Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival under way on Big Island’s Kohala Coast


The sixth annual Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival is under way at Waikoloa Beach Resort on the Big Island’s Kohala Coast.

Billed as one of Hawaii’s biggest hula events, the festival brings together hula halau (dancing groups) from Hawaii, the U.S. mainland, and Japan for top-notch hula kahiko (ancient hula) and hula auana (modern hula) competitions. Tickets for the competitions — slated to start at 5:30 p.m. today and tomorrow are $5 for lawn seating (spectators may bring beach chairs and mats), and $15 for reserved seating.
The festival will also feature a “Made-in Hawaii” marketplace, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and tomorrow 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.)  Among the market offerings will be hula implements, fresh lei, silk-screened clothes, woven lauhala (palm leaf) hats, and jewelry.

The festival will also feature several workshops through which hula experts will demonstrate how to make a traditional ti leaf hula skirt; how to use the traditional hula gourd to illustrate storylines; and how to interpret various songs for hula performance (pictured, above).     
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.

Categories: Hawai‘i Island