Halau Na Mamo o Pu‘uanahulu wins Merrie Monarch overall title
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Halau Na Mamo o Pu‘uanahulu wins Merrie Monarch overall title

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Halau Na Mamo o Pu‘uanahulu danced during Friday night’s kahiko competition.

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    The wahine of Halau O Ka Ua Kani Lehua, from Hilo, won the auana competition on Saturday night at the Merrie Monarch Festival.

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Halau Na Mamo o Pu‘uanahulu was the overall winner at the 2016 Merrie Monarch Festival.

HILO >> Halau Na Mamo o Puʻuanahulu under the direction of kumu William “Sonny” Ching and Lopaka Igarta-De Vera of Oahu took the overall winner title of the 53rd Merrie Monarch Festival on Saturday night.

With 1,214 points, the Kapahulu halau had the highest combined score of all the halau that competed on the hallowed stage of the Edith Kanaka‘ole Multi-Purpose Stadium in group competitions on Friday and Saturday.

The halau brought both a kane and wahine group, which impressed judges with their stellar performances. The kane, in particular, won over judges with their hula auana (modern-style) celebrating He‘eia, a small bay in Keauhou, Kona, which helped them pull ahead to the top spot in kane overall.

Hilo-based Halau o Ka Ua Kani Lehua under the direction of kumu Johnny Lum Ho, ranked second overall, and was in a tie-breaker with Hilo-based Halau Hula ʻO Kahikilaulani under the direction of kumu Nahokuokalani Gaspang. Both scored 1,202, and on the second round of judging, Ho pulled ahead with a score of 1,679, an eight-point lead over Gaspang. His ladies also took the overall wahine spot with a score of 1,202.

On Thursday night, 12 solo dancers vied for the title of Miss Aloha Hula, which went to Kayli Ka‘iulani Carr of Halau Hi‘iakainamakalehua. On Friday and Saturday nights, a total of 29 groups — nine kane and 20 wahine — competed in the kahiko (ancient-style) portion and auana (modern-style) portion of the festival.

The panel of judges this year were Keith Awai, Ed Collier, Ainsley Halemanu, Lahela Ka‘aihue, Etua Lopes, Pi‘ilani Lua and Holoua Stender.

Overall Winner

>> Halau Na Mamo o Puʻuanahulu, kumu William “Sonny” Ching and Lopaka Igarta-De Vera, 1,214

Wahine Kahiko

>>Halau o Ka Ua Kani Lehua, kumu Johnny Lum Ho, 592

>> Halau Manaola, kumu Nani Lim Yap, 586

>> Halau Hiʻiakainamakalehua, kumu Robert Keʻano Kaʻupu & Lono Padilla, 582

>> Halau Na Mamo o Puʻuanahulu, kumu William “Sonny” Ching & Lopaka Igarta-De Vera, 579

>> Ka La ʻOnohi Mai O Haʻehaʻe, kumu Tracie & Keawe Lopes, 578

Wahine Auana

>> Halau o Ka Ua Kani Lehua, kumu Johnny Lum Ho, 610

>> Halau Mohala ʻIlima, kumu Mapuana de Silva, 608

>> Ka La ʻOnohi Mai O Haʻehaʻe, kumu Tracie & Keawe Lopes, 607

>> Hula Halau ʻO Kamuela, kumu Kauʻionalani Kamanaʻo & Kunewa Mook, 599

>> Halau Na Mamo o Puʻuanahulu, kumu William “Sonny” Ching & Lopaka Igarta-De Vera, 597

Wahine Overall

>> Halau o Ka Ua Kani Lehua, kumu Johnny Lum Ho, 1,202

>> Ka La ʻOnohi Mai O Haʻehaʻe, kumu Tracie & Keawe Lopes, 1,185

>> Halau Manaola, kumu Nani Lim Yap, 1,181

Kane Kahiko

>> Halau Hula ʻO Kahikilaulani, kumu Nahokuokalani Gaspang, 607

>> Ke Kai O Kahiki, Kumu Hula Laʻakea Perry, 601

>> Halau Na Mamo o Puʻuanahulu, kumu William “Sonny” Ching & Lopaka Igarta-De Vera, 596

>> Kawailiʻula, kumu Chinky Mahoe, 590

Kane Auana

>> Halau Na Mamo o Puʻuanahulu, kumu William “Sonny” Ching & Lopaka Igarta-De Vera, 618

>> Halau Hula ʻO Kahikilaulani, kumu Nahokuokalani Gaspang, 595

>> Ke Kai O Kahiki, Kumu Hula Laʻakea Perry, 592

>> Kawailiʻula, kumu Chinky Mahoe, 591

Kane Overall

>> Halau Na Mamo o Puʻuanahulu, kumu William “Sonny” Ching & Lopaka Igarta-De Vera, 1,214

>> Halau Hula ʻO Kahikilaulani, kumu Nahokuokalani Gaspang, 1,202

>> Ke Kai O Kahiki, Kumu Hula Laʻakea Perry, 1,193

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