Pohai Souza

2019 Honoree

Pohai’s study and love for the hula began at the age of four, when she danced her first steps under the instruction of George Holokai and his mother, Alice Holokai. At eight, she began dancing for her aunt, Maiki Aiu, at her Ke`eaumoku Street halau until her college years. After raising her family, she later completed her studies, graduating as Kumu hula in 1991 from Mae Kamamalu Klein in the Papa Maile Kaluhea class.

Leimomi Ho

Leimomi Ho

2013 Kaua'i Honoree

Leimomi Ho, Kumu Hula of Keali’ika’apunihonua Ke’ena A’o Hula established in March of 1984.  This school of hula perpetuates the traditional hula stylings and legacy of Victoria Keali’ika’apunihonua II Rodrigues.  Kumu Hula Leimomi instills within each haumana the importance of respecting the art of hula and the cultural traditions passed down by our kupuna.  This is furthered with the understanding  that this hula family’s participation at performances where each dancer shares the love of hula to the very best of their ability.

ED Collier

Ed Collier

2008 & 2009 Kaua'i Honoree

Ed is the kumu hula of Halau O Na Pua Kukui, and he was the kumu hula at ‘Iolani School for 22 years. Uncle Ed has a deep passion for the hula and considers the hula to be an endless process of learning. He has also served as a judge at the Merrie Monarch Festival, as well as numerous other competitions here in Hawai'i, the mainland USA, and Japan. His halau has participated in the Merrie Monearch Festival and other competitions.

Chinky Māhoe began dancing hula in December of 1967 under hula master “Uncle” George Nā‘ope. In July of 1977 he then joined “The Men of Waimāpuna” under the direction of the late kumu hula Darrell Lupenui who has won several Merrie Monarch competitions with both their men and women hālau.

maka herrod

Shane Kamakaokalani Herrod better known as "Maka", was born in Hale`iwa, O`ahu and raised by parents Juliette Aukai Kawahakui Herrod and Alfred Prado Sr. along with eleven brothers and sisters. Kumu Maka now resides in majestic Anahola, and is married to `Iwalani Ka`auwai who blessed him with three wonderful children, Anuhea, `Auli`i, and Kalalea. Interested in everything Hawaiian since the age of seven, Kumu Maka and began his formal hula training at age ten with Aunty `Iwalani Tseu of `Iwalani School of Dance.

Na lima mili hulu no‘eau translates as “skilled hands touch the feathers,” but as their gorgeous lei and hatbands attest, Kahalepuna’s  students do much more. Many of them blossom into noted feather workers whose stunning creations can sell for over $1,500.
 For Kahalepuna, feather work is a family legacy. Her late parents, Paul and Mary Lou Kekuewa, were considered the foremost proponents of the art. The Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i named Mary Lou a  Living Treasure in 2003; two years later, Paulette and Mary Lou received the O‘o Award from the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce.

Hinaleimoana Wong is a community leader, teacher, kumu hula and cultural practitioner.  Her roots are found on the island of Oʻahu yet has family ties throughout Hawaiʻi.  She currently teaches incarcerated men within the Hawaiʻi prison system and can often be found helping many within her family and social circles.  Hinaleimoana became a highly recognized face amongst other Kanaka Maoli pro-independence advocates after the continued success of her documentary film “Kumu Hina” and the shorter youth friendly rendering entitled “A Place In The Middle”. 

Patrick Choy

Patrick started his hula journey at the University of Hawaii with Hoʻoulu Cambra who taught hula kahiko and oli.  He later studied with Edward Kalahiki (Nā Punahele O Haluakaiamoana) and graduated as an ʻolapa and hoʻopaʻa. For a few years Patrick was the hoʻopaʻa for Leimomi Hoʻs hālau, Kealiʻikaʻapunihonua Keʻena Aʻo Hula.

Professional singer, songwriter, musician, producer since 1980.   Born and raised on Moloka’i  Hawaii in a traditional Hawaiian household.   Graduate of Kamehameha Schools ’80, attended Leeward Community College where he studied “Jazz Ensemble”, with Tommy Arsisto, and 2nd year “Hawaiian Language” with Naomi Losch.  He is married with 2 sons, lives currently on ‘O’ahu where he has worked full time for ‘O’ahu Transit Services (The Bus) for the past 22 years.   Three of those years as a Temporary Instructor in the company’s Training Department training “New Hire Operators” and other company p

Blaine Kamalani Kia, born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai’i, with an education profile in music, business and Hawaiian culture. Mr. Kia owns and operates a Hawaiian Consulting and Entertainment Company known as KIA Enterprises LLC and founded a non-profit organization known as the LAUAKEA Foundation with credentials spanning thirty(+) years in the business. Mr. Kia is also a practicing kahu (Hawaiian spiritual leader) and takes on this responsibility performing Hawaiian blessings and protocols widely accepted by both private and public industries.