Ka Leo o ka Uluau welcomes storytellers from the community who share moʻolelo from select places. The bios of our visitors are listed with the episode in which they appear.
Season II, Episode 5 – May 1, 2022
Pele Kaʻio – Listen Here
Pele Kaʻio is the youngest child of Lincoln Kaʻio and kumu hula Sissy Kaʻio. He was born in Torrance, California and raised in Carson, California. Pele’s father is from Lāʻia, Oʻahu. His mother’s ʻohana is originally from Kaʻū, relocated to ʻAiea, Oʻahu, and shortly after World War II, his maternal grandparents moved to California. For the last 15 years he has called Hawaiʻi home and resides in Waimea with his wife, Kēhau. Pele is an ʻūniki ʻailolo (graduate) of Unukupukupu under the tutelage of Dr. Taupōuri Tangarō. He received an A.A.S. in Hula at Hawaiʻi Community College, a B.A. in Geography with a minor in Hawaiian Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, and an M.A. in History & Culture from Union Institute & University. Pele is the Kumu Hula of Unulau, a hālau hula based in Hilo and Waimea, Hawaiʻi. He serves as an Assistant Professor at Hawai’i Community College teaching courses in Hula and Hawaiian Studies. He is also the high school hula teacher at Kanu O Ka ʻĀina Public Charter School in Waimea.
Season II, Episode 4 – April 1, 2022
Kekoa Harman – Listen Here
Kekoa Lloyd Harman was born and raised on Maui where most of his family still resides, mainly in Lahaina. Kekoa began teaching at Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani, College of Hawaiian Language at UH Hilo many years ago and now serves as Professor there. Kekoa specializes in Hawaiian language instruction and performing arts classes taught in the medium of Hawaiian. Prior to that, he worked with the ʻAha Pūnana Leo for 10 years supporting its language revitalization efforts. Kekoa received his doctorate in the Hawaiian and Indigenous Language and Culture Revitalization Ph.D. Program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. He is an ʻuniki graduate under Kumu Hula Kimo Alama Keaulana; he and his wife Pelehonuamea founded their hula school, Hālau I Ka Leo Ola O Nā Mamo, whose students are exclusively taught through the medium of Hawaiian. Kekoa and Pele have also chosen to raise their four children in Hawaiian, the primary language of their household. He and his ʻohana are fully dedicated to the perpetuation of Hawaiian language.
Season II, Episode 3 – March 2, 2022
Hui Hoʻoleimaluō (Kamala Anthony, Manoa Johansen, Nāhōkū Kahana) – Listen Here
Kamala Anthony grew up at Waiuli in Keaukaha in Hilo where she co-founded Hui Hoʻoleimaluō as the director. The ocean coastline has been her playground and laboratory from which she has drawn most of her knowledge of Hawaiian culture and practices. It has also ignited her interest and commitment to caring for our ocean environment and working towards a sustainable lifestyle by means of Hawaiʻiʻs loko iʻa. Towards that end, she has earned a bachelor of science degree in agriculture with a specialty in aquaculture, and a master of science in the Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science (TCBES) Program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Since 2010, her focus has been on the restoration, maintenance, and management of Honokea Loko at Waiuli through hands-on education and community advocacy.
With a strong genealogical connection to the island of Hawaiʻi, Manoa Johansen comes from the Hilo area, famous for its heavy and fertile rains. As a child he was raised amongst many communities focusing on the perpetuation of cultural practices from the taro patches of Waipiʻo, the fishing grounds of Punaluʻu, the reef systems of Lae Hala, the wooden dance-floors of Hālau o Kekuhi, the black sands and canoe clubs of Hilo One, and the native forests of Hilo and Hāmākua all of which have helped shape the person he has grown to be. This place-based upbringing has influenced him to pursue his education and obtain an associate’s degree in Hawaiian Lifestyles with a focus on cultural fishery management which led to furthering his education studying mapping and boundary systems, and getting his bachelor’s degree in Geography. Manoa is a co-founder of Hui Hoʻoleimaluō currently focusing on the restoration of Honokea loko and the utilization of cultural-based learning as a tool to teach the local public charter school students who utilize the coastline as their classroom. This recent restoration journey has instilled in Manoa goals to ensure the sustainability of cultural sites and the corresponding practices appropriate to the area.
