Skip to content

Hawaiian artist’s barge artwork evokes wind, whales and birds

Tue, May 07, 2024

aml_barge_designThe new Makani Loa barge features a design patterned after a style of artwork true to Hawaiian designs in tattooing, weaving and carving. Native Hawaiian artist Nicole Maka‘ahina‘alohilohi Jack created the design inspired by the vessel’s name, which means "grand wind," and by patterns seen on traditional ipu (containers).

"The design celebrates Hawaii’s vibrant culture and demonstrates our commitment to our customers and the Hawaiian communities we proudly serve," says Bret Harper, Aloha Marine Lines Vice President of Sales. "With a name inspired by the wind, the Makani Loa enables Aloha Marine Lines to maintain consistent capacity to and from Hawaii year-round."

The design symbolizes the goddess La’amaomao’s magic gourd holding the 32 winds. The birds represent long-distance migratory birds that harness the wind to travel between Alaska and the Pacific Northwest to Hawaii. The birds’ migratory path echoes that of barges, sailing under the same skies and using a course charted for thousands of years by elements of the natural world. The whales, which also migrate between Alaska and Hawaii, are heading in the opposite direction from the birds, giving a similar perspective of cyclical migration.

"It was a great honor to create the design mural for the barge," Nicole says. "I designed the wind pattern with abstracted outlines of three long-distance migratory birds that make the journey from Alaska and the Pacific Northwest to Hawaii seasonally. In just a few days they fly over 3,000 miles on the wind, never using the sea for rest. The birds’ fast, efficient journey reminded me of the engineering advances that have placed these quick and agile Makani barges at the cutting edge of their field."

Nicole is a multimedia artist based in Kapahulu, O’ahu. She has contributed to the design and execution of collaborative murals throughout Hawaii.

Topics from this blog: Hawaii Alaska Ocean AML Featured

Lynden is hiring!

We are looking for motivated, talented, and career-oriented individuals in a variety of positions.

Cookie Settings