Papa Mu Art Gallery Features Native Hawaiian Artist Terri Lei Napeahi

Terri NapeahiPositive role model and cultural wayfinder Terri Lei Napeahi (born 1961) has her year-old Papa Mu Art Gallery comprised of treasures by nearly 60 Native Hawaiian creators astride Hilo’s Prince Kuhio Plaza Center Court.

Distinctly, Terri has no funding from OHA or Alu Like, but instead is self-made and self-determined as our audaciously remarkable solitary sojourner.

Terri specializes in oil painting, and her vision is to inspire other Native Hawaiian artisans and crafters to express their love for culture and environment through their works of art.

“Papa Mu” known also as the Konane (checker board game), is the name of her art business. The inspiration of this name came from hiking and gathering information about her ancient ancestors in the ruins of Pohue and Kahahakea, Ka’u.

“It was a humbling experience walking the ancient foot-beaten paths on pahoehoe and ‘a’a lava flows. The trails were marked with ancient white coral placed like large bread crumbs throughout the vast black and red-hued lava flows. It illuminated at night to show the way for travelers. The lava tubes and caves preserved the ancient remnants from the harsh elements. The Papa Mu was carved out usually on a flat pahoehoe surface sometimes found near sacred and significant places. It was said that it was used for successful strategic planning and decision making. I know that this concept of success is a sure way of creating strategic harmony within ourselves and with others. We need to be positive as opportunities come before us and believe that we can be successful as we strategically plan our future.”

From her bio:

Terri Napeahi is a Native Hawaiian artist from Hilo, Hawaii. She was raised and nurtured in a close-nit Hawaiian community called Keaukaha. She still resides in this Hawaiian community raising her three children. Education has always been an important part of her life. She is a graduate of Hilo High School 1979 and a graduate of Hawaii Community College Carpentry Class of 2004. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Hawaii @ Hilo College of Business and Economics.

Terri enjoys oil painting, hiking, surfing, swimming, scuba diving, jogging, camping and growing taro (Kalo). She shares these hobbies with her children so they can appreciate the environment and its resources.

Her love for oil painting was enlightened by the beloved artist Pua Borges of Keaukaha, who had taken the time to share a talent with Terri when she was just 14 years old at a church art activity. She later took an art class from Mr. Earl Dela Cruz of Hilo High School and still continues to paint today. She is truly inspired by the natural beauty of Hawaii and her life experiences as a Native Hawaiian. She expresses her love for her culture and people through her paintings. She is an advocate for preserving the natural resources that bring the breath of life and beauty to the islands and its people.

Terri’s self-worth was nurtured in her native Keaukaha with its quintessential ohana family quality. Terri’s voracious reading and global spatial learning include exemplars Napoleon Hill  and Lee Kuan Yew, along with Hilo natives Robert Kiyosaki  and former solon Jimmy Arakaki.

Terri Napeahi’s perseverance is unequalled, impelled by kuleana [stake] in the future, so to speak, steeped in both nature [DNA wanderlust/ea — life of its own — a la Kamehameha the Great & his military trinity of John Young,  Isaac Davis, & Capt. Vancouver] and nurture [akin to the Social Gospel]    —  “who I am”  the crucible.   Incredulous inversion of societal conventional expectation  — our female entrepreneur with no race-based government or private funding [no OHA-Alu Like-KS source monies] who endures to the end — whose responsibility to the Hawai`i  manifests in her gallery’s bona fide authentic Hawaiian creations of art and craft.

Terri’s metaphorical headstone shall read, “One who loves to serve others.” Terri’s selfless sacrifice is to realize the hopes and dreams of her Hawaiian Nation, of self-determination which reflects Terri’s self-made nature. Observing Terri is like living a contemporary adventure with a modern-day explorer who ventures into the unknown frontier like heroic wayfarers in our mystery novels of old — replete with a visionary like Terri, along with a multitude of heroes, patrons, and pirates. A heartstopping odyssey.

Or perhaps our analog British Navy bluejacket Jackie Cornwell, mortally wounded, who stayed by his exposed post at the ship’s huge gun, waiting for orders under heavy fire, with just his own brave heart and the Almighty’s hand to hold him upright.   As modest, accommodating, and thoughtful as he was in peacetime,  so he was bold, determined, and imperturbable in battle.

Download PDF: Terri Lei Napeahi

Papa Mu Art Gallery is located in Hilo’s Prince Kuhio Plaza, center court (zone D).

Read Curtis Narimatsu's blog here.

