Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika: Roselle Bailey

Not until we lived in Iraq did I begin to take hula and my heritage seriously. It was then that I began to have dreams of home and the Hawai'ian language. It redirected my life–or did it?

— Roselle Bailey

Roselle Bailey's life work is to teach and preserve Hawai'ian culture. She served as caretaker of one of the most significant sites to hula practitioners and helped to launch the Ka Ipu Kukui leadership training program at Maui Community College. Roselle also founded the halau Ka 'Imi Na 'auao o Hawai'i Nei, whose goal is both to maintain traditional Hawai'ian culture and traditions and to heal ethnic and cultural divisions among Hawai'ians and between people of all cultures.

"About ten years ago, a member of our hula group and dear friend Keani died. Roselle and I were among the hundreds of people at her funeral. It was such a sad and painful thing to lose a cherished friend. I was having a hard time of it. I found myself standing next to Roselle in the large crowd, felt her physical presence, her strength and her support. She saw how I was struggling, and said to me 'Carol, we have to do this for Keani.' With that, she squeezed my hand and started chanting. Roselle's simple sentence and her powerful chanting were a reminder of the beautiful friend I had lost, and that saying goodbye to her was the way that I could honor her." (Carol Pescaia) "There was the time when we were on the Greek ship Lydia going from Beirut to Piraeus, Greece, via Port Said and Alexandria. Many Greeks were being deported from Egypt at the time. The decks of the 'Lydia' were burdened with Greek families and their belongings. It was in a sense bittersweet and like a large family party. When they found out that I was Hawai'ian, they asked me to do the 'hula-hula'. After several dances, they did their dances for me to show their appreciation. Soon I found myself swept up into their circle trying to look good doing their dances. Such fun! To this day, whenever we hear Greek music, the images and warmth of the people aboard the Lydia are relived." (Roselle Bailey)

Ka 'Imi Na 'auao O Hawai'i Nei