In 1975, Master Kumu Hula John Keola Lake in cooperation with the Hawaiian Music Foundation began Halau Mele for the learning of all things Hawaiian. Classes in Hawaiian music, chant, and dance were conducted on the campus of Saint Louis High School in Kaimuki on the island of O'ahu by Kumu Lake and other great musicians and artisans which included Kahauanu Lake, Ray Kane, Alice Namakelua, Aunty Edith Kanaka'ole, and others. In 1992, Kumu John Lake and his cousin, master musician, Kahauanu Lake continued Halau Mele continuing classes in Hawaiian music, chant, and dance; as well as instructions in Hawaiian language and traditions in the area of Kaimuki then later on the campus of University of Hawai'i, Manoa. In 2004, another branch of Halau Mele opened up on the island of Maui, and in 2007, Halau Mele opened up here on the island of Hawai'i.
We at Halau Mele, Hawai'i island, also known as Halau Mele o Moku o Keawe, presently offer classes in hula and Hawaiian chant and protocols. We also presently support other Hawaiian arts, music, and cultural programs. In the future, we are looking into opening up classes in Hawaiian music, language, and arts; and to provide cultural workshops and programs as well. We will also provide Hawaiian cultural resources and media on this website as well.
At Halau Mele o Moku o Keawe we will continue to help others develop an
understanding and appreciation of Hawaiian customs, traditions, practices, and artistic expression.
Kumu John Keolamaka`ainananakalahuiokalanikamehameha'ekolu Lake,
Founder (1937 - 2008)
Kumu John Ku'uhoamele Cuban
Kumu John Keolamaka`ainananakalahuiokalanikamehameha`ekolu Lake, husband and father of 4, was born in Wailuku on the island of Maui and grew up there and in the area of Lahaina and Kaupo. Kumu Lake attended St. Anthony’s High School in Wailuku, then later attended University of San Francisco where he received a Master’s degree in Education. He furthered his studies in Spain at the University of Valencia where he received a Master’s degree in Linguistics / Spanish. He also continued to study at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa and Hilo.
Kumu Lake began his teaching career in 1962 at St. Louis High School in Kaimuki on the island of O’ahu where he taught Spanish. In 1964, Kumu Lake taught the first Hawaiian language and history class on campus, one of the first at any high school institution in Hawai’i. In 1965 he formed the Saint Louis Glee Club, Hawaiian music and hula (another of its first), which later became known as the Saint Louis Hui O Nā `Opio. His career at Saint Louis High School lasted for 30 years.
In 1993, Kumu Lake retired from St. Louis High School, but began teaching Hawaiian language at Chaminade University. He later became the campus’s kumu in residence teaching also culture, history, and chant. In 1991, he was in charge of putting together the rituals and ceremonies for the Ho’okuikahi Event at Pu’ukohola heiau in Kawaihae and as an appointed ‘Elemakua, established Na Papa Kanaka o Pu’ukohola. He was later appointed as Kahuna Nui (chief priest) of Pu’ukohola heiau.
Kumu Lake began studying hula at the age of 5 from his grand aunt Alice Ka’ehukai Ka’ae Shaw while growing up in Maui. He continued the study of hula from Maiki Aiu Lake in which he uniki (graduated) under her as a master Kumu Hula. In 1980, he established his halau known as Nā Hānona o ka Halau Hula Pa Ola Kapu. Kumu Lake also learned chant from Aunty Edith Kanaka’ole. In 1991, he formed a group, Nā Wa’a Lālani o Pu’ukohola, perpetuating ancient chant, rituals, and ceremonies. Throughout his life until his passing in 2008, Kumu Lake’s philosophy was to always instruct and to educate (to draw out the best in his students) in the living and practice of basic Hawaiian cultural values as found in aloha (love), `ike (knowledge), kuleana (responsibility), `ohana (family), kokua (assistance), laulima (support of others), and lokahi (oneness and harmony) which was also integral functions of his Catholic beliefs and practices. He also provided his students the knowledge, skill, process, and attitude to live these Hawaiian cultural values.
Kumu John Ku’uhoamele Cuban is presently employed as a teacher at Ha’aheo Elementary School as well as a seasonal teacher and an athletic coach at Kamehameha School, Hawai’i campus. He was born and raised in Kalihi, Oa’hu. He attended St. Louis High and it was during that time he was part of Kumu Lake’s St.Louis Hui O Nā ʻOpio during 1986 – 1990. After he graduated in 1990, he moved to the island of Hawai’i to attend the University of Hawai’i of Hilo. It was there at the University of Hawai’i, Hilo where he received his bachelor’s degree in Hawaiian Studies. He has then been a Hawaiian cultural resource for the Hawai’i Department of Education for 12 years. His Hawaiian cultural background stems back over 20 years of study under the mentorship of master kumu hula John Keola Lake of Honolulu, Hawai’i.
In 2003, he was appointed as a master kumu in the arts and traditions of hula. Along with being a kumu hula, he is an accomplished chanter and perpetuator of the ‘olelo Hawai’i (Hawaiian language), protocols, and traditions of old Hawai’i. Kumu John is also a kahuna pule of Pu’ukohola heiau, Kawaihae; director of the Hawai’i island Halau Mele: Academy of Hawaiian arts, music, and dance; and he continues to serve the Hawai’i Department of Education as a regular education teacher at Ha’aheo Elementary School where he continues to instill Hawaiian educational styles and values.
Committed in perpetuating customs, traditions, and artistic expressions of our culture