Honolulu (KHON2) – Halau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leina’ala represents Hawai’i through hula and mele for over two decades.
In addition to its lush green landscape and majestic valleys, Kaua’i is also home to some of the world’s most respected Halau. Recognized for their beautiful hula, Halau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leina’ala shares the stories of Hawai’i and its people for 25 years.
“I met my Kumu at UH Hilo, and that’s when he took me under his wing. From there, I went back to my home island of Kaua’i and started asking our kupuna in our community if they wanted to dance hula at one of the centers here. Next year we make 25 years of being a Halau and I couldn’t be prouder,” says Leina’ala Jardin, Kumu of Halau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leina’ala.
What started off as spreading her love for the Hawaiian culture through hula and mele throughout her community, Jardin decided to take her passion of storytelling through dance onto some of the most prestigious stages around the state and the world.
Jardin says, “We started off at the Mokihana festival here on Kaua’i, Merrie Monarch, Queen Liliuokalani Keiki Competition and then traveled to multiple countries. However, the most rewarding accomplishments is getting to learn about other cultures and sharing our Hawaiian culture through Mele and dance with foreign countries.”
From volunteering her time to the Kupuna of Kaua’i, and becoming one of the most recognizable Halau with over 200 students, Jardin and Halau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leina’ala celebrates 25 years of virtues and values which are now passed down from generation to generation.
“After all these years, there’s not just one reward that standouts to me, there’s many and they all live in the Keiki that I got a chance to teach. When they grow up and have families of their own, I see the values that we taught them in Halau and they carry it with them throughout their life, instilling those same values in their keiki,” says Jardin.
Respecting the COVID-19 and state restrictions, Halau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leina’ala looks forward to the day they can be back together to share the mo’olelo of Hawai’i through hula and mele.
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