E Pili Kākou I Ho`okahi Lāhui is a Hawaiian hula conference and retreat that has been held for over 20 years. Our program has a global reach and has been held on the Island of Kaua'i, Japan, Tahiti & Marqueses. In addition, we have held our retreats in Canada and California to include Sacramento and San Diego.
The English translation of E Pili Kākou I Ho`okahi Lāhui is "Come together as one body of people"
To promote, to share, to perpetuate Hawai’i’s rich culture and heritage by sustaining and further educating all ages who are practitioners of the hula art form. And to bring all hula closer together as a “body of people.”
To organize a highly professional teaching staff that consists of elite Kumu Hula devoted to ensuring the art of hula will be passed on from generation to generation with accuracy and integrity. These kumu hula, kupuna, or professors, shall posses proven track records in hula training, education, experience, language, history, and reputation, to preserve and promote Hawai’i’s cultural dance through proven methods to enrich and enhance the eager students learning experience. To broaden their training, thinking, and understanding of the hula in its entirety both on the individual and halau levels. This will be achieved through the creation and implementation of nine to twelve various renown kumu hula, kupuna, island wide to achieve the highest in quality and to bring together the local and neighboring island nā kumu hula and haumana to participate in a non-competitive environment as a “body of people.”
What is a Hula Retreat?
A multi-two day seminar in which non-hula dancers, hula students, leaders, experts, and teachers to come together in a common bond to celebrate the hula! They will learn, experience, exchange dances and ideas, share, meet new friends, increase their knowledge in hula, improve their history, language, usage of native plants in hula, improve their self-esteem and confidence. Several levels and specialized classes and subject matters are implemented and conducted to ensure all interests and all ages will want to participate.
E Pili Kākou I Ho’okahi Lāhui is a three-day event that brings together some of Hawaii’s most accomplished hula instructors (kumu hula) and cultural specialists to teach workshops in all styles of hula and chanting as well as to share the stories and spirituality behind the dance. The event also showcases many of the arts and crafts unique to the islands. The setting is non-competitive and open, which helps to accomplish one of the main goals of this event, which is to foster a feeling of "lōkahi" or unity amongst a diversity of hula practitioners worldwide. From its humble beginnings in 1998 with 100 participants mainly from Kaua`i only, the event has grown to host well over 400 attendees, hailing from all over Hawaii and the mainland as well as Japan, Canada, and Europe. EPK is currently embarking on its 20th annual event with over thirty successful hula retreats across 4 countries!
“Let’s join together as one body of people”. Inspired by a biblical passage (1 Cor 12:12- 27), this retreat hosts practitioners and teachers of hula as well as general hula and Hawaiian culture enthusiasts from around the world for three days of workshops and evening functions designed to truly celebrate the one spirit of hula that unites all who love this unique dance form and culture. For sixteen years now, E Pili Kākou I Ho`okahi Lāhui has been dedicated to this mission. Each year, kumu hula and kupuna from throughout Hawai`i are invited to pass on their teachings to eager participants. These dedicated individuals are steadfast in ensuring that the art of hula will be perpetuated with great love and respect for the culture and its people. Each is highly reputable in hula training, education, experiences, language and history and is inspired to share the spiritual essence of hula. They have been invited to participate in this retreat as a means of preserving and promoting Hawai`i’s cultural dance in a non-competitive and nurturing environment. This devotion to excellence from nā kumu hula, na kupuna and various other Hawaiian cultural specialists, shall provide each student with an opportunity to broaden their training, thinking and understanding of hula in its entirety on both an individual and hālau level. Specialized classes in topics related to hula and the culture will be available for the non-dancer, providing an opportunity to participate, regardless of physical abilities or experience with hula.
Each year the event honors a special individual who exemplifies the high standards and values we as practitioners continue to strive to emulate and achieve. In the past, we have been blessed to honor Hawai’i’s treasures who have since passed on, including Lovey Apana, Malia Craver, Genoa Keawe, Rubelite Kawena Johnson, Kapeka Chandler, Mary Louise Kekuewa, Ku’uleialoha Punua, Joan Lindsey, Mary Ann Lim, George Holokai and Darrell ‘Ihi’ihilauākea Lupenui. Living treasures we’ve been blessed to honor and continue to cherish as supporters of E Pili Kākou are Pohai Souza, Coline Aiu, Kealoha Kalama, Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, Mae Kamamalu Klein, Ed Collier, Leimomi Ho and Ainsley Hlemanu.
From keiki to kupuna, “E Pili Kākou Ho`okahi Lāhui” Hula Retreat is sure to give all of its participants a wonderful, positive experience upon which to reflect and grow. We hope you will come and partake of this “offering of hula” and allow its spirit to connect and “pili” each one of us. What better way to celebrate life and peace...Let’s truly “come together as one body of people”!