Hālau Mōhala ‘Ilima

is dedicated to the preservation of Hawaiian culture through hula. We specialize in traditionally learned and transmitted chants and dances, particularly those of the 18th and 19th centuries that celebrate the life of our land and people. We also work with a large repertoire of modern hula whose celebratory spirit is consistent with that of our older traditions. We are dedicated, finally, to the teaching of aloha, hō‘ihi, ala hāiki, and kūlia i ka nu‘u (love, reverence, discipline, and commitment to excellence) through hula, since we believe that hula means little if it fails to enrich our lives and make us better people.

No Ka Hālau

Concerning the Hālau

Hālau Mōhala ‘Ilima

Founded: 1976

Kumu Hula: Māpuana de Silva

Home: 1110 'A‘alapapa Dr., Ka‘ōhao, Kailua  96734

Classes at: Hinawaikoli‘i, 776 Kailua Rd. Suite 202. (above Kimo’s Surf Hut.)

Phone: 808 261-0689

email:  Māpuana de Silva


Webmaster: Kīhei de Silva


Māpuana de Silva

is a graduate of Punahou School (1967) and Pacific University (1971). In 1975, she graduated as a kumu hula from Maiki Aiu Lake and, a year later, opened Hālau Mōhala ‘Ilima. She continued her hula studies under Lani Kalama, Sally Wood Naluai, and Pat Namaka Bacon, and completed three years of Hawaiian language study at UH Mānoa. In addition to teaching or supervising all of the hālau's 14 weekly classes, Māpu has been a part-time kumu hula at the Hawaiian language immersion school Ke Kula ‘O Samuel M. Kamakau, and she has volunteered for 30 years as the kumu hula of the Kamehameha Schools' hula club Nā Wāhine Hele Lā o Kaiona. In the summers of 2004, 2008, and 2012, she led the Hawai‘i delegation to the 9th, 10th, and 11th Festivals of Pacific Arts in Palau, American Samoa, the Solomon Islands, and -- in the summer of 2016-- she will do the same for the 12th FoPA in Guam.

Among the most significant of Māpu's awards are those received from the UH Mānoa College of Education for excellence in arts education (1990), from Pacific University for achievements in performing arts education (Outstanding Alumnus, 1999), from 'Ahahui ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i for excellence in Hawaiian language education outside the standard classroom setting ("Manu a Ka‘ae," 2000), and from the UH Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge for extraordinary commitment and excellence in Native Hawaiian Education (“I Ulu i ke Kumu, 2014).

Program Overview

We teach 14 classes of hula a week to 300 students; seven for women, one for men, one for boys, and six for girls.

Our keiki progam includes excursions to ‘Iolani Palace, Bishop Musem, and Queen Emma's Summer Palace; hula trips to Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i Island, Maui, and Disneyland; a concert at Historic Hawai‘i Theatre (“He Lālā Au no Ku‘u Kumu,” chant and singing instruction; Hawaiian language instruction, and yearly lei-making workshops.

Our adult women's program includes low and moderate commitment classes for beginning and intermediate students, a class for advanced students studying to graduate as ‘ōlapa in ‘ūniki ‘ailolo ceremonies (the most formal of graduation rituals), a class of highly accomplished dancers who represent the hālau in major events and competitions, a class of equally accomplished dancers studying to graduate as ho‘opa‘a (chanter-drummers) and kumu hula (master teachers), and a class of ‘ōlapa and kumu hula graduates dedicated to refining their knowledge of dance and chant.

One measure of the hālau's long-term commitment to the preservation of Hawaiian culture through hula is our record of participation in the major hula festivals of the last three decades: 36 consecutive Merrie Monarch appearances, 34 Keiki Hula appearances, 27 Hawai‘i Secondary Schools' Hula Competition appearances, and 28 King Kamehameha Celebration appearances.

Perhaps more significant is our record of ‘ūniki; in the 39 years of our existence we have trained, graduated, and given to the next generation 31 kumu hula and almost 130 ‘ōlapa. These graduates take their hula knowledge and values into their homes and their many walks of life. They are lawyers, teachers (lots of teachers), policewomen, university students, PhD holders and candidates, non-profit CEOs, customs agents, curriculum specialists, culture specialists, conservationists, small-business owners, accountants, nurses, and executive secretaries. We see them as keepers of the culture, as living libraries, and as pale kai, the first line of defense against the tides of change that threaten the teachings of our kūpuna.

We Are Now Accepting Students into the Following Classes:

‘Ua‘u and ‘Alaeke‘oke‘o

Girls born in 2010, 2009

Saturday: 9 - 10 am

Instructors: Makanani Akiona and Māpuana de Silva

‘Alae ‘Ula

Girls born in 2008

Saturday: 10:30 - 11:30 am

Instructors: Makanani Akiona and Māpuana de Silva

‘Akialoa and ‘Ākohekohe

Girls born in 2007, 2006

Saturday:  Noon - 1 pm

Instructor: Māpuana de Silva

‘Amakihi, Elepaio, ‘Apapane

Girls born in 2005, 2004, 2003

Wednesday: 5:15 - 6:15 pm

Instructor: Māpuana de Silva


Girls born in 1998 to 2002

Wednesday: 6:30 - 7:30 pm

Instructor: Māpuana de Silva

Kūkuna Lā

Women born in 2000 or earlier

Thursday: 7 - 8:30 pm

Instructor: Kahikina de Silva

Koa‘e (3 sessions a year)

Beginning and Intermediate Women, 14 and up

Wednesday: 8 - 9 pm

Instructors: Pili Mac Kenzie and Ka‘olu Luning


Men 16 and up

Sunday: 7-9 pm

Instructors: Māpuana and Kahikina de Silva


Boys 4 to 16

Wednesday: 5:00 - 6:30 pm

Instructor: Pualani Steele

To register (or ask for more information), please leave a message on the hālau answer phone, 808-261-0689, or email Māpuana de Silva at: kumumapuana@gmail.com


Photos on this page were taken of Lei ‘Åpiki (the HMI Merrie Monarch Class) at Ka‘auea Hula Mound, Kīlauea, Hawai'i, on April 16, 2007, and April 20, 2009.