Kumu Hula (Hula Master) Wailuku, HI
2009 USA Fellow
This award was generously supported by the Ford Foundation. _
Hokulani Holt-Padilla is an esteemed kuma hula (hula master), who started her own hâlau (hula school/troupe) in 1976. Holt-Padilla learned traditional hula from her family and has dedicated her life to teaching, promoting, and supporting traditional Hawaiian culture as well as making it relevant to young Hawaiians. Her award-winning hula dance troupe has performed in competitions all over Hawaii, and she is an in-demand judge. Her evening-length hula drama about Maui’s supreme chief, Kahekili, which combined hula with modern technology and a bilingual script, toured through the U.S. and to two German festivals.