Kumu Analū Akao
Born and raised in Waianae, on ʻOahu, Kumu Hula Analū Akao has traveled a hula journey guided by many. He began formal hula studies in the 1970s with Kumu Hula Hoʻoulu Richards Cambra at the University of Hawaiʻi. Soon thereafter he was asked to work directly with Aunti Maiki Aiu Lake, and in the years before her death danced with her Hālau Hula ‘O Maiki in Waikiki. What he learned would shape the course of his life.
In 2002 after a long hiatus to raise his family, he studied with Kumu Hula George Holokai—Uncle George to many—who helped him see the possibilities of teaching others and how much he had yet to learn. In an honor that returned him to the Maiki hula genealogy, he was accepted for formal study with Aunty Mae Kamāmalu Klein. Aunty Mae, a kumu hula from Aunty Maiki’s papa lehua graduating class, is a loving, creative, but also rigorous teacher who instills in her students the importance of academic work. He completed his training with her in a formal ʻūniki ceremony in August 2006 and was granted the rank of kumu hula, as one of the papa ʻieʻie graduating class.
With her encouragement, he founded Hālau Hula ʻO Kupukalauʻieʻie the following year, starting with a tiny studio space, a handful of students, and dreams of sharing the legacy with others.
Ku i ka māna. . . like the one from whom he received what he learned. Said of a child who behaves like those who reared him.
~ Ōlelo Noʻeau