Meet The Team Behind Hulu Kūpuna
Tanya Mailelani Naehu
Tanya Mailelani Naehu is an educator, performer, artist, community organizer, and activist of Aloha ‘Āina from the island of Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i. Stemming from a very diverse multi-racial genealogy, she is Boricua being of African, Taino, and Spanish descent as well as Kanaka Maoli, Portuguese, and Chinese. Maile was born and raised in Hawai‘i and educated at Kamehameha schools for Hawaiian children. An alumna of UH-Mānoa Kamakakūokalani, Center for Hawaiian studies, she obtained her BA in traditional Hawaiian Society(Pre-Cook). As co-founder of Ka Hale Hoaka, an online school of Hawaiian Knowledge, her teachings are grounded in indigenous philosophies and practices such as mo‘olelo, ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i, hula, and oli. She is also the director of the Moloka‘inuiahina project, a multi-generational community art project that is founded on traditional storytelling. By teaching via various art mediums through the vessel of mo‘olelo she emphasizes the great importance of building communication skills, self-confidence, and a new generation of storytellers. Her teachings are rooted in the belief that the ancient wisdom of our ancestors is the answer to our modern-day problems. As a cultural practitioner she has represented Hawai‘i as a delegate in the World Wilderness Congress- Spain, a presenter for WIPCE(World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education), a Panelist on, “Feminism in Hawai‘i,” at the Hawai‘i Peoples Congress, and serves as a Hawaiian cultural consult and policy builder for ocean conservation with Taiatea-Aotearoa a partnership with The World Wilderness Federation and Auckland Museum. Kumu Maile, as most refer to her as, is Vice-Chair and Program Director for Hui o Kuapā 501c3 and the Hawaiian cultural arts consultant for Kualapu‘u Public Charter School. Together, Maile and her husband Hano have three children that they raised together: Kahale-Pomona College ‘21, Kapili‘ula-Princeton ‘24, and ‘Ilikea, who like her older siblings attends the only Hawaiian Language Immersion Elementary School on their island home, Moloka‘i. Maile and Hano, share the hip hop stage as, “The Paniolo Prince and His Queen Maile.”
For the last 20 years, Hanohano Naehu has been a kia‘i loko, a fishpond guardian on the island of Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i. He is the caretaker of this environment in which he restores an aspect of Hawaiian aquaculture: a traditional, sustainable, ocean fishpond that itself presents other opportunities for creativity through the healing arts, sciences, and feeling spirituality. Hano, as he is referred to, is also a community educator, teaching ancient concepts in land stewardship and resource management. His ocean conservation work has allowed him to represent and be a voice for Hawai‘i and indigenous Pacific islanders alike. Hanohano is also the director for Hui O Kuapā 501c3. As an avid activist and artist for aloha ‘āina, he translates his passions through hip hop and lyrical messages under his MC name The Paniolo Prince.
Lead Film Producer and Photographer
From Kūmimi, Moloka‘i, Kahale Naehu-Ramos is a musician, music producer, and videographer of Filipino, Boricua, Portuguese, Chinese, and Kanaka Maoli descent. Kahale graduated from Pomona College located in Southern California where he studied Music. As a former keiki kaiapuni, Hawaiian Immersion student who was given too many incredible opportunities to count, Kahale is indebted to the community that has raised him. Through music, education, and aloha ‘āina, he seeks to create resources and opportunities for keiki, Ka Lāhui Hawai‘i, and beyond.
Media and Publisher
Sonja is a graduate from the University of San Francisco with a BA in Design. She was raised on Moloka‘i, and understands the importance of community and respect for the land. She values the indigenous knowledge of preserving the land and how we depend on ecological systems to sustain us. Her approach to design is informed by this knowledge, and she believes that we need to design for perpetuity. She uses what she has learned to increase awareness of the cultural and social impact that art can have in this world.
Kapili‘ula Naehu-Ramos is a Maui born and Moloka‘i raised artist of Filipina, Boricua, Portuguese, Chinese, and Kanaka Maoli descent. She was a student from the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program at Kualapu‘u Elementary School, and is a Moloka‘i High School graduate. She is currently attending Princeton University in New Jersey as a student in the Art and Archaeology Concentration in the Practice of Art track where she plans on getting a certificate in Creative Writing. She aspires to continue to empower people and raise consciousness through art, servicing all cultures and backgrounds.