Nāhōkū Kahana was born in Hilo. She pursued her undergraduate education with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and a certificate in beekeeping, and is currently in a teacher program under Kahoʻiwai Center for Adult Teaching and Learning. She is a co-founder of Hui Hoʻoleimaluō and a kiaʻi loko iʻa or fishpond practitioner at Honokea loko since 2011. Nāhōkū is fluent in the Hawaiian Language and skilled in many Hawaiian cultural practices such as loko iʻa, wetland taro farming, preservation of burial sites, hana noʻeau or Hawaiian arts and crafts, and kuana ʻike Hawaiʻi or Hawaiian perspective.
Season II, Episode 2 – February 1, 2022
Ramona Uʻilani Nāipo & Kaʻimi Namaielua Kaupiko – Listen Here
Uʻilani is a lineal descendant of Miloliʻi, who is deeply involved in the process of protecting the traditional fishing practices and lifestyle of that community, now and for generations to come. We know Uʻilani from the University of Hawaiʻi, of which she is a graduate. We have gone on huakaʻi to Kahoʻolawe with Uʻilani, and have joined her at Puʻuhuluhulu at Mauna a Wākea, where she lived for many months. Uʻilani and I are also part of Unukupukupu, a group of hula practitioners arising out of Hawaiʻi Community College, under the direction of kumu hula Taupōuri Tangarō. She has been part of the hālau hula Akaunu with kumu Mānaiakalani Kalua. Her experience in hula has helped to inform her research and research methodologies applied to the community of Miloliʻi. Uʻilani serves as co-manager of the Miloliʻi Community-Based Subsistence Fishing Area project, together with Kaʻimi.
Ka’imi Namaielua Kaupiko is a keiki o ka ‘āina of Miloliʻi. A child of the land, Ka’imi grew up learning the traditional fishing practices of Miloliʻi. For Ka’imi his foundation has always been built on education and culture. Kaʻimi grew up learning from his kūpuna about the value of hard work and about the need to take care of this place.
His early education was in Kona and later he attended UH Mānoa and received a bachelor’s in business and later an MBA in from Wayland Baptist University and received a teaching certificate from Kaho’iwai in secondary education. He has been working with Kua o ka Lā Public Charter School since 2012, as a volunteer for the online program called Hipu’u and as an online teacher since 2016. Ka’imi’s true passion is to help provide a space for the future generations of his community and to the rural areas of Hawaiʻi island. For Ka’imi the work for the future is never-ending, as he continues to put his resources towards those efforts, he knows that tomorrow will be better than today if we work together to help our communities thrive.
Season II, Episode 1 – January 2, 2022
Gloria-Ann Pualani Muraki – Listen Here
Gloria-Ann Pualani Muraki, is the kaikamahine or daughter of Frances Aala Kia Pahiʻo Agustin, of Hawaiian descent, and Tranquilino Fronda, of Filipino descent. Her Mama hails from Keaukaha, in the moku of Hilo and her father is from the Philippines. One of 11 children, Gloria-Ann Pualani – who many of us know as Aunty Lolay – was raised on a coffee farm on the mauna of Hualālai, in Keōpū in Kona.
During the course of her growing-up days, coffee farming was a major part of her life and scratching the surface was kalo farming. Her ʻohana farmed from before daybreak till evening. The oldest of the children stayed at the farm grinding coffee. Back at home everyone had a function, including preparing baths by building outdoor fires and preparing dinner. In the evening her ʻohana would sew, wash clothes, play with handmade toys, sing and play guitar, accordion, ʻukulele and violins… and prepare lauhala.
Her ʻOhana consists of her kāne, Terry Muraki, two grown daughters and five lovely moʻopuna. She and her kāne have resided in Hōlualoa Makai in Kona for the past 50 years. Aunty Lolay is a kumu hula, having graduated through the hula ʻūniki process as part of the first Unuolehua Cohort under Taupōuri Tangarō. Importantly, she is a noted weaver of lauhala and has a vital role in the continuity and life of this cultural tradition. She has taught many members of the community this art, and she has helped to arrange, coordinate and share her knowledge at the annual Ka Ulu Lauhala O Kona Conference.
