Find Your Folklife – Sheldeen Kaleimomi Haleamau
I am a Kumu Hula…
…of Halau Hula ‘O Kaleimomi in Las Vegas. Kumu means teacher in Hawaiian. In the olden days, the Kumu would be someone who has gone through the process called Uniki, one who knows all their mele, how to chant, has received the blessings of their teachers and permission to teach others. It’s part of my family lineage. Our culture is still alive and thriving, not only in Hawaii, but here on the mainland, in Las Vegas, wherever we are, we keep it alive.
In our halau we learn, work hard, and enjoy the fellowship. You don’t have to have Hawaiian ancestry. Anyone who loves it can come in. You just need a desire to learn the way that your Kumu teaches.
Kāwili, our family band, is a big part of our lives, too. It means “to entwine”—our voices, and us as a family unit, and by sharing hula and music with so many people, Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian. I love it, all of it, and always look forward to doing more.
—Sheldeen Kaleimomi Haleamau, Halau Hula O’Kaleimomi, Las Vegas