Halau Ho'omau I ka Wai Ola O Hawai'i
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Art design by Robert Lewis
Halau Ho'omau I ka Wai Ola O Hawai'i, meaning “through hula and halau, we remain young at heart and full of life,” is a traditional Hawaiian cultural school organized by Suz and Manu Ikaika. The Halau, established in January 2000, was based at Hope United Church in Alexandria, Virginia. It is the successor to Halau Hula Mahina O Wakinekona DC that was organized in 1985 at the same location ~ thus Hope Church has been a center of Hawaiian activities and interests for over 25 years. Prior to its opening, Auntie Genoa Keawe gave her blessing to the Halau. A year later, Auntie Nona Beamer presented the Halau the ipu heke ole that belonged to her mother Helen Desha Beamer to carry on the teachings.
Classes are open to men, women, and children from the age of 4 years. Students of diverse backgrounds who reside in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC attend classes. In class, all music and chants are performed live by Halau musicians ~ no CDs or recordings are used. Oli (hula chants); hula olapa and hula kui (ancient hula); hula auana (free-flowing modern hula in the traditional style); Hawaiian arts and crafts, history, language, and music (ukulele and ancient hula implements) classes are offered to perpetuate all aspects of Hawaiian culture and to educate the local community about Hawaii and its people. Our primary goal is to keep Hawaiian heritage alive by celebrating the traditions of our native Hawaii.
The Halau was recently featured in a coffee table book entitled “The Spirit of Hula" and a children's book entitled “The Story of Hula," both published by Bess Press in Hawaii. The Halau was also featured in a Hawaiian television presentation entitled “The Hawaiian Connection" and a filmed performance at the Smithsonian Institution with Dr. Amy Kuuleialoha Stillman that is documented in the University of Hawaii Library under the title “Mele Aloha 'Aina: Hawaiian Songs and Hulas of Resistance." The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) recently recognized Halau Ho'omau as a certified Hawaiian cultural school.
The Halau performs at various cultural events and has participated in hula competitions ~ student participation in events is voluntary. In addition, Manu leads a professional dance group that performs for special occasions.
With instruction and performances known for authenticity, precision, and a special sensitivity and mana (spiritual feelings), Halau Ho'omau will captivate the hearts and minds of all! Let us perpetuate Hawaiian values and pass them on to our future leaders