UNUKUPUKUPU—Dancing Beyond the Veil.

UNUKUPUKUPU, which means “Shrine of Ferns [Rooted in Fresh Lava],” is an earth-centric hula group from Hawai`i Community College that aims to bring an awareness of the role and the spirit of hula as a sacred dance into a modern global context.  Our traditional myths together with our scientific DNA postures one simple truth: we are all connected, and UNUKUPUKUPU is about fueling these connections to ensure that the human spirit continues to pulse and function in the face of modernity.  UNUKUPUKUPU provides a foundation for the promotion of environmental kinship in and beyond Hawai`i, doing so within the context of modern lifestyles.

The University of Hawai`i system advocates for the role of indigenous life ways through academia, and UNUKUPUKUPU is a model for how indigenous foundations lead to learner success and position the learner as an advocate for environmental and global connections.  UNUKUPUKUPU’s performance team includes traditional and nontraditional college and university learners, faculty, staff, administrators, program coordinators, families and community members of all ages.

He Welina Pumehana: A Warm Welcome, do come and experience the heartbeat of Hawai`i through our sacred expressions of hula, rekindling the very spark of knowing we are family!

UNUKUPUKUPU will perform on the Justin S. Morrill Performing Arts Center stage at the Festival from June 27 to July 8.

Read more about the group.

Dr. Taupōuri Tangarō is a professor at Hawai‘i Community College and studied with Hālau O Kekuhi, one of Hawai`i’s noted schools of traditional dance.

  • Tangarō

    Aloha pumehana kākou,

    We are busily packing up the rest of the village that wasn’t crated , shipped to the west coast, trucked to the east coast and is now awaiting our arrival at the Smithsonian site. To demonstrate our sacred connections to Hawai’i in DC is truly an honor. Come, we await you.


    • Sojin Kim

      Best wishes to you all as you finish up your preparations for D.C. See you out on the Festival grounds soon. Safe travels!

  • Noreen Yamane

    Aloha and mahalo to all of our University of Hawaii `ohana and our HawCC Unukupukupu participants traveling to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival! You have spent many hours of arduous work and planning to prepare for this prestigious event. I know you will make us proud as you represent our University of Hawaii system, our State of Hawaii, and, most importantly our island of Hawaii. I would like to extend my sincerest wishes for success in your performances and workshops. As you embark on your journey, take with you the spirit of our Kauhale to share with our nation and its people.

  • Dorinna Manuel-Cortez

    Safe journey, grand adventure and safe return! We send you with our aloha and sincere wishes for an amazing, transformative experience. HawCC Admissions & Registration Office

  • Tangarō

    Thank you Noreen and Dorinna! We unpacked the two crates yesterday, had a ceremony for Kānepō Pōhaku, west-cardinal stone from Kīlauea at the Native American Indian Museum, walked to the Aboretum and then up to Capital Hill, where we had a 2 hour practice. By the time we got home there was no doubt that we were thoroughly and wearily content!!

  • Dorinna Manuel-Cortez

    Video clips on keeping us connected to the going-ons over yonder. Aloha mai kakou!…we can SEE you folks, and you are all looking so LOVERLY! E malama pono!