Raapoto Tahiti art students visit KS Maui
February 8, 2015
Over 40 Tahitian art students from Samuel Raapoto High School will take part in a nearly tw0-week cultural exchange with Kamehameha Schools Maui beginning tomorrow, February 9.
KS Maui students will be hosting the art students in their homes and sharing in arts workshops with them on the Pukalani campus during the school day. The Tahitian students will also be performing, engaging in community service, and touring while they are here.
We’ll be following their progress over the next two weeks here at www.kaleoonakoa.org. Check back in to learn more about these Tahitian guests.
In this section of our report, Destinee Murray gives some background on their school.
The ʻĀrue, Polynesia, school is named after Reverend Samuel Raapoto who was born in Tevaitoa on the island of Raiatea. After his studies he was appointed pastor of the parish of Mahaena and then pastor of the parish of Makatea.
In 1963, the Evangelical Church appointed Raapoto the first president of the church. During his terms, he built relationships with international Protestant organizations.
He was also appointed to the Tahitian Academy.
On June 15, 1976, Reverend Samuel Raapoto died of a heart attack.
As a tribute to Samuel Raapoto, the new Protestant school was named Samuel Raapoto, who also initiated the project back in 1972.
Samuel Raapoto High School is located on the Eastern side of Tahiti and opened as a secondary school on Aug. 21, 2000.
The school offers grants for students to learn academic and vocational subjects.
The students traveling to Kamehameha Schools are from Samuel Raapoto’s Arts and Design section.
The Arts and Design section allows students to combine tradition with both traditional and modern technology to produce artistic works.
Most students who study in the Arts and Design section come from their academic year 10 and have studied creation and design as an optional subject within the school. Students from other high schools are also allowed to apply for the section as well.
Each applicant must be interviewed with his or her original works to be accepted into the school.
Photo by Faith Owan
Personality Profile: Lisa Doré
a colorful art student
Lisa Doré is a 16-year-old sophomore at Lycée Samuel Raapoto who loves cats, art, traveling to new places, and the color blue.
Her love of colors is pretty apparent, with multicolored hair she got done this past Saturday from her mom, who’s a hairdresser.
“I give a strange first impression because of my hair, and all. But it’s just…the first impression is not always the true one,” said Doré, who said people tend to think she’s a bit unorthodox right off the bat.
“People will think that I’m a rebel, [that] I don’t want to obey the rules and all, but it’s just I like to express myself, so I will respect your rules, if you respect mine,” she said.
Doré explained that she’s one of very few Tahitians who color their hair.
“I’m the only one, because the girls in Tahiti find it weird to have color in [your hair], you know…[you don’t] look like the perfect Tahitian,” she said, also describing the ‘perfect’ version of a Tahitian girl: shorts, a simple top, and hair that’s black, long, and in an up do.
Hair isn’t the only creative expression Doré uses; she hopes to either become an animator “like the one you see in Disney and all” or a space designer.
“You can design a park, by example, where the bushes will be placed, where the trees, the bench, or it can be a whole building. It’s pretty different,” Doré said of one of her prospective career paths.
For now, she fills her days with art, which she decided to go into with her friend two years ago when they realized it was a field offered in their school.
“So far, it’s just awesome because we have a lot of project[s], and we do really a lot of things,” she said.
Although Lisa said she was enjoying her time on Maui so far, she still found the chilly winter temperature to be a bit unpleasant.
“It’s freezing, actually,” said Doré, who is used to not needing a jacket after 7 a.m. but was sporting one at around 1:00 in the afternoon here on Maui.
Although she might not be a huge fan of colder climates, Lisa still enjoys new experiences.
“I love discovering new people, new landscapes, it’s really awesome,” she said.
Photo by Kainoa Deguilmo
Jonah Parisea: A well-rounded person
Jonah Parisea is a senior at Samuel Raapoto High School in Tahiti. He enjoys many different forms of art, enjoys reading and even used to play basketball. He also loves Chinese food.
“I like to do drawings, models, graphic designing, and also ceramics,” Parisea said. “Right now, I like to do sketches,” he said, “later I want to make digital design like on cinemas.”
Parisea said his favorite thing about his school is that it’s mostly focused on art. They have philosophy, math and English, but the rest of their classes are designed to put emphasis on the arts in school. Art classes include drawing, graphics and painting.
When it comes to art, Parisea has his own techniques.
“I just want to improve my skills,” he said. “I also want to create my own style.”
In the art world, one artist he really admires is Joe Madureira or “Joe Mad,” who is an artist at Marvel Comics.
