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NAVY Ship USS Chung-Hoon Denied Entry to Hilo Harbor

The US Navy Ship USS Chung-Hoon was spotted this morning off the Big Island of Hawaii this morning as it was expected to arrive in Hilo for the Merrie Monarch festivities.
Chung Hoon Refuel

Unfortunately the ship had to turn around once it got to the Big Island because the water in Hilo Harbor was not deep enough for the ship to port.

The NAVY has released the following statement:

In an abundance of caution and as advised by the embarked State Dept. of Transportation Harbor Pilot,  the Commanding Officer of USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93)  felt it was prudent to not proceed with entering Hilo Harbor this morning due to the shallow depth of the harbor.

Sharing the Navy with the people of Hilo is important. We certainly value the opportunity to showcase our Navy to the American people. Our partnership with the Hilo Council is an outstanding example where a community and the military join together to create an environment of mutual support and broad benefit and the Navy looks forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come, and we deeply regret the inconvenience this has caused to our friends and neighbors in Hilo.

Capt. Mark Manfredi, Chief of Staff, Navy Region Hawaii will still attend tonight’s Merrie Monarch Festivities and the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band will be flown over here to  march and perform in the Merrie Monarch Parade tomorrow morning.

USS Chung-Hoon to Visit Hilo for Merrie Monarch Festival

The Pearl Harbor-based Aegis-class guided missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG-93) will visit Hilo April 10-12 to participate in the 52nd  annual Merrie Monarch Festival.

Me at the helm of the USS Chung Hoon during 2010 RIMPAC Exercises

Me at the helm of the USS Chung Hoon during 2010 RIMPAC Exercises

U.S. Pacific Fleet Band will march and perform in the Merrie Monarch Parade. Capt. Mark Manfredi, Chief of Staff, Navy Region Hawaii, will also attend the festivities.

Photo from when I went to sea on the USS Chung-Hoon

Photo from when I went to sea on the USS Chung-Hoon

USS Chung-Hoon will greet the Merrie Monarch Royal Court during a pierside welcome ceremony at Hilo Harbor Pier 1 on Friday, April 10 at 11 a.m.  USS Chung-Hoon Sailors, along with Capt. Manfredi, will attend the hula competitions and participate with Pacific Fleet Band in the Merrie Monarch Royal Parade on Saturday, April 11 at 10:30 a.m. along downtown Hilo.

Photo from when I went to sea on the USS Chung-Hoon

Photo from when I went to sea on the USS Chung-Hoon

Chung-Hoon is a guided-missile destroyer that is a multi-mission, anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare surface combatant.
Cmdr. Ryan Collins is the commanding officer and leads a crew of more than 270.

The Commanding Officer gave me this coin after we had lunch on the USS Chung Hoon

The Commanding Officer gave me this coin after we had lunch on the USS Chung Hoon

USS Chung-Hoon is named for Rear Admiral Gordon Pai`ea Chung-Hoon, the first native Hawaiian admiral in the U.S. Navy.  Admiral Chung-Hoon was assigned to the USS Arizona on the morning of December 7, 1941; and nearly 70 years ago on April 14, 1945, the admiral received the Navy Cross during World War II after a kamikaze attack that killed several members of his crew and severely damaged his ship, USS Sigsbee. USS Chung-Hoon is one of eleven surface ships homeported in Pearl Harbor.

Miloli’i Community to Participate in Merrie Monarch Festivals

Pa’a Pono Miloliʻi through the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Native Hawaiian Culture Grant is proud to support a group comprised of Miloliʻi and Kohala keiki, kumu and kupuna that are perpetuating the cultural art of Hula through the inter-generational transfer of cultural knowledge.

