The seventh annual Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival is set to get under way at Waikoloa Beach Resort on the Big Island’s Kohala Coast beginning today (Thurs., Nov. 1). Considered one of Hawaii’s top hula events, the three-day fest spotlights hula halau (dancing groups) from Hawaii, the U.S. mainland, Mexico, and Japan in hula kahiko (ancient hula) and hula auana (modern hula) competitions. Also, the fest includes a night of showcasing performances given by kupuna (elders).
• Wahine Kahiko (ancient hula, women) — morning workshops, from 9 a.m. until noon, followed by afternoon workshops from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The main event, the Wahine Kahiko competition and awards, starts at 5 p.m. today (Thurs., Nov. 1).
• Kupuna Night — morning workshops, from 9 until noon, followed by afternoon workshops from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The main event, Kupuna Night competition and awards will begin at 5 p.m. tomorrow.
• Wahine Auana — morning workshops from 9 a.m. until noon, followed by afternoon workshops from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The main event, the Wahine Auana (modern hula, women) competition and awards, starts at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Tickets for the competitions (sold through ticketmaster) start at $7 for lawn seating (spectators may bring beach chairs and mats), and $19.50 for reserved seating.
Also, the fest will offer workshops that aim to promote Hawaii-related cultural education. For example, hula experts will demonstrate skills ranging from how to make a traditional ti leaf hula skirt to how to use the traditional hula gourd to help illustrate storylines.
In addition, a “Made-in Hawaii” market will be held at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. (In Hawaii, all goods labeled as island-made and island-grown must meet rigorous state law criteria to get the Made-in-Hawaii stamp.) A wide variety of market offerings will be available from roughly 35 island vendors. Among the goods: hula implements, fresh leis, silk-screened clothing, woven lauhala hats, as well as purses and jewelry.
The festival is sponsored by the nonprofit Moku O Keawe Foundation, which is dedicated to development of hula and associated arts. For information about the foundation and the festival, click here.
Photo: Moku OKeawe Foundation