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Makai Keahoulu blue ocean and shoreline

R. Māpuana Hayashi-Simpliciano

#105 Alahula Puʻuloa, he alahele no Kaʻahupāhau. Everywhere in Puʻuloa is the trail of Kaʻahupāhau. This is said of a person who goes everywhere, looking, peering, seeing all, or of a person familiar with every nook and corner of a place. Kaʻahupāhau is the shark goddess of Puʻuloa who guarded the people from man-eating sharks. She moved about, constantly watching.

Māpuana was raised on the ʻāina of Puʻuloa on the island of Oʻahu, also referred to as “Shark Country.” Picking limu at Oneʻula and training in hula & oli on the shoreline are among Māpuanaʻs most cherished childhood memories there. Drawing inspiration from the moʻolelo of Kaʻahupāhauʻs aloha for the kamaʻāina of Puʻuloa, she draws on 18 years of experience in the pathways of human services and public health & education as a dedicated protector and educator of the children and families of our Lāhui Hawaiʻi.

Māpuana feels it is her deepest honor to be in service to the legacy of Queen Liliʻuokalani through the work of program and instructional design at Liliʻuokalani Trust.

She holds an undergraduate degree in Religion from UH Mānoa, as well as graduate degrees in Educational Administration from Chaminade University, Public Health from Walden University, and a doctorate in Education from UH Mānoa. Māpuana is an educational researcher and ethnographer who specializes in the application of spoken word and hip-hop to engage Aboriginal youth in documenting the oral histories of their community. She is very passionate about designing programs rooted in Aloha ʻĀina, ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, Moʻolelo & ʻIke Kūpuna.

During her downtime, Māpuana enjoys spending time with her husband, Kamuela, and her three keiki: Maluhia, Kaʻōiwi, and Nanikaʻāpipiikealoha.