Hawaiian Hula, Culture, and Crafts
In 1978 Mauliola Cook made her way to the shores of Hawaiʻi after years of traveling in Europe, Central America and the islands of the Caribbean. Mauli has made Hawaiʻi her home with gratitude and joy in her heart to be able to live in such a culturally rich, beautiful, inviting environment.
She immediately began her study of hula in Honolulu with the late Rose Joshua and her daughter Lorraine Daniels. Working in the world of Waikīkī tourism as a multi-lingual tour guide helped her see the entertainment side of hula and meet and experience the work of many of Hawaiʻi’s leading entertainers.
After a few years in Honolulu, Mauli moved to Hilo to teach Spanish and English as a second Language at UH Hilo and Hilo Community college. She was profoundly touched by her experiences studying with Halau o Kekuhi. In Hilo Mauli Ola began to study other dance forms focusing especially on modern dance and African dance.
Returning to Honolulu in 1982, Mauli enrolled in a Masters program in modern dance at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa. While studying dance and theater arts for her graduate degree she continued her studies of Hawaiian language, dance and chant at the University as well as in a halau setting.
Mauliʻs friendship with Aunty Nona began in those years as she worked with Aunty on her books, Mele Hula Volumes One and Two. All of Auntyʻs projects and performance opportunities were so delightful that Mauli began to spend more and more time in Auntyʻs company soaking up the aloha and knowlege that Aunty radiated to all in her presence.
Mauli moved to Kauaʻi shortly after receiving her MFA in Drama and Theater with honors and began a long and full career teaching and performing Hawaiian Studies, hula, chant, storytelling and crafts in school and workshops throughout the islands, on the continent, and abroad. On Kauaʻi she developed her own hula and storytelling performance that was featured at the Princeville Hotel for 13 years.
After receiving a SFCA grant to study hula kiʻi (puppet hula) with Aunty Nona, Mauli and Nona toured the islands performing and teaching the kiʻi to young and old alike. Mauli also took the kiʻi experience to the schools and taught hundreds of children how to tell stories and dance with the kiʻi.
In addition to enjoying a very rich career in Hawaiian Studies, Mauli has worked hard to become a leader in the field of arts integrated instruction. She is a national presenter for the Kennedy Center and a Master Teaching Artist here in the islands, leading teacher workshops and conducting residencies in creative dance, storytelling, and puppetry.
Mauliola belongs to Halau Pua Aliʻi ʻIlima under the direction of Kumu Hula Victoria Holt Takamine and has taught the Kauaʻi branch of Aunty Vickyʻs halau for almost 20 years. She is a well-known educator in the Hawaiian immersion schools on Kauaʻi and we are fortunate that she is able to come back again teach once again at Aloha Music Camp!