Hawaiian Culture

HTA’s goal is to honor and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture and community.

Hawaiian Culture

Native Hawaiian culture is at the heart of our islands' uniqueness. There has been a renaissance of the Hawaiian language and culture since the late 70's. Hawaiian practitioners are increasingly visible in the visitor industry. HTA supports programs that perpetuate and recognize the uniqueness and integrity of the Hawaiian culture and community and their significance in differentiating the Hawaiian Islands through unique and genuine visitor experiences.

Native Hawaiian Signature Events Program

Support for Native Hawaiian Signature events is a key element in supporting and perpetuating Hawaiian culture as well as providing unique and memorable experiences for Hawaii's visitors.

  • Prince Kuhio Celebration held annually in March, to honor Hawaiian Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole for his many achievements and contributions to Hawaii and Hawaiians
  • Merrie Monarch Festival held annually in April, is a festival that aims to perpetuate, preserve and promote the art of hula and the Hawaiian culture through education
  • Mele Mei & Na Hoku Hanohano Awards held annually from April to July, is a celebration of Hawaiian music and dance that showcases the uniqueness of our island music scene. 
  • King Kamehameha Celebration held each June, in commemoration of Hawaii's first monarch, King Kamehameha I
  • Prince Lot Hula Festival held in July, is a non-competitive hula event that includes halau hula (hula schools) from Hawaii
  • Aloha Festivals held from August through October is a long-standing event that celebrates the Hawaiian culture through various activities and events on all major islands.

The Maemae Tool Kit!

Hawaii is a special place, with a blend of cultures, activities, and experiences unique in the world. These islands have drawn the attention of travel marketers and journalists throughout the years, dating back to authors Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson. Along the way, some of those who have featured Hawaii have not always been intimately familiar with the Islands. As a result, our destination has often been misrepresented or inaccurately portrayed.

In response to these issues, we have developed the Maemae Tool Kit. It will provide you with the essential information you need to accurately and sensitively promote the Hawaiian Islands. For further information or assistance, please contact us.

See the Maemae Toolkit

Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association

The HTA provides support to the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association, a lead organization in implementing HTA's Hawaiian Culture initiatives. These programs and efforts are focused on continuing to bridge the gap between the Hawaiian community and the visitor industry. NaHHA's mission is to promote Hawaiian culture, values, and traditions in the workplace through consultation and education, and to provide opportunities for the Native Hawaiian Community to shape the future of tourism.

Visit the NaHHA website

Kukulu Ola: Living Hawaiian Culture Program

Founded on the value of ma ka hana ka ike (in working one learns), the Kukulu Ola program is partnering with awardees who enhance, strengthen and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture.

Each year, the HTA selects via requests for proposals (RFP), a small group of organizations that will receive funding through its Kukulu Ola program. The program awards funds up to $100,000 to community-based non-profits statewide.

The programs were chosen by the HTA and its Hawaiian Cultural Advisory Committee on criteria designed to address the goal and objectives identified in the 2016 HTA Strategic Plan. The objectives include: strengthening the relationship between the visitor industry and the Hawaiian community; nurturing the Hawaiian culture by supporting Hawaiian programs and cultural practitioners, craftsmen, musicians, and other artists that preserve and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture.

For 2019, HTA has awarded $1.22 million through its Kukulu Ola Program to 28 nonprofit programs that are perpetuating Hawaiian culture.

See a complete list of 2019 Kukulu Ola: Living Hawaiian Culture Program Awardees below.

For more information about this initiative, contact Kalani Kaanaana at (808) 973-2281 or via email [email protected] 

2020 Hawaii Awardees

Edith K. Kanakaole Foundation
Haa - Research and management of the health and wellness of Hula dancers
www.edithkanakaolefoundation.org

Hawaii Forest Institute
Hoola Ka Makanaa o Kaupulehu
www.hawaiiforestinstitute.org

Hilo-Hamakua Community Development Corporation
Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua
N/A

Hui Malama I ke Ala Ulili (huiMAU)
HoAMa Youth Mentorship Programs
www.alaulili.com

Pohaha I Ka Lani
Ka Lau o Ke Kahuli
https://www.pohahaikalani.com

University of Hawaii
Kukulu Ola: Na Lehua o Mokaulele
https://imiloahawaii.org/

Volcano Art Center
Hula Arts At Kilauea
www.volcanoartcenter.org

2020 Kauai Awardees

Hui Malama O Kaneiolouma
Uhau Humu Pohaku Reconstruction
www.Kaneiolouma.org/about

