Kumu Kaleo Trinidad wins big at Merrie Monarch
A Honolulu halau was the big winner Saturday night at the Merrie Monarch Festival hula competition.
Ka Leo O Laka I Ka Hikina O Ka La, under the direction of kumu hula Kaleo Trinidad, won the overall title and the Lokalia Montgomery Perpetual Trophy with 1,194 points. They won the hula ‘auana (modern hula) kane division Saturday night with 609 points and came in second to last year’s overall winner, kumu hula Chinky Mahoe’s Kawaili‘ula in Friday night’s kane hula kahiko (ancient hula).
Trinidad’s halau also won the kane overall title, with Mahoe’s men taking the runner-up spot and Halau Na Mamo Pu‘uanahulu under the direction of kumu hula Sonny Ching and Lopaka Igarta-De Vera coming in third.
Taking second-place overall was Ka La ‘Onohi Mai O Ha‘eha‘e under the direction of kumu hula Tracie and Keawe Lopes. The halau from Pua‘ahu‘ula, Ko‘olaupoko, Oahu, took the wahine overall title with 1,178 points. The runner-up was Maui’s Halau Na Lei Kaumaka O Uku under the direction of kumu hula Napua Greig. In third place was Hula Halau ‘O Kamuela under the direction of kumu hula Kau‘ionalani Kamana‘o and Kunewa Mook.
Ka La ‘Onohi Mai O Ha‘eha‘e also took Friday’s wahine hula kahiko competition and won a tie-breaker by two points over Grieg’s halau for second place in Saturday’s wahine hula ‘auana.
Trinidad’s winning mele ‘auana was “Ho‘i Ke Aloha I Ra‘iatea,” which commemorated the 1992 voyage of the double-hulled canoe Hokule‘a from Hawaii to Ra‘iatea and Rarotonga.
Hilo’s Halau Hula ‘O Kahikilaulani of Hilo under the direction of kumu hula Nahokuolakani Gaspang took second in kane hula ‘auana with “Hilo E,” a 1920s mele by Mary Heanu.
Email John Burnett at email@example.com.
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