Miloli'iLed by Kumu Hula Kuwalu Anakalea, a graduate of Kumu Hula Taupori Tangaro and project coordinator Kuakahi Kaupu-Cabuag, Miloliʻi has been requested by Kumu Hula Tangaro to participate in the opening of the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival this Sunday at the Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium. This ceremony is the blessing of all Merrie Monarch Festival events to follow throughout the week. Kumu Tangaro has loosely adopted Miloliʻi and given them the name UNU KOʻA. UNU is the root of the name of all Kumu Tangaroʻs cohorts and KOʻA is the fish aggregation site, prominent in Miloliiʻs rich ʻŌpelu nearshore fishery.

The Milohala group has participated in four hula enrichment camps this past year, three in Miloli’i and one at Ho’oku’ikahi Festival at Pu’ukohola Heiau. Milohala was responsible for greeting Hokule’a on her island-wide community voyage this past year. Miloli’i was Hokulea’s first stop. This performance will be a milestone in Miloliiʻs history. Miloliʻi has never participated in any Merrie Monarch Festival events and has never been deeply connected to a prominent Halau lineage of Hawaiʻi Island.

miloli'i2Pa’a Pono Miloli’i through the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has supported Milohala’s recent activities in preparation for this performance. PPM has provided 3 enrichment-training sessions for Milohala MM participants. PPM has provided all costuming for the performance. Milohala has been in accelerated training mode for the past month. Haumana have learned over 20 hula, oli and mo’olelo.

Although Milohala has only a 5-6 minute spot on the stage, it will be a lifetime of memories for many. This jouney for Miloli’i has been as short as one year and Miloli’i has already secured a spot in the opening ceremony of Merrie Monarch. Miloli’i is re-establishing the cultural richness that its kupuna once hoped to bestow upon the generations to follow and Paʻa Pono Miloliʻi is proud to be a part of this significant event for our community.

Go Wild for Culture During National Park Week at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

The National Park Service, in partnership with the National Park Foundation, will celebrate National Park Week April 19-27 with a free-admission weekend and special events nationwide.

The theme for this year’s National Park Week invites visitors to Go Wild! for history, nature, culture, wildlife, and fun in America’s national parks. At Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, the timing is perfect for visitors to “Go Wild for Culture” while celebrating Hilo’s 51st annual Merrie Monarch Festival, the most revered hula competition in the world.
Lei ‘a‘ali‘i: NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Lei ‘a‘ali‘i: NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

 Admission to all fee-charging national parks is free from Saturday, April 19 through Sunday, April 20 to kick off National Park Week. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will offer 12 Hawaiian cultural events planned April 23-25; these events are free but admission fees apply. All programs are part the park’s ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” cultural workshops, and are co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association:
Wednesday, April 23
Kalo Demonstration. Join Edna and Sam Baldado as they share the cultural uses of kalo, or taro plant. See how each plant is identified by its leaf, steam, corm, color, and shape. Discover the hundreds of varieties of kalo in Hawaii, and how kalo was used for food, medicine, glue, dyes, and much more.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Feather Kāhili Workshop. Helene Hayselden will demonstrate the art of making a feather kāhili, a symbol of royalty. Watch or join in and make your kāhili to take home.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Music by Rupert Tripp, Jr. Enjoy the beautiful music and voice of singer, songwriter, and multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award nominee, Rupert Tripp, Jr.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Lā‘au Lapa‘au. Ka‘ohu Monfort shares her knowledge and love of the island’s native plants. Learn how her passion for plants and the Hawaiian culture are used to heal and nourish. See and touch a variety of medicinal plants, including kuku‘i, ‘ōlena, ha‘uowī, noni, kī, and guava.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Thursday, April 24
Feather Work. Watch Vi Makuakāne demonstrate the intricate art of feather work. Thousands of feathers are sorted, graded, trimmed, and sewn to a base. The result is a beautiful lei hulu, or feather lei.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Kenneth Makuakāne. This multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer will play original songs from his solo albums and compositions.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
‘Ohe Kapala. ‘Ohe kapala, or bamboo stamps, are used to create distinct designs for traditional Hawaiian kapa. Join Keiko Mercado as she demonstrates how ‘ohe (bamboo) are carved into beautiful designs and how they are used. There will be samples and a hands-on opportunity to learn this Hawaiian art form.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Lei Making. Patricia Ka‘ula will demonstrate different styles of lei making: hilo, haku, hili and Ku‘i. Lei is used for everything from blessing crops, adornments for hula dancers, healing and sacred rituals, to show royal status or rank, honor guests, as peace offerings, to celebrating a birth.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Robert Cazimero Book Signing. Robert Cazimero, a highly regarded and respected kumu hula, will sign the latest edition of Men of Hula, which will be available for sale. This 2011 edition by award-winning author Benton Sen chronicles how the hula teacher and Nā Hālau Kamalei shattered the stereotypical image of hula (girls in grass skirts and coconut bras) by revitalizing the masculine aspects of the ancient dance.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center
Friday, April 25
Kapa Demonstration. Kapa maker Ku‘uleimomi Makuakāne-Salāve‘a shares the art of kapa making. See how the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree is beaten into cloth.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Ulana Lauhala. Members of ‘Aha Pūhala o Puna perpetuate the ancient art of lauhala weaving. Observe this art form and learn to weave your own lauhala star from the leaves of the hala, or pandanus tree.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Music by Lito Arkangel. Listen to music by Lito Arkangel, one of Hawai‘i Island’s most popular entertainers, as he plays his original compositions and Hawaiian favorites.
Lito Arkangel photo courtesy of Lito Arkangel and Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery

