Imua, Windward Hula Halau
The 2014 Merrie Monarch festival has come and gone, but not before four Windward hula halau walked away with top prizes.
During the April 20-26 festival at Hilo’s Edith Kanaka’ole Stadium, 23 different halau from Hawaii and California competed in two categories: kahiko (traditional) and auana (modern). Scores were tallied and combined to determine an overall winner, as well as top groups by gender.
It was the Kaneohe-based halau Ka Laa Onohi Mai O Ha’eha’e that took home top honors in the wahine division. Led by Tracie and Keawe Lopes, the group took first place in kahiko and second in auana, winning the overall wahine title with 1,178 points.
Waimanalo’s Hula Halau O Kamuela was second in the wahine division, with 1,172 points – a mere six-point difference. Guided by Kau’ionalani Kamana’o and Kunewa Mook, the halau took first in auana and third in kahiko.
Halau Mohala ‘Ilima from Kailua, led by Mapuana de Silva, took third place in the wahine kahiko. Only one Windward halau placed in the men’s division: Kailua’s Kawaili’ula, led by Chinky Mahoe, but his group took first place in kahiko and second overall among kane, with 1,169 points.
For festival highlights and the full list of winners, visit merriemonarch.com.