VIDEO: Reflections of Pekelo Cosma at 2012 Kalo Fest

April 23, 2012, 12:47 PM HST · Updated April 23, 1:32 PM
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East Maui Taro Festival 2012, photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Many of the performances at this weekend’s Maui Taro Festival were dedicated to beloved Hāna entertainer, Pekelo Cosma, who passed away in August at the age of 51.

Festival organizers and attendees remembered the late slack-key artist and composer for his support of many community-based conservation efforts to protect the Hāna Coast.

Pekelo’s youngest brother, Patrick; his daughters, Heuʻi and Namaka Cosma-White along with Ka Pa Hula o ka Ulu Koa; and Miss Hula O Na Keki 2010, Kaya Givensel, performed mele and hula in honor of Cosma’s memory.

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“Peter was part of the seed planted 20 years ago at the first festival,” said Lehua Cosma, Pekelo’s sister-in-law.  “He had a deep-rooted respect and love for his people, his ancestral home, and his culture.”  Friends described Pekelo’s music as “a talent that was a gift from God.  His awesome ability to play ki ho`alu, or slack key, came natural to Peter, like nothing to it.”

His music included songs like “Going to Hana Maui,” “Ua Kea O Hana,” “Maka`alae,” and “Pu`uiki.”

The East Maui community celebrated the 20th Anniversary edition of the event on Saturday, April 21.

Kalo pounding at East Maui Taro Festival 2012, photo by Wendy Osher.

Patrick Cosma (left) and Arthur Helekahi at the East Maui Taro Festival 2012, photo by Wendy Osher.

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