Merrie Monarch hula festival concludes

The 45th Merrie Monarch Festival ended last night with Hula Halau O Kamuela taking the lead prize of top hula halau.

The Oahu halau (troupe) took the fest’s "overall" honors by topping judges’ scorecards in women’s kahiko (traditional) and auana (modern) dance in Friday and Saturday night competition. Hula Halau O Kamuela—led by kumu hula (hula teachers) Kauionalani Kamanao and Kunewa Mook—also took top women's honors in both dance styles at the Big Island hula competition last year.

Oahu kumu hula Sonny Ching’s Halau Na Mamo O Puuanahulu troupe came in second overall, with top scores in men’s kahiko and auana dance.

Competition for the fest’s overall prize was strong. In the end, a single point was all that separated the first- and second-place halau on judges’ scorecards.

A complete list of Merrie Monarch Festival winners is here.

Video of the winning performances will be posted on throughout the week. However, if you’re in need of a hula fix now, an already-posted collection of clips of the fest’s other competing halau should keep you sated for an hour or two.

Photo of Halau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniakea in competition by Dennis Oda, for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin