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Miss Aloha Hula 2017 Results: Hālau Hiʻiakaināmakalehua Earns 2nd Consecutive Title

Wendy Osher · April 21, 2017, 1:14 AM HST (Updated April 23, 2017, 2:03 AM) · 0 Comments
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Merrie Monarch, Photo by Wendy Osher.

Earning the title of Miss Aloha Hula 2017 was Kelina Kiyoko Ke‘ano‘ilehua Tiffany Eldredge of Hālau Hiʻiakaināmakalehua, under the direction of Nā Kumu Hula Lono Padilla and Robert Ke‘ano Ka‘upu IV. Eldredge also took home the Hawaiian Language Award in the solo competition.

This is the second year in a row that a haumana (student) from Hālau Hiʻiakaināmakalehua has taken the title. Last year, Kaʻiulani Carr was crowned Miss Aloha Hula 2016. One of the kumu, Padilla, is the son of Maui Kumu Hōkūlani Holt of Pa’u O Hi’iaka.

Eldredge edged out first runner up Julyen Machiko Kaloke Kaluna of Hula Hālau ‘O Kamuela after a double tiebreaker, with just 0.2 points separating the two in the run for the title. The two were tied at 1075 points, followed by a second tie of 1499 points, and a final tally of 18.6 points for Eldredge and 18.4 for Kaluna.

Eldredge took the title after performing her kahiko to Māewaikalani, a mele composed for Queen Kapi‘olani by her sister.  According to the program booklet, the song described the way Kapi‘olani’s long hair swayed in the moonlight.  Eldredge’s pale yellow top and lavender printed pāʻū were accompanied by adornments of maile lei and palapalai.

Her ‘auana selection,”Pua Mōhala I Ka Wēkiu,” Eldredge took the stage in a light green floor length skirt and ivory lace top.  The song expresses the bond between two brothers, comparing love to a blossom placed in the highest heavens, according to the festival program.

Other top five finishers included: second runner up Chelei Kameleonalani Kahalewai of Kawaili‘ula with 1024 points; and third runner up Amanda Hiwalei Aliser of Hālau Ka Lei Mokihana o Leina‘ala with 1015 points.

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Maui’s Miriam Anuhea Kamakanaokealoha Hokoana Arakawa, of Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka rounded out the top five as fourth runner up with 1006 points in the competition at the 54th Annual Merrie Monarch Hula Festival in Hilo, Hawaiʻi.

Arakawa who is a haumana of Kumu Nāpua Greig, performed two hula dances that paid tribute to the island of Maui.  Her kahiko, “Auhea Wale Ana ʻOe, E Ka Ua ʻUlalena,” stirred imagery of the pink-hued rain of ʻUlalena that adorns the uplands of Piʻiholo on Maui.   Her ʻauana selection, “Rose Onaona,” compared one’s beauty to that of a fragrant rose.

Other Maui contestants that competed in the solo event were: Leila Noelani Kuʻuleimomi Rodrigues of Hālau o Ka Hanu Lehua, under the direction of Kumu Kamaka Kukona;  and Leimakamae Maura Kea of Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi under the direction of Nā Kumu Haunani and ʻIliahi Paredes.

The festival continues on Friday with group kahiko or ancient hula performances, and concludes with an ʻauana or modern hula competition and awards ceremony on Saturday night.

The competition is being broadcast live on KFVE on Friday, April 21, from 6 p.m. to midnight; and on Saturday, April 22, from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.   The festival is also being streamed live online during competition hours at the following direct LINK.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 15 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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