Hawaiian News: Merrie Monarch Halau Uniki - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaiian News: Merrie Monarch Halau Uniki

Leinaala Kalama Heine Leinaala Kalama Heine
Noelani Iokepa-Guerrero Noelani Iokepa-Guerrero

HILO (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Merrie Monarch is home to many hâlau who have been competing for years. And while some members of this hâlau have been to the stage many times before, this will be a first of sorts. Amy Kalili has more.

He 35 makahiki ka lôʻihi o ko kçia hâlau hoʻomâkaukua ʻana no kçia Mele Manaka, kahi e hoʻolauna mua ʻia ai kçia mau haumâna ʻakahi a puka mai kçia kula kuʻuna nô.

For this hâlau, preparation for this year's Merrie Monarch has been 35 years in the making with the debut of recent graduates.

He mea ka papahana ʻunuki e hôʻike a hôʻoia aku ai kçia mau moho i ka ʻike a me nâ mâkau i paʻa iâ lâkou.

Through the ʻuniki, candidates show the knowledge and the skills they have mastered.

This is what we do in hâlau. The goal in hâlau is to get women ready, to prepare them to become the future teachers in hula.

Leinaʻala Kalama Heine

Kumu Hula, Hâlau Nâ Pualei O Likolehua

ʻO ia ka pahuhopu o ka hâlau, ka hoʻomâkaukau i nâ kumu hou aku.

He ʻekolu makahiki ka lôʻihi o kçia ʻimi ʻuniki ʻana o kçia mau kumu ʻakahi a puka.

Graduates spent the past three years going through the ʻuniki process.

He kuleana ʻokoʻa nô ia. Pono e mâkaukau ma nâ ʻano like ʻole, a ʻaʻole ma ke aʻo i ka hula, ka wâwae, ka lima wale nô, akâ ma ke aʻo i ke ʻano, ka ʻuhane o ia ʻano kuʻuna o ka hula.

Noelani Iokepa-Guerrero

Kumu Hula

It's a whole new level, beyond just being able to teach dances, but also the essence and history of the hula as well.

ʻO kekahi keʻehina o ka papahana ʻunuki, ʻo ia ka hana lima ʻana i nâ mea

One phase of the process required them to hand make their hula implements.

ʻO ka ʻulîʻulî nô hoʻi, ua hana pû i nâ kâlâʻau  a ua pono e kâlai i pahu a hoʻomâkaukau hoʻi i ka pûniu. No laila he mau mea i hana ai. Ua pono e aʻo i ka loina a me nâ kuʻuna i pili i kçia mau mea a pau.

We made ʻulîʻulî, kâlaʻau, and we also carved our own drum and knee drum.

Ua pono e haku i mau mele, ke mele oli, ke mele kaʻi, ke mele e hula ana, a me ke mele hoʻi. Ua pono e haku i ka huaʻôlelo, a me ke ea, ka leo, a me ke kuhi lima a wâwae.

We also had to compose various hula, from the poetry to the dance itself.

A laila, aʻo ʻia aku kçia mau mele a hula i nâ ʻôlapa, a ʻo kekahi, e hula ʻia nô ma ka Mele Manaka.

The graduates then taught the ʻôlapa these chants and dances, some of which will be performed at Merrie Monarch.

ʻO ia kekahi ʻano hôʻike i kou mâkaukau e lilo i kumu no ka mea ʻo ia ana ka hana ke ʻuniki, ke puka, ʻo ia ka ana ka hana.

All of this is a testament to being prepared to ʻuniki or graduate.

These girls that have been with me and have been very loyal and wanting this, they are ready to become the next teachers.

Pili mai ana lâkou me aʻu no kekahi mau makahiki. Ua kûpaʻa a ua mâkaukau nô.

This is my way of saying, ok ladies, you are ready to fly. They are ready to fly, they are, and if I can sit out here and do this interview while a class is going on in the next room, then they're ready to carry on.

He hôʻoia i ka mâkaukau. Ke holo nei iâ lâkou i kçia manawa. He hôʻailona nô.

E nânâ mai nô i kçia pule aʻe ke hôʻea aku ko Nâ Pualei O Likolehua i ka ʻâwai Mele Manaka. Aloha.

Tune in to Merrie Monarch as Hâlau Nâ Pualei o Likolehua takes the stage.

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