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Community invited to ‘Ka ‘Ike Kupuna – The Vast Knowledge of Our Elders’ classes during September

“Time is of the essence” is a phrase most have heard before and can be applicable in many contexts. Waimea Middle School’s “Ka ‘Ike Kupuna – The Vast Knowledge of Our Elders” program — in partnership with Paniolo Preservation Society and the Waimea Education Hui — will feature three classes in the month of September that take that phrase to heart.

Kupuna, paniolo and founding member of PPS, Sonny Keakealani, will share the expansive knowledge he holds of Hawaiian terms used by the paniolo reflecting his connection from the mountain to the sea. Topics will highlight hua ‘olelo, or words and phrases, used to describe storied places, place names, lifestyle and traditions. Each class will be opened with ha‘i mo‘olelo, or stories, tied to Waimea, shared by Ku‘ulei Keakealani. The art of storytelling is a gift and skill instilled in Ku’ulei by her kupuna.

Those who participate in this class will be asked to make a personal commitment to utilize the Hawaiian terms shared at each class so the ‘ike, or knowledge, of today will continue tomorrow and beyond. Classes will be from 4-5:15 p.m., on Sept. 4, 11 and 25, at Pukalani Stables in Waimea. To register, contact Pua Case at or call 938-5550 with questions.

WMS’ ‘Ike Hawai’i program works closely with core curriculum teachers to provide place-based lessons focused on rigor, relevance and relationships that connect culture to curriculum and tradition to technology.

PPS’ mission is to preserve and perpetuate Hawaii’s unique ranching heritage, practices and traditions. This includes sharing all aspects with present and future generations through educational events and activities as well as honoring those who continue to “live” the paniolo life.

Waimea Education Hui is an informal network of mostly Waimea-North Hawaii schools – public, public charter and private – as well as community organizations and individuals that have joined together to create and share culturally relevant lessons and experiences that nurture a “sense of place and identity” for the next generation to arm them with the skills, values and cultural understanding to become thoughtful leaders and stewards of the land and Hawaii’s natural resources in years to come.