Ho'omālamalama [Ho'o]

President & Instructor

Ho'omālamalama pronounced using short vowels "ho-oh-ma-la-ma-la-ma"  or Ho'o (ho-oh) abbreviated.

Raised in Nanakuli, HI & former military brat Ho'o clung to her Hawaiian heritage as a means of stability. Upon graduation she found herself working at a Native American school, in the PNW, which was perfect because she could travel back to Hawaii to be with her grandparents during the summer. Her obsession with Polynesian culture, legends and art was the driving force to every decision she made. As a result this momentum sparked an unusual opportunity. She was invited to join a New Zealand based culture team, Te Pou Here Taonga, for a year of learning, performing and traveling. The arrangement was for Ho'o to teach Hula & Tahitian dance while learning Kapa Haka. [Cultural dance of the Maori people.] This particular culture exchange became the inspiration & foundation of MANAIA Ohana.

Upon returning to the PNW she continued to teach and as destiny would have it she made another trip to Hawaii to marry her fiancé. Ray happened to fly into Hawaii from Aotearoa, NZ, and they couldn't bear the long distance relationship anymore. [This was before MySpace & Facebook.] Together they settled into a home and are raising their seven [7] children.   

Ho'o has been a Zumba® instructor since 2011 because it's an awesome way to dance and stay fit. This led her to add Registered Nutritional Consultant [RNC], Group Fitness Instructor, Plate By Zumba® Coach and High Intensity Tempo Training through #SBZ. As a result she combined her certifications & licenses to created a unique program called MANA Wahine Fitness. This allows her to schedule her client time, raise her family & teach Polynesian culture.

 

Ray Brown

Lead Musician & Kapa Haka Tutor

Growing up in a small town called Kawero, NZ you know what the simple life looks & feel like. Work, home, sleep... repeat. This was the life that Ray lived until his breakdancing background allowed him to showcase his talent in front of a traveling dance team. That group was Te Pou Here Taonga, from Mount Maunga Nui. His charisma & a praying Nan [grandmother] swung opened the doors of opportunity. His life went from simple to exciting as he joined the team & completed three years of Kapa Haka, theatrics, hip-hop & breakdancing.

It was during tours from New Mexico to Canada that Ray kept himself occupied drawing Ta Moko designs. His doodles were anything but simple. His eye for symmetry & balance mimicked the teachings of his Koro [grandfather/grand-uncle] a master carver. It was through this shared appreciation for Polynesian art where Ray connected with Ho'o. To say that he fell "In Love" is an understatement. She is the reason that he left New Zealand to make a home for himself in the PNW.

When he isn't working as a maintenance mechanic you can find him teaching his children a few songs from home along with guitar, Tahitian ukulele & to'ere lessons. His current hobby is turning his garage into a carving den for his children and building a hāngi pit [underground cooking oven] for family feast. Something he hopes to do for MO'O in the coming months.