“Plants of Hula: Na Mea Kanu o Ka Hula” in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

On Saturday, April 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Ab Kawainohoikala‘i Valencia and Tim Tunison lead the field seminar “Plants of Hula: Na Mea Kanu o Ka Hula” in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Ab Kawainohoikala‘i Valencia (seated) is the kumu hula (hula teacher/master) of Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu. On Sunday, April 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Valencia and botanist Tim Tunison team up for a cultural and scientific exploration of the plants used in hula.

Ab Kawainohoikala‘i Valencia (seated) is the kumu hula (hula teacher/master) of Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu. On Sunday, April 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Valencia and botanist Tim Tunison team up for a cultural and scientific exploration of the plants used in hula.

“Please join us for this exciting program, following on the heels of the Merrie Monarch Festival, in which a kumu hula (hula teacher/master) and botanist team up for a cultural and scientific exploration of the plants used in hula,” stated Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Elizabeth Fien.

From kumu hula Valencia, learn about hula plants as kino lau, manifestations of Hawaiian deities in plant form (as his Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu understands them).

“There are plants for the hula altar, the kuahu, which include maile, ‘ie‘ie, ‘ilima, lehua, and halapepe.  Plus, there are adornments—mele hula plants that are worn by the dancers—which include maile, ‘ilima, and lehua, plus palapalai, ‘a‘ali‘i, pukiawe, and ‘olapa,” Valencia explained.

Participants meet at the Kilauea Visitor Center.  The day begins with a welcoming oli (chant), followed by a short walk to the kahua hula—the hula platform that overlooks Halema‘uma‘u Crater, home to the volcano goddess Pele.

Next the group will drive to Kilauea Overlook to discuss cultural protocols used when picking plants—and to walk among native species in their natural environment, with scientific information and insight shared by botanist Tunison.

“After lunch, we’ll visit Tunison’s property in Volcano Village, where he is restoring the land to its native ecosystem.  We’ll get a hands-on lesson in native plant propagation, plus receive plant seedlings to grow at home,” said Valencia.

Valencia was born and raised in Honolulu, though his ‘ohana (family) was originally from Hilo.  He established Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu in Honolulu in 1991, and currently maintains his halau (school) in Honolulu as well as Volcano.

Tunison worked for the National Park Service for over 30 years.  He was a Botanist at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park from 1982-1994 and Chief of Resource Management from 1995-2006, when he retired.  Since then, Tunison has taught field botany, native plant propagation, and forest restoration.

This event is presented by the Hawai‘i Volcanoes Institute, a program of the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a non-profit organization.  Program cost is $45 for Friends members and $65 for non-members.  Students (K-12 and college with valid student ID) are $25.  Non-members are welcome to join the Friends in order to get the member discount.

To register for the “Plants of Hula” field seminar, call 985-7373 or visit www.fhvnp.org.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or reasonable modification of policies and procedures to participate in this event should email institute@fhvnp.org or call 985-7373 as soon as possible, but no later than 5 days prior to the program start.

 

Volcano Art Center Presents “Na Mea Hawaii – Hula Arts in the Park”

Volcano Art Center presents Kahula ‘O Nawahine Noho Pu’ukapu under the direction of kumu hula Ana Nawahine-Kahoopii for an inspirational hula kahiko performance at the hula platform in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 10:30am.

Ana Nawahine-Kahoopii by Ken Kurashima

The halau, founded by Nawahine-Kahoopii in 2007, is based in Kuhio Village, Hawaiian Homelands in the ahupua’a of Pu’ukapu, Waimea. The mission of the halau is to express the sacred through the poetry of hula.

“Hula is a sacred path to the core of ourselves, the world we exist within and the worlds that exist within us. As we deepen this awareness of our place in the cosmos it is reflected in our voices and bodies, the joy of oli (chant) and hula (dance) are expressions of this awakening. This path of awakening is a lifetime commitment and one we graciously share with you,” says kumu Nawahine-Kahoopii.

Kahula ‘O Nawahine Noho Pu’ukapu by Ken Kurashima

Also on December 15, there are cultural demonstrations of lei making from 9:30am to 1:30pm at Volcano Art Center Gallery. For the outdoor hula performance, the audience is encouraged to bring mats for sitting on the grass, plus rain and sun gear as the presentation takes place rain or shine. As parking is limited, carpooling is strongly recommended.  Events are free; however, national park entrance fees apply.

These events are sponsored in cooperation with Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and supported in part by the County of Hawaii’s Department of Research and Development and the Hawaii Tourism Authority. For more information, call Volcano Art Center at (808) 967-8222 or visit www.volcanoartcenter.org.

Volcano Art Center (VAC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1974 to develop, promote and perpetuate the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawaii’s people through the arts and education.

 

Keiki Auana Hula Festival ‘E Malama Mau I Ka Hula Festival

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation, in partnership with the Merrie Monarch Festival Committee, is pleased to announce the return of the Keiki Auana Hula Festival ‘E Malama Mau I Ka Hula Festival.

Hulihe‘e Palace

Children dancers from 10 Hawai‘i Island halau will perform auana, or modern, hula from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. October 20 at the Edith Kanakaole Multi-Purpose Stadium in Hilo.

Started in 1981 by the late Aunty Dottie Thompson, the Keiki Auana Hula Festival ran for 22 consecutive years until an election day scheduling conflict in 2003 resulted in the event’s suspension.

In Thompson’s memory, the department of Parks and Recreation is reviving the competition, now called ‘E Malama Mau I Ka Hula Festival, to benefit Hawai‘i Island keiki and to preserve the island’s rich hula tradition.

