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Cultural Traditions of Hawai'i

Welcome to HPA, a leader in international and multicultural inclusion, where the Hawaiian Islands serve as the vehicle and stage for education. For over 200 years, Hawai’i has had a strong international presence and served as the meeting ground for a wide variety of diverse cultures. Hawaiian culture creates the perfect setting for students from all over the world to feel welcome and to experience the power of aloha.

HPA hosts a very strong mix of cultural values and mindsets that result in the collective growth of all. Being a student at HPA means introducing yourself to a wide variety of Hawaiian cultural values and practices.

History of Waimea


The area of Waimea, where the HPA campus is located, has long been a beloved place in Hawaiian history, and honored through stories, chants, and songs. The strong wind and rain of Waimea, known as the Kīpuʻupuʻu, is unique to this part of the Big Island.

Warriors of the area during the time of Kamehameha I were known as the Kīpuʻupuʻu because they were known to come with force in battle just like the wind and rain. A famous chant named “Hole Waimea” states,

“Hole Waimea i ka ihe a ka makani, hao mai nā ʻale a ke Kīpuʻupuʻu”, meaning “Waimea is tousled with shafts of the wind, while the Kipuupuu puffs in gusts.”

The Geography of Waimea is centrally located between one of the most dominant mountains in the world (Mauna Kea) and the famed shoreline of Kawaihae and Puako.

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