Kaua'i, Hawaii

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Wedding Dinner Rehearsal at Kōloa Landing Pōipu – 1 Oct 2021

The sprawling grounds of Kōloa Landing Hotel served as a beautiful backdrop to the wedding rehearsal dinner of the Andrews family from California. As Kaua’i opens up in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic, life goes on and we celebrate this life as we witness two becoming one in marriage. The wedding party was blessed that evening with the sweet Kaua’i breeze, so ‘olu’olu and calm.

Kumu Hula Leihi’ilani Kirkpatrick opened the evening with a hula kahiko honoring Ke Akua, O Jehovah, which is a blessing for all the guests. Another hula kahiko was presented this time honoring Queen Lili’uokalani. Kaua’i favorites such as Nani Wai’ale’ale and Hanohano Hanalei with ‘uli’uli soon followed in the Hula ‘Auana segment of the night’s entertainment. The beautiful music, performed by Rydge Nuesca, Ricah Nuesca and Mikey, seemed to hang in the air as the dancers of Hālau Ka Lei Kukui Hi’ilani transported us through these mele and hula.

The wedding party had a chance to boogie on down as Kumu Lei taught them how to dance a hula that is a Hawaiian party favorite, the Hukilau ! The evening ended with Tahitian drums and a fire dance which was a resounding end to the night’s merriment and festivities.

photo credit: Lori Leimakamae Dill of Halewai Photography

Huakaʻi to Alakoko Fishpond – 25 May 2021

Kumu Hula Leihiʻilani Kirkpatrick and the haumāna of Hālau Ka Lei Kukui Hiʻilani went on a huakaʻi to Alakoko Fishpond, a cultural site along the Hulēʻia River.

The hālau had the opportunity to learn about the area and the efforts to protect this ecosystem. We gained awareness of the presence of invasive species, such as the red mangrove, and the severity of the effects of invasive plants on the river systems and surrounding wetlands.

Mahalo nui loa to Peleke Flores and Mālama Hulēʻia for receiving our hoʻokupu, oli and hula and a big mahalo to all the volunteers who work hard to remove invasive plants so that the native wetland ecosystem can be restored.

Photo credit : Leimakamae Dill from Halewai Photography

Beautifully Flawed Retreat – 24 May 2021

Kumu Hula Leihi’ilani Kirkpatrick was invited, together with Hālau Ka Lei Kukui Hi’ilani, to the 8th Beautifully Flawed Retreat organised by the Beautifully Flawed Foundation. Held at the spectacular Makanalani property on the north shore of Kaua’i, this was the perfect backdrop for these courageous and resilient young women to partake of the aloha that is the Hawaiian culture.

Beautifully Flawed Foundation’s mission is to encourage a broken world and offer hope to overcome through Jesus Christ. Established by the family and friends of world-class professional surfer Bethany Hamilton who lost her arm to a shark attack at the age of 13, their vision is to establish individuals to be overcomers in Christ.

The night was pure magic at this private luau as the Hālau shared a beautiful Hawaiian cultural experience with Hula Kahiko, Hula ‘Auana, and even a private lesson on hula dance by Kumu Hula Leihi’ilani. Mahalo uncle Coppin for the exciting fire dance that enthralled us all.

Mahalo to Sarah Rachel Hill and to all involved in supporting this ministry.

Photo credit: Flux Photography and Leimakamae Dill from Halewai Photography

Blessing for Royal Sonesta Kaua’i Resort – 24 March 2021

The pū and the pū’ohe were sounded to herald the start of the blessing ceremony for the Royal Sonesta Kaua’i Resort, which is the former Kaua’i Marriott Resort & Beach Club, at the Kalapaki property. Hālau Ka Lei Kukui Hi’ilani under the direction of Kumu Hula Leihi’ilani Kirkpatrick officiated the ceremonial blessings and also enthralled the crowd with the hula “Nāwiliwili”. The oli presented, “Pule Ola Lō’ihi”, has special significance especially now, a pule for the blessing of a long life.

