(HawaiiNewsNow) - Moanalua Gardens Foundation has announced that Aunty Edith Kawelohea McKinzie, Aunty Patience Namaka Bacon and James Ka`upena Wong will be honored for their contributions to hula, oli (Hawaiian chant), Hawaiian culture and Hawai'i Nei at "Laukanaka Ka Hula," the 35th Annual Prince Lot Hula Festival on Saturday, July 21, at Moanalua Gardens. The festival will run from 9 am to 4 pm.
"We feel both honored and humbled to recognize three of Hawai'i's most respected cultural icons at this year's festival," said MGF Executive Director and President Alika Jamile. "Each in their own way, have made immense contributions to keeping our Hawaiian culture vibrant and alive, not only for Native Hawaiians but for all of the people of Hawai'i," Jamile said.
As a tribute to McKinzie, Bacon and Wong, respected Hawaiian cultural authority, composer, and kumu hula Manu Boyd will compose a special mele hula which will be performed for the first time ever at the festival. Known as an expert in geneology and for her scholarship in oli, McKenzie has devoted her life's work to preserving hula and oli, authoring two widely recognized books of geneological chants.
The hânai (adopted) daughter of renowned author, scholar, and composer, Mary Kawena Pukui, Bacon is well known for her tireless efforts in documenting the life and work of her mother. A recognized authority on hula and oli, Bacon is sought after to judge hula competitions, including the world famous Merrie Monarch Hula Festival. One of Hawai'i's most revered chanters, Wong learned oli from Mary Kawena Pukui and studied under master teacher Tom Hiona where he honed his skills on pahu hula. A chanter for Pele Pukui Suganuma, Kawena Pukui's biological daughter, Wong is also recognized as a composer and instrumentalist.
"Our theme, "Laukanaka Ka Hula…A Multitude of Hula Groups Gather" is based on a traditional oli that talks about groups of hula people coming together to celebrate hula" said Jamile. It speaks to people from all over the world who appreciate and love all aspects of hula," Jamile said.
"Hula hâlau from all islands have been invited to this year's festival," said Alika Jamile, MGF Executive Director and President. "Also, a special ho'ike (show) will be dedicated to our honorees, enhancing the experience for visitors and local residents alike," Jamile said.
The event will feature both hula kâhiko (ancient) hula and chant, and 'auana (modern) hula performances. Dancers will perform on one of the few remaining pâ hula (hula mounds) in Hawai`i. Local food and refreshments will be available for purchase throughout the day. Limited edition tee shirts and a souvenir button will be on sale. Proceeds from these merchandise sales will help cover the costs of the festival. There is no charge to attend the festival, however, a button donation to MGF is requested to raise funds to support the event. The public, and visitors, are welcome and encouraged to bring their beach chairs and mats and enjoy the fun, food and festivities under the shady monkeypod trees of Moanalua Gardens. No commercial photography is allowed.
Named in memory of King Kamehameha V, Prince Lot, the festival was founded in 1978 by MGF and now attracts up to 10,000 residents and visitors each year. Moanalua was a favorite recreation spot for Prince Lot, who is credited with reviving the hula in the district of Moanalua. His summer cottage can be found on the gardens' grounds. A historical and cultural treasure, Moanalua Gardens is one of the most beautiful places in Honolulu on the island of O`ahu. Once a botanical garden, it is home to rare trees, foliage and historic structures.
MGF covers the cost of the festival through grants, donations and memberships.
To become a member or more information about MGF, please visit MGF's website HERE or call 808.839.5334.
Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.
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