VIDEO: Making Merrie with Makuakane

May 2, 2011, 2:21 PM HST · Updated May 2, 5:12 PM
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By Wendy Osher

 Merrie Monarch week is full of the world’s best hula, floral leis, and traditional Hawaiian music.  It’s a festival for the eyes, ears and senses, bringing the sleepy town of Hilo, Hawai’i to a bustle for a few days each year.  There’s craft fairs galore, tasty treats from factories like Big Island Delights and Two Ladies Kitchen, and a farmers market full of vendors in the center of town. 

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A 40 minute drive mauka of Hilo town, will bring you within the boundaries of the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.  It is here we met up with Kenneth Makuakane, an award-winning musician and producer, whose music has been performed many times at the annual Merrie Monarch Hula Festival. 

This year, Makuakane was among several musicians that provided accompaniment for O’Brian Eselu’s Hula Halau, Ke Kai O Kahiki in their performance of Na U’i O Kaua’i.  When we caught up with him near the summit of Kilauea, Makuakane sang us an old favorite, Okie Dokie Makou, a song of sovereignty for the Kanaka Maoli of Hawai’i Nei.

Kenneth Makuakane, photo by Wendy Osher.

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