Season 1, Episode 24 – December 15, 2021
Kauila Kanakaʻole – Listen Here
Kauila Kanakaʻole was born and raised in Hawaiʻi. He is a Native Hawaiian artist, designer, traditional practitioner and māhū (LGBTQ+), steeped in the cultural practice of Hula ‘Aiha‘a (Native Hawaiian Dance), ritual chant and dance through Hālau o Kekuhi (Dance School) for over 20 years. He is a member of Hui Mālama I Nā Kūpuna O Hawaiʻi Nei under the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, repatriating Native Hawaiian remains and funerary objects back to Hawaiʻi, and is a steward of ritual and ceremony of global cultural exchange. He is a Kiaʻi and has stood in the protection of Mauna a Wākea (2018-2020). He is the founder of Tiny Kuahu LLC, and the “Tiny Kuahu Series – Sessions,” voices in our community through music, ritual and conversation to promote balanced lifestyles, mental health, well-being, and overall aloha.
Kauila graduated in Fine Arts from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, and in Fashion Design at Parsons The New School in New York City.
Season 1, Episode 23 – December 1, 2021
Kuʻulei Kanahele – Listen Here
Kuʻulei Kanahele, Ph.D. is an instructor at Hawaiʻi Community College’s Hawaiʻi Life Styles program. Kuʻulei’s research focus is Papahulihonua, the study of the earth sciences pertaining to the island environment of Hawaiʻi (i.e. geology, hydrology, petrology, oceanography, soil science, and volcanology). She has presented her research to native Hawaiian practitioners, educators, and various organizations, such as Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, the County of Hawaiʻi, and Google X.
Season 1, Episode 22 – November 15, 2021
Kaʻiulani Pahiʻō – Listen Here
Kaʻiulani Pahiʻō was born and raised in Honokaʻa in the moku of Hāmākua, and her moʻokūʻauhau is deeply rooted to the awāwa of Waipiʻo. Her grandparents are Joseph AhPuck Sr. of Waipi’o and Virgilia Makuakāne of Kona, and her parents are Pansy AhPuck of Waipiʻo and Lawrence Lorenzo Sr. of Honokaʻa.
Ka’iulani pursued her education at UH Hilo in cultural anthropology and has worked serving the community with various organizations such as Nā Pua Noʻeau, the DOE Kupuna Program, and others. Today, she is retired and enjoys spending time with her children and caring for her moʻopuna.
Season 1, Episode 21 – November 1, 2021
Noʻeau Peralto & Haley Kailiehu – Listen Here
Noʻeau Peralto, was born and raised in Waiākea Uka, Hilo, Hawaiʻi, and is a proud descendant of kūpuna from Koholālele, Hāmākua, Hawaiʻi, where he now resides. He is a community organizer, educator, and a cultivator of seeds and stories, and holds a Ph.D. in Indigenous Politics from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. His dissertation research explored the continuity of aloha ʻāina praxis in his home community of Hāmākua Hikina through the land- and story-based resurgence work of Hui Mālama i ke Ala ʻŪlili (huiMAU)-a grassroots, Native Hawaiian nonprofit organization of which he is a founding member and the current Executive Director. huiMAU’s mission is to re-establish the systems that sustain our community through place-based educational initiatives and ‘āina-centered practices that cultivate abundance, regenerate responsibilities, and promote collective health and well-being.
Joining Noʻeau is Haley Kailiehu. Haley was born and raised in the ʻili of Kukuipuka, ahupuaʻa of Kahakuloa, on the island of Maui. She is a granddaughter of Mary Keliʻipahulio Travis of Kainehe, Hāmākua, and the daughter of Alfred and Ina Kailiehu. Haley is a professional artist, and is a founding member and the current Director of Creative Development for Hui Mālama i ke Ala ʻŪlili. As an artist and researcher, her work seeks to create community-based and ‘āina-centered experiences that allow current and future generations of Kanaka ʻŌiwi to re-learn and re-establish their kuleana and connections to our moʻolelo, ʻāina, and kūpuna. As the Director of Creative Development for huiMAU, Haley uses her creative gifts to cultivate aloha ʻāina through art, curriculum development, mālama ʻāina, and community organizing.
Season 1, Episode 20 – October 15, 2021
Kāhealani Kuʻuipo Wilcox – Listen Here
Kāhealani Kuʻuipo Wilcox grew up in Waimea on Hawaiʻi Island and still calls that special place home. She attended Hawaiʻi Community College where she studied in the Hawaiʻi Life Styles Program Hula Track, and then at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo where she focused on Hawaiian Studies and Anthropology.
She is a ʻūniki hula graduate as part of the Unuolehua cohort under the direction of kumu hula Taupōuri Tangarō. She has served as an educational assistant at Kanu o ka Āina Charter School in Waimea and continues to teach Hawaiian Studies classes at Hawaiʻi Community College. She devotes herself to raising her animals at the ranch in Puʻukapu and works to uplift her community.
Season 1, Episode 19 – October 1, 2021
Pomai Bertelmann – Listen Here
Pomai was born and raised on the island of Hawaiʻi and is kamaʻāina to Puʻukapu & Waimea in Kohala waho. She was raised on her family’s ranch where riding horses and caring for the animals grew to be some of her passions. Music has always been a significant part of her family’s life, bringing generations of ʻohana into one space and moment to share in the joy and melodies, which also brought many Waimea and Kohala families together during her life. She was reared in Waimea, where the voyaging canoe Makaliʻi was birthed in 1995. She continues to be an integral part of that community, and serves as a kumu at Kanu O Ka ʻĀina Charter School and has been involved in developing and implementing project-based curriculum in ʻāina and kai-conscious settings. Pomai is inherently tied to the ʻOhana Waʻa voyaging canoes and their movements throughout Hawaiʻi and the Pacific. The canoes have been Pomai’s educational foundation and a tool of vision, self discipline, and personal direction for the past thirty years empowering her to continue to serve in various capacities in her community.
Season 1, Episode 18 – September 15, 2021
Kēhaulani Marshall – Listen Here
Kēhaulani Marshall, serves as Executive Director for the organization Ulu Mau Puanui. Ulu Mau Puanui is a not-for-profit organization formed for research and educational purposes to understand how Hawaiians sustained rain-fed (or unirrigated) intensive farming for centuries; and how it may inform our current efforts to live sustainably.
Kēhaulani is from Waimea on Hawaiʻi Island. She and her husband live in the house she grew up in. She has one keiki kāne who graduated from college in Fort Worth, Texas and now lives there. Kēhaulani was one of many parents who helped open Kanu o ka ʻĀina Public Charter School in Waimea. She had the privilege of teaching and learning there for 10 years. Her experience in education helped her shape the ʻāina-based, culturally-centered science and experiential learning opportunities in the ahupuaʻa of Puanui in Kohala.
Kēhaulani tells us that the first time she visited the ahupuaʻa of Puanui she was amazed at what the ancestors established there. She was also disappointed that she was only then learning about it. As a result, when asked to join the project there, she immediately said, “yes.” Today, Kēhaulani does everything from booking visits to Puanui, to educating visitors, to tending the gardens where ʻuala or sweet potatoes are grown and kō or sugar cane serves as both a windbreak and water collector./ She is on a mission to get as many people as possible to know that the ancestors were fantastic farmers. And she adds that everyone is welcome to come to Puanui to learn and give back.
Season 1, Episode 17 – September 1, 2021
Fred Keakaokalani Cachola – Listen Here
Uncle Fred Keakaokalani Cachola, was born and raised in North Kohala by his Filipino/Chinese father, Fred Cachola Sr. and his Hawaiian mother, Esther Uʻu. Uncle Fred attended Kamehameha Schools, and after graduating high school in 1953, he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Education from UH Mānoa, as well as degrees from Graceland University and Iowa State Teachers College. He became a teacher in Waiʻanae, Oʻahu and eventually was appointed principal at Nānākuli High School before officially directing the Extension Education Division at Kamehameha until retiring in 1996.
His ongoing commitment to caring for Hawaiʻi’s wahi kūpuna can be seen through his service with the Native Hawaiian Federal Advisory Commission, Nā Kōkua O Kaloko-Honokōhau, Makani Hou O Kaloko-Honokōhau, Hawaiʻi Pacific Parks Association, the State Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and many more community driven organizations. Uncle Fred is currently serving as one of the valued kūpuna on The Kaliʻuokapaʻakai Collective’s Papa Kāheka – Kūpuna Council.
His legacy extends from Oʻahu where he had a role in preserving Kūʻīlioloa Heiau at Waiʻanae in 1964 to Kona on Hawaiʻi Island helping to establish the National Historical Park at Kaloko-Honokōhau in 1974, and to Kohala where he has helped to preserve the birthstones of Kamehameha in 1981.
Season 1, Episode 16 – August 15, 2021
Hannah Kihalani Springer – Listen Here
Hannah Kihalani Springer is a kamaʻāina of Kaʻūpūlehu, an ahupuaʻa of Kekaha, North Kona. Kekaha extends from Puʻuanahulu in the North, through Honokōhau Iki in the South. Kukuiʻohiwai is the name of the ancestral home which she shares with three generations of family, at the mid-lands of Kaʻūpūlehu.
