With more than a dozen states across the US looking to ban public drag performances, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement will be celebrating diversity by hosting a professional drag show at its Inaugural Western Regional Native Hawaiian Convention June 19 through 22 in Las Vegas.
Māhū Magic will be held on June 20 at the Westgate Resort in Las Vegas. Tickets are on sale now.
With more Native Hawaiians currently living outside of Hawai‘i than within, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement is hosting its inaugural western convention on the continental US to provide opportunities for those who left the islands to reconnect; attend workshops and presentation on cultural practices; discuss issues related to education, healthcare and housing; and learn about national policy issues impacting Native Hawaiians.
“As an organization representing Native Hawaiians, it is our responsibility to stand up for the cultural values and beliefs that make up the fabric of our community,” said Kūhiō Lewis, CEO at the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.
“The Aloha Spirit embodies the values of acceptance and inclusion, so it’s troubling for us to watch what’s happening across the US – not only against drag shows but against the LGBTQ+ and other minority groups as well.”
“In the Native Hawaiian culture, gender is not limited to two options,” said Kumu Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, cultural ambassador for the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. “The Hawaiian word māhū refers to someone who is defined as ‘the in-between’ or the third gender that embodies both the male and female spirit.”
“Māhū have always been respected and valued members of the Native Hawaiian community, serving as central figures in our oral traditions, often cast as cultural keepers and beloved caregivers for children and the elderly,” Kumu Hina said.
Kumu Hina shared her thoughts on being māhū: “To me, being māhū is a privilege and an honor because I see life from multiple perspectives not just one…māhū is something special, something beautiful. We are proud to stand with the māhū community across the world and encourage everyone to do the same.”
Registration is open at www.hawaiiancouncil.org/convention.
For more information www.mahumagic.com.
Original source: https://mauinow.com/2023/05/03/mahu-magic-celebrates-diversity-at-native-hawaiian-convention/