“Kui I Ke Kiu” — like the kiu wind — is the theme for the 23rd annual Moloka’i Ka Hula Piko festival, which began yesterday.
The three-day festival to celebrate the birth of hula will culminate with Saturday’s ho’olaule’a at the Lanikeha Community Center from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. This will be the second year the celebration will take place at the Ho’olehua site.
Yesterday, participants traveled to Ka’ana, on the sacred hill Pu’u Nana near Maunaloa, to hear the story of the La’ila’i family and feel the birthplace of hula. It was a woman named La’ila’I who introduced this unusual art form. Hula influenced many to travel from the neighboring islands to Molokai, to behold the beauty of her dancing as nothing like it was ever seen before.
A lecture on this year’s theme took place at Kulana ‘Oiwi last night. Through mo’olelo (oral history) and hula by Halau O Kukunaokala and Anake Opu’ulani Albino, those who attended gained new insight into this year’s theme, “Kui I Ke Kiu.”
Another evening lecture is planned for 7 p.m. tonight at Kulana ‘Oiwi. The second annual Ka Hula Piko “E Ka ‘ana Mai I Na Mo’omona” will offer an opportunity for different kumu hulas to share their rich tradition. This year’s panelists include Kekuhi Kealiikanakaoleohaililani, from Halau o Kekuhi; Kumu Hula Francis Kapuaoiokepamemaile Francisco, from Halau Ha Mamo O Ka Liko Maile O Kohala; and, finally, Kumu Hula Cy Bridges.
One of the features at this year’s ho’olaule’a will be a creative keiki art contest from 8:30 a.m.-noon. Check out this year’s entries depicting “If you were the wind” theme and cast a vote for the people’s choice award. Cash prizes will be awarded to the keiki.
Also at the ho’olaule’a will be lots of food, crafts, hula and music. Some of the performers include Halau O Kilohana, Halau Na Mamo O Ka Liko O Kohala, Moana’s Hula Halau, Zellie Ducauchelle and Norman DeCosta, Halau O Kekuhi, ‘Ohana Napolean and Halau Hula O Kukunaokala.
For more information visit www.kahulapiko.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.