On June 17, 2018, more than 500 hula practitioners gathered at Edith Kanakaʻole Stadium to open Ka ʻAha Hula ʻo Hālauaola (KAHOH), 2018. The world hula conference, now in its fifth and final iteration, follows the path of Hiʻiaka in the moʻolelo of Pele and Hiʻiaka.

In 2001, the conference began in Hilo. In 2005, she traveled to Maui. In 2009, to Oʻahu. In 2014, she went to Kauaʻi.

Now in its final phase, Ka ʻAha Hula ʻo Hālauaola returns to Hilo. “This will probably be our last one… in this form,” says Aunty Noe Noe Wong-Wilson.

The conference aims to practice, teach, and elevate hula and Hawaiian culture. Dozens of workshops were taught by kumu hula and other practitioners during the 10-day event. We welcomed people from Hawaiʻi, Japan, America, and the world. I personally taught a carving class to a cohort of 19 students on June 14-16.

My hālau and I participated in the ʻAha Wehena. Along with the hundreds of other practitioners, we opened and dressed the kuahu. We partook in the ʻawa ceremony and we danced.

To do so with our ʻohana, friends, and fellow hula people, is an experience moving beyond words. To witness and participate in such an event inspires me and strengthens my spirit to know our Hawaiian culture is thriving.

Hāʻike & Hōʻike Kīpaepae, June 21, 2018

As part of Unukupukupu, my hālau and I returned to the ceremony on the summer solstice. Our intention was to honor our most revered teachers: Aunty Pualani Kanahele and Nālani Kanakaʻole.

It was a great honor for myself and my students to participate in this presentation. We mahalo everyone who joined us, all of our friends and ʻohana, and everyone who came to see us.

We wish to, once again, show our gratitude to Aunty Pualani Kanahele and Nālani Kanakaʻole. Without you, we wouldn’t have the same today what we cherish and observed at this final Ka ʻAha Hula ʻo Hālauaola, 2018.