Cultural webinar series launched to celebrate music, dance, and storytelling of the islands

“He Ukana Aloha Kā Kīlauea” is a free bi-monthly, yearlong series hosted by sources from across UH’s 10 campuses.


Above, UH President David Lassner and UH West Oʻahu Chancellor Maenette Benham introduce the new “He Ukana Aloha Kā Kīlauea” webinar series.

The Indigenous education work committee Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao of the University of Hawaiʻi 10-campus system, in conjunction with the UH Office of the President, have unveiled a cultural webinar series showcasing the music, dance, and storytelling of the Hawaiian islands. “He Ukana Aloha Kā Kīlauea” is a free bi-monthly, yearlong series hosted by sources from across UH’s 10 campuses.

The impetus for the series came from research showing that Indigenous peoples are often disproportionately affected by epidemics and other crises compared to Hawaiʻi non-Indigenous counterparts. During the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns for the health and well-being of Native Hawaiian students, faculty, and staff on all UH campuses struck a chord with the members of Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao.

Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao, established in 2012, addresses the higher education needs of Native Hawaiians through three pathways: leadership development, community engagement, and Hawaiian language and cultural parity.

Maenette Benham
Maenette Benham

“Committee members shared that folks on their campus were feeling isolated, disconnected and depressed due to the psycho-social, emotional, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says UH West Oʻahu Chancellor Maenette Benham during a Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao video address (above).

“He Ukana Aloha Kā Kīlauea” webinar series

In September, presentations from UH Maui College kicked off the series which featured traditional tales about Haʻehaʻekū, a giant believed to have resided in the valley of Waikolu on Molokaʻi. The story spotlights how the giant cared for ʻuala or sweet potato and calls attention to an important lesson about why it’s important to think of others. During the segment, viewers also learned how to make Hawaiian dessert kōʻelepālau using the starchy vegetable.

Webinar coming up in October

Taupōuri Tangarō
Taupōuri Tangarō

Hawaiʻi Community College will be featured in the series on Oct. 14 and 28. Professor of Hawaiian Studies Taupōuri Tangarō will lead a presentation on hula noho (hula danced in a seated or kneeling position). Tangarō, a Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao committee member, first proposed the idea of a storytelling series to the work committee as a form of nourishment to the Native Hawaiian community during this challenging time ushered in by the pandemic.

Fall-Spring schedule

Each UH campus will have the opportunity to present through June 2021.

  • Nov. 4 and 25 (UH Mānoa)
  • Dec. 9 and 23 (UH West Oʻahu)
  • Jan. 13 and 27 (Kauaʻi Community College )
  • Feb. 10 and 24 (UH Hilo)
  • March 10 and 24 (Honolulu Community College )
  • April 14 and 28 (Windward Community College )
  • May 12 and 26 (Kapiʻolani Community College )
  • June 9 and 23 (Leeward Community College )

To view videos of the presentations, keep an eye on the program’s video web page.  More information can be found on the Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao website.

 

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