Hula Festival to Honor Emma Farden Sharpe
By Maui Now Staff
Maui will honor renowned Lahaina Kumu Hula Emma Farden Sharpe on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., at the Emma Farden Sharpe Hula Festival under the Lahaina Banyan Tree.
The festival will celebrate hula—‘auana (new) and kahiko (old)—with a day of exhibits, workshops, artisans and a lifetime achievement award dedicated to a pillar in the hula community.
“Aunty Emma” made it her mission to perpetuate of hula and Hawaiian culture by creating many events and sitting on numerous community boards and organizations. One of these projects was the Emma Farden Sharpe Hula Festival, which started in conjunction with Na Mele O Maui, a choir contest between Maui county schools, grades K-12, and continues today.
Aunty Emma, one of the founders of Na Mele, added on a hula festival in her name, but it was phased out in early 1990s.
The return of the event this year is intended to perpetuate her legacy as a Lahaina Treasure.
The opening ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. followed by hula performances:
- Hālau Hula Kamaluokaleihulu under the direction of Kahulu Maluo
- Pukalani Hula Hale under the direction of Hi‘ilei Maxwell-Juan
- The Lahaina-Honolua Senior Citizens Club
- Napili Kai Foundation
- Na Pua O Kapi’olani Hula Studio, under the direction of Emma Farden Sharpe’s grand-niece, Kathy Holoaumoku Ralar
- Special performance by members of ‘Ohana Farden.
- 9:30 a.m.: Kumu Hula Kathy Ralar will be teaching a hula workshop. Make reservations by calling (808) 264-8779.
- 3 p.m.: Honoring Kumu Ualani Maka’ike Calleja for her dedication to hula.
- 4 p.m.: The closing ceremony will commence shortly after 4 p.m.; the planning committee invites all Sharpe’s former students to gather and dance the ‘ohana Farden’s classic, Puamana.
The festival will also include lei making, keiki activities, and Maui-made crafters and artisans under the Banyan Tree from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information about the festival, call (808) 264-8779.
“Hula is the language of the heart, and therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people.” – David Kalakaua.