“We’re delighted this exciting event is returning,” said Luana Kawelu, Merrie Monarch Festival Committee president. “Keiki represent the future of hula, and my mother loved keiki and would be honored to see this event again.”

The ‘E Malama Mau I Ka Hula Festival will feature a total of 20 performances in the following three divisions:

  • Elementary Division – keiki attending kindergarten through fifth grade
  • Intermediate Division – keiki enrolled in sixth through eighth grades
  • Senior Division –  high school keiki in ninth through twelfth grades

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers in each age category.

Standard rules include a minimum of five dancers per performance, use of live musicians, and no plastic lei or cellophane skirts. Also, each mele must be sung in Hawaiian.

Prominent kuma hula Leolani Pratt Ha‘o, Glenn Vasconcellos, Sandra Lee and Holoua Stender have graciously agreed to judge the keiki performances.

Admission is $5 per person. Tickets may be obtained from the performing halau, at the Merrie Monarch Festival office located at 865 Piilani Street in Hilo or by phone by calling 935-9168 weekdays between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Hula Kahiko Informance in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Aims to Entertain and Educate

Volcano Art Center (VAC) proudly presents an exciting addition to this year’s Na Mea Hawaii Hula Kahiko, an annual traditional hula performance held in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The “Hula Kahiko Informance” scheduled for June 30 will provide a rich context for both kama‘aina (locals) and malihini (newcomers) on the inspiring cultural heritage that makes hula such a treasured dance for Hawaii.

For over 30 years, VAC has held the responsibility and privilege of coordinating the Hula Kahiko presentations for the public. The beautiful backdrop of the national park offers the perfect setting for the performances, held each year at the sacred pa hula (hula platform), and delivered with such a true spirit of aloha one imagines the dances to serve as a loving gift to the volcano goddess Pele herself.

Leilehua Yuen dancing hula with Manu Josiah by Ken Kuroshima

In response to the wonderfully engaged and curious audiences over the years, VAC will now be offering the Hula Kahiko Informance – a live educational performance that aims to pass on the traditions of the costumes, leis and cultural significance behind the Hula Kahiko. Invited to preside over the Informance are the acclaimed kumu hula Leilehua Yuen and her equally talented husband and accompanying musician Manu Josiah.

This unique offering will reveal the elaborate behind-the-scenes preparations for the Hula Kahiko – from the gathering of lei foliage, to the art of weaving the lei, to the adornment of the dancer – each meaningful step is demonstrated and described in one beautiful and unforgettable hour. Prepare for an enriching experience in both the wisdom of kumu Leilehua and her inspiring hula as the crowning finale.

Leilehua and Manu admire each other’s love of and respect for their island home. They live in her family home in Hilo, restoring the medicinal garden that her grandfather tended. Leilehua’s hula lineage is rooted in her grandmother’s teachings and her studies with legendary expert on all things Hawaiiana, Auntie Nona Beamer. The powerful natural forces of the island are where Leilehua draws much of her artistic inspiration. Manu also draws strength from the island as he works to preserve his cultural heritage through music and community education.

Save the date for this intimate and revealing display of the age-old pageantry and ritual behind the hula dance. The Hula Kahiko Informance with kumu hula Leilehua Yuen and Manu Josiah will begin at 10:30am on Saturday, June 30 in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. On the same day, a hands-on cultural demonstration will be offered from 9:30am to 1:30pm on the front porch of the Volcano Art Center Gallery. The Hula Kahiko is scheduled for the following Saturday, July 7 at 10:30am. For more information, visit www.volcanoartcenter.org or contact Julie at (808) 967-8222 or julie@volcanoartcenter.org.

 

Unukupukupu Halau From Hawaii Community College Heading to Washington D.C.

University of Hawaiʻi students, staff, faculty and community members have been rehearsing for months in an old World War Two Quonset hut on the Hawaiʻi Community College campus in Hilo. The 25-member hālau is preparing for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C. later this month.

“We’re actually transporting our village. Our hālau,” said Taupouri Tangaro, kumu hula and chair of Hawaiʻi CC’s Hawaiian lifestyles and humanities department.

The hula group Unukupukupu hired a professional moving company to ship decorative plants, 50 conch shells, 25 drums—a total of 2,200 pounds of hula equipment and plants.

The hālau will perform twice a day on the National Mall during the two-week festival, as part of the University of Hawaiʻi’s 80 member delegation. About 1.5 million people will visit this annual festival, which will mean huge exposure for the University of Hawaiʻi and its community.

Unukupukupu wants to demonstrate the many ways hula helps the community.

“If they walk away realizing that hula is not entertainment more than it is a process for transformation, I’ll be satisfied. We’re taking this 2,000 year old story and we pull out of it leadership models,” Tangaro said, referring to his use of hula in academics.

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The performers will be doing pele lava dances, temple dances and numbers not commonly seen at lūʻau and the Merrie Monarch Festival.

The performers include faculty, staff, administrators and students from the entire university system.

“We blend those communities so the people that serve the students are actually now students. And we just blend them. And that works really well for student success,” Tangaro said.

“This is wonderful because it dissolves barriers between all the different categories. So we’re all part of the village, so we look at the students as part of the learning process. We learn together and support each other’s growth,” said Professor Trina Nahm-Mijo, head of Hawaiʻi Community College’s Social Science and Public Services Division.

Nahm-Mijo found that she is also the oldest hālau member heading to Washington D.C.

