Ancient Hawaii

  • ANCIENT was created to recognize and portray the essence of the “profound ancestors” of Hawaii in an effort to inspire investigation, education and awareness of the Hawaiian Culture.  
    Our goal is to promote the perpetuation of the culture and its significant contribution to Hawaii and it’s people. The history, knowledge and wisdom of the ancient ancestors provide us with an understanding of the importance of sustainability, preservation and respect for our land, sea, inhabitants that is exemplified in the ancient Hawaiian Culture.
     The “ANCIENT” images do not portray, depict or represent any specific event or period of time. These are our interpretations and are meant to convey the magnificence and continued presence of The Profound Ancestors in the lives of the Hawaiian people and the rich culture that began in Ancient times and continues to persevere in the hearts and minds of Hawaiians and the spirit of Aloha.
     We thank every person and organization that assisted in the making of ANCIENT, either through advice, guidance, support, talent and/or physical contribution. You are greatly appreciated.
     Reference materials may be found at Na Mea Hawaii/Native Books, Bishop Museum and through web and internet sources. Please take time to investigate these amazing stories and share in the wondrous history and culture of Hawaii.
    Colin Anderson and Robert King Andia are the creators of Ancient Hawaii. Colin and Robert meet in 2011 while Colin was shooting in Hawaii. Robert had dreamed for many years about creating photographically the Hawaiian Legends. When Robert saw Colin’s work, he could see how this dream could become a reality. Planning for Ancients took Robert about a year to prepare, researching the legends, finding the right local talent, putting together an advisory panel, obtaining permission, scouting locations etc… Ancients took Colin and Robert 5-6 weeks to shoot on location in Hawaii and Colin a further 6 months to compile together in Photoshop.
    Ancient Hawaii was debuted at  The Honolulu Museum of Art and is presented by Wy's Galleries 66-145 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI Oahu and Bill Wyland Galleries Lahaina Maui 824 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761.


  • Pele
    Inspired by the legends of Pele, Forging Fire represents Pele shaping (forging) the land. Although Pele is not credited with the birth of the land, she is recognized for her ability to shape the land through fires and volcano. After arriving in Hawaii from her native land of Tahiti, Pele engaged in many battles that ranged throughout the Islands with her sister Namaka and other profound ancestors.
  • Laka

    Inspired by the legends of Laka, “The Dance“ is dedicated to Laka and her enduring presence in Hula. Laka has many representations in both male and female form. In “The Dance“ we attempted to represent the essence of Laka in the female form. Laka is recognized as the difinitive ancestor of Hula and also the forest. Prior to entering the forest the Hawaiian would give praise to Laka and request her blessing. We used a bit of artistic license in the styling and environment of the image. We adorned the model in a Ti Leaf skirt although Ti Leaf was not introduced to Hawaii until the 1800‘s. However, as we have stated, we are simply attempting to represent “the essence“ of the profound ancestor and the beauty of Hawaii.
  • La‘ieikawai. 

    Inspired by the legend of La‘ieikawai. It is a story of romance, intrigue and eventual deification. La‘ieikawai is recognized as one of the most beautiful women in Hawaii. She was hidden away in the forest of Puna where she was protected from her father and many potential suiters by a Mo‘o, Birds and the Maile sisters. Eventually La‘ieikawai, after marrying and leaving the “sun god“ becomes recognized as the profound ancestor of rainbows. According to the legend, the dwelling place of La‘ieikawai could be found at the end of the rainbow. We attempted to depict “the essence“ of La‘ieikawai and used the Maile vines to represent the protection provided by the Maile sisters and the camouflage of the deep forest.
  • Kane

    Inspired by the legends of Kane, one of the four primary patriarchal ancestors. This image depicts Kane (the creator) as he creates Man and Woman. This particular legend is similar to the Biblical “creation story“ in which Man was sculpted from dirt and Woman was born from his side. It is believed by some that the original ancient story was changed when the Missionary related the biblical story to the Hawaiian people. However, there is no direct evidence to prove this belief. Kane is most recognized for his ability to create water by tapping his staff on the ground to bring forth water. Kane is one of the most profound ancestors and is recognized for in many forms and elements of nature. The word Kane means Man.This image depicts Kane (the creator) as he creates Man and Woman. This particular legend is similar to the Biblical “creation story“ in which Man was sculpted from dirt and Woman was born from his side. It is believed by some that the original ancient story was changed when the Missionary related the biblical story to the Hawaiian people. However, there is no direct evidence to prove this belief. Kane is most recognized for his ability to create water by tapping his staff on the ground to bring forth water. Kane is one of the most profound ancestors and is recognized for in many forms and elements of nature. The word Kane means Man.
  • Mãui
    The great fish-hook of Mãui is called Manaiakalani. Maui was known for his trickery and many feats of greatness. A cultural hero and ancient chief he was a demi God that exuded significant strength, manly prowess and a love of life. He is credited with lifting the sky, restraining the sun for his mother Hina, stealing fire from the mud hens and pulling up the Islands with his fish hook. He engaged in numerous altercations with the ancestral gods. Maui met a fateful end in his pursuit of immortality for himself and mankind. He is one of the most prolific Gods throughout the south Pacific and the Islands of Hawaii.
  • Haumea 
    Haumea is identified as the Patroness of child birth and the Ancestress of the Hawaiian People. This image depicts the essence of Haumea in her natural domain. Haumea was said to have been able to give birth from all parts of her body and is the mother of Pele. We have used waterfalls to represent her fertility not only in child birth but also providing a fertile land, the flowing genealogy of the Hawaiian people and the sustenance of man.
  • Hina

