KAILUA HULA HALAU SWEEP MERRIE MONARCH FESTIVAL HULA COMPETITION
Two Kailua hula halau – Halau Hula ‘O Kawaili‘ula under the direction of kumu hula Chinky Mahoe and Halau Mohala ‘Ilima under the direction of kumu hula Mapuana de Silva – swept the 50th Annual Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo, taking top overall honors in the men’s and women’s divisions. Kawaili‘ula also took the top honor as the festival’s overall winner.
The men of Halau Hula ‘O Kawaili‘ula took first place in the Kane Kahiko (ancient-style dance) and Kane Auana (modern style dance) and Kane Overall. The women of Halau Mohala ‘Ilima and their instructor de Silva took first in the Wahine Kahiko and Wahine Overall. They came in second behind Chinky Mahoe’s halau in the festival’s overall competition, missing overtaking Halau Hula ‘O Kawaili‘ula by only three points.
Thousands of residents and visitors flocked to Hilo to attend the festival from March 31 to April 6. The festival honors the memory of King David Kalākaua, also known as the Merrie Monarch. When coming to the throne in 1874, he was a patron of the arts, especially music and dance. Kalākaua restored Hawaiian cultural traditions that were suppressed for many years.
Congratulations to both great halau and their instructors, Chinky and Mapuana, for their stunning success from the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, Kaneohe Ranch and the people of Kailua!