Hawai'i conservation alliance

Pualani Kanaka’ole Kanahele

Of pure Hawaiian descent, Dr. Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele is a renowned kumu hula in the Ahiena matrilineal line of hula masters and a pioneer in the resurgence of Hawaiian practices and pedagogy. Ancestral responsibility and keen awareness of the natural environment ground her scholarly work on traditional knowledge systems and her roles as kumu hula of Hālau o Kekuhi, director of Hawaiian Traditional Knowledge Research at Hawai‘i Community College and president of the Edith Kanaka‘ole Foundation.

Her contributions to Hawai‘i and the world have been recognized with the National Heritage Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Governors Association Award for Distinguished Community Leader, the Order of Ke Ali‘i Pauahi, and an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Hawai‘i.

Pua’s current projects include the reestablishment of a Hawaiian system of knowledge organization, a Mokumanamana study of the winter sun, the 2009 Native Voices Conference, and Kūmokuhali‘i, a Hawaiian perspective of the forest. Pua recently completed the Cultural Plan for Kaho‘olawe.