Valentine, Karen

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naupaka lei me

Cultivating the art of ipu pawehe,

or gourd making in the style of Niʻihau, Karen Valentine has long been a student of Hawaiian culture and its many forms of art.

Pawehe technique was developed by the ancients from the Hawaiian island of Ni’ihau as one of many ways to decorate ipu. Briefly: carve the skin off a fresh gourd, then dye it from the inside out as the skin left on will draw out the dye.

Karen Valentine lives in Wai‘ohinu, on the south side of Hawai‘i Island. Coming from a family of artists, she has practiced various forms of art since a small child. Her career includes the design and publishing of magazines, including Ke Ola magazine. Currently, her passion is in ipu or gourd art, especially the native Hawaiian form of transforming a green, living gourd into a piece of art, referred to as ipu pawehe the Ni‘ihau method. Karen is also a student of other Hawaiian cultures, including history, hula, and ‘olelo. She is also a freelance writer and book author.

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