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Halau I Ka Wekiu of Pauoa wins Merrie Monarch Festival

By Nina Wu

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 07:43 p.m. HST, Apr 15, 2012


HILO >> It was a close competition, but in the end, Halau I Ka Wekiu took the title of overall winner at the 49th annual Merrie Monarch Festival, which concluded late Saturday night.

Halau I Ka Wekiu of Pauoa, under the direction of Karl Veto Baker and Michael Casupang, swept all three kane divisions, including kahiko, auana and kane overall.

Kumu hula Manu‘aikohana Boyd’s Halau o ke A‘ali‘i Ku Makani took top honors in the wahine kahiko division and wahine overall. Kumu hula Mapuana de Silva’s Halau Mohala ‘Ilima took top honors for the wahine auana group dvision.

The best of hula from throughout Hawaii was on display on the hallowed stage of the Edith Kanaka‘ole Tennis Stadium.

On Thursday night, 12 hula dancers vied for the title of Miss Aloha Hula. The title went to Rebecca Lilinoekekapahauomaunakea Sterling of Halau Mohala ‘Ilima in Lanikai.

A total of 30 groups danced before judges during the festival’s kahiko (ancient style hula) competition on Friday night and auana (modern style, flowing hula) competition last night.

Most halau competing this year were from Oahu, but Maui and Kauai were represented, and there were three from the U.S. mainland.

No halau from Hawaii island competed this year.

The kahiko dances performed by the halau Friday night included a broad range of mele celebrating alii such King David Kalakaua and Queen Lili‘uokalani as well as Hawaiian deities ranging from fertility goddess Haumea to Ka‘auhelemoa, a supernatural rooster warrior.

Their voices boomed and echoed across the stadium as they chanted, telling the stories of their ancestors.

Some halau that night also demonstrated skill in a number of hula implements, ranging from ili ili (water-worn pebbles) to ‘uli ‘uli (gourds filled with canna seeds) puili (split bamboo sticks), ipu heke (double-headed gourd) and papa hehi (foot treadleboard) paired with kala‘au (hand sticks).

During group auana, the halau told stories mostly of love, whether it was love of a special place in the isles, youthful, romantic love, or the broken heart resulting from a love lost. Many mele celebrated Kauai.

It was an evening celebrating love in all its many forms.

Ladies were dressed in flowing gowns, their hair adorned with fragrant flowers and men in slacks with ti leaf skirts and shirts.

The men of Halau I Ka Wekiu performed “Hanohano Waimea,” a mele composed for Queen Kapiolani as she traveled around Kauai. For auana, they danced a mele celebrating the late Ali‘i Chang, owner of the Ali‘i Kula Lavendar Farm in Upcountry Maui.

The panel of seven judges this year were Cy M. Bridges, Wayne Chang, kumu hula Sonny Ching, Nalani Kanaka‘ole, Mae Kamamalu Klein, Noenoelani Zuttermeister Lewis and Nathan Napoka.

The judges score the halau based on criteria, including the oli (chant), expression, interpretation, posture, precision and appropriateness of costumes.

Next year will mark the festival’s 50th anniversary and preparations are already under way for a big reunion of kumu hula at the same time next year.

 

Overall Winner
Halau I Ka Wekiu, Kumu Karl Veto Baker and Michael Casupang, Pauoa, Oahu, 1147

Wahine Kahiko
Halau O ke ‘A‘ali‘i Ku Makani, Kumu Manu‘aikohana Boyd, Kanewai, Oahu, 573
Halau Mohala ‘Ilima, Kumu Mapuana de Silva, Ka‘ohao, Hawaii, 560
Halau Hula Olana, Kumu Olana and Howard Ai, Pu‘uloa, Oahu 557
Halau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniakea, Kumu Kapua Dalire-Moe, Kaneohe, Oahu, 556
Ka La ‘Onohi Mai O Ha‘eha‘e, Kumu Tracie and Keawe Lopes, Kahauiki, Oahu, 554

Wahine Auana
Halau Mohala ‘Ilima, Kumu Mapuana de Silva, Ka‘ohao, Hawaii, 576
Halau I Ka Wekiu, Kumu Karl Veto Baker and Michael Casupang, Pauoa, Oahu, 573
Ka La ‘Onohi Mai O Ha‘eha‘e (Wahine), Kumu Tracie and Keawe Lopes, Kahauiki, Oahu, 569
Halau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leina‘ala, Kumu Leina‘ala Pavao Jardin, Kalaheo, Kauai, 568
Halau O ke ‘A‘ali‘i Ku Makani, Kumu Manu‘aikohana Boyd, Kanewai, Oahu, 566

Wahine Overall
Halau O ke ‘A‘ali‘i Ku Makani, Kumu Manu‘aikohana Boyd, Kanewai, Oahu, 1139
Halau Mohala ‘Ilima, Kumu Mapuana de Silva, Ka‘ohao, Hawaii, 1136
Halau I Ka Wekiu, Kumu Karl Veto Baker and Michael Casupang, Pauoa, Oahu, 1125

Kane Kahiko
Halau I Ka Wekiu, Kumu Karl Veto Baker and Michael Casupang, Pauoa, Oahu, 569
Kawaili‘ula, Kumu Chinky Mahoe, Kailua, Oahu, 565
Ka Leo O Laka I Ka Hikina O Ka La, Kumu Kaleo Trinidad, Honolulu, Oahu, 552
Halau Kekuaokala‘au‘ala‘a‘iliahi, Kumu ‘Iliahi and Haunani Paredes, Wailuku, Maui, 544

Kane Auana
Halau I Ka Wekiu, Kumu Karl Veto Baker and Michael Casupang, Pauoa, Oahu, 578
Kawaili‘ula, Kumu Chinky Mahoe, Kailua, Oahu, 568
Ka Leo O Laka I Ka Hikina O Ka La, Kumu Kaleo Trinidad, Honolulu, Oahu, 565
Halau Kekuaokala‘au‘ala‘a‘iliahi, Kumu ‘Iliahi and Haunani Paredes, Wailuku, Maui, 547

Kane Overall
Halau I Ka Wekiu, Kumu Karl Veto Baker and Michael Casupang, Pauoa, Oahu, 1147
Kawaili‘ula, Kumu Chinky Mahoe, Kailua, Oahu, 1133
Ka Leo O Laka I Ka Hikina O Ka La, Kumu Kaleo Trinidad, Honolulu, Oahu, 1117






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