Lito Arkangel photo courtesy of Lito Arkangel and Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery

When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
‘Ohe Hanu Iho Demo. Join National Park Service Master Volunteer Ed Shiinoki and Park Ranger Andrea Kaawaloa-Okita and create your own nose flute. Thin-walled Hawaiian bamboo was used to make a three-hole wind instrument called ‘ohe hano ihu or bamboo nose flute. Today, the supply of bamboo is very limited so Asian bamboo is used instead. Andrea and Ed will share the many uses of the bamboo, demonstrate how to make your own ‘ohe hano ihu, and teach you how to play it, too.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
In addition to the cultural programs at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park during National Park Week , there are Stewardship at the Summit volunteer opportunities, Kahuku hikes, and After Dark in the Park programs. Check the park website for a complete schedule.

Hawai’i County Completes $3.4 Million Upgrade to Hilo’s Edith Kanaka’ole Multi-Purpose Stadium

A thoroughly renovated and expanded Edith Kanaka’ole Multi-Purpose Stadium was officially blessed during a ceremony held today at the prominent Hilo facility.

Mayor Billy Kenoi recognized the contractors, Hawai’i County employees, and community volunteers who worked tirelessly to finish the upgrades in time to meet a rigid construction deadline.

“Without all your hard work, we wouldn’t be here at this time,” Mayor Kenoi told attendees. “Mahalo everybody.”

He was joined by Parks Director Clayton Honma, County Council members Dennis “Fresh” Onishi and Valerie Poindexter, former County Council member Donald Ikeda, Merrie Monarch Festival organizers, and representatives of the contractors and community organizations who worked on the project. The blessing was performed by Kahu Leifi Hao of Ka Hoku Ao Malamalama church in Keaukaha.

Anchored by a new 4,200-square-foot building featuring six dressing/meeting rooms and tiled restrooms, the project has modernized a facility used for such varied public events as trade shows, school graduations, and the world famous Merrie Monarch Festival.

Merrie Monarch Dance

“Beyond Merrie Monarch, this is for the entire community to enjoy year-round,” Mayor Kenoi said.

A new color scheme, native landscaping, new fencing, and covered side entrances now greet stadium users. Inside, the public will find an expanded lobby, a larger concession area complete with new roof coverings and lighting, and a freshly painted interior. An upgraded electrical system to support enhanced lighting and sound system capabilities, a replacement sewer line, drainage improvements, and a larger vehicle entrance are also part of the renovation project completed in approximately three months.

