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Papahānaumokuākea Song and Color Book Project Back to the top



The purpose of the project is to help people learn the name and important aspects of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Dedicated as a Marine National Monument in 2016 and expanded in 2016, it is the largest fully protected area in the world.

The Name

The name acknowledges the union of the Hawaiian entities Papahānaumoku (Earth Mother) and Wākea (Sky Father) who birthed the Hawaiian Islands. The name is somewhat long and takes effort to remember, especially for people who do not speak Hawaiian. The song will help people to learn and remember the name after hearing it for the first time. The catchy mele (song) was written by Patrick Ching with help from Hawaiian and scientific advisors.

The Song

The Papahānaumokuākea song was recorded by Hōkū Award winning musician Kawika Kahiapo. The song utilizes a creative mix of English language, ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian language) and pidgin (which is now recognized as an official language in Hawaiʻi), to produce the rhymes and rhythm that carry the tune.

Coloring Book:

A coloring book will illustrate the information in the song using the long version of the song as its text. The song and coloring book text will be written in English and ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian language). Digital learning tools are also in the works.


The information in the mele (song) will include the meaning of the name Papahānaumokuākea, the formation of the islands, their location, cultural importance, the plants and animals that reside there, Hōkūle‘a's journey there, and why the area is important to protect. The long version of the song will have more information including the ancient names of each atoll.

Song and Art Usage Will Be Royalty Free to Anyone:

The song, art and text will be available to whoever wants to use it. The song would be available royalty free to any musician, musical group, person or organization and encouraged to be taken into the schools. The coloring books may be copied or downloaded by teachers or anyone at no charge. This is information to be shared and modified by those who want to teach and learn from it.

Song Video Contest April 1- May 31, 2018

The Papahānaumokuakea song is geared for children but meant for adults as well. School teachers, hula hālau and lūʻau room singers are encouraged to take the song out to the world and share videos of their groups and classes performing the song on the PAPAHĀNAUMOKUĀKEA SONG AND COLORING BOOK PROJECT Facebook page and Website. Click here to get more info.

Participants will receive thanks in the form of gifts and possibly even school visits by artist/writer Patrick Ching and a chance to be on an upcoming TV show or music album. For more information go to

Song Writer Patrick Ching:

Patrick Ching is a Wildlife Artist, and former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ranger who spent part of his life on the remote Hawaiian Islands now known as Papahānaumokuākea. He is also the author of award winning books such as The Hawaiian Monk Seal, Sea turtles of Hawaiʻi, and Honu and Hina.

"Hawaiian Atoll"

Contact: Patrick Ching


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Introduction Video

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Painting in Paradise Episode 16 - Papahānaumokuākea

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  • Papahānaumokuākea as seen through Hawaii Artist, Patrick Ching

    During this year's Hawai'i Conservation Conference organized by Hawaii's Conservation Alliance - friends of Papahānaumokuāea Marine National Monument came by to share their personal reasons this place holds so much meaning to them. Our guest in this film is Nature Artist, Patrick Ching who has years of experience in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. View larger Video...

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