Hannahʻs husband, Michael Prosper Tomich, raises sheep for market, and their son, Kekaulike, and his family, garden and grow native dryland forest species, which she helps them with. Hannah is an advocate for civic engagement and has held elected, appointed, volunteer, and professional positions, emphasizing place-based sensibilities, and community-based cultural and natural resource management. The dynamic natural processes of Kekaha have been of life-long interest, study, and sharing.
Season 1, Episode 15 – August 1, 2021
Māhealani Pai – Listen Here
Māhealani Pai comes from a Kona fishing family. His father is of pure Hawaiian descent and his ancestors are from the Kohala and Kona moku. His mom is half Hawaiian, and his momʻs ancestors are from Kohala and Hāmākua moku. Māhealani is the eldest of five boys. Although Māhealani was born in Kona, his family left for Oʻahu in search of work opportunities in the late 1950s, and he was raised on Oʻahu spending summertime with his tūtū folks in Kona on Hawaiʻi Island. His ʻohana lived from the ocean. His ancestors tended the fishponds of Honokōhau and Kaloko, now home to a National park. He and others fought the Park in the early 1990s to remain on ancestral lands and opposed nearby resort development, culminating in a landmark court case known as the PASH decision. [PASH stands for Public Access Shoreline Hawaiʻi.]
Māhealani received his Associates degree under Kekuhi and Tangarō of the Hawaiian Lifestyles, Hula Track as a Hoʻopaʻa; he received his BA in Anthropology and is now a graduate student in the UH Hilo Masters Heritage Management Program. He is an employee of Kamehameha Schools and serves as a Cultural Resource Manager for West Hawaiʻi. Māhealani has kuleana for the preservation and protection of Wahi Kūpuna or ancestral places.
Season 1, Episode 14 – July 15, 2021
Roberta Ku‘ulei Keakealani – Listen Here
Born and raised in the uplands of Pu‘uanahulu North Kona, Roberta Ku‘ulei Keakealani comes from a family of hard working men and women. Her grandmother fished for ‘opelu alongside her father in Ki‘ilae in South Kona, and her grandfather was a paniolo for over 65 years at the Pu‘uwa‘awa‘a Ranch in North Kona. Kuʻuleiʻs mother, a native of the Northern Cree people, and her father followed in the footsteps of his father and are the primary people who raised her to become the person she is today.
Kuʻulei has been in cultural education since the early 1990’s and was part of the team who opened Pūnana Leo o Waimea. Members of that team found their paths intersecting once again as they went on to create and develop Kanu o Ka ‘Āina New Century Public Charter School’s Early Childhood Program Mālamapōki‘i.
Learning from what she deems “the two greatest teachers,” Kuʻulei continues to learn from the elders in her family and community as well as from the landscapes and seascapes, kūpuna. Kuʻulei is privileged to care for wahi pana in the ancestral homelands of North Kona as well as Waimea in her life’s work. You may find her one day on the upper slopes of Hualālai restoring tomorrow’s native forests or being waist deep in the fishpond at Kīholo restoring the ancient Hawaiian system of growing fish the very next day. No matter where you may find Kuʻulei, you may hear a story or two being conveyed or the significance of place names being spoken. She is happy to share her knowledge that stems from a long line of heritage keepers and she considers her work a hereditary kuleana. Her three daughters will someday assume their places in this succession that they are honored to uphold. Along with her husband and children, they continue to live the ways of their people, close to the lands they so love, cultivating and growing much of the food to sustain their lives. This ʻohana lives the ‘ōlelo no’eau, he ali‘i ka ‘āina, he kauwā ke kanaka.
Season 1, Episode 13 – July 1, 2021
Loke Aloua – Listen Here
Loke Aloua is a Native of Kona. They are a kiaʻi loko (fishpond guardian) for Kaloko Fishpond located in the ahupuaʻa of Kaloko in the moku of Kona. Loke received their Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and their Master of Arts in Archaeology from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia Canada. Since their return home, Loke is the poʻo for Hui Kaloko-Honokōhau, a grassroots community effort, activated and led on rehabilitating the cultural landscape focusing their energies on Kaloko Fishpond.
