41st Annual Prince Lot Hula Festival
Photography by Josh S. Jackson.
(text from http://moanaluagardensfoundation.org)
Ka Hanohano O Kamehameha…The Glory of Kamehameha, the 41st Annual Prince Lot Hula Festival taking place at Iolani Palace on Saturday, July 21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, July 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. will showcase twenty of Hawai`i’s finest hālau hula (hula groups) over the festival weekend. A performance line-up is attached.
The largest non-competitive hula exhibition in Hawai‘i, the festival will return to Iolani Palace where Prince Lot Kapuāiwa maintained his official residence. Presented by Moanalua Gardens foundation (MGF), a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and perpetuating Hawaii`s native culture and natural resources, the festival recently won the 2018 Best Tourism Award for Heritage and Culture from aio Media and Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association. The Hawaii Tourism Authority is the Presenting Sponsor.
Festival highlights include an impressive Opening Ceremony led by the Royal Order of Kamehameha, Chapters 1, 6 and 8, on Saturday at 9 am followed by the presentation of MGF’s prestigious Malia Kau Award to sisters and Nā Kumu Hula Pualani Kanaka’ole Kanahele and Nalanai Kanaka’ole of the renowned Hālau o Kekuhi from Hawai`i Island. This award is given solely to kumu hula who have, over their lifetime, made significant contributions to perpetuating Hawaii’s hula traditions and culture.
“Moanalua Gardens Foundation is proud to recognize Pua and Nalani for their leadership in advancing the art of hula worldwide and achieving in their own hālau a level of excellence that inspires all hula practitioners,” said Alika Jamile, Executive Director.
Twelve hālau hula will be showcased on Saturday beginning at 9:30 am with Hālau o Kekuhi and including, Coline Aiu’s Hālau Hula O Maiki, Niuli`i Heine’s Nā Pualei o Likolehua, and Maui’s Kamaka Kukona’s award-winning Hālau o Ka Hanu Lehua, and more. Puna Kalama Dawson’s Ka Ipu Ha`a o’ Kekauilani, Na Pua Hala o’ Kau`ai, Japana, Europa a me Canada will represent the island of Kau`ai.
On Sunday at 10 am master chanter Kalena Silva will receive MGF’s second annual Namakahelu Oli Award for his contributions to the preservation of this ancient art form and for his extensive knowledge of oli and skill in chanting.
“As with our Malia Kau Award, Moanalua Gardens Foundation chose to select a foremost practitioner from Hawai’i Island for its Namakahelu Oli Award and Kalena is an outstanding choice,” said Jamile.
“Over a 30-year career, he has gained an excellent reputation for his study of and originality in chanting and has performed, taught, and lectured on Hawaiian music, dance, and language in Hawaiʻi and abroad,” Jamile continued.
Sunday’s featured hālau include Leimomi I Maldonado’s Ka Hale I o Kahala Hālau Hula, Vicky Holt Takamine’s Pua Ali’i ‘Ilima, Hālau Hula ‘O Hokulani led by the late Hokulani De Rego’s three daughters, Leinani Lauaki, Kehaulani Kawai and Leonani Naho`oikaika, and more. Hawai’i Island will again be represented by Lelehua Bray’s Hālau Hula Maunalei from Holualoa.
Making their debut at the festival will be Hālau o Ka Hanu Lehua and Kumu Hula Kamaka Kukona from Maui. The hālau placed fourth in this year’s Merrie Monarch Festival for the mele Pōlehoonālani written by Kuana Torres Kahele and Kukona won the 2018 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Male Vocalist of the Year Award. Also, Hui Ho’oulu Aloha and Kumu Hula Pomaikai’i Kreuger will be performing for the first time. One of the hālau founders, Cy Bridges, received the inaugural Namakahelu Oli Award last year.
Other highlights include a pre-festival concert by the Kamehameha Alumni Glee Club on Saturday at 8:30 am, a Hawaiian-themed craft fair featuring local crafters, demonstrations of traditional Hawaiian arts by noted cultural practitioners, including poi pounding, lauhala weaving, kapa making, ipu heke making, feather lei making, ukulele making and more.
Food vendors will offer a variety of mouth-watering local specialties featuring Hawaiian plates, shave ice, and other island favorites.
On Saturday and Sunday, entrance to the first floor of Iolani Palace will be free.
“We welcome both kama`āina and malihini,” to our second Prince Lot Hula Festival at Iolani Palace and invite the entire community and visitors to join us for this special tribute to Hawaii’s ali’i who lived and ruled on the sacred grounds of the Palace,” said Jamile.
There is no charge to attend the festival, however, a button donation to MGF is requested to raise funds to support the event. Limited edition tee shirts and a souvenir poster will be on sale. Proceeds from these merchandise sales will help cover the costs of the festival.
The public, and visitors, are welcome to bring their low beach chairs and mats and enjoy the fun, food and festivities at historic Iolani Palace. No commercial photography is allowed.
Festival sponsors and supporters include, National Endowment for the Arts, State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Douglas Emmett, Kamehameha Publishing, Hawaiian Airlines, The Queen’s Medical Center, Matson Navigation, Royal Hawaiian Center, IATSE Local 665, Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau, O‘ahu Visitors Bureau, the Honolulu Star Advertiser, MidWeek, ‘Ōlelo Community Media, Pasha Hawaii, Iolani Palace, Urgent Care Hawaii and others.
Named in memory of Prince Lot, who later reigned as King Kamehameha V, the festival was founded in 1978 by MGF and now attract thousands of residents and visitors each year.