Wailau is a series of themed events that create a stage for storytelling in our community, breaking barriers and helping people to find common ground and appreciation for each other while empowering members of our community (on and off campus) to share their stories. Each event will explore a different theme and we seek to showcase five storytellers - a UH faculty member, UH staff member, UH student, UH alum, and a community member.
What does Wailau mean to us?
"The gathering of many waters" A place where water from diverse sources comes together to commingle and become a more powerful, unified whole.
A coming together of the waters.
A coming together of ideas.
A coming together of lives.
Many make one.
Strength in unity.
What starts out small can grow limitlessly.
A wailau is literally a means of gathering up and containing of food to nourish a body, a family, a community. The place where water gathers also provides a crucial life-giving element for the body, family, and community. The kaona (hidden meaning) behind this term Wailau is to form a sense of belonging and common space. If the fluidity of water might be compared to the spirit contained within the body, then UH Hilo's Wailau events are a figurative gathering place for the mingling of our spirits in order to create a stronger sense of community.