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Record Turn Out at the Pahoa Precinct

I just got the following Twitter message from Hawaii News Now stating that the Pahoa precinct had a record turnout this year:

Hawaii News Now 

@HawaiiNewsNow Hawaii News Now

We have some footage of Pahoa. Officials say it was a record turn out. @damontucker


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.

* * * *

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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Rest in Peace Andy Irons


7th Annual Kea’au Lighted Christmas Parade Still Accepting Entrants

The 7th Annual Keaau Lighted Christmas Parade will be held on Saturday, December 11, at 5:30 in Keaau.

The deadline for entrants for the Parade is Saturday, November 13th.  If you need an application for the parade, please email lehua82 @ hotmail.com (no spaces and indicate Christmas Parade in the subject line) or you can pick one up at Kea’au Village Market at the main office or at Bread-Box Kea’au.