“Everybody had to work really fast,” Mayor Kenoi said in thanking the people who helped with the project. Rapid progress by Isemoto Contracting Co. Ltd., its 15 subcontractors, and volunteers will allow the stadium to be reopened for the March 31 start of the Merrie Monarch Festival’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Hawai’i County maintenance employees, electricians, plumbers, welders, carpenters, grounds crews, and tree-trimmers collectively spent more than 1,000 hours improving the stadium and the surrounding grounds. In addition to performing their normal duties, the employees’ work included replacing worn bleacher seat and foot boards, plumbing fixtures, and electrical fixtures, adding landscaping, installing new signs, and fabricating guardrails to improve the safety of bleacher spectators.

Dozens of community volunteers also provided vital painting, landscaping and other facility improvements that saved taxpayer dollars. The Department wishes to recognize and thank the Jehovah’s Witnesses – Hawai’i Circuit 5 members, Hilo Jaycees, 1st Battalion 12th Marines, Hawai’i Community Correctional Center inmates, East Hawai’i District Tennis Association, Hawai’i Carpenters Union, Local 745, Hilo High School tennis teams, and tennis players from Hilo-area schools for contributing their time and efforts toward the renovations.

The Edith Kanaka’ole Multi-Purpose Stadium upgrade is the anchor of a $4 million revitalization of the Ho’olulu Complex, which also includes work on the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium, Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Lu’au Hale, and multiple support buildings.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105, or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us.



USS Crommelin Decommissioned Today – Last Stop in Hilo Was During Merrie Monarch

During last years Merrie Monarch, I got invited to tour the Pearl Harbor-based guided missile frigate warship the USS Crommelin and learned at that time that it would be decommissioned later on this year.

USS Crommelin (FFG-37), twenty-eighth ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class of guided-missile frigates.

Well today the US Navy released the following release announcing that it is being decommissioned today.

Sailors line up in front of the USS Crommelin while she was ported in Hilo last year

The US Navy reports:

The Navy is retiring a Pearl Harbor-based guided missile frigate after putting the ship to use for nearly 30 years.

The Navy is holding a ceremony on Friday to decommission the Crommelin.

In 2004, the Crommelin intercepted and recovered more than 20 tons of cocaine worth more than $1 billion and detained 29 drug smugglers. It also rescued 96 people adrift at sea.

The Crommelin is named after three brothers from Wetumpka, Ala., who served during World War II.

The oldest became a surface warfare officer while two others died in combat as naval aviators. A monument commemorating their bravery rests in Battleship Park in Mobile, Ala.

The Crommelin entered service in 1983.

While the Crommelin was in Hilo for the Merrie Monarch, Mayor Kenoi’s office proclaimed it to be USS Crommelin day and a small celebration was held for the sailors.

One sailor got to pick and choose who he wanted to have dance with the dancers and I could see big smiles on all the sailors faces as he was calling out names.

You have to know that Hawaii is the place that all sailors in the Navy want to be stationed!

Tahitian Dance for the sailors of the USS Crommelin

I’m glad I got my USS Crommelin Coin before the ship was decommissioned as this buggah just became even more important to me!

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.

Nake’u Awai’s Always a Wow at Annual Pre-Merrie Monarch Fashion Show Benefit

Media Release:

Springtime on the Big Island means Easter, Merrie Monarch, and Nake‘u Awai’s annual Fashion Show Fundraiser, happening Saturday, April 23, 2011 at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.   A benefit for Michael Pili Pang’s Hālau Hula Ka No‘eau and Hawaii Arts Ensemble, the luncheon-show is a stunning musical tribute to .Hawaii’s last reigning monarch, Queen Lili‘uokalani, and the Royal Hawaiian Band.

Sharon Goodman and Liana Aveiro

Doors open at 11:00 a.m. to give guests a chance to enjoy music by Meleana Manuel, lei-making and other crafts by the hālau, and to shop for Nake‘u signature aloha wear, rarely available away from his Honolulu studio.  The show begins at 12:45 p.m., following lunch.

