Vicky Holt Takamine

Pua Ali‘i ‘Ilima

Vicky Holt Takamine is the founder and kumu hula (master teacher) of Pua Ali‘i ‘Ilima, a school of traditional Hawaiian dance with classes on Oʻahu, Kauaʻi and New York City. She graduated through the ‘ūniki rituals of hula from Maiki Aiu Lake. Holt Takamine received her BA and MA from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and for more than 30 years she was a lecturer of hula at UH Mānoa Music Department and Leeward Community College. Holt Takamine is well respected throughout the Hawaiian community for her cultural expertise and advocacy work on behalf of Hawaiians, their cultural traditions, and the protection and preservation of the cultural and natural resources of Hawai‘i. In 1997, Holt Takamine coordinated a massive demonstration of Hawaiian cultural practitioners to oppose legislation that would severly restrict native Hawaiian cultural practices. Since then, she has coordinated demonstrations, rallies and marches calling for social, economic and environmental justice for native Hawaiians. She co-founded ‘Īlio‘ulaokalani, a coalition of traditional practitioners committed to protecting their Hawaiian customs and traditions.  

In 2001, along with members of her hālau hula Pua Aliʻi ʻIlima, she co-founded PAʻI. PAʻI is the acronym for Pua Ali‘i ‘Ilima, the hālau hula (school of Hawaiian dance) founded in 1977 by kumu hula (master teacher of Hawaiian dance), Vicky Holt Takamine. Established in 2001 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, PA‘I’s mission is to preserve and perpetuate Native Hawaiian cultural traditions for future generations. PA‘I is anchored by members of Takamine’s hālau hula, Pua Ali‘i ‘Ilima. While the perception of hula for many is that it is a form of entertainment for tourists or a hobby for individuals all around the world, hula has been instrumental in the preservation and perpetuation of Native Hawaiian language, art and cultural practices. Springing from Takamineʻs vision, PA‘I sees Native Hawaiian artistic practices as a form of resistance, and often uses art for organizing and empowerment. PA‘I is the Hawaiian word for “sudden impact or slap”, we hope we can make an impact for the betterment of our lāhui (Hawaiian people) and our community. 

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