Micah Kamohoalii – Preserving Hawaiian Culture through Art

Micah Kamohoalii

The culture of Hawaii’s indigenous peoples is rooted in centuries of history, traditions, customs, and values systems known to the peoples of the Pacific, like the ancient bark cloth of Hawaii, a fabric woven into the ions of time displaying profound connections to the land, the ocean, and the spiritual world. The natural environments are crucial to Hawaiian culture and practice, as the earth, sea, and sky are highly revered and considered holy ancestors. Hawaiians deeply grasp the interdependence of humanity and nature and aspire to live harmoniously with them in aloha.


Aloha is a primary element of Hawaiian culture which denotes love, harmony, and respect. It is more than a word or gesture; it encompasses a way of life influencing relationships among people and their environments, an exchange of life forces. Hula, Hawaii’s traditional dance, powerfully represents the Hawaiian spirit of the people and tells the stories of centuries passed, recounting history into the present while captivating its audience with its music, chant, and dance. In all Hawaiian art forms, there is more to it than what meets the eye. Whether in carving, weaving, or painting, Hawaiian art portrays the beauty and spiritual essence of powerful people. Traditional craftsmanship, like kapa making (bark fabric), feather work and lauhala weaving demonstrate the Hawaiian people’s resourcefulness and extreme talent, something that designers and kumu hula Micah Kamohoalii know all too well.


Kumu Micah Kamohoalii is a hula master, fashion designer, and filmmaker committed to preserving the Hawaiian culture. He has skills and expertise in many areas. His diverse skill set enables him to contribute substantially to several creative pursuits. He is a multi-faceted individual who garnered recognition in other mediums such as a Kumu Hula (Hula Master), Kapa maker, fashion designer, feather artisan, filmmaker, songwriter, Hawaiian expert, genealogist, and historian. Kumu Micah Kamohoalii has committed his time and effort to preserving, perpetuating, and practicing his Hawaiian culture through many creative forms. Using his unique educational background and connection to his Hawaiian roots, his work as a Kumu hula, designer of Designs by Kamohoalii, and producer for Kuamano Productions has earned him praise and global recognition among the world.


He was the first recipient in 2004 to receive a degree in the art of Hula from Hawaii Community College’s Associate of Applied Science (AAS) hula Lifestyles program. His quest for knowledge has led him to receive three bachelor’s degrees in Hawaiian Studies, Performing Arts, and Anthropology from various Universities. Kumu Micah Kamohoalii also earned a Master’s Degree in Archaeology with a concentration in Cultural Heritage Management. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Hawaiian philosophy.

Kumu Hula

Kumu Micah Kamohoalii is the Executive Director and Kumu Hula of Hālau Nā Kīpuʻupuʻu, a traditional Hawaiian dance school that plays a vital role in conserving and promoting native traditions, norms, culture, chant, and dance. Hālau Nā Kīpuʻupuʻu has become a revered institution noted for its vigor and has garnered multiple honors and awards for its performances worldwide. Kumu Micah Kamohoalii descends from a family legacy of kumu hula with centuries of traditions handed down from generation to generation.

Fashion Designer

From a young age, Kumu Micah Kamohoalii learned the art of Kapa (bark cloth) from his family, exposing him to fabric and design. In 2005 he created Dezigns by Kamohoalii, a Hawaii-based clothing brand, where he serves as the lead designer and CEO. He has showcased his clothing line and designs on global runways, always sharing his inspiration for the Hawaiian bark cloth fabric called Kapa. The invitation to present his creations in the famed “Big Four” fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan, and Paris marked a significant milestone for Kumu Micah Kamohoalii as he became Hawaii’s first fashion designer that had been invited into these coveted fashions weeks.

Producer and Filmmaker

Kumu Micah Kamohoalii has created cinematic presentations for film, television, and digital media as the creative director and executive producer for Kuamano Productions, a Hawaii-based media and film production company. His productions are about fashion and empowering and have aired nationally, garnering Emmy Award nominations. In 2023 he earned an Emmy Award for his production of Calling the Winds – Hole Waimea. He also holds a Gold Telly, three Silver Telly, and three Bronze Telly Awards.


Aside from his creative endeavors, Kumu Micah Kamohoalii is an outspoken supporter of the authenticity of native Hawaiian culture. He has served on many county and state committees and boards, providing cultural advice and experience to groups, corporations, and government authorities. Kumu Micah Kamohoalii remains dedicated to his community and serves in many non-profit organizations. He continues to educate audiences throughout the globe with his numerous abilities while recognizing and sharing the brilliance of the Hawaiian people in his creative works. He is celebrated for being a powerhouse and an encyclopedia of everything Native Hawaiian.

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