Season 1, Episode 12 – June 15, 2021
Pelehonuamea Harman & ʻĀina Akamu – Listen Here
Pelehonuamea Harman is the great-granddaughter of Mary Kawena Pukui, Hawaiian scholar and native of Kaʻū. Pele was born and raised on Oʻahu but moved to Hawaiʻi island in 1999 to return to the land of her ancestors. She and her husband Kekoa have raised their four children in Hawaiian, as ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi is the primary language of their household.
Pelehonuamea is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and went on to receive undergraduate and graduate degrees from the College of Hawaiian Language Ka Haka ʻUla ʻo Keʻelikōlani at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. She has been involved in Hawaiian language revitalization efforts for over twenty years, 17 of those as a teacher at Ke Kula ʻo Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu Hawaiian Medium School in Keaʻau, Puna. She is a hula ʻuniki graduate of Kimo Alama Keaulana and she along with her husband are the kumu of Hālau I Ka Leo Ola O Nā Mamo. She is also a board member of the Mary Kawena Pukui Cultural Preservation Society, among others, and is a recent member of the Hawaiian Civic Club of Kaʻū as well as the Waikapuna Stewardship Committee.
ʻĀina Akamu‘s moʻokūʻauhau traces back to Kekūhaupiʻo and Pine, and his ʻohana has lived in Kaʻū for 67 generations. He was born and raised in Kaʻū and traditional family dynamics played an important role in his upbringing as ʻĀina was raised by his paternal grandmother who spoke Hawaiian and was part of the first group of Hawaiian Studies kūpuna teaching in Kaʻū. She passed on many of the traditions such as hana noʻeau, or highly functional art forms.
ʻAinaʻs education journey took him from Nāʻālehu to Kapālama and he went on to earn a B.A. in Linguistics and Theater from Dartmouth College with a focus on Hawaiian Grammar and Dialectology, a M.A. in Teaching from the University of Southern California with an emphasis on bilingual language learners and social studies education, and a Teaching Certificate from the University of Hawaiʻi in Career & Technical Education with a specialization in Industrial Engineering Technology, Building & Construction, and Design and Drafting.
These skills all contributed to his current role at Kaʻū High School where he teaches a variety of course subjects. ʻĀina also teaches Hawaiian studies through the Early College program for Kaʻū High School students, he chairs the Education Committee and serves as Kākau ʻŌlelo for the Hawaiian Civic Club of Kaʻū, a member of Kauahaʻao Congregational Church, and a community volunteer and land steward. He is proud to be a protector of all things Hawaiian, of all things Kaʻū, and is a strong supporter and advocate of Aloha ʻĀina.
Season 1, Episode 11 – June 1, 2021
Kekuhi Kealiʻikanakaʻoleohaililani – Listen Here
Kekuhi Kealiʻikanakaʻoleohaililani is a cherished member of the Hawaiʻi Island community. People recognize her contributions to the hula community, both in Hawaiʻi and beyond our shores, her training for decades in the tradition of ʻaihaʻa, her vital role in Hālau o Kekuhi. We recognize her voice, her distinctive chanting style, and her singing, and as a Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning recording artist. We recognize the contributions she has made to the academic institutions of Hawaiʻi Island, including Hawaiʻi Community College where she served as Director of the I Ola Hāloa Hawaiʻi Life Styles Program, as well as a kumu.
We recognize her contributions to indigenous research and the expansion of awareness of oral and ritual arts and traditions conducted through the Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation, where she has served as Executive Director. We recognize her embrace of the conservation community into Hālau ʻŌhiʻa, transforming how conservationists, scientists, and cultural practitioners work and do research. We recognize her having taken up residence at Puʻuhuluhulu on the slopes of Mauna a Wākea, conducting protocols three times a day and inspiring the lāhui with her strength, humor, and aloha ʻāīna. We recognize her as a person of a particular family lineage, as a daughter, sister, mother, grandmother and wife. Kekuhi has had a serious and positive impact on so many people’s lives, those of her family, colleagues, learners and friends.
Season 1, Episode 10 – May 15, 2021
Nohealani Ka‘awa – Listen Here
Nohealani Ka‘awa, was born in the Kāhilipali Ahupuaʻa of Ka‘ū, raised in Waiʻōhinu and resides at Pālauhulu. As a life-long cultural practitioner with deep familial ties to Kaʻū and experience in Hawaiian protocol, she is an advocate for respectful resource management.
Having followed an educational background in Social Science and Hawaiian Studies at UH Hilo, Nohea served as the Kaʻū community outreach specialist for DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife in partnership with ‘Imi Pono no ka ‘Āina for a decade. She recently took up a position as the Hawaiʻi Island Forest Program Coordinator for The Nature Conservancy and works with Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund.