“It’s on my bucket list of things I wanted to do. So I get to do it as a senior citizen. It’s wonderful,” Nahm-Mijo said.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival begins on Wednesday, June 27 and ends on Sunday, July 8.

There will be a host of other University of Hawaiʻi exhibits, including aquaponics, a mini taro patch, traditional navigation, Hawaiian health and healing through hula, medicinal plants, lomi lomi, makahiki games and much more.

This year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrates the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Morrill Act, which paved the way for working class citizens to attend college. Prior to the signing of the Morrill Act, only the wealthy could afford a higher education at private colleges.

The University of Hawaiʻi will be one of 20 public land grant universities participating in this year’s festival.

The 5th Annual E Mau Ana Ka Hula & Makahiki Festival

Keauhou Beach Resort is proud to once again present the 5th Annual E Mau Ana Ka Hula (“The Hula is perpetuated”) and this year the program coincides with the inaugural Makahiki Festival for a double celebration elevating the cultural experience. The two-day event scheduled for Friday, November 18, 2011, and Saturday, November 19, 2011, respectively, will keep everyone engaged with hula workshops, hula performances, health & wellness exhibits and expos, and more.

The E Mau Ana Ka Hula kicks off on Friday, with three scheduled hula workshops starting from 1:00 p.m. through 8:30 p.m. in the Keauhou Beach Resort Ballroom. Space is limited and minimal fees apply for the workshops.  Interested participants can register via email at administrator@nawaiiwiola.org or call 808-640-1384.

On Saturday, the festival will feature the E Mau Ana Ka Hula Celebration with various presentations at the Keauhou Beach Resort Royal Luau Grounds. This special celebration pays tribute to King David Kalakaua, the “Merrie Monarch” with both “kahiko” (ancient) or “hula auana” (modern) hula performances performed by various Hula Halau from Hawai’i, Japan and Europe, including:

  • Kumu Keala Ching, Ka Pā Hula Nā Wai Iwi Ola
  • Kumu Bobo Palacat, Nā Pua Ha’aheo o Kona
  • Kumu Lori Lei Shirakawa, Lori Lei’s Hula Studio
  • Kumu Nalani Kanaka’ole-Zane, Hālau o Kekuhi
  • Kumu Wayne Takemoto, Kaulaokalani o Kona
  • Kumu Bulla Kailiwai, Hālau Kukuimalamalama o Kona
  • Kumu Hulali Solomon- Covington , Beamer Solomon Hālau O Po’ohala
  • Kumu ‘Ulalia Berman-Ka’ai, ‘ Ulalia School of Hawaiian Dance
  • Kumu Ki’iwaikapu Hoapili & Kumu Aulani Young, Aulani’s Hula Hālau
  • Kumu Meleana Manuel, Hālau Ke ‘Olu Makani o Mauna Loa
  • Kumu Iwalani Kalima, Hula Hālau o Kou Lima Nani e

In conjunction with the E Mau Ana Ka Hula celebration, the Makahiki Festival will take place on the same day which includes exhibits by the Hawaii Healing Garden and Hawaii Health Expo, Makahiki games, cultural activities, cooking demonstrations, music and much more! Various vendors will be featuring quality handmade Hawaiian crafts and delectable foods. Both events are free and open to the public, so be sure to bring the whole family down to what is sure to be a fun event! For more festival information, visit www.emauanakahula.org, email info@hawaiihealthguide.com or call 808-638-0888.

Keauhou Beach Resort is an oceanfront hotel on the sunny Kona Coast of Hawaii Island. Ocean tide pools with gentle sea turtles and gardens with native Hawaiian flowers and trees are part of the resort’s beautiful natural surroundings. Special room rates are available starting from $99 per night. For more information or reservations, please call (808) 324-2515, Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time.

Coming Up – 6th Annual Moku O Keawe International Festival Cultural Workshops Celebrate Hula and the Arts

The 6th Annual Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival comes to life at Waikoloa Beach Resort, November 3-5, with international hula competition, a Made-in-Hawai‘i Marketplace and more. One of Hawaii’s biggest hula events, Moku O Keawe offers an educational, entertaining and engaging experience for everyone.

Moku O Keawe

International hula competition, Thursday-Saturday, November 3-5, Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens.   Moku O Keawe brings together hālau from Hawai‘i, Japan, and the U.S. Mainland with top caliber hula competition in the areas of Hula Kahiko and Hula ‘Auana.

  • Kahiko competition, Thursday, November 3, 5:30 p.m.
  • Kupuna competition and awards, Friday, November 4, 5:30 p.m.
  • ‘Auana competition and awards, Saturday, November 5, 5:30 p.m.

Affordable for everyone, Moku O Keawe tickets are only $5 Lawn seating, $15 Reserved. (Beach chairs and mats welcomed!)

Hawai‘i Marketplace.  Friday and Saturday November 4 and 5, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.  The Made-In-Hawaii Marketplace features some of the best products from the Island of Hawaii.  Hula implements, fresh lei, silk-screened clothing, woven lauhala hats and purses and jewelry, are some of the offerings at the special marketplace.

Moku O Keawe

Cultural Workshops, November 3-5.  The competition judges are asked to share their knowledge through workshops.  As masters, their insights and experiences are offered on a personal basis, allowing participants an opportunity to learn about hula kahiko and hula ‘auana, as the various lineages of the kumu hula are unique forms in style, repertoire, and interpretation.  Registration is limited and students are urged to register early by visiting www.MOKIF.org.

