Celebration of kumu hula Moana Dudoit’s life set for April 27

| April 15, 2013 | 2 Comments

Kumu hula Moana Dudoit, founder of Moana’s Hula Halau, died March 16 at Molokai General Hospital at the age of 73.

Moana Dudoit

Moana Dudoit

Moana’s Hula Halau became Molokai’s most well-known hula halau through Moana’s world travels. She brought the Molokai style of aloha to the mainland as well as Japan, Europe and the South Pacific. Japan, out of deep respect and love for Moana, even has its own Moana’s Hula Halau group.

Dudoit was the youngest of 19 children of Maurice and Lahela Dudoit. She was born in Moanui, on the same property where she was raised and lived her entire life.

Moana Dudoit returned to Molokai after college and ended up running Dudoit’s Bus Service. Her father had started the family business as a taxi company.

Moana’s grandniece, Zhantell Dudoit, told The Maui News just how strong the cultural traditions were in the family. Her mother was fluent in Hawaiian and as a young child Moana Dudoit began dancing, started the halau as a way to preserve Hawaiian culture through hula and music.

Moana Dudoit and sister Raquel Dudoit have been kumu hula for the halau, which began with family members and grew to include others in the community.

The youngest halau member is 5 and the oldest is nearly 90. Some have left the island for school before returning and continuing in the halau. “Once you’re a member, you’re always a member of the family and of the halau,” Zhantell Dudoit said.

Over the years, the halau competed in the Merrie Monarch Festival on the Big Island.

In 2005, Na Kupuna O Moana, made up of retired senior citizens, was recognized by the Maui County Council for winning the overall competition award and three first-place individual honors at the Hawaii Kupuna Festival.

A celebration of Moana Dudoit’s life is planned April 27 at the Mitchell Pauole Center in Kaunakakai. The event will begin with a gallery showcasing her life and the opportunity for people to record messages from 9 to 11 a.m., followed by a service from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. From 1 to 5 p.m., her halau and other entertainers will perform in a hula concert.

In addition to her sister, Dudoit is survived by 15 nieces, seven nephews, 27 grandnieces and 25 grandnephews.

Category: Hawaiian Culture, News

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  1. Chris Meeus says:

    What a pity that I saw now thanks to your site that Moana died.
    I’m Chris and the group of Moana was in Bonheiden Belgium in 1992 for a folkdancefestival I was their guide during their stay . As my husband has probably to come to Hawai for his job I wanted to come with him an visit Molokai and the people who were that time in the group. Therefor I was looking now for more news about Moana and her group. I really feel sorry for it. Please is it possible to bring me back in contact with one of these people : Kaili Esther and Maliu Aaron they stayed in our house that time but also I had a very goode contact wit adachi Bertha and kalilikane Moses and Mary , David en Cookie Robins stayed at our neighbours and Lehua kauka and Sammi Kaai stayed at my parents place. Raquel Dudoit stayed in the hotel but we were very offen together on trips.
    I’m not yet shure if we will come but i want to be prepared if there is a possibility to see your island and visit also Kalaupapa, Damiaan was born here 15 km. away in my fathers birthplace and my sister in law her mother is a De Veuster familymember. So you can understand that i really want to visit it. And now we maybe have the change to come , just for 2 days but that time i really would like to see some of these people again. If that is possible ? Can you also recommand a hotel in Molokai were we can stay ? and do they organise a trip to kalaupapa from the upperisland molokai ? thanks for all your help and specially that you putted this information on the internet .

    • Lehua Kauka says:


      Sorry took so long to respond but I just read this. I am Lehua Kauka as you stated above that I stayed with your parents. Please send me your email so we can catch

      Lehua Kauka

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