Halau Unuokeahi is made up of culturally sustainable members from various communities. Students who arrived at the hālau come to learn traditional and cultural leadership through language, mo‘olelo, ritual and environmental sustainability. Many of the students of Unuokeahi reached or are reaching higher academic degrees, a highly encouraged piece for the journey of the hālau. Learners who arrive at hālau Unuokeahi have no monetary fees as it has been the mission of our hālau to make the learning manuwahi for all our Hawaiʻi members. The uku or payment is partaking in community service or various cultural engagements, which then in turn becomes waiwai for all.
On the winter solstice of 2016, Unuokeahi opened its doors under the tutelage of Ka‘au‘a, affectionately known as Kumu ‘Au‘a, who underwent the ‘ūniki rites in December 2014, It is with this that she was bestowed the title of kumu hula. The Unuokeahi traditions stems from the Edith Kanaka‘ole hula ‘ai ha‘a traditions of Hilo.
From Hilo, Hawaiʻi, Kapua was raised in the district of Kalaoa mauka on the steep cliffs of Hilo Pali Kū. She has been in the hair and beauty industry for 25 years in Hawai’i and a salon owner for 15 years. But her true passion is serving her Hawai’i community with 25 years of life-long learning through traditional pathways. Kapuaʻs hula journey was sparked in 1997 on Oʻahu with Kumu hula Nāhōkū Gaspang in Kāneʻohe. She returned home to to Hilo and studied dance under Johnny Lum Ho, Alva Kamalani, Pua and Nālani Kanakaʻole and then finally into her formal training to kumu hula under the tutelage of her kumu, Taupōuri Tangaro, who bestowed upon her the rites of passage into the guild of hula stewardship . Kapua is a graduate of Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani School Of Hawaiian Language at the University Of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.
Her cultural stewardship spans globally with classes in Japan and Hawaiʻi. Her Hilo-based hālau Unuokeahi, serves as the catalyst space for all her learners, near and far. Nestled in the lower echelons of Kaʻūmana with an extended hālau unit on Oʻahu which was created as a safe space for our māhū learner community to reconnect to traditional Hawaiian dance and protocols. Her cultural stewardship also extends into Keaukaha at Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo Public Hawaiian Immersion Charter School where she is the Kumu hula for Papahana Unuiti, a rigorous academic hula program taught through the Hawaiian language medium from pre-K to high school.
Together, both Unuokeahi and Unuiti continue the ʻai haʻa legacy of my kumu, Taupōuri Tangarō and the Edith Kanakaʻole traditions of hula.
Welcome to our hālau space, e hoʻonanea.