Kumu and Instructor Biographies
VICTORIA HOLT TAKAMINE, KUMU HULA
Intermediate Adult ‘Auana, Advanced Adult Kahiko and ‘Auana, Advanced Keiki Kahiko
Aunty Vicky is the founder and kumu hula of Pua Ali‘i ‘Ilima, founded in 1977. She is a lecturer at the University of Hawai‘i and Leeward Community College. She has served as a judge at Merrie Monarch for many years including 2015.
Aunty Vicky co-founded and serves as president of ‘Ilio‘ulaokalani, a coalition of traditional practitioners committed to protecting their Hawaiian customs and traditions. She is also co-founder and president of KAHEA: The Hawaiian Environmental Alliance, a coalition of Hawaiian and Environmental organizations committed to protecting the natural and cultural environment of Hawai‘i. Vicky is co-founder and Executive Director of PA‘I foundation on O‘ahu which sponsors the annual Hapa Haole Hula Festival on O‘ahu and Las Vegas and founder and show producer of MAMO: Maoli Arts Month's annual Wearable Arts Show.
ROBERT CAZIMERO, KUMU HULA
Advanced Adult Kahiko and ‘Auana
In the 1970's, Robert Cazimero was instrumental in the resurgence of Hawaiian music and culture. That resurgence began a career that almost thirty years later is stronger than ever. Musician, composer, kumu hula...his work in all of these areas is well-known throughout the world. Robert is a Grammy-nominated, Hōkū award winning musician and composer with sibling Roland as the Brothers Cazimero. He is the kumu hula of Nā Kamalei, a hālau he founded over 30 years ago. Hālau Nā Kamalei won the overall trophy at the 2015 Merrie Monarch Festival. You can learn more about Robert and his teaching style from the film NA KAMALEI: The Men of Hula which tells the story of Hawaiian pride and examines male roles in Hawaiian culture, both past and present.
LEIALOHA LIM AMINA, KUMU HULA
Advanced Adult Kahiko and ‘Auana, Advanced Keiki ‘Auana, Oli
Leialoha Amina is the kumu hula of Nā Lei O Kaholokū along with her sister Nani Lim Yap. Their parents were instrumental in nurturing their children with Hawaiian music and hula that would eventually lead their family to form the renowned Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winning traditional Hawaiian musical group, The Lim Family of Kohala.
Since starting the hālau in Wai‘anae, O‘ahu in 1979 it has since moved to the Big Island of Hawai‘i where she has been a participating judge of the Merrie Monarch Hula Competition as well as competitor. In 2004, Nā Lei O Kaholokū was awarded the top honor of Overall Merrie Monarch winner. Leialoha is an avid researcher of Hawaiian history and culture. Through one of her mentors Pilahi Paki, she was given and teaches and lives the philosophy of Aloha shared with her. It is the philosophy of Nā Lei O Kaholokū.
CHARLES MANU‘AIKOHANA "Manu" BOYD, KUMU HULA
Advanced Adult Kahiko and ‘Auana, Haku Mele
Manu Boyd is a ‘ūniki graduate of Robert Cazimero’s Hālau Nā Kamalei and is the kumu hula of Hālau o ke ‘A‘ali‘i Kū Makani whose wahine won fifth place in kahiko and ‘auana at the 2005 Merrie Monarch Festival. Manu served as the public information director for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and was a commissioner for the State Foundation on Culture and Arts. Currently he is the Cultural Director for the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki. Manu is the leader, composer, vocal arranger and ‘ukulele player of Ho‘okena, a Grammy and multi-Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winner. He is a prolific poet and songwriter.
DEVA LEINANI YAMASHIRO
Hula Pu‘uwai, Intermediate Adult ‘Auana
Hula instructor, Deva Leinani Aiko Yamashiro is originally from Honolulu, Hawai‘i. She and her two sons Kaloku and Keawe left O‘ahu in 1995 and moved to Nashville, Tennessee where she began sharing her love of hula and Hawai‘i. In 1998, they moved to Vancouver, Washington and started the hālau. Her kumu is Aunty Vicky Holt Takamine who gave the hālau it's name, Kaleinani o ke Kukui. They have performed in professional settings such as HAPA and TV's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition as well as festivals and community events. She is the Executive Director of Ke Kukui Foundation and the driving impetus behind Ke Kukui's programs and events.
