Ka Lei Kukui Hi’ilani literally means the kukui lei held in the arms of heaven.
The kukui nut comes from the candlenut tree, whose nuts containing white, oily kernels were traditionally used as lighting implements. The tree is therefore a symbol of enlightenment; the image of a lamp, light, torch also signifies a guide and/or leader.
Our hālau name, Ka Lei Kukui Hi’ilani, therefore refers to the varied backgrounds and rich experiences of every dancer who willingly shares, through hula, the significant meanings of the mele to which we dance.
Our mission is to learn, preserve, and perpetuate cultural integrity in all aspects of Hawaiian hula, traditions, history and language, and to honor and glorify Ke Akua in all He has given us.
Our goals are to provide opportunities for continued training, to expand and maintain cultural knowledge, and to establish effective and loving communication through the practice of Biblical and Hawaiian values: Aloha, Lokahi, ‘Oia’i’o, Ha’aha’a and Ahonui.
Our vision is for na ‘olapa (dancers) to come together in lokahi (unity) and aloha (love) in order to nurture, express, and bring to light the meanings of both mele and hula. That expression needs to well up from our na’au (mind, heart) and radiate outward.