In this interview, conducted at the Hemispheric Institute's 5th Encuentrom Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2005, Takamine talks about how hula dance has served as a tool for transmission of native Hawaiian traditions, as a mode of resistance against colonialism, and as a site for the discussion of issues of intangible cultural heritage.
Vicky Holt Takamine is the founder and kumu hula (master teacher) of Pua Ali'i 'Ilima, a school of traditional Hawaiian dance. In addition, she teaches hula at UH Mānoa and Leeward Community College. She graduated through the 'ūniki rituals of hula from Maiki Aiu Lake. Vicky received her BA and MA in Dance Ethnology from the University of Hawai'i. She is well respected throughout the Hawaiian community for her cultural expertise and advocacy work on behalf of Hawaiians, their cultural traditions, and the protection and preservation of the cultural and natural resources of Hawai'i. In 1997, Vicky coordinated a massive demonstration of Hawaiian cultural practitioners to oppose legislation that would severely restrict native Hawaiian cultural practices. Since then, she has coordinated demonstrations, rallies and marches calling for social, economic and environmental justice for native Hawaiians. Vicky is the po'o (president) and co-founder of 'Īlio'ulaokalani (www.ilio.org), a coalition of traditional practitioners who are committed to protecting their Hawaiian customs and traditions, the president of KAHEA: The Hawaiian Environmental Alliance, a coalition of Hawaiian and Environmental organizations committed to protecting the natural and cultural environment of Hawai'i, and co-founder and president of Aloha 'Aina, a new Hawaiian political party