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Paniolo and Tatau Horses

We survived! It's 2021! Somehow it's the end of February already but who's counting? (Do we even remember how?) With a paniolo line in at Waimea Express and on our website I thought you would enjoy seeing a work-in-progress logo and some of the thought that goes into specific projects vs. general stroke projects.

While this isn't my first display design (which I really should get a tab going for that). It IS the MOST involved. The plexiglass is selectively peeled and hit with a gold paint, and that process alone takes a solid hour since I need to pull each rope loop individually. Then I cutout the boots and hat on properly colored veneer and adhere them to both sides so it looks great from ALL angles! This particular image also shows quite a few of the Paniolo ideas made into ornaments, earrings and other products. I don't have a story for a paniolo coloring book yet, but you can email me at if you have a good story to inspire and/or a good group that could receive the proceeds.

That said I think my favorite design to come out of this was the tatau horse.

And obviously I wasn't the only one as this design caught Hoku's Legacy Riders eye. That said, while this one has personal meaning for me, it's not tailored to the message of the legacy riders. I wanted something that represented the learning curve of a rider. Their first time in the stables, starting something new. That first time you get up and the ground feels SO far away. The relationship development between horse and rider to harness the IMMENSE power beneath the saddle. The freedom you feel when they let loose and the ground almost disappears beneath the two of you. (Can you tell I like horses?)

So here is where it's currently at:

The explanation:

To start Hoku/Stars have been a HUGE source of guidance to Hawaiian and the greater Polynesian culture.

  • Leg markings- built on a foundation of new experiences, life, calling on generations of Hawaiian paniolo tradition service to the greater community, serving others which will give rise to the feeling to freedom

  • Flank - the driving force which initiates the journey, creating experience and eventually authority integrated with caring for 'ohana be they blood or otherwise.

  • Torso - There is SUCH power developed in relationship from the seat, a great horse can make you feel like you can go anywhere, jump anything. There's a lot of respect for that cultivation of mana and power. And often interrupting the weave of life/family is the winds of change, which may guide us elsewhere, to a new star/direction

  • Mane/Tail- E komo mai, welcoming and bringing peace to interactions

  • Neck/Face markings- The ray encompasses the throat, encouraging wisdom in speech. The horse faces forward, cheek lined with courage, eyes with albatross guiding ever forward into the unknown.

We will see if there are further revisions, when it's complete expect to see it over in the Digital Gallery!

See ya soon!

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