Prince Lot, the Other Hula Festival
Photo: Courtesy Moanalua Gardens Foundation
For the past 37 years,renowned kumu hula and their halau have come together to celebrate the revival of Hawaii’s mele and dance. No, not at Hilo’s Merrie Monarch, as much as we love it. At the other hula festival, honoring Kamehameha V, Prince Lot, at Moanalua Gardens. Prince Lot, whose summer cottage sits on the gardens’ grounds, is credited with breathing life back into hula in the Moanalua district when it was banned in public. Every third Saturday of July, hula halau converge on one of the last remaining ancient pa hula, hula mounds, at Moanalua Gardens.
This year, organizers have selected oli and mele from the notebooks of Namakahelu Makaena, known as the last chantress of Kamananui Valley. The notebooks are privately held by the Moanalua Gardens Foundation and not available in the public domain. Participating kumu hula have choreographed hula to these chants and mele.
It’s free to attend (donations in support of the Moanalua Gardens are requested). Plus, you don’t need to buy a ticket to Hilo.
July 19, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Moanalua Gardens, 1352 Pineapple Place. moanaluagardensfoundation.org or 839-5334.