|Birth: ||Sep. 17, 1922|
|Death: ||Apr. 11, 2009|
Born Leilani Hia'a Kalaeloa.
In 1925 at a very young age, Ma Ma Loa debuted at the Halema'uma'u Crater in Hawai'i; she was dedicated by her father to Pele, the firey goddess of the volcano, as a dancer to the gods. It is said that Ma Ma Loa worked with Alfred Apaka at the Lexington Hotel in New York City. She danced and sang in shows with Bing Crosby. She performed with the late Ray Kinney as one of his Aloha Maidens, danced, sang, and acted as a comic as well. Her performing took her across the country during World War II, entertaining at Annapolis, Maryland; Paris Island, South Carolina, and at various military bases. Ma Ma Loa worked with Hawai'i's great Lena Machado, with whom she sung "Song Bird of Hawai'i" in the same range contralto. She performed also with the outstanding steel guitarist Tommy Castro. More recently on May3, 1998, Ma Ma Loa performed notably the hula (as she on occasion would be inspired to do an impromptu dance) to Paul Abraham's" Die Blume von Hawai'i," The Flower of Hawai'i, a German-French operetta from the 1930s. Accompanied by Bandmaster Aaron Mahi and the Royal Hawaiian Band at a Kapi'olani Park concert, the spirited Ma Ma Loa danced to the entire medley of songs from the operetta. A bust of Ma Ma Loa was sculpted by the late K. Kelley, wife of John Kelly, Sr. This was given to the Lili'uokalani Trust Center in Honolulu. Ma Ma Loa was the model used for John Kelley Sr.'s painting "Leilani on the Beach" In 2005 several images of her including Kelly's famous painting "Lei Maker," were displayed in a retrospective show of his art at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. Ma Ma Loa served as a Miss Universe Beauty Pageant Judge in 1958. She is a lifetime Honorary Member of the Dietetic Society of West Point. Ma Ma Loa was also very active in campaigns in the late 70's to save the Royal Hawaiian Hotel from demolition as well as to preserve the Waikiki Natatorium, a World War I memorial. Ma Ma Loa wanted to save anything traditional.
Hawaiian Memorial Park Cemetery
Created by: Rudi Polt
Record added: Feb 08, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 47804714