Now days it’s uncommon to see people cooking in an imu, but Partners In Development Foundation plans to keep the ancient Hawaiian tradition alive. The Hawaii Tourism Authority has granted funding for PIDF to offer an new program called Ka ʻIke Nohona (the understanding of cultural practices). Through this program, various selected businesses and organizations will be invited to experience a traditional Hawaiian imu workshop, which will offer them a unique opportunity to perpetuate the vital cultural practices which include kuʻi ʻai (taro pounding), Lauhala weaving, traditional Hawaiian values, and servant leadership among much more.
The cultural team leaders heading this project are, ʻIokepa De Santos and Aaron Mahi (pictured above) who are well-established members of the Hawaiian community as culture consultants and teachers for over 20 years. You may also recognize Aaron from when he served as the Bandmaster of the Royal Hawaiian Band from 1981 to 2005. Together, these two regularly lead imu events for PIDF programs that serve at-risk youth and families on the Waiʻanae coast and their dedication to the perpetuation of the Hawaiian culture can bee seen through every aspect of their work.