Kawika Lum-Nelmida (b. 1976) is a hulu (feather) artist from Pūpūkea, Oʻahu. Lum-Nelmida started learning about lei hulu(feather adornments) from Paulette Kahalepuna in 1997 at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where he studied Natural Environment and Fiber Arts within the Hawaiian Studies program and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2001. Since 2012, he has been an active artist participant in MAMo: Maoli Arts Movement, a program of the PAʻI Foundation. His fiber arts teacher at UH Mānoa was Maile Andrade, a 2013 MAMo awardee.
In 2013, he was awarded a Master’s Apprenticeship with Kahalepuna (recipient of 2014 MAMo and ʻŌʻō awards) through the Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. Under this apprenticeship, he studied Hawaiian feather work in the forms of lei (adornment), kāhili (feather standard), ahuʻula (cape), and mahiʻole (helmets). During this time, he also studied works from traditional materials, learning how to use, cultivate, and preserve these materials.
In his traditional practice, he also uses modern materials to create contemporary art pieces. He has ventured into clothing design, with his work featured in the annual MAMo Wearable Art Show. Lum-Nelmida has taken his contemporary and traditional work to cultural demonstrations and workshops all over the world.
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