The Beautiful and Respected Paleka Mattos, Kumu Hula of “Hula Halau O Kamuela.”


Merrie Monarch 2008 Hula Halau O Kamuela Women Kahiko

Video by Merrie Monarch Festivals

Kau’ionalani Kamana’o Kumu of Hula Halau ‘O Kamuela was a protege of the late Kumu Hula Paleka Liena’ala Mattos.

Every year his halau takes top honors in the Merrie Monarch Festivals and Miss Aloha Hula Competition. He also enters his keiki at the Lili’uokalani  Keiki Hula Competition (Video Below). A very competitive hula group since it’s beginnings from Kumu Hula Paleka Mattos. She had inherited the Halau from her uncle, Sam  Kamuela Nae’ole. Later on became the award-winning Kumu of Hula Halau O Kamuela.

Kuleana of a Kumu

Since the death of Paleka Mattos in 2002, Kau’i continues to follow in her footstep with her brother Kunewa Mook. He started dancing with Mattos at the age of three. During those years Paleka saw the love for hula in this little boy as she always felt. So training Kamana’o to take over the halau was an easy decision.

Today the halau has grown with students looking to learn what this halau has to offer. All haumana and their families are staunch supporters of their kumu and halau. As a result, they become the backbone of competition winners.

Taking Hula To The Heart and Soul

Paleka Mattos lived, ate and slept hula from her childhood growing up in Waimanalo, Oahu. Therefore she accepted no less from her students. Her well-known trademark at that time was the yellow plumerias flowers. Till today you can still find the students adorned with her trademark. Another trademark was their beautiful long hair. All dancers hair was kept at same length and fullness.

Today, Kumu Kau’i has never strayed far from his Kumu and her Kumu style and traditions. This is how hula lineage works.  Most of all those traditions will continue into the future until the next Kumu is chosen.

Video by; Iolana K

2017 Queen Lili’uokalani Keiki Hula Hula ‘Auana – Kaikamahine Division – 1st Place Winner/OVERALL WINNERS
Hula Hālau ʻO Kamuela Nā Kumu Hula: Kau’ionalani Kamana’o & Kunewa Mook Kalihi & Waimanalo, O’ahu

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The Making of a Miss Aloha Hula