JEFFREY KĀNEKAIWILANI TAKAMINE
Intermediate Adult Kahiko, Intermediate Adult/Keiki Kahiko, Advanced Adult Kahiko, Advanced Keiki ‘Auana
Jeffrey Kānekaiwilani Takamine graduated in 2007 as kumu hula (master teacher of Hawaiian dance) through the ‘ūniki rituals of hula from Kumu Vicky Holt Takamine. The youngest of her three sons, Jeff has been chanting since the age of three, began dancing professionally at 16, and since he was 17, has assisted his mother with teaching. Recognized early as a fine chanter, he was invited to study oli with master chanter and kumu hula Kalani Akana through the State Foundation of Hawaiian Culture and Arts’ Folk Arts Apprenticeship program. He has studied in various settings with other Kumu Hula such as Pat Namaka Bacon, Robert Cazimero, John Kaimikaua and John Keola Lake. Kumu Jeffrey has a reputation for creativity and is acknowledged by members of the hula community to be a hula authority of the next generation. He has been conducting his own classes under Pua Ali‘i ‘Ilima and looks forward to starting a professional dance company in the future.
SUSAN ANN BUNDA, QUILT ARTIST
Sue Bunda has been studying the art of Hawaiian quilting since 1993. She and her husband lived on the island of O‘ahu for 32 years and have three sons. When the boys started to leave for college, she decided to sign up for Hawaiian quilting classes. She found a class at Kuni’s Dry Goods in Mōʻiliʻili with instructor Daisey of Design by Kaiki. The Bundas moved to Vancouver in 2003 to follow their boys and be near their grandchildren. Upon finding that local quilt shops in Vancouver did not offer classes in Hawaiian quilting, she starting sharing her knowledge with friends and other quilters. Aunty Sue has completed over 40 quilts and is still eager to learn new designs and create new patterns and color combinations. She loves meeting other quilters and sharing the art and history of Hawaiian quilting.
Lomilomi for Hula Dancers, Lomilomi for Massage Therapists, Ho‘oponopono
Uamana Arquette has been a lomilomi practioner for over 22 years. He studied under Kumu Karen Leialoha Ka‘anehe Carroll who studied under Papa Kalua Kaiahua of Maui. Uamana was born and raised in Hawaii on the island of O‘ahu and comes from a long line of Hawaiian healers on his father’s side of the family, and is also an ordained Kahu of Kapuaokalani. He has been studying martial arts since he was 11, but started learning about the healing aspects of the art at 16 years of age. At age 40, he was introduced to Hawaiian Lua, which was a spiritual combination of martial and healing practices. In his workshops, Uamana combines martial arts techniques with lomilomi to teach students how to use their breathing and direct their energy towards relieving pain and stress as well as greater peace and relaxation. Students will leave the class with basic lomilomi techniques as well learning the importance of using “the Hā.” In addition, he will share breathing techniques that can be useful when generating internal energy.
RAE PACHECO, FRESH LEI ARTISAN
Lei Wili and Lei Haku
Aunty Rae Pacheco resides on Moku o Keawe in the rainy town of Hilo, Hawai‘i. The slopes of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, and the banks of the Wailuku River are her favorite gathering places for flora to create beautiful lei for special performances or gifts. A former member and alaka‘i of Hālau Kaleinani o Ke Kukui, she is a lover of nature and all things Hawaiian. Aunty Rae was taught the art of lei making when she was just a teenager, helping a friend prepare her adornments for a Merrie Monarch performance. This art form turned into a passion, and since then, she has taught many students, keiki to kupuna, about the process of gathering, preparing and creating beautiful lei for all occasions. She is blessed to share her knowledge of lei making toward perpetuating the art of Hawaiian culture, one lei at time.
DR. BOB CROMWELL, NATIONAL PARK RANGER
Kanaka Village Tour
Dr. Robert J. (Bob) Cromwell has been an archaeologist with the National Park Service since 2000. Bob grew up in Oregon and has always been fascinated by history, and while on various elementary school field trips to places like Champoeg and Fort Vancouver, he became enamored with the stories of the 19th century settlement of the Willamette Valley by French Canadian trappers of the Hudson’s Bay Company. This led to studies in History and Historical Archaeology at Oregon State University, and he attained an M.A. in Applied Anthropology with an emphasis in Historical Archaeology. After working as a contract archaeologist for various firms throughout the nation, and a two year stint working for Delaware State Parks, Bob attended Syracuse University where he successfully obtained his Ph.D. in 2006