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Maui Makes Mark at 50th Merrie Monarch Hula Festival

April 7, 2013, 10:41 AM HST (Updated April 8, 2013, 9:36 AM) · 0 Comments
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Photo by Wendy Osher.

Maui Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi, under the direction of nā kumu hula ʻIliahi and Haunani Paredes, earned a second place finish for the Kahiko Kāne division. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Hilo, Hawaiʻi–The 50th edition of the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival ended on Saturday night with nearly 30 hālau competing for the overall title at the Edith Kanakaʻole Stadium in Hilo.

The men of Kawailiʻulā, under the direction of kumu hula Chinky Māhoe, finished on top with a total of 1,155 points.

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The group from Kailua, O’ahu performed a pūniu drum dance for their kahiko selection that told of the travels of the volcano goddess Pele and how she was drawn to her lover, Lohiau, through the enchanting drum beat coming from Hā’ena, Kauaʻi.

In their ʻauana performance, the kāne of Kawailiʻulā performed to Green Rose Hula and Pilialoha, telling of a courtship and feelings of attraction that are compared to the fragrance of a flower.

Maui Hālau Kekuaokalā'au'ala'iliahi, under the direction of nā kumu hula 'Iliahi and Haunani Paredes, earned a fourth place finish for the 'Auana Kāne division for their performance of "Laupāhoehoe Hula". Photo by Wendy Osher.

Maui Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi, under the direction of nā kumu hula ʻIliahi and Haunani Paredes, earned a fourth place finish for the ʻAuana Kāne division for their performance of “Laupāhoehoe Hula”. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Maui’s entrants into the 50th edition of the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival finished strong in the kane and solo divisions with Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi, under the direction of nā kumu hula ʻIliahi and Haunani Paredes, earning a second-place finish for the Kahiko Kāne division, and a fourth-place finish for the ʻAuana Kāne division.

In the kahiko division, the Maui hālau performed to “Mālie ʻO Maui,” a fast-paced hula that, according to festival literature, comes from the repertoire of the late Kumu Hula O’Brian Eselu, and revives a performance by their own kumu from more than 20 years ago.

For their ʻauana entry, the men from Wailuku, Maui performed to a mele about Hawaiʻi Island and a handsome and active Hawaiian boy from the town of Laupāhoehoe.

Maui also brought home the top titles in the first night of competition that featured 12 solo dancers performing in both kahiko and ‘auana divisions.

Earning the coveted title of Miss Aloha Hula 2013 was Manalani Mili Hokoana English of Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka, under the direction of nā kumu hula Napua Greig and Kahulu Maluo of Kula, Maui.

Fellow Mauian, Sloane Makana West of Halau Kekuaokalaʻauʻalaʻiliahi, under the direction of na kumu hula ʻIliahi and Haunani Paredes, took the title of first runner-up.

Earning the coveted title of Miss Aloha Hula 2013 was Manalani Mili Hokoana English of Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Earning the coveted title of Miss Aloha Hula 2013 was Manalani Mili Hokoana English of Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Sloane Makana West of Hālau Kekuaokalā'au'ala'iliahi earned first runner up honors in the 50th Merrie Monarch hula festival. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Sloane Makana West of Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi earned first runner up honors in the 50th Merrie Monarch hula festival. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Nā kumu hula 'Iliahi and Haunani Paredes of Hālau Kekuaokalā'au'ala'iliahi, accept honors at the 50th edition of the Merrie Monarch hula festival. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Nā kumu hula ‘Iliahi and Haunani Paredes of Hālau Kekuaokalā’au’ala’iliahi, accept honors at the 50th edition of the Merrie Monarch hula festival. Photo by Wendy Osher.

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Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka, under the direction of nā kumu hula Napua Greig and Kahulu Maluo of Kula, Maui, perform an 'auana hula to "Halema'uma'u", speaking of the wonders of the location and the home of fire goddess Pele. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka, under the direction of nā kumu hula Napua Greig and Kahulu Maluo of Kula, Maui, perform an ‘auana hula to “Halema’uma’u”, speaking of the wonders of the location and the home of fire goddess Pele. Photo by Wendy Osher.

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