Photo of Halau With Kumu Kamaile on Auana Night

 

Our Trip to Hilo

 

One of our halau objectives was to be acknowledged by the Merrie Monarch board as deserving of an invitation to participate in the competition. After screams and tears of joy by the bulk of halau members as well as luau guests, our halau members felt very recognized and also humbled. Ke’ala Kamailelauli’ili’i under the direction of Kumu hula Kamaile Hamada resides in Federal Way, Washington.

This time is ours to bring people together. Those that are Native to Hawai`i and also those Hawaiians that are birthed abroad and throughout the world at large will have a chance to be introduced and/or further educated to their native culture through Hawaiian arts as well as Hawaiian traditions.

The foundation of Ke`ala ‘O Kamailelauli`ili ‘i  is the link that connects us to our past. It is the platform where cultural beliefs, teachings and ways of life of our Kupuna could be shared, therefore causing a resurgence for renewal of identification, individual development and kuleana (obligation) as well as a revitalization of the Hawaiian people to move into the next centuries.

The Merrie Monarch Festivals honors the heritage left by King David Kalākaua, that inspired the perpetuation of our traditions, indigenous language, and also arts. He is also attributed with recovering many Hawaiian cultural customs during his reign, including the hula.

The Merrie Monarch Festival acknowledged worldwide as the most distinguished of all hula competitions. It has received worldwide acknowledgment for its historical as well as Cultural significance.

Kahiko Night at the Merrie Monarch Festivals 2018

Kahiko Night at the Merrie Monarch Festivals 2018

 

Deserving of an Invitation

In the days following the announcement, we had to get our heads in the right place. There was studying and researching to be done together with a new extensive practice routine that included Oli and also physical conditioning. We obtained the essential understanding of the chants and also the song that is to be performed and our bodies gradually adapted to the extensive new schedule. As our practice schedule heightened, our halau concept came to be live, eat, hula as well as, finally, sleep. In the end, we worked so hard to earn and be deserving of an invitation to the Merrie Monarch Festivals.

Spectators and entertainers from the Hawaiian Islands, the United States, as well as International destinations, come together each year in Hilo for this exciting event.

We were so excited for the opportunity to represent our Kumu and our Halau at the Merrie Monarch Festivals in Hilo.

Kumu Hula Kamaile Hamada

Kumu Hula Kamaile Hamada and his musicians preparing to sing and play music for his halau at the 2018 Awana night Merrie Monarch Festivals

 

Kumu Hula Kamaile Hamada

Kumu Hula Kamaile Hamada, center, laughs as he checks to make sure the lengths of all of the dancer’s Kahiko dresses match on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the halau in Federal Way. KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

 

 

First-time entrants in the Merrie Monarch Festival and first halau from Washington State.

Ke’ala O Kamailelauli’li’i with Kumu Hula Kamaile Hamada.