Halau Hula Ka Makani Hali 'Ala O Puna
Ehulani has studied hula, and chanting, under 14 different kumu hula (hula teachers) in the Hawaiian Islands. Every kumu hula is different and shares a wonderful knowledge of the Hawaiian hula, and chant. Having learned various lineages and styles of hula and chants, Ehulani has developed her own style by incorporating elements of all.
Named below are the Hula Masters with whom Ehulani has studied:
From the island of Hawaii
-- Uncle George Na'ope
-- Johnny Lum Ho
-- Ray Fonseca
-- Etua Lopes
-- Nani and Leialoha Lim
-- Punahele Andrade
-- Buzzy Histo
-- Michael Kukuna'okala Pang
-- Taupo Tangaro (nee Kaipo Frias)
-- Pua Kanahele Kanaka'ole, Nalani Kanaka'ole, Kekuhi Kanaka'ole
From the island of Maui
-- Pekelo Day
From the island of O'ahu
-- Kaha'i Topolinski
-- Pi'ilani Lua
From the island of Kaua'i
-- Roselle Bailey
Ehulani herself has a wealth of experience teaching others. She has taught hula in the Malamalama Waldorf School, the Wai Ola Public-Charter School, and Kea'au School summer programs, as well as being a Hawaiian Studies Hula Teacher in various public schools on the Big Island. For 15 years, she taught hula to Senior Citizens, through the Department of Parks and Recreation. Ehulani travels to Japan 4-5 times a year, where she teaches many kumu hula (hula teachers), and many hula halau (hula schools). In Sayama, Japan, she has a sister hula halau, and has formed a group known as Hui O Ka Ho'oulu Ike (The Group of Growing Knowlede/Understanding). Ehulani also has a degree in Hawai'ian Lifestyles/Culture/Hula, from Hawai'i Community College.
She gives frequent workshops at Kalani Oceanside Retreat Center, to groups that come from all over the world. Also, a week of hula workshops (including chants) and Lei-making -- and many group Blessings -- for Hilo's annual Merrie Monarch Festival. She is a member of many groups in the native Hawaiian community, involved with the Hawaiian Rights movement, and with traditional Hawaiian culture and its perpetuation. For example: The Royal Order of Kamehameha, Na Koa (Warriors of Hawaii), The Sacred Mountain Society, Hawaiian Kingdom, and Kamehameha Alumni.
HER DEVOTION to perpetuating traditional Hawaiian culture takes Ehulani and her halau (school) to Moloka'i almost every year, for the Ka Hula Piko ("Birth of the Hula") celebration; to Kaua'i for the Mokihana Hula Festival; to Lana'i for the Aloha Week Festival parade and Ho'olaulea; and to Maui for the World Hula Conference (at which Ehulani was asked to be an instructor, both in 2001 and 2005). On her home island of Hawaii, Ehulani's halau serve as the annual Royal Court Dancers for the Royal Court of Pu'uhonua 'O Honaunau ("Place of Refuge"), every summer.
They are also invited, every two years, to perform an hour of Hula Kahiko (Ancient Hula) for the Na Mea Hawai'i Series at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. The Park presents only five separate Hula performances throughout the year. The Na Mea Hawai'i Series is an annual event, and June 12, 2010, will be the eighth performance there by Ehulani's halau.
Through her teaching and dancing, she has taken hula to Alaska, the Canadian Yukon, and Japan (where she judged a hula competition, as well as teaching workshops). She has twice attended the WIPCE (World Indigenous Peoples' Conference on Education): in Hilo, Hawaii, in 2001 (with her halau); and in New Zealand, in 2005 (with a group from the Hawaii Community College Hawaiian Life-Style Program).
On film and video, Ehulani and her halau have been seen around the world. They were featured, for instance, in a CNN News special about the volcano Goddess Pele, Kilauea volcano, and the sacredness of the Hula Kahiko (Ancient Hula) -- and, most recently, they have worked with a film crew from Japan, making a feature-length documentary on the nature and people of Hawaii.
Ehulani and her Halau are involved in the restoration of the Paka'alana Heiau, an ancient Hawai'ian temple, in Waipi'o Valley. This is an ongoing project, and invite anyone interested in helping, please to contact Kumu Hula Ehulani.
****Ehulani and Halau members are also helping to restore the Kuki'i Heiau by Kumukahi, and looking for people to help with this important restoration.****
Ehulani has trained and assisted with many Kahuna nui, in cleansing, clearings, and numerous blessing ceremonies, which lead her to be blessed as Ali'i Kahuna nui (High Priestess).
Ehulaniand her students also find time for participating in many charitable events, to raise money for such things as hospitals and adult day-care centers. They also perform at weddings, at birthday and anniversary celebrations, and ceremonial blessings of various kinds.
Ehulani has also appeared on horseback in many parades, and has won awards even for her design and construction of parade floats. All the years of performing in competitions, and winning many awards, have actually led her to prefer a non-competitive approach. "I have found in my life," she says, "that I really don't like the feeling of competition, that I really would like to share the Hula, and Chant, with people that really want to learn, rather than to compete against other Hula Halau's on who is the best, for I believe we all are, we all are doing the same with the Hula, and that is the perpetuation of our Hawaiian culture."
Background and Lineage