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About Our Logo
Parker School has long roots in the paniolo (cowboy) culture of the Big Island. The school was established in 1976 to serve children of the community, many of whom were, and still are, from ranching families. Almost 40 years later, Parker continues to support community families and is proud of this commitment and unique heritage. We sought to honor this heritage in the creation of the new logo, which was inspired by the braid work of the Hawaiian saddle as well as the island’s wa‘a (canoe) heritage. It was designed by Terry Nii of Terry Nii Design on O‘ahu.
Saddle making in Hawai‘i originated on the Big Island with the paniolo and the Spanish vaqueros that came before them. Hawaiian tree saddles use a unique four-strand rigging system called ‘awe‘awe, giving the saddle strength by connecting the individual parts together. ‘Awe‘awe literally means “tentacles” in Hawaiian and each strand of a saddle’s ‘awe‘awe is made with a braid of three parts. The ‘awe‘awe is the key piece that holds the saddle together, the piece to which cowboys literally trust their lives. Braids were also often used in Hawaiian wa‘a (canoe) heritage. With numerous parallels to the saddle, braided rigging ultimately bound the canoe together, providing the strength for it to operate as a singular vessel rather than a construction of parts.
Braids take individual characteristics and weave them together, creating a single, stronger, entity. The braid is a rich symbol on many levels and a special way we can honor the roots and history of the school. At the same time, the simple, modern look of the logo points to the future. At Parker School, each child is encouraged to weave his or her own unique braid, strengthened by the school’s values of excellence, integrity and compassion. In addition to representing our values, the logo’s three braids also can signify our lower, middle and upper school divisions as well as our ‘ohana made up of students, teachers and parents. Uniting these elements, our students develop into individuals who have unique strengths and are well equipped to lead and succeed in life.