Halena Kapuni-Reynolds

Halena Kapuni-Reynolds (Kanaka ʻŌiwi) was born on Hawaiʻi Island and raised in the Hawaiian homestead community of Keaukaha and the upper rain forest of ‘Ōla‘a.  He holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Hawaiian Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and a M.A. in anthropology with a focus in Museum and Heritage Studies from the University of Denver.  Halena is also a past participant of numerous museum fellowships, including the Smithsonian Institute of Museum Anthropology (2014), the Peabody Essex Museum Native American Fellowship Program (2015), and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS) Native American Sciences Initiative (2016), and works extensively with the museum community in Hawaiʻi.  His masterʻs thesis, titled “Curating Aliʻi Collections: Responsibility, Sensibility, and Contextualization in Hawaiʻi-based Museums” (2015), examines the ways in which Hawaiian chiefly (aliʻi) collections are cared for by Native Hawaiian and Local collections manager at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum (Honolulu, HI) and the Lyman House Memorial Museum (Hilo, HI).  His most recent works include “Voyaging Through the Collection of The Denver Museum of Nature & Science” (Denver Museum of Nature & Science Annals, 2018), the first in depth study of the Oceanic Collection at DMNS, and “Nā Pana Kaulana o Keaukaha: The Storied Places of Keaukaha,”an essay on the wahi pana (storied places) of the Keaukaha coastline that was published in Detours: A Decolonial Guide to Hawaiʻi (Duke University Press, 2019).  For his dissertation, tentatively titled “Kuʻu Home i Keaukaha: Hawaiian Homesteading and the Politics of Place,” Halena will discuss the radical place-based politics that have emerged over the years in Keaukaha, arguing for the necessity of centering and acknowledging the agency of specific places in shaping the movements and histories that emerge from them.  He is also a recipient of the Ford Foundation predoctoral fellowship (2017).

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