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I Kumukahi ka lā puka i Haʻehaʻe

Meet our Keynote speaker, Dr. R. Keawe Lopes Jr.

Dr. R. Keawe Lopes Jr.'s teaching focus is on Hawaiian language, mele, and hula. He leads Ka Waihona A Ke Aloha: Ka Papahana Ho‘oheno Mele, an interactive resource center for the promotion, preservation and perpetuation of mele and mele practitioners. The Center helps to create venues that highlight mele and mele practitioners, provides educational opportunities that support Hawaiian language revitalization and restoration efforts through the learning of mele and the practice thereof. He is a co-kumu hula of Ka Lā ‘Ōnohi Mai o Ha‘eha‘e: A hula school that provides a rich learning environment upholding a legacy of mele hula and mele oli that have been passed down through the generations. He has served as a Hawaiian language, haku mele and music judge for the Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Artists, Wai‘anae Coast Song Composing Contest, World Invitational Hula Competition, Mokihana Festival Song Writing Contest, Moku o Keawe International Hula Festival, and the Malia Craver Hula Competition.

Keynote abstract

“I Kumukahi ka lā puka I Haʻehaʻe!” The preservation and perpetuation of mele provide our present with a rich inventory of Kūpuna lore. These poetic expressions of our ancestors continue to enlighten us with a contextual world-view pertinent to language acquisition. Our beloved Kumu are the sources of this knowledge, whose educational discourse engages the mind with the sole purpose of motivating a desire within. They are the promise of morning that invigorates a hope encouraged by a daily passion to inspire.

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