OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Kumu hula proclaim kapu to protect the community from COVID-19

HONOLULU (August 21, 2020) – More than two dozen Kumu Hula joined together today to institute a month-long kapu to protect the Native Hawaiian community and the broader public from the staggering rise in COVID-19 cases in Hawaiʻi. The Kumu Hula held a press conference today via Zoom to announce the kapu, a traditional Native Hawaiian restriction.

Today’s announcement originated in early August as Hawaiʻi saw a sharp increase in the number of positive cases of COVID-19. A call went out for Kumu Hula to gather and discuss a culturally relevant way to respond to the pandemic. The Kumu Hula who answered the call represent the collective strengths of the Lāhui and are esteemed leaders in the community. The hālau hula these Kumu Hula lead represent every aspect of our society and have large networks that influence our community’s behavior.

At the August 16 virtual meeting, the more than two dozen Kumu Hula from across Hawaiʻi agreed to the following:

Lāhui Kānaka

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 Lāhui Kānaka to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Lāhui Kānaka is a kapu that began on August 16th with the rising of the Mauli moon and will continue for three anahulu (10 day periods) until the next Mauli moon on September 14th. It represents a gathering of intentions focused on Mauli Ola, health and well-being to stop 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, ʻai pono (eating healthy), and pule at noon every day.

Participating Kumu Hula:

1. Mehanaokalā Hind

2. Hinaleimoana Wong

3. Hōkūlani Holt-Padilla, Hālau Pāʻū o Hiʻiaka

4. Snowbird Bento, Ka Pā Hula o Ka Lei Lehua

5. Lono Padilla and Keano Kaupu, Hālau Hiʻiakainamakalehua

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is providing support to this effort. For more information, please visit www.oha.org/lahuikanaka.

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