Māhealani Uchiyama felt a passion for music and dance from a very young age and could see the importance of expressing yourself through the forms and how it often touches a part of your soul that speech can’t always reach. While attending a Mbira concert she experienced a profound moment during the performance that made her feel connected to her ancestors in a way she had never experienced before. Māhealani has become a constant student of the Mbira, traveling to Zimbabwe over the years to gain appreciation of the culture and greater understanding of the spiritual aspect of the instrument. In 2021 she wrote the book The Mbira: An African Musical Tradition to show her deep appreciation and respect for the music and people of Zimbabwe.
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