Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Iwalani E. R. Wahinekapu Walsh Tseu Kumu Hula of `Iwalani's School of Dance and creator of the `Iwalani Breast Cancer Foundation celebrated the 34th Anniversary Ho`ike of `Iwalani's School of Dance and Dedication of the newly formed Prayer and Healing Garden at Honouliuli, Ewa, along with Kumu Hula Aloha Keko'olani Simmons of Makakilo, Kapolei. Both Kumu Hula are welcoming all to acquire solace in the prayer and healing garden. They are teaching health and wellness through Hawaiian arts and cultural healing through music, song, and dance. Their belief that hula is healthy and hula is healing is a legacy that they pass on to their students daily.
Their long-standing sisterhood of 25 years is the basis for their emergence together and joining forces for this worthy cause. Kumu Hula `Iwalani is a cultural specialist teaching the fine art of hula and dedicating her time and hard work to educating the women of Hawai`i about breast cancer. She is a single mother and a two-time cancer survivor reaching out to others afflicted with this terrible disease that "knows no boundaries." Statistics provide evidence that breast cancer is highest amongst Hawaiian and Filipino women in Hawai`i. Her foundation is committed to increasing the quality of life for those in Hawai`i and for the rest of the world by raising breast cancer awareness. Representative Sharon Har of Kapolei recently awarded and acknowledged Kumu Hula `Iwalani Walsh Tseu at the Capitol of the State of Hawai`i for her outstanding achievements with her educational resources through community outreach to "Malama E Ke Kino," take care of the body and nurture the soul.
Kumu Hula Aloha is a cultural practitioner and instructor of Hawaiian-Pacific Island studies who shares her understanding via workshops, classes, blessing ceremonies, and guest speaking services. Her school of learning is entitled, "Ka Hale â€˜o Na Ali'i â€˜o Ke Kapu Ahi - The Keepers of the Sacred Fire." She instructs her classes with the constructive values, principles, and ethics which stem from Ka'u and Waipi'o Valley on the island of Hawaii. In 1998, she produced the first Hawaiian language and hula instructional hula video entitled, "Na Mea Hula Hawai'i," which was mentored under the care of Kumu John Keola Lake. Many loving na kupuna (Hawaiian ancestors) and na kumu (elders and teachers) from the entire Hawaiian Islands have shared their knowledge with her. She earned her B.A. In Hawaiian Art in 1997 and M.A. In Pacific Island Studies in 2004 at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Her graduate research, "Na'au Poi: Spiritual Food for Cultural Enlightenment," examined na'au, an ancient Hawaiian conceptualization of the unification of body, mind, and spirit that serves as one's gut instinct.
Na'au Poi shares effective tools and skills to promote life, health, and prosperity among Hawaiians and other peoples. Kumu Aloha has held academic positions at various public and private institutions in Hawai'i teaching grades kindergarten through twelve, including Kapolei High School, and the UH Community Colleges.
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