Walt Disney Imagineering creative executive Joe Rohde played a pivotal role in the development of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. He and his team worked with the local community to ensure every unforgettable detail showcased the legacy of the Hawaiian people. Traditional stories are shared at every corner of the resort, including the exterior facades. Joe said, “precious things would often be enfolded by kapa bark cloth in the time of the old Hawaiians … and Aulani is sort of wrapped like a precious object, because it is important.” Today, the “Unforgettable Details of Aulani” series continues with a look at the towering mural panels that embrace guests with the spirit of aloha.
Native Hawaiian artist, Carl Pao, created a pair of boldly geometric bas-reliefs that pay tribute to the genealogy of this particular area of O’ahu – of Ko Olina and the district of ‘Ewa. The two exterior facades reference the rising and setting of the sun and the moon and have been appropriately placed facing east and west. Like the rest of Aulani, these panels evoke the balance between masculine and feminine, day and night, sun and moon.
Another local artist, Harinani Orme, created a bas-relief mural panel that pays homage to the Hawaiian seafarers through the image of a single outrigger canoe plying open ocean waters. Celestial bodies are present in the sky above, because the positions of the sun, moon and stars are critical navigational tools for the Hawaiians.
Be sure to ask cast members questions about details you discover during your vacation to Aulani; you never know what unforgettable story you may take back home!