Keliʻi Kalaukoa Masao Grothmann

Born in Wailuku, Maui, a land of sun, and raised in the lush grass hills of Kohala, Hawaiʻi, Keliʻi grew up in a family that continued the sacred hula and kahuna traditions of the Kalaukoa family.

It is an ancient lineage that descends from kumu hula, Liki Ekela, Kailihoona, and Kauhai Likua; who were court chanters of Queen Emma and Kamehameha IV. These are the teachers of Margaret Kalaukoa, the great-grandmother of Keliʻi. The Kalaukoa family traditions and history dates back to a time before the era of King Kamehameha the Great.

The Kalaukoa family has existed as one of the branches of royalty of the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. They are a branch of two great clans of Hawaiʻi Island, the ʻĪ Clan and the Mahi Clan. The first Kalaukoa was a cousin of Kamehameha’s father, and was a warrior chief. The Kalaukoa family was also in charge of raising King Kamehameha III. The Kalaukoa family were part of an ancient Hawaiian freemasonry society called Hale Nauā. This society sought to record, practice, and promote Hawaiian culture while training next generation Hawaiian leaders.

Born to be the inheritor of his family Hawaiian traditions.

The Kalaukoa family is deeply rooted in Hawaiian tradition, culture, and history. Keli’i was born a child who was chosen to learn the sacred hula traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation, as well all knowledge of the family. 

The formal training of Keli’i began when he started walking, and at the age of 11 had learned everything of his family and reached the pinnacle when he passed the huʻelepo ceremony. Since then, Kelli has been allowed to show off his hula in public, allowing him the opportunity to learn from other kumu hula and expand his knowledge and skills even further.

In addition to traditional hula handed down from generation to generation in the family, he was fortunate to have had the opportunity to study under Raylene Kawaiʻaeʻa, Rae Fonseca, Piʻilani Kaʻawaloa, the Kanakaʻole family, Kalena Silva, and Kekoa and Pele Harman.

As a result, Keliʻi was blessed to have been able to participate in the 2009 Merrie Monarch Festival Competition and the 50th Anniversary Hōʻike of Merrie Monarch Festival.

While he spreads the hula philosophies the various kumu hula have shared with him, he is grounded in the teachings that has been handed down to him from his family..

Put learning into practice

With the blessings of his family elders and the elders of Lahaina and Kohala, Keliʻi began to teach hula at Kamehameha Schools.

At Kamehameha Schools, he was in charge of hula choreography for the annual Hōʻike productions. In 2016, Kumu Keliʻi traveled to Scotland with the performing arts department instructors and students to stage the first ever Hawaiian opera at the renowned Festival Fringe. Their story was the main story of Hawaiian Airlines June / July 2017 issue of Hawaiian Airlines’ in-flight magazine “Hana Hou”


As the only Kumu from Hawaii whose mother tongue is Hawaiian in Japan

Since 2018, Kumu Keli’i is based in Japan and has shared her secret knowledge of hula, Hawaiian language and culture with many students.

He creates his own works every day in Japan, teaches halau in various parts of Japan, and has succeeded in the hula competition in Japan and led him to victory. He has also conducted Hawaii tours, giving students the opportunity to experience the Hawaiian lifestyle he has experienced and discover true Hawaii.

As Kumu, not only an expert in Hawaiian culture, but also the spirit of a Japanese who sleeps in himself, while continuously learning traditional Japanese performing arts such as Nogaku, swordsmanship, and swordsmanship, history and ancient Japan I am also greedily challenging to acquire knowledge about culture.

Learning the history and culture of Hawaii, learning the history and culture of Japan, and also knowing the history and culture of various parts of the world, through cultural arts, not only the fusion of Hawaii and Japan, cultural exchange, but also Japan We continue to share the warm spirit of Aloha with the mission of communicating and disseminating deeper and more accurate knowledge of Hawaii and true information to people.

Educational Background

2009 Graduated from Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi.
2011-13 Assistant Hawaiian Culture Instructor at Kamehameha’s Summer School Program.

Graduated as the top of student cohort with a B.A. from the Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani Hawaiian College at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.


Second Year primary school instructor at Nā Wai Ola Hawaiian Charter School.

2015-2018 Hula, Hawaiian Chant, and Hawaiian Music instructor at Kamehameha Schools Hawai’i High School.


2009 In charge of hula choreography for the annual Hōʻike productions
2009 Merrie Monarch Hula Competition
2013 Hōʻike Night at the 50th Merrie Monarch
2017 Instructor for Hawaiian opera Festival Fringe, 
2009 Kumu Keliʻi performs at the National Theatre of Japan as a dancer in Hālau Hula ʻo Kahikilaulani under the direction of Kumu Hula Rae Fonseca.

First university lecture was held at Teikyo University


Kumu Keliʻi officially moves from Hilo, Hawaiʻi to Tokyo, Japan.


International Dance Festival workshops held in Shinjuku.


Debut of Japanese Hula Musical Waimakalani at the Shirakaba Resort Ikenotaira Hotel.


Kumu Keliʻi makes his amateur Noh debut at the Hosho-ryu Nogakudo under the guidance of Sano Noboru Sensei.


A hālau in Osaka that was privately tutored by Kumu Keliʻi for over 18 months win the Moku o Keawe “Kūpuna Division” in their first competition debut.

2021 Launched Kaulukoah Hawai’i