http://cdn.itvs.org/haku-inoa-background.jpg
  • Filmmaker Christen Marquez returns to Hawai'i to reconnect with her culture and her mother.

    Filmmaker Christen Marquez returns to Hawai'i to reconnect with her culture and her mother.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/haku_inoa-trailer.jpgmp4:haku_inoa-trailer-1024.mov
  • The Namesake Project is an online project created to collect interesting name stories from around the world.

    The Namesake Project is an online project created to collect interesting name stories from around the world.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/haku-inoa-extra.jpgmp4:haku-inoa-extra-1024.mov
  • Still from Haku Inoa: To Weave a Name

    Still from Haku Inoa: To Weave a Name

    http://cdn.itvs.org/haku_inoa-01.jpg
  • Christen and her Mother Elena at home on the Windward side of O’ahu.

    Christen and her Mother Elena at home on the Windward side of O’ahu.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/haku_inoa-02.jpg
  • Getting to know each other after 15 years of separation is difficult for Elena and Christen.

    Getting to know each other after 15 years of separation is difficult for Elena and Christen.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/haku_inoa-03.jpg
  • Christen and her Mother grow closer by learning Hawaiian songs and chants together.

    Christen and her Mother grow closer by learning Hawaiian songs and chants together.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/haku_inoa-04.jpg
  • Elena chants for her daughter Christen, who is mimics the sounds of her mother.

    Elena chants for her daughter Christen, who is mimics the sounds of her mother.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/haku_inoa-05.jpg
  • Christen and her mother after celebrating the beginning of a new day with a chant a Makapu’u.

    Christen and her mother after celebrating the beginning of a new day with a chant a Makapu’u.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/haku_inoa-06.jpg
  • Elena catches up with her friend and hula sister Kawai.

    Elena catches up with her friend and hula sister Kawai.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/haku_inoa-07.jpg
  • Christen is searches desperately for the meaning of her Hawaiian name.

    Christen is searches desperately for the meaning of her Hawaiian name.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/haku_inoa-08.jpg
  • Elena catches up with her friend and hula sister Kawai.

    Elena catches up with her friend and hula sister Kawai.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/haku_inoa-09.jpg
  • Christen Marquez Produced and Directed of E Haku Inoa: To Weave A Name lives in Los Angeles, CA.

    Christen Marquez Produced and Directed of E Haku Inoa: To Weave A Name lives in Los Angeles, CA.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/haku_inoa-10.jpg

The Film

Filmmaker Christen Hepuakoa Marquez was born in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. Christen's family deteriorated when her mother Elena was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and as a young girl she moved to Seattle with her father and brothers. After nearly 20 years of living in the continental U.S., Christen returns to Hawai'i to learn the meaning of her incredibly long Hawaiian name from her estranged mother.

In Hawaiian culture, you don't give a name, you hake inoa. Haku means "to weave," and inoa is the Hawaiian word for "name." For Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians), a name is often considered a sacred extension of a person's identity. Words are artfully woven together to create a poem celebrating the namesake's heritage and destiny. Elena created Christen's name and is the only person who knows its true meaning.

Christen doggedly pursues this piece of her identity, struggling through tears and misunderstandings to unlock the mystery not only of her name, but also of her mother.

The Filmmaker

  1. Christen Hepuakoa MarquezProducer/Director