OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Kumu Hula Mehanaokalā Hind provides an introduction to the Lāhui Kānaka campaign being instituted by more than two dozen Kumu Hula across the pae ʻāina. This video is a first in a series of Public Service Announcements, being supported by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, that will be deployed via social media to expeditiously promote practices that support Mauli Ola (wellbeing) to help flatten the COVID-19 curve.

Lāhui Kānaka

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In response to a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases affecting the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community, a hui of Kumu Hula from across the pae ʻāina agreed to a 30-day kapu to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The kapu began on August 16th with the rising of the Mauli Ola moon and will continue for three anahulu (10 day periods) until the next Mauli Ola moon on September 14th.  It represents a gathering of intentions focused on stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi.

The focus during this time is on mauli ola (wellbeing) and the kumu and their haumāna are committed to modifying their personal behaviors such as staying home, limiting gatherings, wearing masks when they must interact, and ʻai pono (eating healthy).

“COVID-19 affects everyone differently,” said Kumu Hula Mehanaokalā Hind, who helped to organize the kapu.  Hind, who is also OHA’s Director of Community Engagement, adds, “one of the scariest things about the disease is that you can have it without showing any symptoms.”

To make it through this pandemic healthy and whole, organizers believe that we must show our aloha for one-another in different ways because our customary greeting of a honi and hug can easily infect those we love the most with COVID-19.  This is especially dangerous to our kūpuna who, overall, have been more severely impacted by the disease.

“We need to learn to show our aloha differently, like a verbal greeting, a ʻshaka’ or a smile,” Hind urged.  “And we need to stop gathering in large groups! Limit gatherings to no more than 10 people because if just one person is sick, large ʻohana celebrations can become hotspots for transmitting COVID-19.  You don’t want your party or celebration to become the origin of sickness for your loved ones.”

Organizers understand that the period of kapu will require discipline and focus, but are encouraging their haumāna and others who choose to join them to use the time to focus on mauli ola for themselves and their ʻohana.  The hope is that, at the end of three anahulu, we will see a decrease in the daily COVID-19 infection count, and an increase in pono and akamai behaviors within our lāhui and the larger community.

To help share their message with the community, organizers initiated an ongoing social media campaign.  The campaign features a series of Public Service Announcements (PSA) with various Kumu Hula sharing their manaʻo about the kapu and COVID-19. Supported by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, this cultural intervention is being coordinated in response to the dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases in Hawaiʻi in the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community.

Hoʻokahua Workshop Series presented by Huamakahikina 

Kūkulu Pālama: Building Your Pālama
September 11, 2020

Nā kumu hula Kaʻiulani Odom and Cody Pueo Pata share basic concepts and innovations of modern-day pālama in the face of ka maʻi Ikiiki ʻOwaikū (COVID-19).

Mālama I Ka Pālama: Caring For Your Pālama September 12, 2020

Let’s review basic concepts of Lāhui Kānaka and reflect on various ways to support each other in our efforts to mālama i ka pālama.

Hoʻoikaika Kou Pālama: Strengthen Your Pālama September 13, 2020

Learn how to strengthen your pālama through intention and pule. Join nā kumu hula Hōkūlani Holt, Kapuaokalani Kaʻauʻa, Pele Kaio and CEO of the Mauliola Endowment, Kalei Nuʻuhiwa, who bring intention and pule to their every day well-being.

The public is invited to learn more about the Lāhui Kānaka effort and the focus on behaviors that promote well being. Registration is required and may be completed at www.oha.org/webinar. The webinars will be live streamed on the OHA Facebook page and via Zoom at www.oha.org/webinar.

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Pule Hoʻōla

Two Pule Hoʻōla were researched and offered by Kalei Nuʻuhiwa for our purpose of the Lāhui Kānaka.

View the Pule Hoʻōla for Lāhui Kānaka here.

Watch the Aug. 21, 2020 Press Conference: Part 1 & Part 2


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