Art September 9, 2010 By Nika Knight
Puka Puka Far Art / Valley Isle Surf Boards ( Acid Mini Gun ), Neil Morriss. 2010.

Puka Puka Far Art / Valley Isle Surf Boards ( Acid Mini Gun ), Neil Morriss. 2010.

Was the counterculture movement in Hawaii different from the movement on the mainland?
These people were pretty much free to do want they wanted [in Hawaii]. I mean, some of them had been involved in, I guess, illegal things on the mainland and had to go just to get out of trouble. In Maui they were deeply exposed to nature and their place in it. They were able to observe the impact of what was going at that time on the culture from afar. They no longer saw themselves as separate from nature. It was almost like a Buddhist thing, where nature and humans are one thing.

Was there any culture conflict between the artists who moved here and the native Hawaiians?
A foreigner, or someone who is not from Hawaii is called a haole — h-a-o-l-e — and it can be used, in a way, derogatorily. People who live here don’t take offense to it anymore, but at the time there were huge wars going on between white man, per se — the Baldwins, who bought all the land in Hawaii and turned it into sugarcane fields. Huge, huge wars. And it still goes on today, but not to the extent it did in the ’60s. The guy that did the sign for the Rainbow Bridge Center up the road had said that as soon as he finished the sign — which was the Rainbow Bridge Meditation Center entry sign — one of the locals came by and put a rock right in it. Symbols like that were pervasive.

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