Hilo’s Kauihealani Mahikoa Brandt, Jack Brandt, and Teitu Kameenui, 1960.

Hilo’s Huladynamic Kaui Brandt

A pencil sketch from the notebook of associate instructor Teitu Kameenui shows Kaui Brandt doing one of her Polynesian dances

“Hula entrepreneur instructor, troupe leader, featured dancer and vocalist, sometimes disc jockey, plus full-time wife and mother of two healthy children”—gives a fairly accurate thumbnail description of Hilo’s Kauihealani Mahikoa Brandt, better known as “Kaui.”

In partnership with her husband Jack, this vivacious hapa-Hawaiian has upended the Big Island’s hula business, punched and pulled much of it into a shape of her own design and presented malihini and kamaaina with a variety of Polynesian entertainment sparkling with color, excitement, speed and imagination

At 27, with some 14 years as student, amateur and professional performer, producer and instructor, Kaui stands near the top of her profession.

She hastens to point out that she has not reached her ultimate goal, but nevertheless, Kaui commands a position not usually enjoyed by so young a Kumu Hula (hula director). Continue reading

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Beginnings of Hilo Tahitian Club, 1959.

[Found under: “Big Island Briefs”]

THE BIG ISLAND’S (perhaps Hawaii’s) first “Tahitian Club” is now being formed by local Tahitian stars Kauihealani Brandt and Teitu Kameenui. Continue reading

This performance must have been something to see! 1875.

Great Hawaiian Royal Concert

To be given by the Famous Choir of Kawaiahao, under the Direction of Her Highness the Chiefess Lilia K. Dominis, assisted by His Highness the Chief W. P. Leleiohoku, in Kawaiahao Church on this coming Saturday, June 12. Continue reading

John L. Nailiili on the importance of mele, 1848.

A written call.

Listen to this, O People of old from alii ancestors living now here in the Hawaiian Islands.

I am the one whose name is below, I humbly ask of you makaainana who compose mele to give forth old mele of the alii as well as new mele composed for them on paper, and write the story of the mele’s composition. Continue reading

Missionary advice about mele, 1860.

Pertaining to Mele

Perhaps all of the mele of the olden days are almost gone; those who know them are but a few. This is regretful because through those mele we can know how people lived a long, long ago, and the stories of the land as well. The means by which the mele will survive forever and not disappear is by printing them in books and maybe in newspapers; that way the future generations can read and contemplate and know of the misconceptions of their kupuna and not follow in their misguided footsteps. Continue reading

The latest from Hilo, 1898.

THE NEWS FROM NORTH HILO.

Mr. Editor of the Greatest Prize of the Hawaiian People:

Aloha oe:—Please include this bit of news from here in North Hilo.

On the first of this month, Pakele, Iaukea, Laika, Kalei, and Lahapa went to go pick opihi on the shore of Waipunalei, and upon their return, they climbed up the pali. Lahapa was the first to climb up and the rest followed. When they reached the midpoint up the pali, a rocked dislodged and hit Lapaha square on the chest and he rolled down the pali, and because of the love of God, he was caught on a pandanus tree that was burned earlier in a fire. It was 40 feet high from where he tumbled from to where he was caught. Therefore, O my sisters and brothers and younger siblings, don’t go pick opihi again and return upland of the pali, lest you end up dying. Continue reading