Miss Aloha Hula 2018 Results: Maui Hula Dancer Takes Title
Shalia Kapuau’ionalani Kikuyo Kamakaokalani of Maui’s Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka took the title of Miss Aloha Hula 2018 at the 55th Annual Merrie Monarch Hula Festival in Hilo, Hawaiʻi.
*UPDATE: Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka garnered multiple awards and took the overall festival title for 2018. Results from the 2018 Merrie Monarch Hula Festival are now posted at the following direct link.
Kamakaokalani who dances under the direction of kumu Nāpua Greig, paid tribute to Kapiʻolani and Kaʻiulani in her kahiko and ʻauana performances respectively.
In her kahiko hula, Kamakaokalani danced to “Lei No Kapiʻolani.” According to festival material, this traditional lei chant for Kapiʻolani has been passed down as a hula noho kālaʻau. “It takes place at the famed fortress at Kaʻuiki in Hāna Maui, and travels throughout the paeʻāina, particularly highlighting Kapiʻolani’s journey to Maui Island.”
Kamakaokalani’s ʻauana selection honored Kaʻiulani, for her poise, intelligence and bravery. A festival booklet description of the mele explains: “Kaʻiulani epitomizes our people’s ability to master Eurocentric ideologies and powers while still remaining paʻa to our identity as kānaka.”
Kamakaokalani garnered a total of 1130 points, edging out Ecstasy Ligon of Ka La ʻOnohi Mai O Haʻehaʻe who trailed her by five points. Just three points separated the next top contender, Nicole Yuen of Hālau Hiʻiakainamakalehua, who was second runner-up, placing third with 1122 points.
Rounding out the top five was third runner-up Asialynn Genoa Kalihilihiʻulaonalehuaʻohopoe Yap of Hālau Manaola with 1096 points and Maile Yurika Garrett of Kawailiʻula was fourth runner up with 1088 points.
The competition continues with group kahiko performances tonight, and group auana on Saturday night, followed by an awards presentation.
There are a total of 29 performances on each night of the group competition. Maui groups are scheduled to appear on both Friday and Saturday night in the following order:
#13 Hālau o Ka Hanu Lehua (wahine) under the direction of Kumu Kamaka Kukona of Waikapū
#14 Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi (wahine) under the direction of Nā Kumu Haunani and ʻIliahi Paredes of Wailuku
#21 Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi (kāne) under the direction of Nā Kumu Haunani and ʻIliahi Paredes of Wailuku
#23 Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka (wahine) under the direction of Kumu Nāpua Greig of Waiohuli
For those who are watching from home, the festival can be viewed on KFVE or streamed online at K5 The Home Team.
Hālau o Ka Hanu Lehua: The women of Hālau o Ka Hanu Lehua under the direction of kumu Kamaka Kukona of Waikapū, Maui will perform to a mele hoʻoipoipo or love chant on Friday night. “Auhea Wale ʻOe E Sweet Moonlight” is set in the “deep forest, where the scent of palapalai ferns and maile permeate the air.” The festival booklet explains: “The metaphoric layer, kaona, speaks of love-making on a moonlit night where two lovers rendezvous.”
In their ʻauana selection, Hālau o Ka Hanu Lehua dances to “Pōlehoonālani,” a mele written by Kuana Torres Kahele as a tribute to the island of Niʻihau and the pūpū Pōleho shells. According to the festival booklet: “Kahele wrote this mele for his hānai mother Mama Annie Ane Kanahele, a Niʻihau native who dedicated her life to making these beautiful lei pūpū.”
Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi: On Friday night, the women of Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi perform “He Maʻi No Emma,” a procreation dance to perpetuate the aliʻi bloodline. Then on Saturday, the wahine have selected “Old Plantation, a mele that honors Victoria Robinson Ward, a friend and supporter of Queen Liliuokalani.
The men of Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi have selected “Nani Wale Nō ʻUlakōheo” for their kahiko. The mele speaks of ʻUlakoheo, “the site of the old Honolulu Iron Works, where steam was used to power large machinery.” The kāne will take the stage on Saturday night with the mele “Kaʻū Nui,” or the “Great Kaʻū,” which celebrates the beauty of the area.
Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka: The women of Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka take the stage on kahiko night with “Ke Ahi A Lonomakua,” derived from the love story of Pelehonuamea and the pig god Kamapuaʻa. According to a description in the festival program, “This mele is offered by Kamapua’a as a last attempt to appease” Pele’s wrath “by recognizing the impressive characteristics associated with her volcanic eruptions.
Their modern hula celebrates the island home of Maui with “Nā Mele Kaulana No Maui.” According to the festival program, “This medley traverses our beloved home, framed by Haleakalā and Mauna Kahalawai. To kamaʻāina, these mele and their hula express our overwhelming sense of aloha ʻāina.”