About Us

Our Mission Statement

E ho' opa'a i ka mole o ka hula

To maintain the foundation of hula

E ho' omau o lōkahi i ka hula

To perpetuate the hula in unity

E ho 'oūlu i ka 'oihana o ka hula

To develop professionalism in the hula

I mohala ka 'ikena o ka hula

So that the knowledge of hula may flourish.

The Association’s four-fold mission—of maintaining the foundations of hula, perpetuating hula in unity, developing professionalism, and strengthening knowledge and understanding of hula—infuses its various activities. Workshops held during quarterly gatherings of focus on educational activities that benefit and augment member’s knowledge base of hula. Performance presentations are collaborative opportunities for students from different halau to expand their experiences through sharing repertoire, and through performing in a wide range of theater and festival venues.

The concept of a kumu hula association is not new, either to Hawai΄i or California. Kūlia i ka Pūnāwai’s collaboration, however, is entirely unprecedented, and its success has attracted much interest from hula practitioners and other cultural spheres in northern California, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and even Hawai’i.

Auntie Clarice Wahineali΄i Nuhi brought the vision of a gathering of kumu hula to life in November 1997. With the help of Auntie Sharon Ku’uipo Paulo, the Hawaiian Community Center Association (HCCA), and the support of a grant from the Fund For Folk Culture, over twenty kumu hula came together on November 29, 1997, at HCCA’s fourth annual Ho΄oūlu Lāhui Cultural Fair, at Carson Community Center. The gathering brought kumu hula together for dialogue on issues of common concern—on practices of traditional discipline, transmission of core values, and accessing knowledge and information essential to the preservation of important Hawaiian cultural traditions. Participants were energized by the outpouring of sharing that occurred in that first gathering, and have been meeting quarterly ever since.

Kūlia i ka Pūnāwai is a platform for open expression and honest exchange among kumu hula who are dedicated to perpetuating hula traditions with dignity and integrity.

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