2011 Workshops

  • Workshop #1:  “Ko Ma‘i Ho‘eu‘eu” – Hula Ipu Heke Ole/Hula ‘Auana:  Nalani Kanakaole, Competition Judge.  Thursday, November 4, 9 a.m.–12 p.m.  “Ko Ma‘i Ho’eu‘eu” was composed for King Kalākaua.  The mele ma‘i honors the King and one of his popular mottos: “Ho‘ulu Lāhui” or “Increase the Race.”  The use of the ipu in choreography adds percussion by the dancer.  As a hula teacher for over fifty years, she is widely known as a difficult choreographer, affording the student of hula ‘auana with many challenges.  This three-hour class is limited to 50 students, with a donation of $50 for the three-hour hula workshop.
  • Workshop #2:  Hula Workshop: Leialoha Amina, Competition Judge.  Friday, November 4, 9 a.m.–12 p.m.  Limited to 50 participants.  Information will be provided soon.  A donation of $50.00 includes class instruction.
  • Workshop #3:  “Manu ‘O‘o” – Hula ‘Auana:  Iwalani Kalima, Competition Judge.  Saturday, November 5, 9 a.m.–12 p.m.  A favored love song, this hula speaks of Hilo Hanakahi, the kanilehua rain, and the lehua clusters.  Harry Na‘ope, grandfather of George Na‘ope, penned this mele hooipoipo. Iwalani Kalima comes from the very talented Kalima ‘ohana, known for their leo nahenahe.  In addition to “Manu ‘O‘o,” the student will learn “Ka Manu,” as the kai and hoi for the stage performance. A donation of $50 includes instructions for the three-hour hula workshop.
  • Workshop #4:  “Palisa” – Hula ‘Auana Workshop: Nani Lim Yap, Kumu Hula.  Thursday, November 3, 9 a.m.–12 p.m.   Nani, a gifted singer, hula dancer, ‘ukulele player and one of the Kumu Hula of the award-winning Hula Hālau Nā Lei O Kaholoku, is one of the “sweet angelic voices” of the popular musical family – the Lim Family of Kohala. “Palisa,” a song written by Kuana Torres, is a contemporary hula, as the song has just been released this year. The three-hour class is limited to 50 students. A donation of $50 includes instructions for the three-hour hula workshop.
  • Workshop #5:  Wahi Pana: Kalahuipua‘a – Huaka‘i to South Kohala:  Kaniela and Anna Akaka.  Friday, November 4.  Departure: 10 a.m., Return: approximately 2 p.m.  The Kalahuipua‘a Fishponds are the spiritual center of Mauna Lani Resort.  The seven ponds—Kalahuipua‘a, Kahinawao, Waipuhi, Waipuhi Iki, Hope‘ala, Milokukahi and Manoku—were used to raise fish and supplement ocean fishing. Daniel Akaka and his wife Anna, ambassadors of aloha, will direct the excursion of the famed site.  This excursion begins at Waikoloa Beach Marriott with a bus shuttle departure at 10 a.m.  A donation of $45.00 includes tour, historical facts, bus fees and box lunch.
  • Workshop #6:  Pa‘u La‘i – Ti Leaf Skirt: Kika Nohara.  Friday, November 4, 1-4 p.m.  In hula, only the green ti plant is used in making lei, skirts, and in ritual. Kika Nohara, a dancer with Hālau O Kekuhi and is ranked a kumu through ‘uniki rites, will teach the hālau style of making the fresh green skirt. The three-hour hands-on workshop will share techniques and the preparation of the leaves. A kit will be provided to each participant.  A donation of $50 includes instruction and all supplies including all ti leaves.
  • Workshop #7:  Ipu Heke ‘Ole – Hula Gourd Instrument:  Kalim and Kuuleialoha Smith.  Thursday, November 3; 1-4 p.m.  Implements are extensions of the body.  In ‘auana, the ipu heke ‘ole (single gourd), is held in one hand and tapped, swirled, and positioned within the choreography to enhance and illustrate the story lines. Kalim and Kuuleialoha Smith grow the ipu on lands of their forefathers.  Select an ipu and create a percussion instrument that will last a lifetime! Class size is limited due to the number of gourds available.  Only 25 students will have a selection of ipu.  A donation of $75 includes a complete ipu heke kit and classroom instructions.  (A hula workshop with the ipu heke ‘ole will be taught by Nalani Kanakaole the following day.)
  • Workshop #8:  Ipu Heke – Hula Gourd Instrument:  Kalim and Kuuleialoha Smith.  Thursday and Friday, November 3 and 4.  9 a.m.-12 p.m. both days.  The ipu heke is one of the percussion instruments of the hula kahiko.  Kalim and Kuuleialoha Smith grow the ipu on lands of their forefathers.  They have grown and made some of the most perfect instruments in modern times. Class size is limited due to the number of gourds available.  Only 25 students will have a selection of ipu.  A donation of $135 includes a complete ipu heke kit and classroom instructions.

The Moku O Keawe International Festival is sponsored by the Moku O Keawe Foundation, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing, enriching and educating the practice and development of hula and its associated arts. For information and tickets to events, visit www.MOKIF.com

Moku O Keawe Foundation Receives Grant From Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Media Release:

The Moku O Keawe Foundation has been awarded a $10,000 Community Event Grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA).  Funding will be used to continue their mission of Hawaiian cultural education, and present the 5th Annual Moku O Keawe Festival.

