Hana, Island of Maui, Hawaii


Keola LeVan Sequeira
Traditional Hawaiian Carver and Canoe Builder

[Keola Image]

From a very young age, Maui master woodworking artisan Keola Sequeira was always making things with his hands. His favorite tool/toy was his pocketknife. And with this he could fashion almost anything imaginable.

Adding to this initial calling of the art muse, He had six years of schooling at the Kamehameha Schools in Oahu where his shop and art teachers were Wright Bowman Sr. and Fritz Alplanalp. They taught him the proper use of tools, carpentry, woodcarving and art. Their lessons he would carry through the rest of his life.

Upon returning from the Air Force in 1969, Keola started working in woods again, but this time with more than his little pocketknife. Even with his limited knowledge of art and carpentry, he designed and built his present home following the principles of the Hawaiian Chief’s longhouse. Later he was to meet the legendary Hawaiian philosopher, canoe-maker and artisan Sam Kaai. Keola and Sam had many conversations about the Hawaiian Culture and its art forms. This led to a life-long search for knowledge about Native Hawaiian art, especially canoes and carved forms.

(click for larger view)

Translucent Norfolk Pine
22 inches tall, by 11 inches wide
bottom of vases are Wenge wood, the tops blackened wood


Keola Sequeira assisted in the building and launching of the double-hulled voyaging canoe Mo'olele in 1975. The concept for this full-size sailing canoe was refined after years of study, experimentation and critique. Prayers for knowledge and insights gave him a deeper spiritual understanding of what he was making.

He has built large canoes and scale models. Keola has seen, felt, and experienced some of what the master carvers of old had. He treasures the knowledge they have shared with him.

Being adopted, Keola discovered in his later years that he was of one-half Japanese ancestry. Perhaps this accounts for the preciseness of his work.

[Hawaiian Canoe]
(click for larger view)

"Wa'a Pe'a Kuakahi"
Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe
With Basketweave Sail and Feather "Tell-Tale"
24.5 inches tall, by 33 inches long
Materials: Hawaiian Curly Grain Koawood sourced from Maui, Maui


Koa Paddle
(click for larger view)

Hawaiian Style Paddle of Koa wood and Blackdyed Pine
54 inches tall x 11 inches wide



You might also enjoy the studio furniture designs of
other Hawaii artisans in our collection

Bob Getzen

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