Hula Legacy
​Kahu Haina "Hienie" Kalehualahaʻole Blaisdell

Kumu Sylvia Puananihaʻaheo Edgar's hula legacy comes down from a Hawaiian man named Kahu Haina "Hienie" Kalehualahaʻole Blaisdell, (B. Molokaʻi, Hawaiʻi 6/13/10, D. Oxnard, California 8/17/84).  He is fondly known and remembered as "Tūtū".  Puanani studied hula under him for 4 years (1975 - 1979).

Tūtū taught hula the old way - no papers, just watch, remember, listen and learn.  He also taught Kahiko Hula, ʻAuana Hula, Oli, Hoʻopaʻa, Hawaiian Language and history, sewing, lei making and Hawaiian arts and crafts.  In the beginning Puanani had to go to Tūtū's home in Oxnard, CA for hula, 5 days a week, after school for 2 hours, and many times on the weekends.  Also, Puanani had singing lessons and drama classes with Tūtū.  Eventually, the hālau was moved to Mawaekamaka Copeland's home, my Kumu Hula Sister, in Port Hueneme, CA.  The hālau is still open today; over 40 years.

On September 18, 1976, Mawae and Puanani received the prestigious title of Kumu Hula from Tūtū.  Puanani told Tūtū that she was too young, only 15 years old, to receive this title.  He insisted and said that there was a reason for it.  In April 1977, Mawae and Puanani had participated in their first and last hula competition as hula sisters, the 14th Annual Merrie Monarch Hula Competition Festival, as nā haumāna.  They were the first hālau outside of the Hawaiian Islands to enter this hula competition.  It was a most memorable experience for them.  After the hula competition they toured 5 of the Hawaiian islands with Tūtū.  In their travels, they were very fortunate to meet Loea ʻIolani Luahine; she was a Great Hula Master.

  1. Tūtū Haina "Hienie" Kalehualahaʻole Blaisdell

Hula Legacy
Lehua Kawaikapuokalani Hewett
Kahuna, Healer, Spiritual & Cultural Leader, Chanter, Kumu Hula, Composer...

Kumu Sylvia Puananihaʻaheo Edgar started studying hula under Kumu Hula Lehua Kawaikapuokalani Hewett (June 2006 to April 2008) in his ʻŪniki Program in ʻŌlaʻa, Hawaiʻi.  Puanani had ʻūniki as an ʻolapa in February 2007 and ʻūniki as hoʻopaʻa, along with receiving the title of Kumu Hula, under Lehua Kawaikapuokalani in April 2008.
Bio for Lehua Kawaikapuokalani Hewett
I was raised in Kane'ohe by my parents Alexander Kapilialoha Hewett and Alice Pualeilani Kana'e Hewett in the home of my maternal grandparents, Frank Ka'aiali'i Kana'e and Eva Wahineali'i Rowan Kana'e.

My grandmother was my first inspiration in the learning the hula. She loved to sing and she loved to dance. I was her punahele and I went everywhere with her tugging at her mu'umu'u. Her signature song at all family events as well as when she performed in public was, "Mauna Loa."

'Ōlelo Hawai'i was spoken regularly in our grandparents home especially by my grandmother's sisters and brother. When I began to compose poetry, it was my grandmother who first scrutinized my mele to make sure all was done correctly.

My grandmother encouraged me to pursue formal training of the hula and in 1972 I became a student of Kahuna Emma deFries. Aunty Emma was a practitioner of the healing traditions of la'au kahea, la'au lapa'au, ho'oponopono and lomilomi. Aunty Emma also went through the ceremony of 'ūniki with the renowned hula master Keaka Kanahele. I trained with her for nine years in the healing traditions and the hula until my own 'ūniki with her in November of 1980.   

Read more about Lehua Kawaikapuokalani Hewett.

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  1. Edgar ʻOhana with Kumu

Hula Legacy
Nā Kumu Hula O Puananihaʻaheo

On a beautiful sunny winter day, Kumu Sylvia Puananihaʻaheo Edgar had ʻūniki four of her haumāna on December 11, 2004 in Malibu, CA.  These four ladies were chosen for their dedication, kindness, humbleness and aloha for hula.  They are Kumu Puanani's daughter, Puanani "Nani" Makanalanioha Grace Edgar, Queena Kananipuamaeʻoleoha Morris Coursen, Luana Napuaokamokihanaoha Rivera Palacio & Rona Pualaninaʻaualiʻioha Koe.  These ladies have the kuleana to carry on the hula legacy.

  1. Kumu Sylvia Puananihaʻaheo Edgar with Nā Haumāna