“We are extremely grateful to OHA for their support and the confidence they show in Moku O Keawe Foundation,” said President Sherron Rosenberger.  “It is exciting and inspiring to see the living Hawaiian culture grow and expand around the world through hula and the arts of hula.  And as that happens, it is even more important for organizations to work together—not only to reach a broader audience, but to share our messaging in the most respectful, authentic and meaningful way.”

The 5th Annual Moku O Keawe Festival concluded November 7 at Waikoloa Beach Resort, with 15 participating hālau from Hawaii and Japan competing in wahine hālau and pakahi (solo) hula kahiko, ‘auana and kupuna divisions.  The hula competition was coordinated by Kumu Hula Nani Lim Yap.  Other events included a made-in-Hawaii marketplace and closing night Hō‘ike starring workshop students and special appearance by Kumu Hula O’Brian Eselu and the men of Ke Kai O Kahiki, Merrie Monarch Winners.  An intensive workshop series, organized by Hawaii designer Sig Zane, featured classes in Ipu Heke (double gourd drum), Lauhala Weaving,‘Il‘ili and an excursion to the historic site at Mahukona for a workshop with Nā Kumu Hula Howard and Olana A‘i.  Workshops in hula were taught by Nā Kumu Hula Nalani Kanaka‘ole, Kaleo Trinidad and Uluwehi Guerrero

Other Moku O Keawe sponsors include Waikoloa Beach Resort, Louis Vuitton, Native Arts & Cultures Foundation, Creative Arts, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Waimea Music Company, Big Island Candies, Sushi Shiono, County of Hawaii, KAPA, Vitamin Water and Kintetsu International Hawaii.

The Moku O Keawe International Festival is an annual celebration of the rich Hawaiian culture, produced by the Moku O Keawe Foundation, a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to enhancing, enriching and educating the practice and development of hula and its associated arts to build, strengthen and inspire the living cultural traditions of Hawai‘i.  For more information, visit www.MOKIF.com

Winners Announced: 2010 Moku O Keawe International Festival

(Media Release)

The 5th Annual Moku O Keawe International Festival’s hula competition concluded Saturday November 5, when First Place Wahine Hula and First Place Pakahi (Soloist) were awarded to Hula Hālau O Leilani, Kumu Hula Mihoko Ogawa, from Kanagawa, Japan.

Members of the Hau‘oli’s Masako Aketa’s Hula Studio perform in the Kupuna division of the 2010 Moku O Keawe Hula Competition. (Photo Michael Darden)

The winning hālau received a spectacular sterling silver and ‘ōhi‘a wood trophy created by Tiffany & Co., with Moku O Foundation’s “Pu‘u Lehua” logo designed by Sig Zane.  The perpetual trophy will be held by the winner through the year and returned for the 2011 presentation.  Solo winners received a Moku O Keawe signature bracelet in the same design.

On Friday, Hau‘oli’s Masako Aketa’s Hula Studio won first place in Kupuna Hula and Pakahi competitions.  A total of 15 hālau from Hawai‘i and Japan participated in the competition.  Groups and soloists were evaluated by judges Nālani Kanaka‘ole, Howard A‘i, Uluwehi Guerrero and Kaleo Trinidad, for expertise in the areas of Ka‘i (entrance chant), Interpretation, Expression Posture Precision, Hand Gestures, Feet and Body movements, Ho‘i (exit chant), Costumes, Adornments, Grooming and Overall Performance.

Event sponsors include Waikoloa Beach Resort, Louis Vuitton, Big Island Candies, Big Island Visitors Bureau, Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Native Arts & Cultures Foundation, Resort Quest Hawaii, Central Pacific Bank, Hilton Grand Vacations Club, Waimea Music Company, Bausch & Lomb, KAPA, Creative Arts, Shiono Sushi, Hawaii Tourism Authority, County of Hawaii, Kintetsu International Hawaii.

The Moku O Keawe International Festival is an annual celebration of the rich Hawaiian culture, produced by the Moku O Keawe Foundation, a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to enhancing, enriching and educating the practice and development of hula and its associated arts to build, strengthen and inspire the living cultural traditions of Hawai‘i.  For more information, visit www.MOKIF.com

2010 Moku O Keawe International Festival Winners
Kupuna Pakahi (Soloist) Winners
3rd Place:  Ke Ola Pono No Na Kupuna, Kumu Hula Rayce Bento
2nd Place: Kyushu Hawaiian Association, Kumu Hula Keiki Ito
1st Place:  Hau’oli’s Masako Aketa’s Hula Studio, Kumu Hula Masako Aketa

Kupuna Hālau Winners
3rd Place:  Hālau Keali‘i O Nālani, Kumu Hula Keali‘i Ceballos
2nd Place: Hālau Kealakapawa, Kumu Hula Michael Canopin
1st Place:  Hau’oli’s Masako Aketa’s Hula Studio, Kumu Hula Masako Aketa

Wahine Pakahi (Soloists)
3rd Place: Kukui Mālamalama O Kona, Kumu Hula Bula Ka‘iliwai
2nd Place: Hau‘oli’s Masako Aketa’s Hula Studio, Kumu Hula Masako Aketa
1st Place:  Hula Hālau O Leilani, Kumu Hula Mihoko Ogawa

Wahine Hālau
3rd Place: Hālau Kealakapawa, Kumu Hula Michael Canopin
2nd Place: Beamer-Solomon Hālau O Po‘ohala, Kumu Hula Hulali Covington
1st Place:  Hula Hālau O Leilani, Kumu Hula Mihoko Ogawa

Palace Performance Honors ‘Merrie Monarch’

Media Release:

The Daughters of Hawai‘i present a free concert 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21 at Hulihe‘e Palace to honor King David Kalakaua (1836-1891), former palace curator Aunty Lei Collins and bandmaster Charles ‘Bud’ Dant. Enjoy the voices of the Merrie Monarchs and Hawaiian performing arts by Kumu Hula Etua Lopes and his hula halau, Na Pua Ui O Hawai‘i. Kindly bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.

