NAOMI LEINAALA KALAMA As a woman of pure Hawaiian descent, Loea’s hula lineage began in Kane‘ohe, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i where she was raised as a little child by her hanai tutu kāne, Ione Nakila. When he passed away, her paternal grandmother, Kanoelehuaokahalemaumau Kaiona, formally introduced and exposed her to hula. After her passing twelve years later, Loeahula then continued her hula journey into adulthood with teachers, Alice Kalahui and Adeline Maunapau-Lee, both of Kapahulu.
Upon moving to California in the 1960’s, she started to teach hula on her own. From 1975 to 1978, she was fortunate to have been able to further her hula training, as well as Ori Tahiti and Maori under Kumuhula Master Uncle Joseph Kahaulelio. While she was under his tutelage, he lived with her and was very instrumental in furthering her studies of nā mea hula on a 24/7 basis. Most of her implement hula, pu‘ili and ‘uli‘uli, are from his traditional collection of kahiko and ‘auana.
Loeahula Kalama also credits Loeahula John Kaha‘i Topolinski who since 1977 has expanded her hula knowledge, and who also continues to mentor her in nā mea hula. It was he who took her through the ‘ailolo ceremony on August 20th and 21st, 2010, that elevated her and five other Hawai‘i Kumuhula to Loea status. She is especially humbled that Loeahula Charles Kauahi Ka‘upu was one of them.
Loeahula Kalama feels blessed, humbled and privileged to have taught hula in California for almost 50 years. She is proud of her hula lineage and proud to know that all who train under her will one day inherit her hula line.