Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina - Documentary Series

Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina - Documentary Series

Joan Lander and Puhipau (1937-2016) of Nā Maka o ka ‘Āina (“The Eyes of the Land”), are an independent video production team that, since 1981, has focused on the land and people of Hawai‘i and the Pacific.

"We exist to document and give voice and face to traditional and contemporary Hawaiian culture, history, language, art, music, environment and the politics of independence and sovereignty. Our over 100 documentary and educational programs have been seen on PBS, Hawai‘i public and commercial television stations, public access cable channels, and broadcast/cable networks in Canada, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Japan, Mexico and Europe. Our award-winning productions have been used by teachers and scholars in classrooms in Hawai‘i and throughout the world, and our iconic footage of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement has been featured in numerous documentaries by other producers."

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Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina - Documentary Series
  • Mauna Kea - Temple Under Siege

    Although the mountain volcano Mauna Kea last erupted around 4000 years ago, it is still hot today, the center of a burning controversy over whether its summit should be used for astronomical observatories or preserved as a cultural landscape sacred to the Hawaiian people.

    For five years Nā Maka ...

  • Act of War - The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation

    This hour-long documentary is a provocative look at a historical event of which few Americans are aware. In mid-January, 1893, armed troops from the U.S.S Boston landed at Honolulu in support of a treasonous coup d’état against the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen Lili‘uoka...

  • Stolen Waters

    This video documents the battle over the water in Waiāhole Ditch on the island of O‘ahu, where taro farmers and long-time residents seek to reclaim the natural stream waters that were taken in the early 1900's by sugar plantations.

    Shot on location in the Windward O‘ahu valleys and Waipi‘o valle...

  • Mākua - To Heal The Nation

    Located on the western tip of the Hawaiian island of O‘ahu, Mākua has long been a place of refuge for Kanaka Maoli, native Hawaiians.

    "It's the pu‘uhonua for the kua‘āina,
a place where we Hawaiians can still be free."

    - Robi Kahakalau

    One of the last undeveloped valleys on the island, Māku...

  • Kahoʻolawe Aloha ʻĀina

    "Kahoʻolawe Aloha ‘Āina" focuses on the cultural, political and military significance of the "target island" of Kaho‘olawe in the Hawaiian archipelago. The Hawaiian term aloha ‘āina refers to love of the land, the basis of Hawaiian cultural belief that animates the current movement to bring the i...

  • Waimānalo Eviction

    In 1985, a group of houseless native Hawaiians took a stand for their right to live at Waimānalo Beach Park, an area set aside as Hawaiian Home Lands. The resulting police action and violent eviction is the subject of this video. Iconic footage from this video has been used in numerous other docu...

  • Na Wai E Hoʻola i Nā Iwi: Who Will Save the Bones

    From an ancient burial site at Honokahua, Maui, to the streets of Honolulu, the issue of protecting ancestral remains from development is brought passionately to the public’s attention by Hawaiian descendants.

    A few days before Christmas, 1988, a 24-hour vigil is held at the state capitol to pro...

  • Mālama Hāloa - Protecting the Taro

    Taro grower and Native Hawaiian practitioner Jerry Konanui works to propagate and save from extinction the numerous varieties of kalo (taro), a staple of the Hawaiian diet. Jerry’s mission is also to protect kalo, revered as Haloa, the elder sibling of the Hawaiian people, from the risks of genet...

  • Kapu Kaʻū

    Kapu Kaʻū is a unique portrait of one of Hawai‘i's most remote and rugged districts, Ka‘ū, located on the southern flanks of Mauna Loa on the island of Hawai‘i. The people of Ka‘ū, known historically for their independence and resilience, relate stories of a lifestyle closely tied to the land and...

  • Puhipau

    The Hawaiian term “puhi pau” means “blown away, completely burned”. This program explores, in stark and sobering detail, the medical and social effects of a theoretical nuclear attack on Hawai‘i.

    Featuring members of the Hawai'i medical community
    Dr. Willis Butler
    Dr. Sandra Penn
    Dr. Tom Hall

  • The Tribunal

    In August 1993, Nā Maka o ka ‘Āina spent twelve days capturing on video the proceedings Ka Ho‘okolokolonui Kanaka Maoli — Peoples' International Tribunal Hawai‘i, 1993, in which the United States and the state of Hawai‘i were put on trial for crimes against the original people of Hawai‘i, the Kan...

  • The Caretakers of Ka Lae

    The story of a Hawaiian family who made a home at Ka Lae (South Point), a remote and rugged area at the southernmost tip of the island of Hawai‘i.

    For eleven years, under threat of eviction by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, the Viernes family remained committed to caring for and preservi...

  • PIKO - A Gathering of Indigenous Artists

    Inspired by the cool uplands and abundant reefs of the Kohala district, the volcano deity Pele, the sacred summit of Mauna Kea and their own cultural traditions, artists from throughout the Pacific and Pacific Rim come together on Hawai‘i island to create collaborative works of fine art.

    Held in...

  • Hawaiian Fishponds

    Carol Araki Wyban, who since 1981 has worked to revitalize the fishponds of Hawai‘i, uses her artwork to present the various types of ponds, their elegant technologies, and the stories and legends associated with fishponds.

    In the past, Hawaiian fishpond aquaculture reached a high degree of prod...

  • Ahupuaʻa Fishponds and Loʻi

    The Hawaiian system of land use allowed access to all resources in the ahupua‘a, a land division that stretched from mountain to sea. Within the ahupua‘a, highly specialized technologies such as fishponds and lo‘i kalo (taro gardens) ensured an abundance of food.

    Our Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiia...

  • Pele's Appeal

    In the swirling volcanic steam and misty rain forest of Kilauea volcano's east rift zone on the island of Hawai‘i, two forces meet head on. Geothermal development interests, seeking to clear the rain forest for drilling operations, are opposed by native Hawaiians seeking to stop the desecration o...

  • A Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific

    Recorded in 1983 during a ten-day gathering in Vanuatu, a newly independent island nation in the south Pacific that had recently declared itself a nuclear-free zone, this program takes a look at the Pacific-wide movement towards independence and de-nuclearization.

    Testimony is presented by Pacif...

  • Faces of the Nation

    From the history of the Māhele and the 1893 act of war against the Hawaiian Kingdom to the modern-day struggles for land rights, this video takes a look at one of the first native initiatives for self-governance, Ka Lāhui Hawai‘i.

    Narrated by Sol Bright.


    Mililani Trask, Helen Akio...