Advertisement - Click to support our sponsors.

Thursday, December 14, 2000

Hula teacher
Kanani Brighter dies

More obituaries

By Mary Adamski

In a small place like Molokai, it's not surprising that everyone knew Kanani Brighter, who taught hula in his own halau and Hawaiian culture in the public schools' kupuna program.

But Brighter had a wider circle of recognition, extending to hula students and fans in Japan, California and Las Vegas.

"He was a teacher that really took teaching seriously," said kumu hula Moana Dudoit of Moonui, Molokai.

"He was one of the best hula teachers that I've ever known. He also specialized in South Pacific island dancing, Tahitian and Maori."

Brighter, 47, died Dec. 1 on Molokai.

"He was very humble," said Dudoit, but "everyone on the island knew him. He will never be forgotten."

Brighter taught youngsters from 5 to 12 in his Hula Halau O Kanani. He also had about 40 female students between 30 and 80 years of age, Dudoit said.

"When he taught, it was like he took his students as his family," she said.

She said he had worked in Japan for 19 years, called there to teach hula and produce Hawaiian shows at hotels. He had served as a judge for hula competitions in Hawaii, Japan, Las Vegas, California, Seattle, New Orleans and Washington, D.C.

Before moving to Molokai about 10 years ago, Brighter worked for several years at Hula Supply Center in Honolulu. He was skilled at weaving grass and fiber skirts and received orders for dance costumes from all over the world, said his sister, Sharlene Rezentes.

He is survived by brother Peter Enoka; sisters Grace U. and Harmony T.K. Brighter, Sharlene P. Rezentes, Mary Ann E. Tamoria, Pauline H. and Margaret U. Enoka; and hanai family Chihiro Ito and Moana Dudoit.

Oahu services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Soka Gakkai International-Hawaii, at 2729 Pali Highway. Friends may call from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The family requests that aloha attire be worn.

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2000 Honolulu Star-Bulletin