Awai was inspired by Big Island author John Tanaka’s book, Aloha ‘Oe, The Song at Pier 10, about the Queen and her friendship with Heinrich Berger, Bandmaster.  “Picking up this novel, I was inspired to do the show,” said Awai.  “He writes beautifully.  And the scene where Berger is saying goodbye to friends and family in Europe, as he leaves to come to Hawai‘i, is wonderful.”  Tanaka will also attend the April 23 event for a reading and booksigning.

A distinctive designer of island fashion for over thirty years, Nake‘u Awai is well-known for his unique prints and flattering silhouettes for every body size and shape.  His annual spring productions have been described as part-Broadway, part runway—one-of-a-kind events that never fail to tell a story, using fashion, hula, history, music, both traditional and contemporary, and lots of surprises.

And because his entire “company” of models is composed of Big Island community folks, audiences love to come and applaud for talented friends and family, especially the men, according to Awai.  Veteran models Riley Smith, Wally Wong and second-year recruit Perry Kealoha take the stage with spirit, sporting Awai’s colorful aloha shirts, shorts and costumes with a special style all their own.

“Riley looks like Berger, so he will portray Berger,” said Awai.  “Besides the three men, there is a young man, Keaweiwi Pilaya, about 11 years old in this show.  He will duet with the Queen, after bringing her flowers from her garden while she is imprisoned within ‘Iolani Palace.”

An entertaining, festive occasion to celebrate the Saturday before Easter, “Duet with a Queen” invites groups of friends to join in a table and toast the Spring.  Tickets $50 at the door, $45 in advance.  Please contact hālau members, or Wendi Roehrig, Phone:  756-0823, wendiroehrig@hotmail.com.

Free Sig Zane Bag w/ Purchase During Merrie Monarch Week

I stopped by Sig Zane Designs today to pick-up a “crisp” aloha shirt for this function I will be attending soon, and it turns out I showed up at the right time.

I knew that it would probably be busy in there being the Friday before Merrie Monarch, but I was relatively relieved that it wasn’t overwhelmingly packed.

I’ve mentioned long before they became a sponsor of this blog about how much I dig their clothes.

I finally had a chance to take some pictures of the place that I like to share:

Everything about this place is top notch

The second you walk in the door, you know you are in a special place as it’s just got this warm vibe about it.

Even the front door is beautiful

They have lots of different things in stock.

Womens attire and accessories

I wish I had the money to buy something like this little set-up:

Sweet dreams!

I commented to Kuhao Zane that their dressing rooms were so nice… that someone could live in them.

The most beautiful dressing rooms in all of Hawaii

I told Kuhao that I wanted everything in the store… and if you read this Kuhao… I wasn’t joking and if I could afford it… I swear I’d have one of every of your shirts.

I wish this was my closet!

As I was purchasing the shirts for my family, Kuhao mentioned that this week only, while supplies last, they are giving away free bags with the purchase of Aloha Attire due to the fact that it’s Merrie Monarch week in town.

Kuhao packs my clothes and gives me a FREE BAG which was totally cool!

So needless to say, you have to stop by the store and purchase your gear there to get the free bag, but if you want to shop online, they do have an online store located here:  Sig Zane Designs

I’d like to thank Sig Zane and his Ohana for having a great store right here on the Big Island.

Uncle George Na’ope Passed Away Today

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


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


Merrie Monarch Posters Available for Sale

Merrie Monarch Posters

Na Makua is now offering Merrie Monarch posters for sale from the previous years Merrie Monarchs.

2004 Merrie Monarch Poster

2005 Merrie Monarch Poster

2006 Merrie Monarch Poster

2008 Merrie Monarch Poster

2009 Merrie Monarch Poster

Storytelling in Hilo With Sig Zane… The Video

Merrie Monarch time is probably one of the busiest times of the year for clothing designer Sig Zane and his ohana.

Watch renowned Hilo fashion designer Sig Zane as he shares Hawaiian traditions and culture in his unique aloha wear designs. See him at work and follow him through a walking tour of Hilo, the town that inspires his work.


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.


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


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.



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.


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


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.