Hui o Laka dba Kokee Natural History Museum
Eo e Emalani 2020
www.kokee.org

Na Kahu o Hoai, Inc.
Educational and Restoration Internships at Kamaloula Cultural Preserve
N/A

2020 Maui Nui Awardees

Hana Arts
Hana Legends
www.hanaarts.org

Hawaiian Kamalii, Inc. dba Hawaiian Canoe Club
The Pailolo Challenge 2020
www.hawaiiancanoeclub.org

Holani Hana, Inc.
Kukulu Hale Hawaii
www.holanihana.org

Hui O Waa Kaulua
28th Annual Celebration of the Arts
www.ritzcarlton.com/kapalua

Ma Ka Hana Ka Ike
Na Mamo O Haloa - The Children of Haloa
www.hanabuild.org

Maui Nui Botanical Gardens Inc.
Increasing Capacity for Visitor and Community Activities with Hawaiian Ethnobotany
www.mnbg.org

Unda Kava 808, Inc.
2020 Maui Middle School Makahiki Championships!
www.undakava808.com

Lanai Culture & Heritage Center
Mala Noeau
https://lanaichc.org/

Hula Halau O Molokai
Molokai Ka Hula Piko
http://www.kahulapiko.com/

2020 Oahu Awardees

Bishop Museum
Living Hawaiian Culture: An Expanded Platform for Cultural Practitioners at Bishop Museum
www.bishopmuseum.org

City & County of Honolulu, Department of Parks and Recreation
93rd Annual Lei Day Celebration
http://www.honolulu.gov/parks

Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement
Noeau Series
www.hawaiiancouncil.org

Friends of Ka Leo Hawaii Media
Ka Leo: The Voice of Hawaii (KKNE 940AM)
N/A

Hawaiian Islands Land Trust
Maunawila Heiau Preservation & Education Program
www.hilt.org

Hikaalani
Pilimai 2019
www.hikaalani.website

Hookuaaina
Kukuluhou Internship Program
www.hookuaaina.org

Hui Aloha Aina Momona
Kapu ka Haloa
N/A

Kalihi-Palama Culture & Arts Society
45th Annual Queen Liliuokalani Keiki Hula Competition
www.keikihula.org

Kauluakalana
Pili Mai 2020
N/A

Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services
Ka Lahui o Ka Po (Birthing a Nation)
www.kkv.net

Mailikukahi Aina Momona Academy
Koolau Aina Momona
N/A

Muolaulani
I Lea Ka Hula 2020: Celebrating Culture, Preserving Traditions
www.artofhula.com

PAI Foundation
PAI Presents
www.paifoundation.org

Ulu Ae Learning Center
Kapuuola Hula Festival
http://uluae.org/

Ulu Ae Learning Center
Ulu Ae Kaiaulu Project
http://uluae.org/

YOUNG OF HEART WORKSHOP dba Puuhonua Society
Kipuka: A Makers' Space
www.puuhonua-society.org

2020 Statewide Awardees

Aha Kane Foundation for the Advancement of Native Hawaiian Males
Hoa Hou
www.ahakane.org

Awaiaulu, Inc.
Mahuahua Translation Training Project: Phase IV
www.awaiaulu.org

Hawaii Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences, Inc.
Steel Guitar Festivals (Kauai, Maui, Hawaii Island)
www.himele.org

Hawaii Museums Association
Makau Moomeheu: Cultural Competence in Hawaii's Museums
www.hawaiimuseums.org

Hula Preservation Society
Bringing Hula Kii To Life
www.hulapreservation.org

Polynesian Voyaging Society
Preparing for Moananuiakea: Exploring the Pacific
www.hokulea.com

Maemae - Cultural Hawaiian Toolkit

To help market Hawaii authentically, browse through a resource of Hawaiian language tools, style and information guides, cultural activities and festivals, and other pertinent information.

See the Maemae Toolkit

Digital Asset Library

Register to access the Knowledge Bank, a public resource of images related to Hawaii and tourism-related activities.

Log In

Community Programs

Initiatives that help Hawaii provide an experience that is unique and enriching, while valuing and perpetuating Hawaii’s natural and cultural resources and honoring its people and heritage.

See Kukulu Ola Program

See Aloha Aina Program 

See the Community Enrichment Program 

Announcements

Read the latest announcements that provide up-to-date information about current HTA's programs, events and activities.

January 2020 Announcement

See All Announcements