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 photos What 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”). 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.