Meet Our Kumu
Vicky Holt Takamine graduated from Kamehameha Schools and received her BA & MA in Dance Ethnology from the University of Hawaiʻi. She graduated as kumu hula (master teacher of Hawaiian dance) from Maiki Aiu Lake in 1975, and established her hālau hula (school of Hawaiian dance), Pua Aliʻi ʻIlima, two years later. In 1997 she co-founded ʻĪlioʻulaokalani Coalition, a coalition of Native Hawaiian artists and cultural practitioners to advocate and protect Native Hawaiian rights. She established PAʻI Foundation in 2001 to protect and preserve Native Hawaiian cultural traditions and the natural and cultural resources of Hawaiʻi for future generations and co-founded and served as president of KAHEA: The Hawaiian Environmental Alliance. As the co-founder and Executive Director of PAʻI foundation on Oʻahu, her group sponsors the annual Hapa Haole Hula Festival on Oʻahu and Las Vegas and is founder and show producer of MAMO: Maoli Arts Month’s annual Wearable Arts Show. She has also served as a judge at the Merrie Monarch Festival, the “Olympics of Hula” for many years. The kumu of our kumu, Aunty Vicky has been coming to share her manaʻo and talents at Days of Aloha events for 20 years and counting.
Carrington Manaola Yap is a native Hawaiian fashion designer from Kohala, Hawaiʻi. Inspired by his cultural upbringing as a life-long hula practitioner, he translates Hawaiian spirituality and Hawaiʻi’s unique beauty into prints that embody repetitious patterns in nature. Born into a family of award-winning hula practitioners and musicians, Yap learned costume design, research and styling from his mother, kumu hula and musician Nani Lim Yap through his studies in hālau. This hula foundation provided him with a platform to develop interests in textile and design, translating his talents into performance art. As a choreographer for Halau Manaola, Yap continues to carry on his legacy past down from his family.
Kauʻionālani Kamanaʻo, together with Kumu Hula Kunewa Mook, are renowned for their
direction of Hula Hālau ‘O Kamuela, an award-winning hālau. Born and raised in Honolulu,
Hawaiʻi, Kauʻi has been immersed in hula from a young age where he developed a love and
fascination with the art of hula.
In 1983, at the age of 5, Kauʻi was selected to represent the hālau as a soloist at the Queen
Liliʻuokalani Keiki Hula Competition and earned the coveted title of being the first inaugural
Master Keiki Hula. This accomplishment propelled him to excel in this art. Training from
Kumu Hula Paleka Leinaʻala Mattos included the flexibility to choreograph dances for multiple
competitions and assume the lead role in the coaching and development of the Kāne, Wāhine and
Keiki haumāna. Kauʻi would become instrumental in creating the style and grace portrayed in
every performance of Hula Halau ‘O Kamuela that you see today.
Paying tribute to his predecessors which include Samuel Naeʻole, Paleka Leinaʻala Mattos and
Kunewa Mook, Kauʻi has since expanded his reach to carry on the traditions, values and hula
style in Japan with the opening of Hula Halau ‘O Kamuela Iāpana.
It is because of his determination that Kauʻi has become one of the most esteemed Kumu Hula
both locally, and abroad.