To celebrate both the traditions of our Mexican community, our ancestors, and our Hawaiian hosts, this year’s conference features a collection of multicultural icons, inspired by many of the symbols depicted in the 2019 SACNAS artwork (seen on the conference main page) created by local Hawaiian artist Laurie Sumiye, as well as other cultural symbols. The icons were also designed to be Loteria cards, a game of chance similar to bingo. These cards and their significance are explained below.
Be sure to keep an eye out for each icon/loteria card, which can be found across the 2019 SACNAS website, email, social media, and more! Onsite you will be able to participate in a loteria game for prizes. Stay tuned for more details!
The SACNISTA is depicted by the SACNAS logo adorned with colorful hibiscus flowers, which represent the diversity and beauty of our community.
The Traveler is depicted by an ‘Iwa bird, which represents travel and clear directions. A red iwa bird can be found in the 2019 SACNAS artwork.
The Conversation is depicted by a good old-fashioned telephone, which continues to facilitate conversation (although it looks a bit different these days!)
Code of Conduct is depicted by a sun, which provides light, warmth, and comfort to all peoples.
The Researcher is depicted by a lightbulb to symbolize new ideas, innovations, and breakthroughs!
The Champion is depicted by a fish hook, which symbolizes strength, prosperity, abundance, and good luck. In ancient times, Hawaiian fishermen would wear a fish hook necklace to signify the strength and determination they need to make a good catch.
The Storyteller is depicted by a traditional Hawaiian drum (pahu), which is one of many instruments used in hula by Kuma Hula (teachers) to share stories.
Contact Us is depicted by a conch shell, or Pū. The blowing of the Pū has multiple uses and can communicate various meanings depending on how many times and in which directions it is blown. In most instances the Pū is blown to call on people, meaning we want them to contact us back!
The Expert is depicted by a Lehua flower, which is worn by traditional hula dancers to evoke expert wisdom in their storytelling. At the moment, there is a devastating disease threatening the Lehua flower and thousands of other culturally important trees across Hawai’i.
The Giver is depicted by a calabash (bowl) with poi kalo in it.
A well-filled calabash (called ʻumeke in Hawaiian) implies a well-filled mind. This ʻumeke is filled with poi kalo which is the Hawaiian staff of life, made from cooked kalo (taro) corms, pounded and thinned with water. A “giver” would have ʻumeke and share with others freely, just as our volunteers give their time so generously!
The Scholar is depicted by black coral, which is one of the oldest living organisms on the planet (found in the northwest Hawaiian islands), and the first form of life to emerge according to the Hawaiian creation chant (Kumulipo). Like knowledge, corals are foundational. A broad and strong base of knowledge (scientific, cultural, practical) allows the scholar to grow their branches and help shape the diversity and composition of STEM.
SACNAS Pre-Conference events are symbolized by The Sunrise, which marks the beginning of a new day, and in our case, the beginning of the 2019 SACNAS conference.
The Dreamer is depicted by a colorful dreamcatcher. In the Lakota legend of the dreamcatcher, a spiritual leader has a vision in which a spider spins a web while speaking to him about the cycles of life. He says “Use the web to help yourself and your people … to reach your goals and make use of your people’s ideas, dreams and visions.”
The Mentor is represented by a tree. From healing to transformation, trees have several meanings for different cultures. This year’s artwork depicts a tree at the center, chosen by artist Laurie Sumiye as a symbol of life and nourishment. We selected a tree to represent our mentors who similarly provide essential nourishment (support, motivation, and inspiration) for the next generation.
The Attendee is depicted by shoots of corn, which symbolize how our attendees act as our community’s “seed corn,” providing sustenance and strength for future generations. For many North American indigenous communities, including Mexico, corn (maize) is a cultural “symbol intrinsic to daily life”. Just like our community, corn can also vary greatly in shapes, sizes, and colors.