Kumu Kapena:
Haku: definition 
"Lord, master, overseer. 
A chief was often addressed as ē ku’u haku, my master."
"To compose, invent, put in order, arrange, to braid, as a lei, or plait, 
as feathers."
from Hawaiian Dictionary
by Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert
Kumu Lokelani:
Bless the land and our journey onward
We haku our lifetime here on earth,
when we separate from the heavens of energy and vibration, 
and dress in the body mass of energy and vibration for our journey here, 
and when we complete our journey, we return to the heavens of energy and vibration!

Bless the descendants
We haku mele, song, 
with the beginning as the head, 
the middle as the body, 
and the end as the footing!
We haku three phases in hula, as in the beginning 
of the class, the body (the lessons) in class,
and at the end of the class.
Bless these times
Haumana put on their hula clothes before hula class. Thereby 
creating the separation of the former world into the hula world. 
Bless the ancestors
 “Separation” from our personal lives, ‘ohana, work…

The pa’u that men wear have 4 stitches and the women 6 stitches. 
Tying each knot creates a further separation
Bless the land and our journey onward
During hula class one separates then 
journeys through the hula world.
  You put on your pa’u and join the class, and the journey begins 
  that your Kumu takes you on.
You dance, chant and learn the way of the hula world. 
Bless the descendants
At the end of class one must return. 

The knots become untied and the clothes are put away. The rituals are completed 
and the students return to their other lives.
Bless these times
You return back to your lives, your ‘ohana, work!
Bless the ancestors

Bless this four-strand braid, this haku lei
Ea la, ea la, ea! 

Kumu Lokelani:
Braided with cords of light that stretch in infinite directions
how much can we pull on those cords before they fray?  
Kumu Kapena:
We haku mele
Petals spilling down to land 
float to stillness

Or will the unraveling reveal even more layers? 

Colors refract and split as light becomes form
gathering, merging, reforming

Waves of color, waves of energy always 
in motion no matter how tightly the braid is pulled

The wave of petal light energy braided in infinite patterns
from piko palena wāwae 
Bless the land and our journey onward

Gather the strand from piko ma’i  
Bless the descendants

Weave in the piko waena 
Bless these times

To piko po’o  
Bless the ancestors

Na piko ‘ehā
Bless this four-strand braid, this haku lei

I wake 
This is not dreaming 
Kumu Kapena:
We haku our lifetime here on earth

so pure
come from underground
                                                Bless the land and our journey onward

Voices so pure
come from water
                                                Bless the descendants

Voices so pure
come from air 
an ether 
we can only feel
                                                Bless these times
Hold us together
as we weather through
through dark 
through light
through tests of fire
and the water receding
                                                Bless the ancestors
Plait us 
yet together
held by the tension of cords  

Haku us
Bind us
Connect us
taut yet floating
in the harmony
of the divine  
                                                Bless this haku lei

​Originally from Maui, KUMU HULA KAPENA MALULANI PEREZ has lived a life devoted to the music, dance, culture, lei-making arts, and language of Hawai’i. He is a long standing member and one of the Kahu (Hawaiian Minister) for Kulia i ka Punawai Kumu Hula Association of Southern California since 2006, Kumu Hula of Halau Hula o Malulani, President of Hui Aloha o Hula, a friend and contributor to Hui `O Hawai'i San Diego, Friends of Moku`ula in Lahaina, Maui, Hawai`i, The Lahaina Club, Kahea and `Ahahui Malama i ka Lokahi. 

KUMU HULA ANN LOKEOKALUAPELEONĀLANI PARKER is a teacher, artist, and designer while being dedicated to hula throughout her life. For the last 20 years she has taught hula for the group Hui Ke Aloha o Hula in San Diego and with Kumu Kapena guides Halau Hula ‘O Malulani.  

PIANTA is a poet, fiction writer, and editor whose work has appeared in journals such as Nimrod International Journal, Mudfish, Ekphrasis, Terrain.org, and Bamboo Ridge Press, among others. Originally from Hawai’i, she spends time in California and on the Big Island in Hawai’i. Her readings often incorporate live music, dance, and multimedia.

COPYRIGHT © 2000–2019
ISSN: 1533 2063
FALL 2019