Kumu Hula Sylvia Puananiha`aheo Edgar
Kumu Hula Sylvia Puananiha`aheo Edgar, hula teacher and Director of Hula Halau O Puananiha`aheo. The hula school is a state and federal non-profit organization, 501 (c) (3) based out of Ventura, California.
The primary objectives and purpose of this halau is to maintain the foundation of the hula. Also, to preserve and enhance the Hawaiian culture and its people, to perpetuate the hula in unity, educate others of the Hawaiian culture through dance classes, music, arts and crafts through public performances of hula shows and festivals and to develop professionalism and responsibility of hula so that knowledge of the hula will flourish.
The halau has been in existence for more than 11 years. There are currently 60 haumana (students) who participate in the school, learning the hula, oli, hawaiian history, lei making and the art of hula implements.
Kumu Sylviaʼs hula legacy originally came down from a Hawaiian man named Kahu Hienie, Haina Kalehualaha`ole Blaisdell, (B. Moloka`i, Hawaii 6-13-10, D. Oxnard, California 8-17-84). He is fondly remembered as "Tutu". She studied hula under him for 4 years (1975-1979). Kumu Sylvia received the title of Kumu Hula under Tutu Blaisdell in September 1976 and she participated in her first hula competition, The Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, as a haumana in April 1977.
Kumu Sylvia also studied hula, June 2006 to April 2008, under Loea Kumu Hula Kawaikapuokalani K. Hewett in his `Uniki Program in `Ola`a, Hawai`i. She has `Uniki as an `Olapa in February 2007 and she has `Uniki as Ho`opa`a, along with receiving the title of Kumu Hula, under Loea
Kawaikapuokalani in April 2008. Presently, Kumu Sylvia continues to study hula under Loea Kawaikapuokalani. Kumu Sylvia is a member of Kulia I Ka Punawai, Southern California Kumu
Hula Association for more than 11 years. Also, Kumu Sylvia has recorded her 1st CD with Kulia I Ka Punawai, “Legacy Hula Volume 1, Kalakaua” (released September 2006) and her 2nd CD “Legacy Hula Volume 2, Kapi`olani” (released September 2007).
Kumu Sylvia not only teaches the hula to her haumana, she also plays the 8 string tenor Kamaka ukulele and sings the lead on vocals. Kumuʼs husband, Lowell, is her right-hand man and musician. Also, Kumuʼs daughter, Nani, is one of her wahine haumana. This is a very “`ohana style” halau.
Hula Halau O Puananiha`aheo past performances include:
1998 Hensonʼs Acoustic Festival in Camarillo
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, & 2004 Whale Festival in Malibu
1999, 2000, & 2001 City of Oxnardʼs Chalk Festival
1999 & 2000 Ojai Valley Nights
2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, & 2007 E Hula Mau Hula & Chant Competition
2001 `Ale`a Concert in Hermosa Beach
2001 Kuikahi at Knottʼs Berry Farm
2003 1st Ho`ike with Uncle George Kahumoku, Jr. & Daniel Ho in Camarillo
2003 thru 2009, Lu`au Show for the Ventura Senior Recreation Center
2004 “He Inoa No Kalakaua” Concert with Kumu Hula Association in Torrance
2006 “He Lei No Kapi`olani” Concert with Kumu Hula Association in Torrance
January 2006, Ho`ike with Daniel Ho, Herb Ohta, Jr., & Keoki Kahumoku in Ventura
October 2006, Concert with Daniel Ho, Herb Ohta, Jr., & Keoki Kahumoku in Ventura
March 3, 2007, The Mark Twain 2007 Awards with Daniel Ho at Universal Studios
March 31, 2007, FYE Performance with Daniel Ho, Torrance
May 12, 2007, South Bay Orchestra Performance with Daniel Ho, Torrance
May 19, 2007, Japan American Theater Performance with Daniel Ho, Los Angeles
June 8, 2007, “Aloha `Oe” Music Video with Tia Carrere and Daniel Ho, Los Angeles
August 18, 2007, Borderʼs Performance with Tia Carrere and Daniel Ho, Torrance
August 19, 2007, Borderʼs Performance with Tia Carrere and Daniel Ho, Santa Barbara
October 18, 2007, Dukeʼs in Malibu, Performance with Daniel Ho
October 27, 2007, Ruth B. Shannon Theater in Whittier, Performance with Daniel Ho & Herb Ohta, Jr.
