Hāwane Rios is a Mauna Kea Protector and a singer/songwriter from Puʻukapu, Waimea on the Island of Hawaiʻi. She was raised from an early age in the traditional art forms of chant and dance of her people which created a strong foundation for her passion of music and songwriting. She knows her lineages, cultural traditions, and music, driving her commitment to aloha ʻāina (love for the land) and the collective responsibility to care for and protect Mother Earth. She is the recipient of a 2020 Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Contemporary Album of the Year and has won multiple Big Island Music Awards.
For the past twelve years, Rios has stood on the frontlines of the Protect Mauna Kea Movement and alongside her family as a petitioner in the court system in resistance to the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope. Her outreach work has taken her to many places and has connected her to many different justice movements rooted in standing up and speaking up for the rights of the land and water. She continues to support the efforts of the movement through her educational outreach work with the non-profit organization, Mauna Kea Education and Awareness, and through her work as a musician, dancer, and chanter.
The practice of oli is revolutionary and restorative. It is a reclamation of power in the form of sound and frequency. It is the practice of healing in motion and in action.
—Hāwane Rios (Kānaka ʻŌiwi)
Rios’ LIFT project, Reclaiming Our Rightful Place In The Sacred House of Women Through Ceremony & the Ancestral Vocal Art of Chant, centers around instruction for the Hale Haumea (hula school) over weekly chant classes and ending the year with a multi-day ceremonial gathering and presentation of the chants to mark their graduation to the next level of Native Hawaiian chant training. The training is dedicated to reimagining and reclaiming traditional practices, ceremonies, and rituals tied to the Hale o Papa, the ancient house of women, through the ancestral arts of oli, mele, and hula (chant, song, and dance).