Best Dressed Award at the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards Goes to… Kainani Kahaunaele

The 34th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards was last week and folks from throughout the Hawaii Islands came out in their best outfits.  While Sig Zane Designs was popular among many folks in attendance there was this one dress that kept catching my attention and that was the dress that was worn by Kainani Kahaunaele.

Kainani Kahaunaele

Kainani smiles for the press outside the Hawaii Convention Center Main Ballroom

The previous day Kainani was one of the speakers on a panel at the Hawaii Convention Center that was conducted completely in Hawaiian called “Ma La Olelo Hawaii” (Thinking in and writing from a Hawaiian perspective)

Haku Mele

Haku Mele Breakout panel conducted in Hawaiian. From Left - Kamaka Fernandez, Kainani Kahaunaele, Anuenue Punua and Larry Kimura

Kainani won two Na Hoku Hanohano Awards that evening one for the “Haku Mele” Award and the other for Hawaiian Language Performance of the year.

Kainani Kahaunaele

Winning two Na Hoku Hanohano Awards

I was totally fascinated by her dress and had seen nothing like it before so when she was on the awards platform the media got to ask her questions and the only thing I could think of at the time was where did she get that dress.  So I asked… “Kainani, can you tell us about that dress?”

Kainani Kahaunaele

Kainani answering questions from the press

Kainani replied that it was a Hawaiian Kapa Cloth design by her cousin artist/practitioner/farmer/kumu hula/fashion designer Micah Kamohoali’i.

Micah Kamohoali’i

Micah Kamohoali’i and a kapa print similar to Kainani's Dress

After the awards I wanted to know more information about the dress so I asked her on facebook for more information about the dress and found out the name given to the ONE OF A KIND dress was “Kaiʻihilena“.

Dezigns by Kamohoaliʻi share foundational values of Hawaiian culture to its audience through art and design. Created by Micah Kamohoaliʻi, this line of clothing strives to educate in the ways of Hawaiian designs, metaphoric imagery, cultural significance with strong symbolisms and interpretations.

Dezigns by Kamohoaliʻi encompass all of Hawaiʻiʻs natural environments and honor the excellence and brilliance of the Hawaiian race. Micahʻs passion for art and design led him to produce a line of Kīkepa, and his passion for Kapa led him into fashion. While merging these two elements the birthing of this company was formed. We honor the breath of life from our Kupuna and perpetuate our culture through the designs we wear on our clothing. Releasing in the winter of 2011 get ready to lose yourself in the layered sheets of Kapa. Stay tuned!

“He liʻi i ka ʻohe kāpala a he nui i ke kiʻi”
A little bamboo stamp can make a big picture

I was happy to see Kainani winning a couple Na Hoku Hanohano awards this year, but what is even more cool is that she is a Big Island wahine that is really kind and giving to everyone that she meets.  It was great to catch her in the workshops and if you ever have a chance to see her perform… I highly suggest it.  I’m glad I got to catch her in a few workshops!

Haku Mele Panel

HARA Board Member Keola Donaghy announces the panel from left to right: Moon Kaukahi, Kainani Kahaunaele, Puakea Nogelmeier and Keali'i Reichel

You can learn more about Kainani and her music at her website: Kainani Kahaunaele

Kama’aina, Malihini Welcome to Halau ‘Ilima’s 31st Holomua Ka No’eau

Media Release:

The 31st annual Holomua Ka No‘eau concert, presented by Kumu Hula Mapuana de Silva and the dancers of Halau Mohala ‘Ilima, will be presented on Saturday, April 2nd, at 6 p.m., at the Hawai‘i Theatre Center in Downtown, Honolulu.  This year’s production is entitled “Young Hawai‘i Dances Old Hawai‘i.”

Halau Mohala 'Ilima

The concert is a one-and-only chance to preview the halau’s entire Merrie Monarch 2011 presentation, Miss Aloha Hula, Kahiko and Auana, all in one evening.  Dancers from every class will perform.  Special surprise guests are also highly anticipated. Uncle Babe Bell will blow the Pu (conch shell).

Kihei and Mapuana DeSilva

The music will be presented by Hui Waianuhea o ka ‘Awapuhi, with Na Hoku award-winning musician and kumu hula, Manu Boyd, and friends Glen Smith, Richie Heirakuji, and Kala‘i Ontai; and Dennis Kamakahi, Anuenue Punua and Mahina Paishon Duarte.  Kumu Hula Victoria Holt Takamine will present dancers from her Pua Ali‘I ‘Ilima halau.  This concert is the preview of Halau Mohala ‘Ilima’s 33rd consecutive  presentation in the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo.

Kama‘aina and malihini from all over the world will enjoy the wonderful feeling of being grounded and connected, to the cultural wealth and pure enjoyment of true Hawai‘i.

Tickets are $25 and $35 at the Hawai‘i Theatre Box Office.  Call (808) 528-0506, Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or order online 24 hours a day at

For more information on the halau, please visit