Polynesian culture highlighted by mural

Polynesian culture highlighted by mural

Dancers and warriors: A new mural is being painted to honor the Polynesian culture. It is being funded by the YMCA and painted by Tom Siu, cousin of Poly Club coordinator Darlene Kato. It can be found by the auditorium.

People walking from the Health Clinic towards the main building may feel a bit tropical.

That’s because Tom Siu, a cousin of the Poly Club coordinator Darlene Kato, has been painting a new mural for the Polynesian Club on the wall near the auditorium. The mural, which was funded by the YMCA, depicts two men on a double-hulled canoe, Tongan and Fijian patterns, and dancers among other symbols of Polynesian culture.

Kato came up with the idea to paint the mural and is very excited to see the end result.

“I became extremely interested in a mural project because there is no other Oakland school with a Poly mural,” Kato said.

Siu has been working on the mural at least twice a week since May. Mandela junior Sifa Kaufusi and Illon Hansen, who was a Mandela sophomore last year, and no longer goes to Mandela, helped Siu with the mural last spring. Since then, Siu has been working on the mural by himself.

“It runs in my blood. Almost everyone in my immediate family are artists, so it feels like its hereditary. I set my mind on any artist piece and I draw from the heart. Its also my first mural work’” said Siu.

Many students, including College Preparatory & Architecture Academy junior Keyanna Patton, think the mural is a good idea.

“It’s good to have diversity in the school to show more than one culture,” said Patton.

CPAA freshman Apolosi Halahingano also liked the project.

“The mural is nice, cool and traditional,” said Halahingano. “The females and males dancing are my favorite part.