West indian culture

Edith Kanaka’ole, hula teacher and ‘preeminent practitioner of modern Hawaiian culture and language,’ to appear in US

Edith Kanaka’ole, the late Native Hawaiian hula dancer, will appear in the United States next year, as part of a United States Mint program that honors notable women.

Kanaka’ole was a composer, singer, dancer, teacher, and artist, whose “moʻolelo, or stories, served to rescue aspects of Hawaiian history, customs, and traditions that were disappearing due to bigotry. culture of the time”. said in a statement Wednesday.

The beloved hula teacher, who died in October 1979 at the age of 65, is recognized by the people and state of Hawaii “as the preeminent practitioner of modern Hawaiian culture and language,” according to the Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation.

The foundation, established in Hilo in 1990, maintains and perpetuates the teachings, beliefs, practices, philosophies and traditions of Kanakaʻole and her late husband. Its mission is “to elevate Hawaiian intelligence through a cultural education grounded in the traditional teachings and practices of Edith and Luka Kanaka’ole.”

An obituary published in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin on October 6, 1979 celebrated the life and legacy of “Aunty Edith”, calling her “one of the Big Island’s dearest educators”. [whose] a lifetime of learning, absorbing, understanding and knowing, and his ability to relate it all to his students made him an invaluable asset.

She was a “refined performer of ancient Hawaiian songs and the hula”, and a church and community leader “who immersed herself in her pursuits with smiles, laughter and total commitment”.

According to the US Mint, four other women will also be honored next year: Bessie Coleman, the first Native American female pilot and the first African American to earn an international pilot’s license; Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady, author and first chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights; Jovita Idár, journalist, activist, teacher and Mexican-American suffragist; and Maria Tallchief, America’s first prima ballerina who broke barriers as a Native American ballerina.

“The range of accomplishments and experiences of these extraordinary women speaks to the contributions that women have always made to the history of our country,” Mint Deputy Director Ventris Gibson said in a statement.

“I am proud that the Mint continues to connect America through coins by honoring these pioneering women and their groundbreaking contributions to our society,” Gibson added.

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