Kupuna Arline Wainaha Kuuleialoha Brede Eaton, lovingly known as Aunty Arline, was one of only two keiki to have grown up in Puuloa in an area now known as Iroquois Point, Ewa Beach. Raised by her grandparents, Tutu Mama Malia and Tutu Papa Nahiala Kealoha, she remembers swimming in the ponds and traversing up and down the Ewa Plain during a time when the area was mostly water.

Ewa’s ‘Auntie Arline’ recognized for lifetime achievements, devotion to Hawaiian culture

EWA—These days, our keiki have quite the selection of role models to choose from as info about the biggest stars and the hottest athletes stream in constantly through the latest technology. But in Ewa Beach, one kupuna is doing her part in making a lasting impression on her students without all the glitz and glam.

Last week on September 14, Arline Waianaha Kuuleialoha Brede Eaton, also known as “Aunty Arline,” was the recipient of the Kalani Alii Award to honor her lifetime achievements and devotion to the Hawaiian culture and in passing on her knowledge and wisdom to Hawaii’s youth.

The Hoakalei Cultural Foundation Board President was one four recipients of the award presented by four royal societies. The societies included the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, the Ahahui Kaahumanu, the Hale O No Alii O Hawaii, and the Daughters and Sons of the Hawaiian Warriors—Mamakakaua.

Eaton grew up one of only two children to be raised not just in Iroquois Point, but also in the Ewa area in the early 20th century. As a full-blooded Hawaiian now in her mid-80s, she is a Hawaiian studies teacher for Iroquois Point Elementary School as part of the Kupuna Program for the DOE, where she has worked since 1986.

Aunty Arline spent 40-years working for Hawaiian Tel and raising her family before becoming a teacher. She is also very active in the community as a protocol officer of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, and a member of the Ewa-Puuloa Hawaiian Civic Club, Hale O Na Alii O Hawaii, Hoomakaikai Explorations Kamehameha Schools, Na Waiwai O Leeward, Ka Lei Papahi O Kakuhihewa, and the Business and Professional Women’s Organization.

“Aunty Arline has been identified as the most knowledgeable Kupuna on the Ewa plain, passing on moolelo, or stories, of the Ewa moku from traditional Hawaiian times to the present,” said Alicia Maluafiti, treasurer of the Hoakalei Cultural Foundation, in a statement.

The Hoakalei Cultural Foundation was established in 2006 to help sustain and protect the land and history in the Ewa area. Led by Eaton, the board president, the foundation pushes to provide proper accessibility to the community of archaeological sites within the Hoakalei Resort and is continuously trying to partner up with area schools to help educate the keiki. 

“The Foundation recently completed production of the oral history of the Ewa moku, recorded by Aunty Arline, which will be used in our future efforts to educate residents and visitors about Hawaiian culture and traditions,” Maluafiti said. She is an absolute treasure and well deserving of this prestigious award.”

The annual awards banquet was hosted by The Royal Order of Kamehameha I. Others who received awards included Mahi Beamer, Doc Burrows, Ane Kanahele, and Leiana Woodside. The Queen’s Medical Center was awarded the Order of Kalani Alii in recognition of its contributions to Hawaiian Health.

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