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Clifford Nae'ole Tourism + Hospitality + Cultural Advisor

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“What Will I Be As An Ancestor”

Clifford Nae’ole has been a key force of energy and wisdom for the revival of the Hawaiian culture for more than thirty years. He has worked alongside Deepak Chopra, Tony Robin, participated in the Indigenous Advisory Committee to President Barak Obama, and spent quality time with his Holiness the Dalai Lama. His extraordinary ability to convey the sacredness of the Hawaiian culture, his determination to educate and to mentor has carved him a place of respect in the hospitality industry where he has won numerous accolades and recognitions including the Meeting Professional International (MPI) award.

Clifford was destined to find his path of honouring his Hawaiian culture and performing his sacred duty as hiapo (firstborn).  Even before his birth as the first born, of the first born, of the first born, of the first born, Clifford Nae’ole’s duty and responsibilities had been laid out before him.  He returned after years of working in the corporate world on the mainland away from his language and culture.

When he finally returned home to find his family’s lo’I (taro patch) in ruins, Clifford vowed to reconnect to his roots.  “I started with the hula. From hula came the root of the language, then came the chant, and spirituality, and the doors just busted wide open after that.”

Now years later, as one of the most renowned Cultural advisors on the island of Maui, Clifford is helping to restore and educate the world about the Hawaiian culture, language and practices. 

“Nowadays, Nae‘ole’s work routine may start with a predawn plunge into the ocean, while guiding resort guests in raising the morning sun with Hawaiian chants. Next on the agenda: editing marketing brochures with an eye towards cultural sensitivity, followed by teaching “Sense of Place” workshops for coworkers. And once a year, he presides over Celebration of the Arts, a three-day festival devoted to Hawaiian music, dance, interactive art, and cultural panels.” (Shannon Wianecki, Maui Magazine)

“Although oceans and continents separate us, there are parallels in our cultural thinking,” Naeole explains. “We Hawaiians call it ‘aloha,’ but every indigenous group has a word for it. It comes out of the relationship native peoples have with their land, and is expressed to others through love, gratitude, and appreciation. Aloha comes to us in lessons every day; it is up to us to recognize when the lesson comes, and what we are going to do with it.”

Clifford was destined to find his path of honouring his Hawaiian culture and performing his sacred duty as hiapo (firstborn).  Even before his birth as the first born, of the first born, of the first born, of the first born, Clifford Nae’ole’s duty and responsibilities had been laid out before him.  He returned after years of working in the corporate world on the mainland away from his language and culture.

When he finally returned home to find his family’s lo’I (taro patch) in ruins, Clifford vowed to reconnect to his roots.  “I started with the hula. From hula came the root of the language, then came the chant, and spirituality, and the doors just busted wide open after that.”

Now years later, as one of the most renowned Cultural advisors on the island of Maui, Clifford is helping to restore and educate the world about the Hawaiian culture, language and practices. 

“Nowadays, Nae‘ole’s work routine may start with a predawn plunge into the ocean, while guiding resort guests in raising the morning sun with Hawaiian chants. Next on the agenda: editing marketing brochures with an eye towards cultural sensitivity, followed by teaching “Sense of Place” workshops for coworkers. And once a year, he presides over Celebration of the Arts, a three-day festival devoted to Hawaiian music, dance, interactive art, and cultural panels.” (Shannon Wianecki, Maui Magazine)

“Although oceans and continents separate us, there are parallels in our cultural thinking,” Naeole explains. “We Hawaiians call it ‘aloha,’ but every indigenous group has a word for it. It comes out of the relationship native peoples have with their land, and is expressed to others through love, gratitude, and appreciation. Aloha comes to us in lessons every day; it is up to us to recognize when the lesson comes, and what we are going to do with it.”

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