PTAA Honors Alex M. Mapuhi-Tekurio

Family Tribute video

Alex M. Mapuhi-Tekurio

Alex was born and raised in Papeete, Tahiti. He was raised by his grandparents; Tuamata and Vahineri’i Mapuhi, who taught him the importance of church, family, and culture. At the age of 14 his grandparents were assigned to coordinate the Tahitian Village at the Polynesian Cultural Center (P.C.C) in La’ie, Hawai’i. While living in Tahiti in his early years, he was constantly around masters who taught their unique skills of drumming, singing, dancing, and entertaining. But it was his family’s move to Hawai’i that helped cultivate and develop his love for his home-Tahiti.

As a youth, he watched as his grandparents enthusiastically taught visitors about French Polynesia. It was their enthusiasm and love for teaching, that would put Alex on the path of becoming a teacher himself. His experiences in Hawai’i provided him with the opportunities to teach; just as his parents did, around the world and to share the Tahitian culture with others. In 1969; at the age of 19, he organized his first group to perform throughout Japan. 3 years later he joined the Royal Polynesian Revue and traveled throughout Europe, Asia and the Pacific Islands. He met his wife, Tanya Mahealani Ross-Tekurio, while they were performing in Japan. In 1978- they married in Hawai’i and soon after moved to California to start their family. Alex continued to perform and credits his friends such as, Estella Reid, Pete Seanoa,

Ulu and Me’e Malaulu for giving him an opportunity to share is passion and provide for his family. In 1989 Alex and Tanya organized their group Hiti’a O Te Ra Polynesian Dance Troupe. It started small, -in their garage with their daughters as their first students and has grown into an award-winning troupe that has traveled the world.

Alex continues to perpetuate the teachings of his parents to his family and his students. He is a loving husband, a patient father, and an amazing grandfather. He teaches his students to work hard, stay humble, respect your elders (whether you are right or wrong 😉) and above all put God before all things and He will direct you to where you need to be.