UH Hilo’s new podcast connects people to places of Hawaiʻi Island

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Date: Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669

For Immediate Release

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo invites listeners to its new podcast, Ka Leo o ka Uluau, which has been created to ho`okama`āina or acquaint listeners to Hawaiʻi Island.

The podcast consists of four episodes from each of the six traditional moku or districts of Hawaiʻi Island. Listeners will join a huaka`i or journey clockwise around the island, starting in Hilo and moving to Puna, Ka`ū, Kona, Kohala and Hāmākua. Ka Leo o ka Uluau is now live on Apple Podcasts and Spotify and will be published twice monthly (1st and 15th of each month) to podcast platforms. The first guest is Kumu Hula Mānaiakalani Kalua, who will talk story in the second episode available on January 15.

“Ka Leo o ka Uluau is meant to help connect listeners with place,” explained Kathleen Baumgardner, one of the organizers. “As such, it was conceived by the UH Hilo Chancellor’s Committee focused on the Importance of Place that is composed of faculty, staff, students and community members.” The podcast is made possible largely with support from Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center and the Chancellor’s Office.

“The podcast was named to honor a Hawaiian makani or wind of Hilo and to represent the conveyance of our voices and thoughts,” Baumgardner added. “The first episode sets the stage and begins exploration in Hilo. After that, storytellers from the island visit hosts Leilani DeMello and Drew Kapp to share mo`olelo from select places.”

Each podcast installment lasts about 30 minutes and will feature storied places, histories, people, traditions and lessons through mo`olelo told by community members with connections to those places. Additional resources such as images, maps and storyteller bios are available on Ka Leo o ka Uluau’s blog.

Bruce Torres Fischer, an alumnus of both Hawaiʻi Community College and UH Hilo, who is currently a UH Hilo Hawaiian Language and Literature graduate student, is leading podcast development. He shares his hopes for the effort: “I am so fortunate to work with a talented team in the recording studio that shares a love for this place we call Hawaiʻi. Working with them and hearing the reactions of pre-release listeners has shown me the great value of this project. Even if a handful of people experience a spark of interest that grows into a deeper connection to the land and Hawaiian culture, I will be very happy.”

Listen to Ka Leo o ka Uluau: hilo.hawaii.edu/blog/kaleookauluau/.

Find Ka Leo o ka Uluau on the podcast blog along with additional resources or by subscribing on podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.


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