All posts tagged: merrie monarch

Tempting Ohia Lehua Blossom

Saturday evening was the culmination of the Merrie Monarch hula festivities, but not the end to the awareness of the rapid ohia death which is plaguing the island of Hawaii. Many of the hula halaus respected the unspoken ban of using the lovely ohia blossom in their hula attire as it could jeopardize future generations from enjoying the beauty of this flower.  The ohia has a significant meaning for hula and not being able to use it in abundance in the festivities was a crutch for many, but also allowed the kumu hulas (hula teachers) to think outside of the box on using other native plants and/or flowers. Until the ohia are healthy, many hula practitioners as well as lei makers will not be entering the forest on the island of Hawaii as frequent as before.  If anyone is visiting the Island of Hawaii, take note of the poster below from Rapid Ohia Death awareness group: On Monday, Hilo International Airport was flooded with flowers and leis left behind by visitors who could not remove …

Weekly Small Pleasures (#9)

Merrie Monarch Hilo comes alive during Merrie Monarch week and this year was no different. I went to the free hōʻike night on Wednesday to watch Hālau o Kekuhi, as well as other indigenous dance from Taiwan, Tahiti, and New Zealand. I also watched TV coverage of the competition on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Over the course of the week, I had 3 performances and walked in the parade on Saturday. Below are a few photos, most taken by Maria, from my week. It felt amazing to be dancing again and to be immersed in hula for 7 straight days. Sunday, March 27: Kīpaepae Welina (Welcoming Ceremony)   Tuesday, March 29: UNU Noontime Performance at the Naniloa Hotel     Thursday, March 31: UNU at ʻImiloa Astronomy Center   Saturday, April 2: Merrie Monarch Parade Here are other people’s weeks: A New Life Wandering | Weekly Small Pleasures #82 Find us on social media outlets and get to know the Holoholo Girls better! Facebook  Instagram @holohologirls Twitter

A Merrie Hangover

Itʻs been a little less than a week since the close of Merrie Monarch and I can honestly say that itʻs been the most hectic one I’ve ever experienced. The exhaustion, however, was well worth it since with it came so many wonderful moments, especially those spent in the company of my hula family. I miss the surge of energy that comes with Merrie Monarch, but I do appreciate the calm when it’s over. We had several appearances and kuleana (responsibilities) during the week. These pictures were taken from our noon time performance at the Naniloa Hotel last Tuesday. Mahalo to Maria for these beautiful images! Also, if youʻre interested in watching snippets of that performance, mahalo to Joanna Ehu Mazurek for capturing these dances on video with a vintage filter. My hula family and I also spent a little bit of time with our Māori cousins of Te Waka Huia and were glad to have met and know them over the course of the week. Here are a few images from their performance in the Merrie Monarch hōʻike on Wednesday night, again, compliments …

W is for Wahine (Woman)

On Saturday morning, the last day of the Merrie Monarch (MM) hula festival, rain or shine, the town of Hilo gets ready for the colorful parade.  Downtown Hilo is always bustling on Saturday morning with patrons heading to the Hilo Farmer’s Market; but, add the few hundred visitors who descend during this week, and it gets pretty hectic. Parking gets crazy.  But, it is all worth the trouble, except when you have a little one to tow around. My favorite part of the MM parade is seeing all the lovely pa’u riders, especially as they honor each of the main eight Hawaiian islands with a princess and entourage riding on horses.  Each island is represented with a different color and a different native plant or flower.  In Hawaiian, wahine means woman.  I love seeing the women dressed in their long skirts, and especially seeing them wear all the lovely fresh leis and flower arrangements, including in their hair and on their horses.  I cannot imagine how much time and energy it must take to gather all the native …

U is for Ukulele

The State of Hawai’i was just about to pass a bill to name the ukulele as the state instrument.  But, fans of other instruments spoke up to request that their musical instrument such as the ‘ipu gourd and steel guitar also be considered.  I wish I was gifted in playing the ukulele, but unfortunately, even after several attempts, my fingers hurt from strumming the nylon string and gripping the neck of the instrument. This week here in Hilo nei we are in the midst of the Merrie Monarch hula festivities.  On stage while the hula dancers are performing a hula ‘auana (modern hula), the back up singers will be accompanied by musicians or they themselves will readily be playing a ukulele.  It is one of those instruments that is small enough to be easily transported and available during an impromptu back yard jam.   Several intermediate schools here in Hawai’i offer ukulele classes in school.  They even have marching ukulele bands that perform at various events in the community.   I wish they offered this …

T is for Te Waka Huia

Hilo was treated to the awesomeness that is Te Waka Huia, five-time champions of the Te Matatini Kapa Haka Festival, at the non-competitive Merrie Monarch hōʻike. Wednesday usually features hula and other dances from all over the Pacific. This is the only night that is free to the public, with open seating.  Many people will stand in line for hours just to grab a seat to watch the spectacular medley of performances. Te Waka Huia also graced Hilo with a noon show that provided the community with an opportunity to hear from the dance troupe as they explained the various dances and instruments used by the dancers.  The group shared several lovely songs as well as a few boisterous chants known as haka.   April is the start of the A to Z challenge. Check out other blogs participating in this challenge at:

Spring is in the air

Living in Hawai’i, it is difficult to differentiate between the seasons.  However, in beautiful Kamuela, there are lovely Cherry Blossom trees lined up near “Church Row“.  These magnificent trees are now in bloom and we know its a sign of Spring.  It’s quite lovely to see the vibrant pink flowers contrast with the deep blues of the sky. In Hilo, we know Spring is approaching when the entire town is getting ready for the sold-out Merrie Monarch Festival.  This hula festival kicks off on Easter Sunday.  MM also means CRAFT FAIRS.  I love browsing through all the items sold at the craft fairs representing local artists as well as international artisans. I am excited that Spring is here which also means that Summer is fast approaching. Check out the other blogs participating in Bastet’s Pixelventures this week: