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Kūkahekahe: Kūpuna wisdom shines in Nā Momi Hoʻoheno interviews

March 15, 2023

In honor of Women’s History Month, Nā Momi Hoʻoheno (The Cherished Pearls) oral history video series will release three new episodes, all featuring prominent Hawaiian women who have made meaningful and long-lasting contributions in their respective fields.

Produced by Kamehameha Schools’ Hoʻokahua Cultural Vibrancy division, Nā Momi Ho‘oheno was created to capture the treasured life stories of our Hawaiian people so that future generations might be enriched by these priceless mo‘olelo of our cherished and unique way of life.

Each episode of this series provides a glimpse into the life of a hulu kupuna, a beloved elder. The full-length videos can be found here Kānaka Insights - Ka‘iwakīloumoku - Hawaiian Cultural Center (

Of the new episodes, the first focuses on Dr. Ione Jean ʻAlohilani Rathburn Ryan. “Aunty Ione” attended the Kamehameha School for Girls and graduated in 1944. She reminisces about growing up in Lāʻie and life as a KSG student. Look for her interview to be accessible online in mid-March.

The second interview features Mae Kamāmalu Klein, a well-known kumu hula from the hula lineage of Maiki AiuLake. “Aunty Mae” opened her hālau in 1984 and would actively teach for the next three decades, her legacy touching hundreds of haumāna, many of whom have opened their own hālau.

Aunty Mae worked for the Schools for some twenty years.

The final episode is a conversation with Naomi Noelaniokoʻolau Losch. A 1963 graduate of Kamehameha School for Girls, “Kumu Noe” worked at the Bishop Museum and taught Hawaiian language and culture for 40 years in the University of Hawaiʻi system. Kumu Noe speaks to “kuaʻāina” life in Kahuku, her many years of teaching, and Hawaiian identity.

Keep an eye open for the release of these new interviews, starting in March and continuing into April. Previous Nā Momi Hoʻoheno videos can be viewed on the Kaʻiwakīloumoku website under Kānaka Insights.

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