OUR HISTORY

 

Kaleinani O Ke Kukui was established in 1999 by the late, Deva Leinani Yamashiro and is currently under the direction of Kaloku Holt and Alyssa Reyes. Together they lead the halau hula (hula school), keeping Aunty Deva’s commitment to preserve and share the Native Hawaiian & Polynesian Arts through education in music, dance, language, and literature. Kaleinani O Ke Kukui has its own cultural center in Vancouver, Washington where we offer Hula, ‘Ukulele, Polynesian Dance, and Hawaiian Language classes year-round. Through our programs, our students are able to immerse themselves in the Hawaiian culture.

Kaleinani O Ke Kukui means The Beautiful Lei of the Kukui. The halau was given its name by Kumu Hula (Master Hula Teacher) Victoria Holt-Takamine as she also gave the blessing to open up the halau and to share cultural practices that have been passed down for generations.. By teaching hula and other native arts, Kaleinani O Ke Kukui hopes to bring cultural awareness, appreciation and most of all the aloha spirit to the Pacific Northwest.

 

OUR DIRECTOR

Kaloku Holt

is the Kumu of Kaleinani O Ke Kukui. After the passing of our beloved founder, Aunty Deva Yamashiro, Kaloku has taken on the kuleana to continue her legacy in the Pacific Northwest – teaching the culture to people of all backgrounds, from keiki to kupuna.

He continues his extensive hula studies under his Kumu Hula Victoria Holt-Takamine, who has given him the blessing to teach his own students and also gave Kaleinani O Ke Kukui its halau name. Kaloku began his journey as a Professional Musician and Polynesian Dancer at the young age of fifteen. He has performed on countless stages nationally and internationally across Europe and Asia. With over 20 years of experience in Polynesian Performing Arts and over a decade of hula-focused training, Kaloku is able to pass his knowledge on to his haumana to mold them into ambassadors of the Hawaiian Culture.