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Reichel, Hewahewa to discuss collaboration in reforesting a native ecosystem

By Staff | Aug 2, 2018

Keali‘i Reichel (left) and Koa Hewahewa will speak about their collaboration in reforesting a native ecosystem as part of a new permanent home for Halau Ke‘alaokamaile.

KAHULUI – The Rotary Club of Kahului will welcome Keali’i Reichel, kumu hula of Halau Ke’alaokamaile, and Koa Hewahewa, forestry manager of Hokunui Maui LLC, to its weekly meeting on Monday, Aug. 6, from noon to 1 p.m. at Tante’s Island Cuisine at 100 W. Kaahumanu Avenue in Kahului.

Reichel and Hewahewa will speak about their collaboration in reforesting a native ecosystem as part of a new permanent home for Halau Ke’alaokamaile on four acres of donated land in Olinda.

Reichel has been at the forefront in the revival and perpetuation of Hawaiian culture. He is a world-class performer, best-selling recording artist, multiple award-winning kumu hula, prolific composer, renowned chanter, choreographer, dancer, crafter, scholar and teacher.

In 2011, he was inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame for achievement in all facets of Hawaiian music, chant and hula. He received Grammy nominations for his 2004 CD “Ke’alaokamaile” and his 2015 release “Kawaiokalena,” as well as 32 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards over a musical career spanning 25 years.

He retains his initial goal of presenting new compositions in the Hawaiian language for hula students and works to dispel long-held stereotypes of Hawaii’s living culture and indigenous people.

Despite critical acclaim and fame, Reichel is a kumu hula at his core. His commitment to the perpetuation of his ancestor’s teachings and values continues today in the lives of his students.

As the forestry manager, Hewahewa is responsible for the planning and management of native forest restoration. He works with his father, Ka’awa, brother Kepa and wife Kahaku to execute an ambitious plan to forest 20 acres of land at Hokunui.

Koa is passionate about watershed protection, education of youth and water rights for Native Hawaiians. As the chair of both the Shoreline and Water Committees of Aha Moku O Maui Inc., Wailuku Branch, he works with youth and other community members to develop plans for using generational knowledge to manage community resources.

Koa has worked with many organizations, including Maui Ocean Center, Earth Justice and Hui o Na Wai ‘Eha, on numerous restoration projects, including opening up and restoring lo’i, restoring/monitoring/managing stream flow, injection well research, planning and out-planting for erosion control using native plants, and limu restoration.

For more information, contact club President Gary Albitz at (808) 281-9672 or albitzkrotary@gmail.com, or visit www.kahuluirotary.com.