“There’s so much emotion and passion in his work, and that’s why I like it,” Jonah said.
Parisea said he was excited for his trip to Maui. He was one of 40 students to come and visit the campus.
“This is my first time coming to Maui,” he said. “I’m eager to learn about the culture, and I want to talk to anyone who can show me all of the beautiful places here.”
After high school, Parisea said he plans to take a gap year.
“I will take a gap year, which is a time between high school and college when you decide what you want to do,” he said.
The well-rounded Parisea loves art and culture.
“I’m social with everyone,” he said. “I like to take new experiences.”
Photo by Ashley Morishita
Raapoto, KS Maui have positive cultural exchange
A week of two similar, yet different cultures learning about each other quickly came to an end, but every day they were here, the Tahitian students from Samuel Raapoto High School had a full agenda on the KS Maui campus during the day and with their host families during the evenings.
This is the second time that KS Maui families have hosted Polynesian students on their visits this school year. Back in October, students from New Zealand students also visited the campus and stayed with student families.
Many students said they were awed at the French accents of the Tahitian students, but the Raapoto kids said they felt the same way about the Hawaiian students’ accents.
On Monday and Tuesday, most of the Tahitian students were stationed in art workshops that had been arranged by art teacher Mrs. Angie Abe. The workshops were on topics, such as tattoo, animation, and various hana no’eau, like hala crafts. The workshops were taught by Kamehameha Maui kumu and other volunteers with the support of the Raapoto chaperones.
The Tahitians worked on art projects alongside KS students. Participating students also took a short survey to learn more about each other.
“Most of the feedback I received was very positive and our students had a great experience. They enjoyed engaging with each other. There was a little bit of a language barrier, but for the most part it was fun for them to learn about another student from a different place and culture,” Mrs. Abe said.
A few things the two cultures found similar interests in were their taste in music, art, and food. Some differences they noticed were their life experiences. The Tahitian students are world travelers; they’ve been to many other countries, and many of them also speak three to four different languages, which is very different from Hawaiʻi in that way.
Mrs. Abe also added, “As a host-parent, we loved our exchange student, we had a positive interaction with her and learned a lot from each other throughout the week.”
On Wednesday, the Tahitian students visited the middle school campus where they performed for the intermediate students with a tour of their campus that followed.
Thursday, they returned to the high school, and they ended the school week with their final performance in Keōpūolani Hale. It was a full-crowd that day, with all of the families who hosted the exchange students in house to see the Tahitian culture come to life on stage.
Friday, their last full day on Maui, the Tahitian’s had a full day to do as they wanted with their host families. Some went to Lilia Lorenzo’s Pāʻia family beach house for the day, while others went shopping and ate all well-known restaurants here on the island.
“I love Maui,” said Laurence Wan, one of the Tahitian students from Raapoto High School. She said that for her, the most enjoyable thing she did here was go to the shopping mall with the girls.
On Saturday, it was time for the Tahitians to move on to the next island, Oʻahu where they headed to KS Maui’s sister campus, Kamehameha Kapālama for yet another week of activities and cultural experiences.
Personality Profile: Mathilde Meier
For the past week our friendly brothers and sisters of Tahiti have been sharing their cultural experience with us on the Maui campus through various workshops such as, hala weaving, tapa (kapa) making, and tattoo designs, just to name a few.
With over 40 students traveling from Samuel Raapoto High School, all enrolled in art classes, we wanted to go more in depth and learn about some of the individuals, how they like their trip so far, and what life is like in Tahiti.
I got a chance to talk with one of the girls, Mathilde Meier, known as Mat (pronounced “Mutt”). She is currently 18 years old and said she is having the experience of her life while being housed by senior Brissa Christophersen on Maui.
Meier was born and raised in Tahiti, with three little sisters. She says it’s different there, but there are a lot of similarities to Maui. For instance, within their art school, there are multiple classes to take such as the ones in our art academy.
“[My favorite classes are] the art and history of art classes because we learn lot of things about art, and I love it,” she said.
Like most high school students, Meier is looking into furthering her education in college or art school. She has settled on the particulars yet, but says there are a “lot of choices, maybe Paris in France or Australia for study art design,” she said.
You might be thinking…France? Why so far? Well, Tahiti’s first language is actually French just as English is ours, so studying art in France as a Tahitian is not as big a stretch as one would think.
Most Maui students love to hang out with family and friends, and Meier is no different. Her favorite thing to do with family and friends: “Go to the beach or make the party,” she said.
Meier said she enjoys the island of Maui. “The place to be [is] really really perfect and wonderful,” she said.