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Welina… Welcome to Kaila Hawai‘i

May 28, 2009


Aloha kākou e nā hoa makamaka…

Welcome to a new look at modern living in Hawai‘i. Our goal is to bring you all that makes life rich and beautiful, with a distinctively modern and maoli (native) edge. We directly take our inspiration from past generations of kānaka maoli, Hawaiians. In spite of the massive whirlwinds of change around them, our kūpuna knew how to successfully keep their identity as Hawaiians all the while incorporating influences from abroad, ingenuously and tastefully. King Lunalilo took inspiration from British poetry and transformed that into the distinctively Hawaiian composition  “‘Alekoki”. Lena Machado spiced up the sounds of her era with a Latin infusion on “E Ku‘u Baby Hot Cha Cha”, while Richard Kauhi brought a touch of cool jazz to Hawaiian standards. And who can forget the gorgeous style of Waikīkī in its heyday, when our parents or grandparents would run to see Maiki Aiu Lake dance hula or listen to the Kahauanu Lake Trio perform? (Thankfully, we can still experience this era through the graceful hands of former Maiki dancer, Kanoe Miller, at House without a Key.)

At the same time, we hope to follow in the footsteps of all those who have taken on the kuleana (responsiblity) to return and maintain our traditions in the midst of our rapidly changing world.  Take the example of the Edith Kanaka‘ole Foundation of which the famed Hālau o Kekuhi is a part. We pay close attention to the words of Kekuhi Kanahele, as she describes the vital necessity of maintaing our cultural practices.

In this spirit, we look to our collective past in order to move forward. With this in mind, we’ll take you through wahi pana (storied places)  and mele to current cultural happenings and style innovations in our pae‘āina to trends from abroad that makes us excited and invigorated, from art to architecture, from food to fashion. In particular,we’ll be paying attention on what’s happening in the rest of Polynesia, from Aotearoa/New Zealand to Te Ao Ma’ohi (commonly known as French Polynesia). Of course, like our kūpuna, we’ll occasionally get a little kolohe as well–all in good taste, of course.

And if there is ever anything you’d like to see, add or correct no shame, we’re humble– just drop us a line at

Ke aloha nui…

All of us at Kaila Hawai‘i

For further reading on Lunalilo’s innovations with “‘Alekoki”, we recommend Kīhei de Silva’s excellent discussion  “‘Alekoki Revisited” on Kaleinamanu.

Sample the gorgeous “Nani Waimea” by the Richard Kauhi Quartette. Available on and iTunes.

Kauhi QuartetteThe Richard Kauhi Quartette - The Kalima Brothers & The Richard Kauhi Quartette - Nani Waimea

Finally, experience the primal energy of Hālau o Kekuhi.

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