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people holding hands in a circle

More than 50 people from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa community gathered to hold a ceremony for Maui. The gathering on August 14 fronting Hawaiʻi Hall was in response to a call from a group of kumu hula on Maui to support the health, life and restoration of those impacted by the fires. Community member Nawahine Lanzilotti partnered with the Native Hawaiian Place of Learning Advancement Office to organize the gathering.

person playing a bamboo instrument
Ty Kāwika Tengan, ethnic studies and anthropology professor at UH Mānoa, plays the pūʻohe.

“We wanted to hold space to answer up the kāhea (the call) from the kumu on Maui to have our thoughts there and our intentions come together,” said Lanzilotti, who is the founder/CEO of Pulse Oceania and former East-West Center diversity, equity and inclusion coordinator. “It was really amazing to come here and see such a huge group of people come out to share this space. It was really emotional and moving.”

“I think it just reminds us of how many people want to send love and want to have a direction to be intentional about that,” said UH Mānoa Native Hawaiian Affairs Program Officer Punihei Lipe. “That’s one of the special things about Hawaiʻi.”

More on how to help Maui ʻohana and the Maui wildfires.

Lipe added, “That’s one of the great things about, for example, becoming a Native Hawaiian Place of Learning. You don’t have to be Hawaiian to feel like ‘yes, please help me direct my love to Maui.’ This practice of sending intention is something that we can invite everyone into.”

Among the oli (chants) included:

  • E Hō Mai
  • ʻAumākua
  • E Kānehoalani Ē
  • E Kāne Ē
  • Lonokūlani

Lanzilotti added, “As we were putting out our kāhea for today, we were receiving messages from cousins on the continent in New York saying we’ll be meeting up at 6 p.m. Eastern time to meet with you all throughout the week. You can feel everyone is with Maui.”

people holding hands and standing in a circle

This ceremony will continue every day at noon during this anahulu (period of 10 days), which began on August 13 and will run until August 22, as requested by kumu hula of Maui: Hōkūlani Holt, Kealiʻi Reichel, Kahulu Maluo-Pearson and Cody Pueo Pata.

Visit the Native Hawaiian Place of Learning Advancement Office’s website for a QR code with links to recordings and the words of the mele. Participants are welcome to bring their instruments and pūʻohe (Hawaiian bamboo trumpet).

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