Kaua'i, Hawaii

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Looking back to May Day by the Bay – 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


Happy May Day – 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


A Day in the Life of a Kumu Hula. Officiating a wedding.

With the ocean, the majestic mountains and the rugged landscape bearing witness, what better way to tie the knot than having your wedding officiated on the island of Kaua’i. Kumu Hula Leihi’ilani officiated this beautiful wedding in the month of November. Kumu Lei uses salt or paʻakai moana to symbolise cleansing and purification. This is one of the many rites that are unique to the Hawaiian wedding ceremony.


A Day in the Life of a Kumu Hula. Performing a renewal of vows ceremony.

A Hawaiian vow renewal ceremony is a beautiful and unique rite that is customarily performed by a Kahu. Kumu Hula Leihi’ilani performs these rites against the breath taking backdrop of Kaua’i. The couple are united in the ancient traditions of Ho‘ao Pa‘a.


A Day in the Life of a Kumu Hula. Performing a land blessing.

The land, in Hawaiian culture and thinking, has mana. It is considered sacred. It is customary to have a new location which can be a new home or a new business blessed by a Kahu. Kumu Leihi’ilani performs these rites, exercising her role as a Kahu, calling upon Ke Akua to bless and land and the people.


A star studded day of celebration at the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Awards ceremony. 27 October 2019.

The 2019 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Awards celebrating Hawai’i’s recording industry legends. Presented by the Hawai’i Academy of Recording Arts. We honor Lehua Kawaikapuokalani Hewett who has given his life to the sharing of aloha through his mele and his hula. The Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees are Brother Noland Conjugacion, Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, Momi Bee Kahawaiola’a and Dr. Jonathan K. Osorio.


Celebrating a life of aloha. Lehua’s 65th birthday celebrations in Kāne’ohe O’ahu. 26 October 2019.

Celebrating Kumu Lehua Kawaikapuokalani Hewett’s 65th birthday with a multitude of friends and family. Lehua’s legacy continues as one by one, each hālau presented oli and hula kahiko to honor him. Many of the hālau are based in Japan and it was amazing to see how vast Lehua’s influence is. Kumu Hula Leihi’ilani had prepared us to present a hula kahiko about King David Kalākaua and her Kaua’i hālau, together with her hālau extensions in San Diego and Singapore, told the story of this Renaissance man who had brought hula and Hawaiian culture back from the brink. Lehua is one such Renaissance man, sharing his aloha and his knowledge of Hawaiian culture and the arts with the world.


The family of Hālau Ka Lei Kukui Hi’ilani unites on O’ahu for Lehua’s workshop

A historic day for the hālau as the mainland extension and the Asian extension meet up for a day of inspiring hula workshops by Lehua Kawaikapuolani Hewett. The hālau has 2 extensions outside of Kaua’i, one in San Diego and one in Singapore. Lehua is a renowned composer as well as a practitioner of Hawaiian arts and culture.