Kupuna Life: Lauhala weaving, a passion taught with aloha

Kupuna Life

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Lorna Pacheco had always found lauhala weaving fascinating. But it wasn’t until 20 years ago in her 50’s, that her husband surprised her with a nudge toward it.

“My husband gave me a birthday present, a class with Aunty Gladys Grace,” said lauhala weaving teacher Lorna Pacheco.

Gladys Grace is the late renowned master of lauhala weaving.

“I went in cold turkey not knowing anything about weaving. There were many days that I went home crying in my car wanting to pull my hair out, asking myself ‘Lorna what did you get yourself into,” said Pacheco. “But it turned out, she ended up being almost like a surrogate mother. She does that to people.”

Because it wasn’t just learning how.

“One of the first things that she said was, ‘I’m not going to just teach you how to weave Hala leaves. I’m going to teach you how to weave relationships. I’m going to teach you how to weave the past and the present, bring them together. So that and bring meaning to your life.”

Aunty Gladys gave Lorna permission to teach basic weaving. And as she learned, she taught.

“They go over values first before we get hands-on with everything, I always knew that you could never make anything if you’re in a bad mood and she really talked about that,” said student Teah Zamora.

“We were not brought up Hawaiian so that we could speak it or so that we could learn all of those things to become Hawaiian. That’s why I think aunty Gladys was important for me. That’s what she taught me not only about Hala but about what it meant to be Hawaiian and its culture and its traditions,” said Pacheco.

Lorna teaches four classes at Kipuka, where you’ll find other courses such as lei hulu making, hula for health and more. To get more information, click here.

“I believe that aloha can save the world, we can. If that’s the only thing my students get from me, I’m happy,” she said.

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