    Inspired by the legends of Hina. Although there is no direct translation for “Kapa Moon“ we have used the Hawaiian translation for “Full Moon“. Hina is recognized in many forms and legends and is one of the most profound matriarchal ancestors of Hawaii. Legend tells of Hina being the Lady of the Moon and a great Kapa maker. Although you would not actually pound Kapa under the moon, we used some artistic license in an attempt to depict the essence of Hina in but a few of her many forms. Hina is usually represented in a horizontal or reclined position while her husband Ku is usually depicted in the vertical or rising. Together they represent the setting and rising of the sun, the west and the east.
  • Lono

    Inspired by the legends of Lono, one of the four primary profound ancestors. Lono is most commonly associated with Makahiki, a time of Peace and Harvest. Makahiki is an annual period in which time no war can occur. Although Makahiki is a time of peace, it is also a time of training, games and celebration. In this image we have attempted to represent Lono being praised as he brings peace to the Lands of Hawaii. The waterfall represents Lono as he descends on a rainbow from his place in the clouds where Lono is recognized in his dominion over Thunder and Rain.

  • Hi‘iaka

    Inspired by the legends of Hi‘iaka, sister of Pele. Hi‘iaka is a enigmatic profound ancestor. Renowned for her beauty she is legend to have magical powers that allowed her to “shape shift“, chant, heal and battle mythical creatures. Hi‘iaka embarked on many adventures throughout the Islands to locate Lohiau, Pele‘s lover. On these adventures she was often confronted by creatures such as Mo‘o, E‘epa and Kupua. Hi‘iaka wore a magic Pa‘u skirt that was said to “contain lightening in the folds“. The skirt was able to transform into a “fern whip“ that she would use to blast the creatures. This image depicts the essence of Hi‘iaka in one of her confrontations. Due to the fact that there is no “agreeable“ description of the magical creatures, we implemented CGI techniques to create the creatures based on multipal descriptions and elements.
  • Kamapua‘a

    Inspired by the legends of Kamapua‘a, the Pig God. In his youth Kamapua‘a was an extremely handsome, powerful man that attracted many lovers. Due to his fathers disdain for him and after being scorned by his lover Pele, Kamapua‘a was succumb to anger. Kamapua‘a is able to change his appearance and resemble the features of the Hawaiian Boar. In this image we have attempted to depict the reclusive Kamapua‘a high in the dominion of his Ko‘olau homeland. We attempted to portray his stoic and proud nature while reflecting a certain sadness in his eyes.
  • Papakahanmoku and Wakea

    Inspired by the legends of Papakahanmoku and Wakea. Papakahanamoku (Papa), sometimes referred to as Haumea is recognized as the “Earth Mother“ and for birthing the the land(s) from the depths of the ocean. She is also recognized as the matriarch of Hawaiian people. Recognized as the “Sky Father“, her husband Wakea and her had a very tumultuous relationship. In this image we have attempted to depict Papa giving birth to the land with Wakea looking on from the sky as a father would gaze on his wife in the beauty of birth.
  • Kanaloa

    Inspired by the legends of Kanaloa, one of the primary profound ancestors. Kanaloa is recognized throughout the South Pacific as the ancestral God of the oceans and often represented by the octopus and is closely associated with voyaging and navigation. In this image we have depicted Kanaloa ushering “the Great Voyage“ that lead to the discovery of Hawaii. He is represented with his care of the voyagers providing a calm sea. We have dedicated this image to the continued efforts of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and their perpetuation of Voyaging and sustainability.
  • Kanaloa 2

    Inspired by the legends of Kanaloa. Kanaloa is the only profound ancestor that we depicted in two images. This image and the previous image are meant to represent the duality of the nature of the ocean. Kanaloa is one the most profound ancestors of Ancient polynesia and in Hawaii is often recognized in his close friendship with Kane. In more modern times, he took on a presence “from the underworld“. In this image we have attempted to portray Kanaloa and the power of the ocean. The two images together personify the personality of the ocean. As all seafarers know, the ocean can change dramatically in an instant; thus the dichotomy is reflected in these images.
  • Poli‘ahu

    Inspired by the legends of Poli‘ahu of Mauna Kea. Poli‘ahu is cloaked in a mantle of snow and ice. Her home is the snow capped Mauna Kea. Many legends of Poli‘ahu illustrate her ongoing conflict(s) with her arch rival, Pele. The contrast between the two is natural. Poli‘ahu atop the cold, snow and ice covered Mauna Kea directly facing off against the fiery volcanic peaks of Pele‘s home on Kilauea. Poil‘ahu is cold and aloof and Pele is hot tempered and profound. Both women are stunningly beautiful as are the mountains they inhabit.
  • KU

    Inspired by the legends of Ku, one of the original ancestors from the beginning. Ku is recognized in many forms. He is one of the four primary profound ancestors and is associated with as “the Creation“ and is seen in many forms of nature. Many people know of Ku as a war god although he is also a great healer. In this image we have depicted the spirit of Ku embodied in the Hawaiian Warrior (Koa). In our attempt to illustrate the spirit of the warrior, Ku is called on by the warriors to give them power and victory in battle. Ku‘s power is recognized in the warrior (center) performing a Ha‘a to exhibit his strength and cause fear in the opposition.
  • ANCIENT HAWAII EXHIBITION LAUNCH
    Ancient Hawaii had a great launch with over 1500 + guests who turned up to help us celebrate the night. It was great fun to see the models turn up and pose next to their pictures with many of the guests. Special thanks to Makana who kicked off the night with an amazing performance, what a talent. Also would like to thank Bill Wyland for coming on board and taking Ancient Hawaii into his galleries both here in Hawaii and later to the mainland. Finally a special thanks to our sponsors Aloha Beer, Cactus Bistro, Jjs French Pastry and Bistro, Nico’s Pier 38 and Volcano Winery