10 Instagram Accounts to Follow to Learn More About Hawaiian Culture

Get a deeper understanding of Hawai‘i history, language and culture in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Pualoalo Hibiscus Arnottianus
Pualoalo (Hibiscus arnottianus). Photo: Courtesy of Hui Kū Maoli Ola.

 

Yes, Instagram is a great tool for staying up to date on what your friends are up to, but it’s also a hub for knowledge sharing, grassroots activism and education. Whether you’re looking for perspective on news that’s important to the Hawaiian community, ways to incorporate ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i in your everyday life or things you never knew about local plants, politics and values, you’ll find all that and more from these 10 creators we love to follow for Hawaiian culture content.

 


 

@adamkeawe

 

 

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A post shared by Adam Keawe Manalo-Camp (@adamkeawe)

 

Adam Keawe Manalo-Camp is an Indigenous researcher with 16.4K followers. Follow him for mo‘olelo (stories) and context on history that often goes deeper or subverts what many of us were taught in school.

 


 

@ainamomona

 

This Moloka‘i-based nonprofit founded by activist Walter Ritte shares the importance of certain social issues as they relate to environmental health and Native Hawaiian autonomy in easy-to-understand slides. The organization often posts calls to action to its 64.8K followers and lists other accounts to follow for more information.

 


 

@ehoopilimai

 

 

Kumu Kahanuola Solatorio has almost 30K followers on Instagram who tune in for short lessons in Hawaiian that are contextualized with discussion questions and short fill-in-the-blanks for followers to submit in the comments.

 


 

@hui_ku_maoli_ola

 

 

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A post shared by CNHA (@hawaiiancouncil)

 

Did you know that puakenikeni, pīkake and laua‘e aren’t native plants? The nursery Hui Kū Maoli Ola, which HONOLULU Magazine named Best Place to Start Your Native Garden in 2021, shares insight about indigenous and canoe plants in the extinction capital of the world. We especially love the Native Hawaiian Plant Month posts from April. (If you want to learn more about native plants, check out @laulimahawaii’s posts from April, too.)

 


SEE ALSO: Meet the Man Who Is Restoring Native Plants to Hawai‘i’s Urban Spaces


 

@kanaeokana

 

Here, you’ll find story highlights on some of the biggest political issues facing Hawai‘i and ways to take action to protect the ‘āina. Kanaeokana recently launched a podcast series, Tuitui Malamalama, with the Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language at UH’s Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. It focuses on the lifestyle and language of the people of Ni‘ihau.

 


 

@keepitalohapod

 

 

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A post shared by Keep it Aloha (@keepitalohapod)

 

Speaking of podcasts, Keep It Aloha, formerly the Hawaiiverse podcast, posts snippets of interviews with well-known local personalities on Instagram. Follow along to hear from Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, Kimié Miner, Lanai Tabura and others.

 


SEE ALSO: Leading Wāhine: MMA Star Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Fights for Women’s Safety


 

@ka_alala

 

Malu States breaks down common mispronunciations and meanings of Hawaiian words in humorous videos in which he teaches proper Hawaiian to an alternate version of himself. As a Native speaker, he also teaches workshops and provides resources to learn more. Even if you’re not aiming to be fluent in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i, States’ videos can help you learn more about some of the words and phrases most of us are familiar with, such as poke.

 


@thekuproject

 

 

If you could use some words of wisdom and encouragement to get you through the day, follow the Kū Project. Easy-to-share slides focus on ways to help its 120K followers #livekū, or “stand tall, be grounded, exist.” Definitions of words that may be unfamiliar appear at the bottom so that while you’re implementing these self-care practices and values, you’re also learning a bit of ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i.

 


 

@sonofoahu

 

 

Kahu Elijah Kalā McShane, who founded the account @awakenedaloha, advocates for sharing and living aloha to his 31.4K followers. He promotes ethical and responsible ways to work together across cultures for the benefit of Hawaiians and those who can learn from Hawai‘i’s values. He’s also launched a free online course on cross-cultural leadership.

 


 

@kahuihookinohalawai

 

Ka Hui Hoʻokino Hālāwai has only a few posts on this account so far, but it’s gaining traction as a way to explain and share māhū culture and ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i. Kanoaʻihimaikalani shares her perspective and knowledge as a way to help others connect with their Indigenous identities and understand the unique responsibilities of Native speakers.