January 6, 2008, Coaches Conference, Anaheim Hilton, Hula Performance
March 28, 2008, Dessert and Discourse, The History of Hula with Kumu Sylvia Puananiha`aheo Edgar
March 30, 2008, Borderʼs in Santa Barbara, Hula Performance by Halau
May 9, 2008, ARS NOVA w/ Special Guest Daniel Ho, El Camino College, Campus Theater
June 21, 2008, Sounds & Vocies of J-Town, Featuring Tia Carrere w/ Daniel Ho, Jennifer Paz & Mariko w/ The Music Co., Japan American Theater, L.A.
July 21, 2008, Makapo 2nd Annual Benefit Lu`au, Newport Aquatic Center
September 6, 2008, Hula & Hawaiian Music 2008 Celebration Concert by Hula Halau O Puananiha`aheo, Special Guests, Loea Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, Daniel Ho, Herb Ohta, Jr., Makena, Lorien Sanders & Da Band, and Halau Napuaokamokihana'ohaikapolioluana
January 29, 2009, Cal State Poly Pomona Recital Hall, Performance with Daniel Ho
February 6, 2009, Grammy Museum Events Featuring Hawai`iʼs Grammy Nominees
March 22, 2009, Orange County Buddhist Church Show w/ Daniel Ho, Herb Ohta, Jr., and Makena
April 4, 2009, Hawaiian Treasures Celebration Tour Featuring George
Kahumoku, Jr., Dennis Kamakahi, and Richard Ho`opi`i
April 23 & 24, 2009, ASCAP Expo Performance with Daniel Ho, Hollywood
April 24, 2009, Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month Performance with Tia Carrere, L.A. City Hall
July 10 2009, The Jon Lovitz Comedy Club, Universal City, Performance with Tia Carrere and Daniel Ho
July 25, 2009, Universal City Walk Performance w/ Tia Carrere & Daniel Ho
August 29, 2009, One Colorado Pasadena Performance w/ Daniel Ho
September 9, 2009, Canoe Blessing for Oxnard Canoe & Kayak Club
October 2, 2009, Thacher School Ojai Show with Halau
November 15, 2009, Canoe Blessing for Ventura Outrigger Canoe Club
Hula Halau O Puananiha`aheo has participated in many other charity shows and various Polynesian festivals, such as the 1999 & 2008 Pacific Islander Festival in Wilmington, CA and, the 1999, 2005, 2006, 2008, & 2009 Alondra Park Ho`olaule`a in Lawndale, CA.
Long house, as for canoes or hula instructions, meeting house.
My definition: It's a place where my haumana (students) gather to learn the hula. It's a classroom with a teacher. It's a place to learn, to grow and develop friendship. It's a place where we can congregate to learn the Hawaiian tradition that has existed for centuries. It's like being a part of a family. In fact, it's even being a part of a much larger global community.
Student, pupil, apprentice, recruit, disciple.
My definition: It's a person open to learning. It's a person seeking answers. It's a person who is willing to make a commitment to gain knowledge by putting aside their own wants, needs and personal beliefs for the good of a group. It's a person who is open to receive positive praises or positive critiques from the Kumu while at the same time biting their own lips and not criticizing others to their faces or behind their backs. It's someone who cares about themselves and others around them and willing to accept others for who they are, their differences, and their skill levels.
My definition: It's a person who is a leader. It's a person who has to set a good example. It's a person who has to prepare and be ready to teach their students. It's a person who carries a heavy load to teach, counsel, continue to learn, balance family life, not step on toes, keep spirits up, and show the way. It's also someone who continually puts the good of the group first and not the individual person. Also, it's someone who spends many hours during the week preparing for every hour taught in the classroom. In essence, it's someone who must see the big picture that is in front of them and what the future will look like.
What is expected of the Haumana?
I look for each student to attend hula classes once a week, unless class is canceled or a student needs to be absent from class. I look for the student to be courteous, respectful, and caring to all those around them. I look for the students to come to class ready to learn and dance. I look for the students to be prepared and to be able to remember their hulas. The only way to accomplish this is to practice daily for a minimum of one hour. (These hulas are not something to cram for a day before class or day before a performance). It must be a part of your daily life and can only truly be felt in your heart and performed from your heart. I look for the student to come into the halau with a happy, positive attitude. (Check your egos at the door). I am not looking for the perfect haumana. I'm looking for a haumanas who has the love, desire, and patience to learn the hula and the Hawaiian culture and also, somebody who wants to learn how to balance all aspect of their life including hula. This is a journey.