HAWAIIANA examines the enduring legacy of Winona "Aunty Nona" Beamer, a venerated educator, storyteller, composer and hula expert who dedicated her life to preserving and celebrating traditional Hawaiian culture. In her 20s, Aunty Nona formed a Hawaiian dance troupe that toured the U.S., eventually performing at Carnegie Hall and bringing the ancient art of hula to the wider public. Later, as a teacher at the Kamehameha Schools, she became a pivotal force in bringing Hawaiian culture back into the classroom. She coined the now well-known term "Hawaiiana" to represent a curriculum that included the best of Hawaiian culture, history and knowledge.
Weaving together archival music and dance performances with past interviews and footage of Aunty Nona and her sons Keola and Kapona Beamer, HAWAIIANA offers a profile of a pioneering woman whose wisdom and life story continue to spread the message of aloha around the world.