Lellani Holmes is Indigenous Hawailian and a Hula teacher who apprenticed under a Hula Master from the Island of Hawaii. Hula is a dance form accompanied by chant (oli) or song (mele) and was developed in the Hawaiian Islands by the Polynesians who originally settled there. The teacher of hula is the kumu hula, where kumu means source of knowledge, or literally just teacher. She has been studying Hula since 1974. She received the San Diego County Human Relations Commission Award (1992) and the George Washington Honor Medal for Humanitarian Achievement (1993), and was on the Advisory Council for Asian-Pacific Islander Affairs for the California State Board of Education. At Grossmount College San Diego, she taught Sociology, Cross-Cultural Studies (Minority Group Relations) and Anthropology of Pacific Islanders. She received her Doctorate from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and has taught Sociology, Cross-Cultural Studies (Minority Group Relations) and Anthropology of Pacific Islanders at Grossmont College in San Diego from 1985 till 2010. She has a book (in publication with University of Hawai’i Press) entitled “Ancestry of Experience: A Journey into Hawaiian Ways of Knowing.” Her abiding life interest is in understanding the way that native people everywhere have relationships to their elders and to the land that they live on..
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