MARCH 8, 1909


Born on Oahu, Emily Kauiomakawelinalaniokamanookalanipo was raised traditionally—by her maternal grandparents.  Her grandfather taught her plant cultivation; her grandmother, the uses of medicinal plants and how to quilt lauhala.  Her uncle Sam Pua Ha’aheo knew the hula traditions and the ancient chants.  In 1933, Emily began studying with him, memorizing each dance and the chant associated with them.  She became one of the principal heirs to his hula repertoire.  In 1936, Zuttermeister, nicknamed Aunty Kau’i, opened her own hula school and taught hula, traditional chants, and pahu drumming in the Pua Ha’aheo style for more than 50 years.  She was recognized as a Living Treasure of Hawaii by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission and was honored by the Hawaiian Civic Clubs for her distinguished service to the Hawaiian community.  In 1984, she was made a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow.  My uncle told me the only way the culture is going to live is if the dance is kept pure.”  She died March 3, 1997.

Source:Emily Kau’i Zuttermeister,” National Endowment for the Arts:  NEW National Heritage Fellowship, 1984.  Retrieved 1/5/2020,
Photo: National Endowment for the Arts, 1984.  Public Domain.  No author identification found.  Photograph assumed taken by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.

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