Coline Aiu is kumu hula of Halau Hula O Maiki, started by her mother, Maiki Aiu Lake. Here she holds the story of the halau, ‘Hula is Life,’ by Rita Ariyoshi | Nathalie Walker photosWhat of the haumana (“students”) who inherit the traditions and teachings of the kumu (“teacher”)?
In the case of the late Maiki Aiu Lake, her memory lives in an annual event known as Kahikolu (Hawaiian for “three-in-one”). This year, Halau Hula O Maiki, the hula academy founded by Lake, will stage the 30th edition of Kahikolu on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Saint Francis School, 2707 Pamoa Road in Manoa. Founder’s Day honoring Aunti Maiki, as she is known affectionately to her students, might be lesser known, but certainly her reputation and treasured cultural lessons are not. Lake personified her Hawaiian heritage. Through hula, she left an enduring imprint on the arts of Hawaii.
Mention prominent and respected exponents of hula today, and it’s likely Lake trained them or influenced their development as teachers. Her graduates include Robert Cazimero, Mapuana de Silva, John Kahai Topolinski, Milton I and Leinaala Kalama Heine, among others.