The brother of Queen Lili‘uokalani, Kalakaua became king by election, rather than birthright, in 1874. He was from a long line of chiefs from the island of Hawai‘i; his queen was Kapiolani.

“During Kalakaua’s reign, music thrived due to royal patronage,” says Fanny Au Hoy, docent coordinator. “He loved the performing arts, especially music.”

The king played the piano and composed chants and mele (songs) in both Hawaiian and English. Nicknamed the “Merrie Monarch,” Kalakaua also embraced Western music and promoted the playing of the ‘ukulele. He composed the words to the kingdom’s national anthem, “Hawai‘i Pono‘i,” which was set to music by his Royal Hawaiian Band.

“Kalakaua was a Renaissance man for Hawaiian arts,” adds Au Hoy. “Kalakaua felt the political survival of his kingdom depended upon the cultural revitalization of the Hawaiian people. He included mele oli (chant) and hula in the king’s 1883 coronation and 1886 jubilee.

“The king enjoyed visiting Kona, bought Hulihe‘e Palace and remodeled it,” explains Au Hoy. “He stuccoed the exterior, plastered the interior and enlarged the ocean lanai. The home took on a Victorian air with crown and gold leaf picture moldings and crystal chandeliers. Ever the Merrie Monarch, Kalakaua furnished Hulihe‘e with the finery needed for entertaining: china, glassware, satin cushions, rugs and paintings.”

Kalakaua visited Washington, D.C. and brought about a reciprocity treaty of duty-free commerce with the U.S. He also sailed around the world in 1881 to promote Hawai‘i’s sugar industry. During this period, different countries attempted to take control of several Pacific islands. A group of foreigners, with the help of a military unit, forced the king to sign the Bayonet Constitution in 1887, taking away most of his power. Kalakaua died in 1891 on a trip to San Francisco and Lili‘uokalani, his regent, became queen.

After closing for earthquake repairs in December 2007, Hulihe‘e Palace is open for self-guided tours. Museum and gift shop hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturdays. Hulihe‘e Palace admission, which at this time includes a self-guided tour brochure, remains $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for keiki under 18. Volunteer docents are sometimes available to give guided tours. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org. The gift shop can be reached by phoning 329-6558.

Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i. The organization was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all.

2010 Hulihe‘e Palace Concert Schedule:  4 p.m. on the palace grounds

  • Jan 17: Band Concert remembering King Kamehameha II “Lunalilo” and Aunty I’olani Luahine
  • Feb 21: Hula Concert remembering Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani
  • Mar 21: Band Concert remembering Queen Ka’ahumanu and Prince Kuhio
  • Apr 18: Hula Concert remembering Prince Albert
  • May 16: Hula Concert remembering King Kamehameha IV “Alexander Liholiho”
  • Jun 13: Band Concert remembering King Kamehameha I “Paiea”
  • Jul 18: Hula Concert remembering John Adams Kuakini
  • Aug 22: Hula Concert remembering King Kamehameha III “Kauikeaouli”
  • Sep 19: Band Concert remembering Queen Lili‘uokalani
  • Oct 17: Hula Concert remembering Princess Kai‘ulani
  • Nov 21: Band Concert remembering King Kalakaua, Palace Curator Aunty Lei Collins and Bandmaster Charles “Bud Dant
  • Dec 12: Hula Concert remembering Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop

An Invitation From the Island of Keawenui: E NA PUA ALOHA HULA, E NA OLAPA ALOHA IA LAKA, E NA KANAKA ALOHA HAWAII, E HU A‘E!

An Invitation From the Island of Keawenui: E NA PUA ALOHA HULA, E NA OLAPA ALOHA IA LAKA, E NA KANAKA ALOHA HAWAII, E HU A‘E! by Sage Takehiro & Moku O Keawe:

I credit a lot of my writing style to my kumu hula’s choreography: informative and aesthetic, graceful and fierce. My name is Sage Uilani Takehiro.  I have been invited to tell a story of a hula celebration from my perspective and I extend this invitation to all who would like to experience the 5th Annual Moku O Keawe International Festival.


When I reflect on my first experience of hula, I recall being eye level with rows of rope tucked into an off-white pa‘u that popped with every uwehe. I watched all parts of those bare feet press into the floor while Nalani Kanakaole yelled, “Point that toe!” I smelled the sweat of that old studio and the kinolau of a hula goddess that adorned a life-size black and white photo of her mother, Aunty Edith – her arm slightly extended, her pointer finger gently stretched out, her palms perfect like they could catch rainwater, her mouth open, lips curved at the corners. I wondered what story she was chanting, what words were captured in that moment – I wonder if she knew that I would wonder about her.

I make sure to always point my toes when I dance. The strange thing is, I cannot feel my feet. When Aunty Nalani’s hand spanks that ipu I change. I am not me, I don’t have drama, and I’m not concerned about where the next rager is, or what I’m going to wear. I am something else. At the sound of a gourd I become a Story.