Ohana Christian Church Blessing Celebration – 8 November 2020

Kumu Hula Leihi’ilani Kirkpatrick led the haumāna of Hālau Ka Lei Kukui Hi’ilani in a blessing for Ohana Christian Church. The Ohana Christian Church Fellowship has been meeting at Kapaa Middle School for over 20 years. Now God has provided a permanent place for them to hold their services. Mahalo ke Akua! After some renovations, a special blessing and celebration was held on November 8. We were honored to be asked to bring a blessing of Thanksgiving. May the good news of Jesus Christ, His Grace, His Mercy, His Love, His Power continue to be proclaimed at OCF.

Kaua’i Mokihana Festival – 22 September 2020

Kumu Leihi’ilani Kirkpatrick was invited by the Kaua’i Mokihana Festival to honor Queen Liliʻuokalani.

Also invited was Lady Ipo Kahaunaele. Her presentation was about sharing her time when she worked for the Liliʻuokalani Trust. She sang Paoakalani. A song written by the Queen.


Kumu Leihi’ilani shared about the Queenʻs legacy as she composed the popular song Ke Aloha o Ka Haku. Kumu Leihi’ilani also shared her mother’s way of honoring the Queens’s legacy at the Liliuokalaniʻs Elementary School where she taught. Kumu Leihi’ilani then danced Makalapua. A song composed in the Queens’s honor at her birth.


At the end Kumu Maka Herrod, Lady Ipo Kahaunaele and Kumu Leihi’ilani sang and Kumu Leihi’ilani danced Aloha ʻoe.

Looking back to May Day by the Bay – flashback to 11 May 2019

As the world slowly emerges from lockdown we look back on a Covid-19 free May Day by the Bay celebration on Kaua’i last year. Lei-making and lei-giving is a time honored Hawaiian tradition and an art form that has been passed down from generation to generation. The first Lei Day was in 1928 as reported in the Honolulu Star Advertiser. It truly is a magical time as we witness gardens resplendent in spring/summer time blooms and the air is heavy with its fragrance. May Day is Lei Day. May we see a beautiful May Day celebration in 2021.

May Day by the Bay – Keeping The Culture Alive – flashback to 11 May 2019

Flashback to a time before Corona Virus. May Day by the Bay was held at the Wai’oli Beach Park at Hanalei Bay. Just the year before, massive floods swept through many parts of Kaua’i including the Hanalei area destroying property and devastating lives and livelihoods. Through flood relief efforts and the outpouring of support from the community, Hanalei seems to be back on its feet.

Mahalo nui loa to Koko and Julie Kaneali’i and the team of sponsors for organising this community event. Mahalo nui loa to 4 Word Nation, Hālau Hula O Hanalei, Hōkū Zuttermeister, Ho’okena and Maila Gibson.

And last but not least, mahalo nui loa to our Kumu Hula, Kumu Leihi’ilani Kirkpatrick and Hula Hālau Ka Lei Kukui Hi’ilani together with musicians Darryl Gonzales, Malia Kerr and Loke Sasil.

Photo credits: Leimakamae Good Dill and Mike Teruya

Lei Making – 1 May 2020

May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii.  And so we always make lei.
Wishing all of you in the Halau a Happy May Month.  From my ‘ohana to yours.  Stay safe and heakthy.

Kaua’i Ni’ihau Prayer Luncheon – 7 March 2020

The annual Kaua’i – Ni’ihau Prayer Luncheon is one of the highlights of the year on Kaua’i. This event, held at the Kilohana Luau Pavilion, sees the community gather to offer thanksgiving and praise to Ke Akua, interceding for government leaders, businesses, church, nation, and our ‘ohana.

Kumu Hula Leihi’ilani Kirkpatrick is the choreographer and worship director for the Prayer Luncheon. Preparations started many months before and Kumu Lei has been tireless in her dedication to the hula dancers from various church ministries throughout the island.

Mahalo to Kauai Island Ministries, Dely Sasaki and Kahu Rocky and the island churches for sponsoring and supporting this event.

Photo credit: Lori Leimakamae Good Dill

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