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Haumāna Breathe New Life Into Traditional Moʻolelo

E Ola! Haumāna

Aug. 4, 2022

Mary Kawena Pukui’s famed classic He Mau Kaʻao Hawaiʻi: Folktales of Hawaiʻi has long been out of print, and now Kamehameha Schools Maui haumāna are bringing her works back to life in audio form.

The haumāna-led project, Moʻolelo Mondays, offers us all a chance to hear traditional moʻolelo as bedtime stories every Monday in August. Moʻolelo Monday is just one part of a larger project that haumāna are showcasing in preparation for their World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education (WIPCE) presentation coming up in September in Adelaide, Australia.

“There are almost fifty stories in Pukui’s book that most people may never get an opportunity to read,” says Jai Viela, a junior at KSM. “We really wanted to come up with a way to expose ʻohana to moʻolelo in a modern way.”

Each Moʻolelo Monday will feature three or four stories that run anywhere from five to 10 minutes. These would be live readings on the audio room app Clubhouse followed up with some casual kūkākūkā by the hui members.

But the storytelling won’t stop there. Haumāna sought permission from Bishop Museum Press to offer all of Pukui’s book in audio form through a podcast. Forty-four tales are being recorded by students and will soon be available on Spotify.

That’s not all. ʻOhana can get weekly text messages with a fun, entertaining audio moʻolelo. To sign up for text messages, just text “@moolelo” to 81010.

While the project is fun and engaging, there’s a serious component to it, as well. Haumāna are collecting and analyzing participation data and presenting their findings at WIPCE, the premier conference for indigenous educators and students.

“It’s really important that Kamehameha Schools Maui has a presence at WIPCE, because what we’re doing here with Hawaiian Culture-Based Education is so relevant to the work other indigenous educators are doing around the world,” said Kumu Kēhau Lucas.

Lucas is helping to lead the haumāna as they develop their moʻolelo project and prepare to present in Australia. The haumāna involved include Haley Agustin, KSM’23; Alyssa Fernandez, KSM’24; Kayla Frias, KSM’23; Bennett Takahama, KSM’24; and Jai Viela, KSM’24

“I’ve been so impressed with this group of students,” she said. “They believe in this project and how it can expose a modern audience to the stories of our kūpuna.”

Join Moʻolelo Mondays

Every Monday in August hear a few traditional moʻolelo by following these steps:

  1.  Download the mobile app: Clubhouse
  2.  Create a free account
  3.  Use these links to join the Moʻolelo Mondays room: – week 2 – week 3 – week 4

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Kaipuolono Article, E Ola!, Maui Newsroom, Maui High School, Maui campus

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