Nohea is a haumāna of Hālau ʻŌhiʻa, a board member of Kaʻū Kāhua ‘Olohū and since 2011 has continued as an active board member of Ka ʻOhana o Honuʻapo. Nohea appreciates opportunities to host interpretive hikes, she loves to share moʻolelo wahi pana and moʻo kūʻauhau of Kaʻū but most importantly, Nohea takes pride in being able to connect and assist others in the practice to truly Aloha ʻĀina.
Season 1, Episode 9 – May 1, 2021
Noah Gomes – Listen Here
Noah is from Wahiawā, Oʻahu with ancestry from Lānaʻi, Kauaʻi, Portugal, Madeira, the Azores, the Philippines, Japan, and the United Kingdom. He has resided in east Hawaiʻi for more than 15 years and holds a B.A. and M.A. from Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Noah is known for his research interests in ethno-ornithology but also has a deep interest in place, particularly in East Hawaiʻi. He became familiar with some of the stories of parts of Kaʻū and Puna during his work as a ranger at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park between 2011 and 2017.
Season 1, Episode 8 – April 15, 2021
Kalanipua Elia – Listen Here
Kalanipua says that Puna is her ʻāina aloha. She is deeply rooted to this place, as has been her ʻohana for generations before, as well as her children and grandchildren.
Kalanipua’s ʻāina aloha is Kaueleau, lying between ʻOpihikao and Kamāʻili. She attended Kamehameha Schools, and the University of Hawaiʻi, and recently returned to school, earning a degree from Hawaiʻi Community College in the Hawaiʻi Life Styles Program Hula Track. Hula has been an important part of her life, as a member of Hālau O Kekuhi and later with Unukupukupu.
Kalanipua has worked at the Lyman Museum in Hilo for over 35 years, as a collections manager, registrar, museum interpreter and outreach instructor. She has experience in oral histories, archives, conservation, and collaborations between museums and indigenous groups. She is committed to safeguarding not just the material culture of Hawaiʻi, but also the stories that convey details about ways of life and cultural traditions.
Season 1, Episode 7 – April 1, 2021
Piʻilani Kaʻawaloa – Listen Here
Piʻilani has been raised by her kūpuna in Puna and has a profound pilina or relationship with this ʻāina. She and her ʻohana have reverence for the place in which they have lived, in Kupahuʻa near Kalapana, and have learned how to live in balance with volcanic activity that is such an integral part of that area’s history and culture. She is a lifelong observer of such activity. She is a cultural practitioner, with expertise in hula, chant, and language, and has been a source of knowledge for lawaiʻa or traditional fishing practices, mahiʻai or farming, lāʻau lapaʻau or traditional healing practices with plants, ulana lauhala or lauhala weaving, and much more.
Piʻilani has been an educator for over two decades, involved and instrumental in the flourishing of students from pre-kindergarten to high school. At Kamehameha Schools, where she has been an educator for a very long time, she has taught Hawaiian language, hula, oli or chant, Hawaiian ensemble and traditional Hawaiian literature, among other subjects.
Piʻilani also serves as reverend for Ka Mauloa o ka Mālamalama Hoʻomana Naʻauao – the oldest independent Hawaiian Christian denomination, and one in which services are still conducted in Hawaiian language. Piʻilani has been involved with the ʻAha Moku Advisory Council for Moku O Keawe, is a cultural liaison for Puna, as well as the president of the Kalapana Community Association. She has been involved in the naming of new volcanic features of her ancestral homeland. Piʻilani is well-known in her community and recognized as a repository of ʻike or knowledge.
Season 1, Episode 6 – March 15, 2021
Leila Kealoha – Listen Here
Leila Kealoha, is the daughter of John David and Gail Kealoha, and was born and raised in Lower Puna, from Kalapana to Kapoho, and continues to live there with her husband and keiki. She is passionate about ensuring our places are protected, preserved, and held in perpetuity for our keiki and for the generations to come. She has been a teacher with Kua O Ka Lā New Century Public Charter School for over 17 years with a focus on environmental science.
Leila earned her teaching license in science and natural resources through Hālau Wanana at UH Hilo, and two associate degrees from Hawaiʻi Community College, in liberal arts and tropical forest ecosystems and agroforestry management (Forest TEAM). Her bachelor’s degree is from Ashford University in environmental studies and her masters degree is from Chaminade in educational administration.
