Aha ‘Awa & Storytellers

ended December 3rd, 2016!

Keala and his group, 'Awa Koa, will continue to do 'awa ceremonies and Kiana will continue to create new events for 2017. Be on the lookout for upcoming events in the calendar! For now, let's take a break and enjoy the holidays and all the blessings that has been provided to us for 2016. Mahalo piha to all of you that has contributed and happy holidays!

Mahalo to All of Our Storytellers:



Mahalo Piha to Our Sponsor


Kiana and Keala have teamed up in creating this event. Without each other this event wouldn't be Aha 'Awa & Storytellers. Keala offers his passion for 'awa and Hawaiian culture knowledge to Kiana's passion for unity and healing. Together, they have been able to gather storytellers from various backgrounds and knowledge to create a colorful and intimate circle of storytelling. You may see hula and ha'akoa, you may hear songs, pule, chants and you may cry, laugh and be inspired all in one night! This is truly a magical event for all to partake in. Please come to our next event. We'd love for you to be a part of it!

Every first Saturday of the month, we invite 3 speakers to share their stories. Please join us to listen and partake in the movement of creating unity and sustaining Hawaiian culture!

“Ke aka ka oukou, ka i’o ka makou.”
The essence is for you, the substance is for us.
— Keala Kahuanui-Paleka


What is ‘Awa?

‘Awa, also known as Kava in the Polynesian Islands with the exception of Hawaii, is a highly prized drink amongst Native Hawaiians. It is one of the plants brought in their sailing canoes by the earliest Polynesian voyagers arriving in Hawai’i. It is recognized as the favorite beverage of the gods, priests, chiefs and people. The drink is prepared from the large roots of the ‘awa shrub of the pepper family, Piper Methysticum, dried and mixed with water.

‘Awa has many uses such as offerings to the gods, ceremonial, medicinal and even cosmetic purposes. A sacred drink by many, ‘awa has two dozen Hawaiian varieties, some of which are known by different names in different localities. Most sacred of these varieties were the ‘awa hiwa and the ‘awa mo‘i’. The great chiefs permit non-sacred varieties to the humble commoner, unless a kahuna used a scared variety to treat a sickness. As did the priests and chiefs, the commoner offered the essence of the ‘awa drink to his personal gods and ancestral spirit guardians (aumakua).

A man who drinks ‘awa remains a man. A man who drinks alcohol becomes a beast.
— La’akea Sugnama

The Effects of ‘Awa

‘Awa in Hawaiian means bitter. It has a slight bitter taste. In the first few sips you may experience heaviness or numbness on the tongue. Drinking ‘awa gives relief to soreness, relaxes and invigorates the body, enabling sleep. It can also be used for medical purposes as it can treat several ailments such as kidney and lung troubles, headaches, difficulty in urination, overweight, even miscarriages, and so much more. -Ancient and Hawaiian Liquors by Henry E. P. Kekahuna

Kiana (Brandi) helped create this event. If you would like to create an event like this, contact her! She loves to work with like-minded people to help empower and unite the community, culture, nature, art and food!