Pualani Kanaka’ole Kanahele

President 
Edith Kanaka’ole Foundation

Like her ancestors, Pualani Kanaka’ole Kanahele epitomizes cultural brilliance, beauty and power. A renowned scholar and author who is steeped in the hula tradition, she currently leads a team of researchers in reestablishing an ancient Hawaiian system of cultural intelligence. Her vast reservoir of knowledge ranges from ethno astronomy to volcanism.

Kanahele is of pure Hawaiian descent and is responsible to her ancestral lineage. She was raised in a hula tradition that spans many generations. She is also responsible to this matrilineal tradition. She knows the forest, mountains, volcanism and the ocean of her homeland from her Native Hawaiian perspective. These too are her responsibility.

She was educated in Western institutions and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree. At the age of 69 in the winter of 2006, she received a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She understands this formal Western education system and is responsible to its philosophy, concepts and the points of view noted in the process of direct learning.

She is the President of Edith Kanaka’ole Foundation, a small family foundation that focuses on promoting and elevating cultural knowledge and intelligence. She is a Kumu Hula for Hālau o Kekuhi, also a family Hawaiian traditional dance school. She is also Director of Hawaiian Traditional Knowledge Research with Hawai’i Community College.

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