, PhD, the exhibit extended from October 25, 2013 until April 20th, 2014.
The museum's opening night on October 25th, 2013 featured a heartfelt native Tongva blessing ceremony by cultural ambassador, Craig Torres, who sang songs that welcomed the First Nation tribes of Taiwan and Tahiti, as well as songs that honored the land and the sea. Following, native Priestesses of Tahiti, Astrid Brander Hoffman and Rereao Claude Amiot, along with cultural photographer and filmmaker, Danee Hazama, officiated a Tahitian ritual blessing that reverenced the "Deep Dark Wisdom" of the Sacred Mother Energy as embodied by the Great Ocean and Her ancient inhabitants, the Whales and the Octopii. A traditional Tahitian kava ceremony was also enjoyed by all participants who shared the earthy sacred libation while sitting on woven rattan mats and singing in a circle of love, interconnection, and goodwill.
The evening's celebration, dynamically narrated and translated by Alease (Lily) Lawbalrate, cultural ambassador of the Rukai tribe of Taiwan, continued with songs that were performed on native bamboo instruments handmade by the legendary indigenous Taiwanese music group, Kakeng (and its renowned leader/founder, Sawtoy Satay), of the matriarchal Amis tribe. All guests wove their arms together according to the culture's tradition and danced in a circle to the hypnotic beats of indigenous slit drums and the etheric melodies of double-nose flutes.
Mother Tree Sanctuary is honored to have been a part of this important exhibit as it shares with the world the living traditions of ancient indigenous cultures that continue to uphold their matriarchal roots and give deep reverence to the Sacred Mother Energy.