Merrie Monarch: 'Imiloa Talkstory'

Merrie Monarch: 'Imiloa Talkstory'

The Edith Kanaka'ole Stadium isn't the only place with action during Merrie Monarch, events and activities that compliment the Festival can be found all over Hilo town.

One of the most anticipated showcases each year takes place at the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center.

Prominent Kumu Hula, dancers, and musicians are invited to "talk-story" with the community and share their experiences during workshops and presentations.

Thursday's session featured the Hau'oli Hula Maids -- the winners of the first Merrie Monarch hula competition in 1971.

"This year, being the 50th Anniversary of Merrie Monarch, our theme is looking back at origins and the early halau that participated in Merrie Monarch so they are here this week sharing those memories of early Merrie Monarch Festival days," said Leilani Lindsey, Kaapuni Executive Assistant at 'Imiloa.

Kumu Leimomi Ho of Keali'ika'apunihonua Ke'ena A'o Hula said, "When we got off the ship in Hilo we would dance on the pier and that's how Merrie Monarch would start -- so we've been here from day 1!"

Thursday's workshop featured a collection of photos and stories about how hula took the Hau'oli Hula Maids around the world.

Participants were then treated to a performance of their 1971 winning competition number.

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