Nā Mea ʻOhe

G. ʻUmi Kai
2024 Grant Recipient

Kumu ‘Umi shares knowledge on ʻohe, bamboo and its physical, cultural, and spiritual significance in Hawaiʻi. Identification of Hawaiian ʻohe and proper gathering techniques will be discussed. As will its many uses such as a tool for cutting and stamping, a container for water, a flute, trumpet, and hula implements. This project offers a hands-on experience for students with the hope that knowledge passed on during the training will in turn be shared with others.

Gordon ʻUmialīloalāhānauokalākaua King Kai, born and raised in Kaʻimukī, Oʻahu, started making Hawaiian implements in high school in 1967 and continues today. Has worked on projects for Bishop Museum, Peabody Museum, Cook Museum, Hula Museum in Japan and many private collectors of Hawaiian artifacts.

Currently President of ʻAha Kāne; ʻŌlohe Lua of Pā Kuʻi A Lua; Kūpuna of Hale Mua o Kualiʻi; Member of Nā Lehua Kūmakua.


  • Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Award 2021
  • Ho’okahiko Award from Duke’s Waikiki 2019
  • Na Mamo Makamae o ka Po’e Hawai’I (Living Treasure of the Hawaiian People) Awardee 2019
  • MAMo Awardee 2017 by the PA’I Foundation
  • Educator of the Year 2016 by Native Hawaiian Education Association
  • Fellowship Award 2015 by Native Arts and Culture Foundation
  • Masters Program 1998 by Hawai’i State Culture and the Arts