“Hula is the language of the heart,
and therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people.”
King David Kalakaua
“`A`ohe pau ka `i ke i ka halau ho`okahi.”
(All knowledge is not taught in the same school.)
Mary Kawena Pukui
“Through the efforts of the `Ohana Dance Group,
the minds and spirits of those away from the ‘Aloha State’
are able to be enriched through Native Hawaiian culture and practices.
The Native Hawaiian traditions continue to be
perpetuated well beyond Hawai`i’s shores.”
Neil Abercrombie, Governor of Hawai’i, January 10, 2011
`Uniki - May 2012
The goal of the Kumu Hula Pilot Project is to train kumu hula in
California in the hula traditions and practices of the past. It seeks to achieve
a stronger foundation to preserve the Native Hawaiian culture through hula
and to ensure that its traditions are passed on to future generations.
This Pilot Project seeks to educate Native Hawaiians and others who live away from Hawai`i and who are dedicated to preserving the Hawaiian culture and traditions through hula. It seeks to reduce cultural fragmentation as a result of being separated from Hawai`i.
This three-year Project will equip kumu hula with greater skills to teach and share the traditions of Hawai`i with their communities within California. Loea Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, noted cultural expert, kumu hula and haku mele from Hawai`i leads the cultural teachings.
Having met all project goals and reporting requirements to date, the third year of the project's funding was approved in September 2011. The project will continue through September 2012.
Participants throughout California are required to implement their training within their individual communities and beyond. They bear great kuleana in mastering what they have been taught, immersing themselves in the Hawaiian culture, seeking additional avenues for growth, sharing what they have learned with the Hawaiian community and the community-at-large, all the while maintaining the humility that comes with this kuleana.
The `Ohana Dance Group, a non-profit 501(c)3 cultural organization from Sacramento, California,
is the facilitator of this Project. Its mission is to share the stories and spirituality of the islands and
its people through hula traditions and dances.