When people ask me how I wrote my first book, I hesitate to spill the beans. That is, I pretend like I’m dancing. While my fingertips compose words on a page, my mind leaps in line – a procession of storytellers to my right and to my left, to my front, my back, and at the oblique reach of my imagination. Hula is the foundation for everything I present to the world. When I think of the word “hula,” I recall stories that ignite my insides. I become a fire blazing trails through literary landscapes.

Through all the words I could ever read or write no knowledge compares to that which ignites inside of us when we dance. When I was young we were told not to share the fire. The things we learned in hula were kapu, VIP only kine info that nobody can know or touch, only see when it’s time to perform. There is still the common filter that every Halau has, but now everybody celebrates the sharing of knowledge like Makahiki born-again. Awareness of Hawaiian knowledge grows at the national and global levels, but to know is to experience.

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The Moku O Keawe International Festival is a celebration of hula – the most organic form of Hawaiian storytelling – providing an appropriate time and place to bring different perspectives together to share and develop our knowledge expressed in the medium of performance arts.


At last November’s festival, it had been almost a decade since I danced in a line while Aunty Nalani yelled at me. We learned Aia I Olaa Kuu Aloha, a song by Kaumakaiwa Kanakaole that describes the feeling of desire, a song that calls out to a lover. We were rarely rewarded with auwana dances at Halau O Kekuhi, so to learn such a beautiful mele in the modern style of hula with Aunty’s kahiko-ish choreography was a refreshing treat.

Another workshop that I participated in last year celebrated the place Mahaiula. We learned a hula auwana from Kaleo Trinidad in the patio of a condemned house that Helen Desha Beamer once partied at when she was young like us. We went through each verse describing a procession of her huakai from sailing through Kona, arriving at Mahaiula, and having a grand old time all the way until the moon light made love with the morning star. I kissed the flowers that Beamer described at the front porch of the house. I ran my hand across the old bar that served spirits to her friends. I was inspired to persevere with my writing, so that one day the young people will dance our stories, and so that our stories may inspire theirs.

Each island has its own rich history, beautiful expression, and highly regarded ancestry. The genealogy of Keawenuiaumi is especially unique as his island actively gives birth to Kamaehu. Through offering the knowledge of this place, and inviting others to participate in this exchange, we celebrate creation, life, and the stories of our cultural procession…

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5th Annual Moku O Keawe International Festival Celebrates Hula

Workshops and Special Appearance by O’Brian Eselu

Media Release:

Moku O Keawe International Festival returns November 4-7 with cultural workshops, international hula hālau, and the opportunity to see Kumu Hula O’Brian Eselu and the men of Ke Kai O Kahiki on the big stage at Waikoloa Bowl.

Members of Aulani Hula Halau compete in the 2008 Moku O Keawe Hula Competition (photo by Michael Darden)

The fifth annual comprehensive, colorful and creative celebration of hula takes place November 4 – 7 at Waikoloa Beach Resort.  The Festival brings kama‘āina, visitors and international participants in a four-day schedule with entertainment, hula competition, cultural workshops, island marketplace and closing with the Hō‘ike Night performances.

International competition, Thursday-Saturday, November 4-6, Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens. Moku O Keawe brings together hālau from Japan, the U.S. Mainland and Hawai‘i in a hula competition in Kupuna, Hula Kahiko and Hula ‘Auwana group and solo divisions. Experience Moku O Keawe this year with great ticket prices: $5 Lawn seating, $10 Reserved.

·         Kahiko competition, Thursday, November 4, 6:00 p.m.

·         Kupuna competition and awards, Friday, November 5, 6:00 p.m.

·         ‘Auwana competition and awards, Saturday, November 6, 6:00 p.m.

Hawaiian Cultural Workshops. As masters of hula, the judges of the competition are asked to share their knowledge through workshops.  The insights and experiences from each kumu hula is offered on a personal basis, allowing participants a unique opportunity.  In both hula kahiko and hula ‘auwana, the various lineages of the kumu hula are unique forms in style, repertoire, and interpretation.   There are also opportunities to learn how to make the ipu heke, the standard implement providing the percussion to the dance.  A unique opportunity this year will be the excursion to Mahukona where the student will be taught a hula written for that beautiful site.

Education continues to drive the Moku O Keawe Foundation and it is with these classes that the knowledge from one school is shared with another.  Nalani Kanakaole, Howard Ai, Uluwehi Guerrero, and Kaleo Trinidad are the judges for this year.  Registrations for the classes are limited.  Applicants are urged to register early as spaces are limited and students are urged to register early by visiting www.MOKIF.org.

Hawai‘i Marketplace. Friday and Saturday November 5 and 6, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. The unique Made-In-Hawaii Marketplace features some of the best products from the Island of Hawaii.  Hula implements, fresh lei, silk-screened clothing, woven lauhala hats and purses, and jewelry, are some of the offerings at the special marketplace.

Hō‘ike Night.  Sunday, November 7, 6:00 p.m., at Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens. An important facet of a hula lesson is the public performance as it then brings the student in front of an audience to showcase what was learned.  Moku O Keawe is delighted to share the students of the hula workshops in the Hō‘ike.  Also featured at the final night of the event is a very special appearance by Kumu Hula O’Brian Eselu and his men of Ke Kai O Kahiki.  The hālau has garnered many awards in the Merrie Monarch Festival and has often walked away with the trophy for the overall winner in the most prestigious competition of hula.  Tickets for Hō‘ike Night are Lawn seating $10, Reserved $20.

