Our Story

Two Hawaiian women intrigued by the emotional effects of the moon (mahina) phases began talking story. If the moon affects the oceans tides, how does it affect women (wāhine)?

Their ancestors knew... the mahina informed specific days to plant and fish to feed whole societies.  

Much of the answers lie in the stories of old (ka wā kahiko). 

It was then that they were reintroduced to Hina, the Hawaiian Moon Goddess. Hina and her journeys are fondly known throughout the pacific islands as well as New Zealand (Aotearoa). In Hawai’i, Hina is also known as the mother of the island of Molokaʻi and the mother of Maui, who captured the sun. 

Phase by phase, they began to unveil the deeper meaning (kaona) of each of the 29.5 phases from the new moon (hilo) to no moon (muku).

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Meet the Founders

Hiʻilani Shibata Ka Mahina Project Founder Headshot

Hiʻilani Shibata

A lifelong learner, Hiʻilani Shibata has spent the last 20 years in the field of education, both formal and informal. Born and raised in Hilo, Hawaiʻi, she moved to the island of Oʻahu to attend the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa where she graduated with a BA in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi. Today she does contract work as a Hawaiian Culture trainer and consultant, co-founder of Ka Mahina Project and with her small ʻohana mālama ʻāina in Waiāhole, and she is a mother of four keiki.

Talia Cardines Ka Mahina Project Founder Headshot

Talia Cardines

Talia is a grandmother of 3 and has worked for non-profit organizations for more than 20 years. Her work involves supporting children, families, and communities. In the last 15 years, she helped empower women to successfully transition from prison into the community. She strongly believes that everyone deserves an opportunity to discover their gifts and thrive! This is regardless of their past, race, or status.


Beyond the research

In 2020, a millennial Hawaiian father asked his mother: What moon phase is it? Are we able to receive the information in a text? It could really help guide me with my children (keiki). This became a family (‘ohana) group text that included his grandmother and parents.

1 text to 1 ‘ohana became the platform for effective communication. This began the journey of the Ka Mahina Project.  Hi’ilani and Talia joined the Purple Prize to explore ways to share this with a larger community. In their testing phase, they quickly went from 1 ‘ohana text to over 200 individual and group texts. 4 months later, they won 1st place in the Purple Prize.

The responsibility and privilege (kuleana) to create dialogue and share the mo’olelo of Hina became clear. It  could  connect communities world-wide. They met with those of of Samoa, Aotearoa, and Saipan, each having similar mo’olelo within their culture. So many stories ready to be told from one generation to the next. 

The healing power of the mahina allows a natural intergenerational relationship to build, a reclamation of wisdom (‘ike) that can be used present day.

Ka Mahina Project are currently planning ways to create a useful technology-based platform to ignite mahina-centered conversations and send out daily mahina mana’o texts.  

The ultimate goal is for individuals to become inspired and empowered to observe (kilo) and incorporate ka wa kahiko into their daily lives.

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