Kaumakaiwa, a five-time Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winner, is the eldest son of Kekuhi Kanahele, the eldest grandchild of Pualani Kanaka‘ole, great grandson of Edith Kanahele Kanaka‘ole, and great-great grandson of Mary Keali‘ikekuewa.
Since birth, Kaumakaiwa has dedicated his life to his family’s practice and passion – the art of hula. As a 15-year ‘olapa (dancer) of Hālau O Kekuhi, he has been able to experience all aspects of hula, oli, haku mele and choreography. These qualities are nurtured well within the family and the hālau. The past seven generations and beyond have been maintained within a traditional family lifestyle dedicated to hula and the Hawaiian culture.
As an ‘olapa of Hālau O Kekuhi, Kaumakaiwa has been involved with the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival since he was 12. He has also appeared on stage and in film productions such as Holo Mai Pele by the Edith Kanaka‘ole Foundation and Hālau O Kekuhi; Kamehameha Pai’ea; Kilohi: Nā Akua Wahine; and Hānau Ka Moku, a collaboration with the Tau Dance Theatre. These staged productions have spanned some ten years of his life, and continue to advance with each new inspiration that hula has to offer.
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