The Moku O Keawe International Festival is sponsored by the Moku O Keawe Foundation, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing, enriching and educating the practice and development of hula and its associated arts. For information and tickets to events, visit www.MOKIF.com

Ho’olaule’a At Honu’apo in Ka’u Labor Day Weekend

Cyril Pahinui and Others Will Entertain at the Sunday, Sept. 5 Fundraiser

Media Release:

Ka ‘Ohana O Honu’apo celebrates its stewardship of Honu’apo Park at the third “Ho’olaule’a At Honu’apo: Mālama Ka’u,” Sun., Sept. 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Honu’apo Park and Whittington Beach Park.

The free, multi-generational festivities are open to everyone, with great food, music, hula, a mo’olelo (storytelling) contest and more.  Cyril Pahinui, Halau Hula O Kahikilaulani led by Kumu Hula Nahokulani Gaspang, Halau Kukui Malamalama O Kona with Kumu Hula David Ka`iliwai, Back to the ’50s, Halau Hula Ka Makani Hali Ala O Puna with Kumu Hula Ehulani Stephany, Just Us, Mahalo Ke Akua Hula Ministry led by Terry Tanaka, and the Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka’u, will entertain the crowd.

Ka ‘Ohana O Honu’apo and the Ka’u community are dedicated to protecting the 230 acres of Honu’apo Park, now the largest county shoreline park in the state. Honu’apo is a special shoreline nursery that nurtures and protects dozens of endangered marine and terrestrial plants and animals. Event organizers hope to raise awareness about Honu’apo, and raise funds to help maintain programs. The day includes a variety of fun-filled events for all ages, including cultural demonstrations, canoe rides, pony rides and a beach clean-up contest for keiki.

Other special elements of the Ho’olaule’a include a look at the past, with an exhibition of historic photos, and numerous food, crafters and community education booths, a silent auction, and lucky number prizes, including a grand prize of $400 in Hawaiian Airlines gift certificates. The mo’olelo (storytelling) contest has a first prize of $200, second prize of $100 and third prize of $50. Contestants are limited to five minutes, stories must be family-friendly, and stories about Ka’ua nd Honu’apo are encouraged.

“Ka’u has been blessed with so many resources for self-sufficiency,” said event organizer Michelle Galimba, president of Ka ‘Ohana O Honu’apo.  “We have a lot to share, and, based on the two previous Ho’olaule’a At Honu’apo, we expect a large turnout!”

This event is being supported by the County of Hawai’i through a grant from the Hawai’i Tourism Authority.

For more information call (808) 929-9891 or visit www.honuapopark.org.

Uncle George Na’ope Passed Away Today

I have just learned that Uncle George Na’ope has passed away today.

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Uncle George Na'ope

George Na’ope was co-founder of the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival and served as one of the first judges of the competition. He has judged hula competitions worldwide. He travelled the world over performing and teaching hula. “Uncle” George believes that hula is for everyone; not just Hawaiians.

George Na’ope was born in Hilo, and at age three his grandmother Malia Na’ope started him in hula. At four he began to study with Mary Kanaele who was mother and teacher to Edith Kanaka’ole. When he moved to O’ahu, he studied for ten years with Joseph Ilala’ole. He also studied with Antone Kao’o, Iolani Luahine, Lokalia Montgomery, Annie Hall and Jennie Wilson. He ‘uniki’d from Tom Hiona.

He began to teach at age thirteen, because his family was poor, charging fifty cents per week so he could get through school. He taught chant and kahiko to the Ray Kinney dancers, and travelled with Ray Kinney.

“I want to share because if we don’t share these dances, they are going to die. My students are all different races but when they dance, I know they’re Hawaiian.” http://www.kalena.com/uncle_george.html

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiEzIbNf90A&hl=en&fs=1&]

Roaming Gnome… Hula Just Isn’t For You

Well the Travelocity Roaming Gnome is well under his Hawaii vacation right now.

I don’t think he understands Hula just yet.

It's all in the hands

It's all in the hands

Mr. Roaming Gnome… Hula is all about the hands… and I don’t seem to see your hands in action.  LOL

Pahoa Museum Featuring Hula Exhibit… Merrie Monarch Coming Up

Just in time for Merrie Monarch, the Pahoa Museum is featuring an exhibit that features the history of Hula.

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The Kent Ghirard collection is currently on Display provided by the  Hula Preservation Society.

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Kent Ghirard, Photo from Honolulu Preservation Society

Kent Ghirard, Photo from Honolulu Preservation Society

Kent Ghirard was born in California and became fascinated with hula at the age of 12 when his family visited Hawai`i on vacation. He received his first hula lessons from Marguerite Duane, professional dancer and friend of Hilo Hattie. After he moved to Hawaii in 1947, he studied with Alice Keawekäne at the Bill Lincoln Studio, and he later taught privately and also held classes at the Betty Lei Studio. He learned several kahiko from Mary Kawena Puku`i but concentrated his hula efforts primarily on `auana (modern) hula for tourist audiences. His dancers were known for their perfect grooming and professionalism, and he was regularly hired by the Hawai`i Visitors Bureau. Kent considers his hula style as simple, utilizing only basic hula steps. His “Hula Nani Girls” dance troupe became the first Hawaiian group to tour Japan in 1955.

Inside the museum, you will see a wall of his works that are truly works of art.

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You can learn more about Kumu Ghirard and see more of his photography work here.

The museum has also opened a small coffee/snack shop called the Milk and Honey Cafe.

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Which features a little indoor dining area and a few seats outside as well.

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So while you’re in Pahoa for the Merrie Monarch, stop on by the local community museum in Pahoa to see some of the History of Hula by Kent Ghirard.