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Molokai Kumu Honored by Senate

By Lisa Noelani Robbins

I am a student of `olelo Hawaii with Kumu Manuwai Peters. With the help of Senator J. Kalani English and his wonderful staff, I recently presented Kumu Peters with a Hawaiian Senate Proclamation for Manuwai’s contribution and perpetuation of the Hawaiian culture and language.

“Kumu Manuwai Peters has enriched the lives of thousands of Hawaiians and Hawaiians at heart by sharing his knowledge and expertise in the Hawaiian language and culture. Among his many accomplishments, Kumu Peters has helped to preserve and spread the Hawaiian language to his many students throughout his teaching career. His various classrooms across Hawaii include Kap`olani Community College on Oahu [and] founding Ka Papahana Kaiapuni Hawaii immersion school on Molokai.”

He offers classes in New York City and Washington D.C. while earning his master’s degree at Columbia University. In my class were OHA Bureau Chief Tim Johnson; Kathy Suter, media manager of the National Museum of the American Indian; Kuulei Stockman and Leihua Stewart from Halau o Aulani and Kamehameha graduates, and Hawaiians like me and non-Hawaiians as well. Not only did he teach us the Hawaiian language, but he brought people together.

I enrolled in his class, not only for my personal enrichment and to teach my own keiki, but because I am owner of ‘Ohana Arts Studio, Polynesian Dance Studio, and Kinderhula. I now teach my students `olelo Hawaii and pass on what Kumu Manuwai has taught me.

Kumu Peters’ website is www.portablehawaiian.com

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