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June 22, 2019 - Mo’olelo; The Exploration and Perpetuation of Genealogy Through the Art of Storytell

Saturday, June 22, 2019

2:00 - 5:30 pm

African American Arts & Culture Center

762 Fulton Street San Francisco, CA 94102


`Ulumau” a collective founded by Susie Kagami of Hawaii Music Live and Kumu Kau`i Peralto, a Hawaiian cultural practitioner and language professor at Stanford University, will present a genealogical exploration of storytelling through the arts. In the ancient Pacific Islander tradition of oral history, “mo`olelo” (stories) were passed down through generations by elders and practitioners about everything from daily activities to sacred ceremony in many different ways; the most common being mele (songs, chants, poetry) and hula (dance).

The `Ulumau Collective will present a panel discussion and experiential demonstrations of native Hawaiian and Polynesian cultural art disciplines of ancestral knowledge that has been passed down through many generations in mele and hula (songs and dances), tatau (tattoo), and food preparation (kalo/taro, poi).

The ‘Ulumau Collective presentations will leave our multi-generational audience informed, intrigued, and inspired to explore the significance of how knowing your past can help guide and influence your future, thus, showcasing the importance of perpetuating traditional storytelling in its many forms.

-Honoring our shared histories as Asians and Pacific Islanders in America and how they inform our present and our futures.

Presented by cultural experts in their ancestral art forms, the kumu/practitioners will discuss their genealogical journey and how they have woven the traditional cultural practices into a thriving contemporary society.

Opening Ceremony: `O ke au i ka huli, wela ka honua...”

The Kumulipo chant breaks the silence and draws the attention of the audience as the poi bowl takes its rightful place on center stage. The rules of the poi bowl are shared and opens the space for the panel discussion to begin.

Panel Discussion: `O wai kou inoa...Who do you come from? No hea mai `oe...Where do you come from? These are the first two questions asked to everyone in the Pacific Islander community as we seek to establish a genealogical or geographical connection. This is how we will navigate the introduction of our esteemed panelists, nā Kumu Kekuhi Kealiikanakaole, Pa`a Alana, and Kau`i Peralto. Here, they will discuss their genealogical journey and how they have woven traditional cultural practices into their personal lives and a thriving contemporary society.

Tatau: `O wai iā `oe…who are you? What’s in a name?

For those who are intrigued by the traditional art of Polynesian tatau, they will have the opportunity to witness an actual tatau in progress. One of a few traditional practitioners, Pa`a Alana of Hōlanikū Hale will share his passion for research and genealogy and the process REQUIRED to create an “uhi” or design for each individual.

Ka Ho`oilina: A Legacy of Mele, Hula, and `Ohana

Our Kumu, Kekuhi Kealiikanakaole, is the epitome of one who was born to or chosen to perpetuate the genealogy of her `ohana (family) and mo`okū`āuhau (genealogy). By choice or no choice, our Kumu Kekuhi will share her journey of acceptance, the challenges to perpetuate the traditional cultural practices passed down through generations, and the opportunities to create her own legacy. These mo`olelo will be shared through mele (song, poetry), oli (chant), and hula (dance).”

Closing Ceremony: E Pū Pa`akai Kākou: A Shared Meal

As the day comes to a close, it is a Pacific Islander tradition to end with a shared meal. The purpose of this is acknowledge that as minds and spirits were fed, it is equally important to feed the body. Moreso, it is a sign that we have established a communal relationship and it is important that we all leave with a full stomach and a “good taste in our mouth.” To conclude our day, we will once again gather around the poi bowl, say a prayer, cover the poi bowl, and clap two times to close our event.

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