Hawaiian slack-key master Cyril Pahinui was honored in Washington, D.C., this month as a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow.
Pahinui’s wife, Chelle Pahinui, accepted the award on his behalf Sept. 14 at the Library of Congress. Slack-key guitarists Jeff Peterson and Sean Robbins represented him at the NEA National Heritage Fellowships Concert the following day at George Washington University.
Pahinui has been in ill health and was not able to attend.
NEA National Heritage Fellowships are the federal government’s highest honor for accomplishments in folk and traditional arts. Previous honorees from Hawaii include Genoa Keawe (2000), Ka‘upena Wong (2005), George Na‘ope (2006), Eddie Kamae (2007) and Ledward Kaapana (2011).