In its first year at the Lanikeha Center, the 22nd annual Ka Hula Piko celebrated Nā Kupua ‘E‘ē, the shapeshifters of ancient Hawaii and Molokai.
On Thursday and Friday, Hālau Hula O Kukunaokalā shared the origins and traditions of hula in lectures held at the Mitchell Pau’ole Center. Many of these traditions were passed down from the late kumu John Kaimikaua, founder of the Moloka’i Ka Hula Piko festival 22 years ago.
Saturday’s ho’olaule’a at Lanikeha in Ho’olehua was filled with stories, hula and lots of food and vendors. Many of the Molokai hula halaus presented hulas of these shapeshifters, known as kupua. Some kupua never even took human form but acted as guardians of the land or people where they lived. Other kupua chose evil and brought harm to those around them.
While not as many hula halaus visited from off island as in past years, the event was still a boon for Molokai’s economy. Every year, visitors from Canada, Japan and Europe come to Molokai to see the celebration of the birth of hula.
Sponsors for this year’s Ka Hula Piko are Pa’i Foundation; Office of Hawaiian Affairs; KPOA 93.5 FM – Hawaiian Music, Maui Style; Molokai Community Federal Credit Union and American Income Life Insurance Company.