Halau 'O Kawainuhi


Hawaiian hula

Halau 'O Kawainuhi was established in 2002 by Kumu (teacher) Kau'i Peralto to protect and perpetuate the integrity of Hawaiian cultural traditions.  Kumu Kau'i is a native Hawaiian traditionalist and cultural practitioner whose primary focus is teaching and sharing the culture through hula, which includes mele (songs, poetry), oli (chant), mo'olelo (storytelling), 'lelo (language), mo'oku'auhau (genealogy), and hana no'eau (arts & crafts).

As a 2009 grantee in ACTA's Living Cultures Grants Program, Halau 'O Kawainuhi received support for their Mau A Mau project. Mau A Mau, which in the Hawaiian language means forever and always, is a project designed to educate and stimulate discussion about kapa, or bark cloth.  This project will create a traditional pa’u hula (hula skirt) while teaching the art of kapa-making to a new generation of hula dancers.  Teaching will be done by the most traditional means available which involves history, language, genealogy, research, storytelling, and basic protocols that relate to the preparation, use, and care of clothing in old and modern day Hawaii.  Participants will assist the lead artist Wendeanne Ke’aka Stitt in softening, dyeing, and patterning the 3 foot x 24 foot piece of kapa required to complete the pa’u hula.  Kumu Pau’i Peralto will be advising this creation of the first hula skirt to be made outside of Hawaii by traditional means.

Images

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A skirt made from kapa cloth, a traditional textile made by hand-pounding tree bark (Photo: Wendeanne Ke'aka Stitt)

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