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  • Robert Kiyosaki is a Hilo boy, best pal w/Rich Kimi’s son Al, Hilo’s Rich Kimi 1925-2008 is Robert’s “Rich Dad,” so to speak, Rich’s mantra being “money is god.” Rob grew up among us in Hilo. Rob’s dad Ralph 1919-1991 not related to Kiyosaki store in Hilo. Ralph was DOE State boss, & mom Margie 1921-1971 was nurse. Rob oldest child, then Barbara, then Jon, then Beth. Contrary to Rob’s portrayal about his dad, Ralph was the most generous, sweetest, & most loving person on Earth — Ralph was every man’s alter ego — compassionate/thoughtful/humblest. What dismayed folks was when Ralph accepted GOP Lt. Gov. candidacy w/bully thug Sam King 1970 [King ate his words when King incredulously accused Gov. Jack Burns of allowing the murder of Sen. Larry Kuriyama — shot dead allegedly by affected landowner in personal squabble]. Ralph was like a fish out of water in politics, & Ralph never should’ve accepted misanthropic King’s offer [GOP’s greatest ever solon Statehood Joe Farrington 1897-1954 was King’s dad’s backer as appointed Terr. Governor 1952-1956]. Which is why Rob seemingly characterized dad Ralph as a bumbling oaf. In one’s way of thinking, insult was added to injury when common saint mom Margie died at age 50 in 1971, just after dad Ralph’s loss to Dems Burns/Ariyoshi 1970. Rob saw Ralph’s actual Providential strength/altruism as weaknesses. Rich Kimi’s son Al/Tai On-Laura Chock’s son Terrill/ Rob Kiyosaki, born 1947, were childhood pals/classmates. Laura had sundry store on Mamo St. next to Laura’s dad’s chicken store. Laura/Tai On born 1927 [Tai On died 2001], always were good to the neighborhood kids. Per consignment, Laura would tear the comic covers from the comic books to send back to the comic publisher & Rob always asked Laura for the inside comic book body. Of course, Laura gave Rob the comics w/no afterthought at all. Laura found out after Ralph/family moved to O’ahu that Rob apparently was charging a dime an hour to have schoolmates read the comics in Rob’s house. Rob sold out his magnanimous dad Ralph. So I call my observations RICH MATTHEW, POOR ROBBY – as in what shall it profit a man if he gains the world but loses his soul – Matt. 16-26. See gang, we ARE/grew up among the characters in Rob Kiyosaki’s book. Rob’s “Rich Dad” is contractor Richard Kimi 1925-2008, hotelier. Rich/brother Billy born 1923 are fortunate guys who were raised in everyday Hilo who had swimming pool. Their dad Bill Kimi Sr. 1898-1971 was individualist chinaman in attitude. What fascinated Rob Kiyosaki about Richard Kimi was that Richard was compelled to make a dollar out of 50 cents, so to speak. Capitalism Chinese survivor mindset. Anyhow, Richard Kimi is no Ralph Kiyosaki. Everything Richard was, Ralph was a world away much more empathetic/compassionate/altruistic. Sorry, but Rob Kiyosaki got Rob’s bearings in reverse. Post-1920 born buddaheads like Isamu Kanekuni born 1921 never heard of giri ninjo – service to humanity/Social Gospel. Ralph Kiyosaki knew this precept & Ralph lived up to this creed.



    Lee Kuan Yew lords over his Singapore dictatorship with an iron fist, Lee’s beneficence an outward appearance to the world at large.



    Capitalist coda/ouvre Napoleon Hill inspired utterly loving and humblest of souls Rev. Norman Vincent Peale [The Power of Positive Thinking — “joy increases as you give joy to others”], Hill’s greatest contribution to humanity.

  • Thank you, greatest publisher Mike Aiello born 1959, for featuring the most remarkable entrepreneurs & destiny-makers such as erudite & gorgeous Terri Lei Napeahi. May I add that Terri also does NOT receive funding from race-based private sources such as Kamehameha Schools [fka Bishop Estate]. Exceptional backdrop here — Terri self-made and self-sustaining. Napoleon Hill/Lee Kuan Yew/Robert Kiyosaki/Jimmy Arakaki could learn more from Terri esp. on perseverance than Terri ever would learn from these hyped-up icons. Age definitely not a factor. John the Baptist followed Jesus, even though John the Baptist baptized Jesus. Kudos to authentically Hawaiian and humblest of souls Terri Lei Napeahi. Alter egos/mentors manifest Terri’s homage to others, though the inverse is the case — a taisho/overlord such as Jimmy Arakaki is no match for an unparalleled magnanimous Terri Napeahi — equanimity knows no equal to Terri.

  • Thomas

    Interesting comments thanks

  • Terri Napeahi’s perseverance is unequalled, impelled by kuleana [stake] in the future, so to speak, steeped in both nature [DNA wanderlust/ea — life of its own — a la Kamehameha the Great & his military trinity of John Young, Isaac Davis, & Capt. Vancouver] and nurture [akin to the Social Gospel] — “who I am” the crucible. Incredulous inversion of societal conventional expectation — our female entrepreneur with no race-based government funding [no OHA-Alu Like source monies] who endures to the end — whose responsibility to the Hawaiian Race manifests in her gallery’s bona fide authentic Hawaiian creations of art and craft.

  • ku’u

    I am also happy to see that this Cultural Revolution has not seen that kind of bloodshed taken place here in Hawaii. I feel that our beloved queen had the same intention when she was dethroned. We will always pray for our troops to come home safely.
    May KeAkua guide and protect us all. Aloha – Ku’u

  • Isaac Kawika Nahakuelua

    The 118 years war for a liberated Ko Hawaii Pae Aina (The Hawaiian Kingdom) seems to be a noble adventure for everyone to crusade with. The Hawaiian Kingdom war is exciting because it requires any traveler passing through life, to have faith in Akua (God)…knowing He will carry all of us safely through this human world–sculpted by a gauntlet with a lust for chaotic, cyclical-rebirth. I am happy to see that this war in Hawaii is more of a Cultural Revolution without killing-fields; unlike the Cultural Revolution which is taking place in Afghanistan.