Along with her husband, Leila started the Ke Aloha ‘Āina Foundation to service the needs of community members in forestry, agriculture, and natural and cultural resource management.
Leila is a board member of the Forest TEAM Program at Hawai‘i Community College, serves the community on the Puna Community Development Plan Action Committee with the County of Hawai‘i Planning Department, and she is a board member of the Maku‘u Farmers Association. She served on the steering committee for KAPONO Red Road to develop the Corridor Management Plan for Hwy 137 Red Road from 2013-2015 and she is the current President/Chair of KAPONO and a task force member on the Kilauea Recovery Task Force for the County of Hawai‘i Planning Department. She is working with community members on the Malama ʻŌhiʻa project to look for a possible solution to Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, an ongoing effort.
Season 1, Episode 5 – March 1, 2021
Ryan McCormack – Listen Here
Ryan McCormack is a long-time resident of Puna who is dedicated to the well-being of the native community and endemic environment, a strong advocate for indigenous lifeways. Ryan is a ‘uniki ‘ai lolo of Unukupukupu, having completed his formal rites of passage in hula under the tutelage of Taupōuri Tangarō, and is now kumu hula of his hālau Māunuunu. Originally from Waimānalo on Oʻahu, Ryan has traveled far and wide on his hula journeys, from Bali to Washington DC. His academic journey took him to Stanford University in California, and most recently to Pacifica Institute to complete a master’s degree in depth psychology. He has also embarked on personal ancestral journeys to Ireland. Ryan has served as an educator at Kua O Ka Lā New Century Public Charter School and also at Kalani Honua Retreat in Puna, and has given many workshops, presentations and performances in the Hawaiʻi Island community. Ryan has worked at Hawaiʻi Community College for many years teaching classes in Hawaiian studies and history, and is known on campus for his deep knowledge of Hawaiian culture, mythology, ritual and hula, and was recognized in 2020 as the college’s Outstanding Lecturer of the Year.
Season 1, Episode 4 – February 15, 2021
Ākeamakamae Kiyuna – Listen Here
Ākeamakamae Kiyuna is a Hawaiian, Okinawan, Korean, Visayan wahine from Kalauao, Oʻahu, who also has roots in Hōnaunau, Hawaiʻi. She received her BA in Hawaiian studies and linguistics from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and then went on to receive her MA in linguistics at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She has been teaching Hawaiian language and Hawaiian studies courses at the community college and university levels for the past eight years and is currently an instructor at Hawaiʻi Community College. Ākea is also an ʻūniki graduate of Unukupukupu as part of the Unuolehua II cohort.
Season 1, Episode 3 – February 1, 2021
Lokelani Brandt, M.A. – Listen Here
Born in Kailua, O‘ahu and raised in Hilo and Puna, Hawai‘i, Ms. Brandt has been with ASM Affiliates since 2017 following her graduation from the master of Heritage Management Program at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. Her early Hawaiian immersion education has made her a fluent speaker of the Hawaiian language. Ms. Brandt has earned her BA in anthropology and Hawaiian studies from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. Since joining ASM, she has worked on projects on Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Moloka‘i, Maui and Hawai‘i Island. Ms. Brandt has experience with community consultation, archival research, oral-historical interviews, and the preparation of cultural impact assessment studies. Ms. Brandt also has experience in the technical aspects of archaeology and the preparation of archaeological inventory survey studies and burial treatment plans. Additionally, she had successfully led and organized several community-based cultural heritage management programs on Hawai‘i Island geared towards training local communities on the identification and protection of their tangible and intangible heritage. She currently lives in Waiākea, Hilo with her family.
Season 1, Episode 2 – January 15, 2021
Mānaiakalani Kalua – Listen Here
Mānaiakalani Kalua is a Hilo native, born and raised in Keaukaha in Hilo. He graduated from Kamehameha Schools Kapālama, and received a BA in Hawaiian Studies with an emphasis on language from Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani at UH Hilo. He taught from 2003 until 2016 at I Ola Hāloa, the Center for Hawaiʻi Lifestyles at Hawaiʻi Community College, first as a lecturer, and then as an instructor in hula from 2008 to 2016. He is Kumu Hula of his Hālau Akaunu which began in 2012 and is still going strong today. His hālau hula is closely tied to the traditions of Unukupukupuku and Hālau O Kekuhi.