HONOLULU (KHON2) – In Hawai’i, the culture is inclusive, and that includes the māhū community. 

There’s an event taking place next weekend called Māhū Madness which is presented by PA’I Foundation celebrating the māhū community and with drag.

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So, to find out more about this, KHON2 met with Cocoa Chandelier who is the Creative Director for this event.

“It means madness. Māhū are mad, haha,” said Chandelier.

Māhū, it really is a terminology that is embedded in Hawaiian culture.  We’re kind of that conduit that’s in between, that’s able to flow back and forth to do those things that maybe some kāne (men) cannot do, or some wāhine (women) cannot do.  But māhū, they can do both.  They can envelope all the tasks or requests that our needed from the community.”

Cocoa Chandelier, Māhū Madness Creative Director

KHON2 asked Chandelier to paint a picture of what drag looks like.

“Drag culture, it’s kind of this western-centric idea of putting on make-up and wigs.  I mean this is my real hair.  I had it flat ironed at the salon this morning,” said Chandelier.

“In Hawai’i, drag culture really embodies our māhū as well.  I mean, you can see māhū that are fully living their life as wahine but they also participate in drag shows, drag culture, performing, night clubs, fundraisers,” Chandelier explained. “And that just the way we were brought up.  This kind of framework of performing and supporting each other and supporting our community and being recognized and seen.”

KHON2 also met with the Executive Director of PA’I Foundation, Kumu Hula Vicky Holt Takamine.  We asked Takamine what lead PA’I Foundation to put together this first ever Māhū Madness and what can people expect when they attend?

“I always wanted to do a māhū show,” replied Takamine.

Takamine further explained:

“I thought what better way to celebrate the artists that are our hairdressers, that do our make-up, that make our fashion designers.  And that we never really celebrate them.  We never allow them to or provide a classy showcase for them to share their talents.  These are my friends.  Some of the most articulate, intelligent, fascinating and most fun-loving people.  What can we expect?  I have no idea.”

From piano to hula to jazz to blues and beyond, Māhū Madness has a lot to offer. There is even a craft fair. 

“So, some of my māhū friends also do crafts and do arts,” said Takamine. “So, they will be showcasing their art prior to the show.  It’s free to the public and we welcome everybody.  It’s open from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Come 9 p.m., it’s showtime so buy a ticket.”

This event is scheduled to take place next Saturday, March 26th here at the Hilton Hawaiian Coral Ballroom. 

The show starts at 9 p.m., but of course, the mākeke, the craft fair, takes place prior.

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To purchase your tickets before it’s too late and to get all the information, click here