At the 2012 Merry Monarch this 11 year old girl won the
Miss Keiki (children) Hula award. She is from Maui and her kumu (teacher) told her that she saw something special about her. She told her that you will represent our halau and be the best hula dancer that you can be. Everyone at her halau and her parents are very proud of her. It is a huge honor when you are among the winners at this prestigious hula competition.
Like all keiki (children) hula dancers, the students in this halau (hula studio) learn more than proper technique. They also learn the stories that their dances tell. The 6 year old girl is offering an angelic respect for King David Kalakaua.
The hand and body motions that the 12 year old boy is doing symbolizes the king's power by energetically moving toward the east, where lightening flashes.
MOANALOA GARDENS ANNUAL HULA PERFORMANCE
The beautiful gardens is located on the island of Oahu in the town of Moanaloa. The performance takes place in the summer and I saw it a few years ago. This performance honors the "traditional hula" which is different from the modern hula. The only instrument that is played is the "ipu drum". It is important to have various sizes of drums because each one will make a different sound resulting in a harmonious sound. Notice the lady who is wearing an orange "muumuu" (long dress) in the last picture. She is singing a Hawaiian chant. In early history, Hawaiians could speak their native tongue, but could not read or write the Hawaiian language. They needed to find a way to remember all the important events that took place in their village. They appointed a chanter who would chant an event and it was expected that everyone else would memorize the chant. The hula dancers in the two pictures below might be telling the story of a battle or other important event. Beside the performance there are vendors selling CDs and other interesting Hawaiian things. If it is possible, I highly recommend that you see this festival. You can check their website for more details.
THE HAWAIIAN HULA
Our second to the last king was, King Kalakaua who was known as the "merry monarch" because he was a fun loving king that refused to approve a ruling that would not allow people to dance the hula in public. The hula has become increasingly popular all over the world. While visiting my family in 2013, I was fortunate to meet a Hawaiian woman that now lives in Paris, France. She owns a hula studio there. She and a few of her students came to Oahu to perform. I enjoyed their hula show immensely. While visiting my brother in Alaska I met a woman who teaches the hula to senior ladies and children. I enjoyed their hula show which included a "luau". The Hawaiian food was delicious. We had such a wonderful time.
THE MERRY MONARCH HULA COMPETITION
This is the most important hula competition in the islands and it takes place in March on the "Big Island". The competition is in honor of King Kalakaua. The competition includes children. These three children previously competed at the Merry Monarch.