Maelia Loebenstein Carter
Maelia Loebenstein Carter is the kumu hula of Ka Pā Hula O Kaunoe O Wa‘ahila, which she inherited after the passing of her grandmother, Aunty Mae Ulalia Long Loebenstein in 1997.
Their hula tradition is rooted in the mo‘okū‘auhau, or familial genealogy of Kāmawaʻe, the grand hula master of Maui. It is based on a simple philosophy… that it is not just a dance done once a week, but a lifestyle.
The disciplines, values and ethics taught in hālau are things that the haumāna (students) are able to use in everyday life. The hālau advocates that all haumāna are beautiful inside and out, and that they can accomplish anything they desire.
The hālau has been a long time participant and past winner in the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo, and has had the honor of having three Miss Aloha Hula, including Maelia in 1993.
Maelia is also a former Lei Queen for the City & County of Honolulu (1989), and her grandmother Mae, was Lei Queen in 1990, a tradition that has been a part of the ʻohana and hālau for many years. She studied piano for 15 years in her youth, and was the pipe organist and accompanist for the St. Patricks Church choir.
Twenty five years after winning Miss Aloha Hula, Maelia Loebenstein Carter has come full circle as a judge in the 2018 Merrie Monarch Festival for Miss Aloha Hula. The television commentators were complimentary regarding her presence and contribution, indicating that although Maelia felt judging was more difficult than teaching, she was the best qualified to choose the winner because of her experience in knowing all the skills and qualifications involved in this special performance and very prestigious hula competition.