Walter Naki

(20x16) Oil on Canvas

When asked, “what do you want to be remembered for?,” Uncle Walter Naki will respond by saying,” Being a competitor.” Born in Mana‘e, Moloka‘i, Walt Naki has spent a large part of his life in the ocean surrounding his island home. He is a man of the sea, a master lawai‘a(fisherman) with natural skills that lead him to the national championships for freediving, not once or even twice, but five times over. On Moloka‘i he is respected for his athleticism and competitive spirit and holds the title of five-time Ka Moloka‘i Makahiki Ano Koa Ki‘eki‘e champion, which is the highest title for the adult Makahiki games. The titleholder is the highest overall competitor in a decathlon of Hawaiian games. When you are with him, a smile is guaranteed and always followed by a warm shaka. But, the happiest you will see him is when he is with his mo‘opuna (grandchildren) and in the sea.

Behind the Scenes