May 27, 2023

La MaMa Kids: Hula Ki'i Puppet Workshop with Uncle Calvin Hoe

Uncle Calvin Hoe

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The Hula Kiʻi class will use small coconuts to make finger puppets. Families will learn a Hula and Mele (song) together and perform the Hula with the finger puppets. The class focuses on preserving the endangered Hawaiian art of Hula Kiʻi, sharing the value of aloha from Hawaiian islands, and the gathering for intergenerational storytelling.

Uncle Calvin Hoe

Master instrument-maker “Uncle” Calvin Hoe is one of Hawaiʻi’s premier native artisans, making authentic pre-contact Hawaiian instruments since 1961, and providing musicians, scholars, and hula practitioners with his highly valued creations. He is the co-founder of Hakipuʻu Learning Center, a Hawaiian-based public charter school. Long committed to teaching Hawaiʻi’s children, Calvin has worked at Kamehameha Schools, Queen Liliʻuokalani Children’s Center and Bishop Museum. He has also been featured in Smithsonian magazines and publications.

Uncle Calvinʻs Hawaiian ancestry comes from his mother, whose family owned land for generations in Hakipuʻu on Oʻahu’s windward side. A long-time community activist, Calvin and his wife Charlene worked successfully to preserve the water rights and keep development out of neighboring Waiāhole and Waikāne Valleys, because valuable water, like the streams of Hakipuʻu, was being diverted for use in Central and Leeward Oahu agricultural fields.

As an important cultural resource, Calvin has been invited to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. on two occasions to demonstrate his art, and he is one of the few allowed into the archival recesses of museums with ancient Hawaiian instruments to touch and examine the artifacts.

A student of renown Hula Master, Nona Beamer, “Uncle Cal” has been involved in the renaissance of Hawaiian music, hula, and the arts for the past five decades. Since 2009, he has been in a partnership with Maile Beamer-Loo at Hula Preservation Society to present workshops on select rare forms of Hula, such as the Hula ʻOhe, or Nose Flute Hula and Hula Kiʻi, or puppetry.

Uncle Cal has traveled the world sharing his knowledge and we are privileged to have him with us at the Spring Community Week, teaching the making and playing of the ʻohe hano ihu, Hula kiʻi, telling stories, and teaching about Hawaiian culture.

La MaMa Kids


La MaMa Kids Online presents kids performances and hands-on workshops online, timed especially for “after school” viewing! La MaMa will continue to use emerging technologies to create a new venue for artistic expression that questions how art can function and how we as a society can survive challenging periods of history.

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