“He kumu hula au, a makemake loa au, me ka nui o nā kumu kekahi, i ka hoʻomau ʻana o ka hula. ʻO kēia ʻūniki o ka papa laukoa, ʻo ia nō ka pane.” i ʻōlelo ai ʻo Kumu Hula Uluwehi Cazimero. I ka lae ʻo Keʻalohi ma Heʻeia i ʻākoakoa ai nā kumu hula, haumāna hula, a ʻohana kākoʻo mai Hawaiʻi pae ʻāina e ʻike maka ai i kahi hanana kuikawā a ka Hālau o Ke ʻAʻaliʻi Kū Makani; ʻo ia hoʻi ka ʻaha ʻūniki mua a Kumu Hula Manu Boyd e mālama ai no ka ʻauamo ʻana o kekahi o kāna mau haumāna i ke kuleana ʻōlapa hula.
Wahi a Aulia Austin, he ʻōlapa hula no ka Hālau o Ke ʻAʻaliʻi Kū Makani,” e ʻōlelo ana ʻo ia (ʻo Manu), e hoʻomaka ana ʻo ia i kekahi papa no kekahi wāhine o ka hālau, ʻehiku mākou. ʻO ka hopena, e puka ana ma ke ʻano he ʻōlapa.” ʻŌlelo kekahi hoa ʻōlapa, ʻo Punihei Lipe, “ua wehewehe ʻia iā mākou e hoʻomākaukau ʻia ma ke ʻano he ʻōlapa; hōʻike aku i nā hula me ka mākaukau i ka lehulehu i kono ʻia. A ʻo ka hopena, puka ma ke ʻano he ʻōlapa. A ʻo ka manaʻo nui o kēlā, e pili mau ana mākou i ke kumu a mau loa aku. Ke hele i kahi wahi, ke ʻike ʻia mākou, ʻike ʻia ʻo Manu. “
I paʻa kēia kūlana i hoʻomākaukau ʻia nā pono mākau a ʻike ʻōlapa. Hōʻea ka lā o ka hōʻike hula, kū ka ʻaha, a hoʻohiki ʻia nā kuleana e ʻauamo ʻia e kēlā me kēia kanaka nona ka ʻaha. “Eia au ke hoʻohiki nei i koʻu piʻi mau ʻana i ke kuahiwi a loaʻa ka ʻiu o nā hana he maiau ma laila. Eia au nō hoʻi ke hōʻoia nei i ka mākaukau o kēia mau poʻe wāhine koa, nā lālā o ka Papa Laukoa o Hālau o Ke ʻAʻaliʻi Kū Makani, e hula ana me ka maikaʻi a me ka nani, a me ka hiehie, me ka manaʻo mau ʻana i nā nani a me ka mana o nā kūpuna Hawaiʻi o kākou.” i ʻōlelo ai ʻo Kumu Hula Manu Boyd. Pane ʻo Punihei, “ʻo kēia ʻūniki, mea nui nona. ʻO ia kona ʻūniki mua. Ke noʻonoʻo nei au inā ʻo au ke kumu he mea ʻano makaʻu kēia no ka mea, he hilinaʻi nui iā mākou ʻehiku. Pono e kū ma mua o ka lehulehu a hōʻike aku, i ka mea āna i hoʻomākaukau ai, ʻo ia nō mākou ʻehiku.” ʻŌlelo ʻo Aulia, nui ka wiwoʻole e pono ai inā makemake ʻoe e hōʻike aku i ke anaina; a ʻaʻole he anaina wale nō, he hoa, he hoa kumu, ʻo ia ka hoa o kāna kumu kekah. “O kēia poʻe anaina kai kono ʻia no ka hōʻoia ʻana mai i ka mākaukau o nā haumāna e hoʻomau i kekahi pae hou aku o ka hālau.
Wahi a Punihei, “ʻekolu māhele nui o kēia hōʻike hula. ʻO ka mua nā hula pele. ʻO ka lua nā hula no nā aliʻi. ʻO ke kolu nā hula pahu.” Pane ʻo Aulia me ka ʻōlelo, “mai kinohi mai e aʻo ana ʻo ia i nā hula āna i aʻo ai mai kāna kumu a me nā mea a Robert Cazimero i aʻo ai mai kāna kumu, ʻo Aunty Maiki. No laila, ua piha ka hōʻike i ia ʻano mele. ʻO ka hōʻike, he hōʻke maoli inā ua paʻa ia mau mea a me ka moʻolelo i kēlā me kēia ʻōlapa. Ma kēia ʻano papa ʻūniki, nānā nui ʻia ka ʻike a me ka mana a me ka hoʻoilina hula. A ma ka hōʻike nō i ʻike akāka ʻia ai ka paʻa o ia kahua. “Hiki ke ʻike i ka minoʻaka ʻana mai o kaʻu kumu. Iaʻu e noho ai, nānā i ka hula, nānā i ka poʻe e nānā ana i ka ʻōlapa, hiki ke ʻike, e holomua ana ka hula.” i manaʻo pani ai ʻo Kumu Hula Uluwehi Cazimero.
“I am a kumu hula and my fellow kumu and I just really want to see our hula live on! This graduation of the Papa Laukoa is one way we are ensuring that.” says Kumu Hula Uluwehi Cazimero. At Keʻalohi Point in Heʻeia, kumu hula, close family and friends gathered to witness and take part in a special occasion for Hālau o Ke ʻAʻaliʻi Kū Makani: the first ʻūniki, or promotion ceremony, for a few of Kumu Manu Boy’d haumāna to the status of ʻōlapa. Aulia Austin, a new ʻōlapa of Hālau o Ke ʻAʻaliʻi Kū Makani, says “seven of us were chosen to go through this process to become ʻōlapa.” Fellow ʻōlapa, Punihei Lipe also says, “we were told we were going to train and the culmination would be to showcase what we learned to an audience. We wouldn’t just be getting promoted to ʻōlapa, this ceremony would also confirm our bond to this hālau and our kumu. From here forward, whatever we do, we are an extension of our hālau and Manu.”
Preparations were made and the hōʻike began with personal affirmations of the new kuleana to be taken. Kumu Hula Manu Boyd says, “I promise to hold myself to the highest standards of this art. I’m also confirming that these women from the Papa Laukoa of Hālau o Ke ʻAʻaliʻi Kū Makani are ready to maintain these same high standards of hula and the traditions of our ancestors.” Punihei says that, “this is a huge step for him, his first ʻūniki. When you think about it, he is trusting in our abilities and readiness to present all he has taught us.” Aulia agrees in saying that, “it takes courage for hm to be ready to show, through us, what he has taught us, especially to fellow kumu and his own kumu as well.” These specific guests were invited not only to enjoy, but to affirm that these haumāna were indeed deserving of this promotion.
Punihei shares that, “there were three major themes to the presentation. We started with mele for Pele. Then we moved on to hula for various aliʻi. And we ended with hula pahu.” Aulia says that, “from the beginning he taught us mele he learned from his kumu, Robert Cazimero, that he had learned from his kumu, Māiki aiu Lake. Appropriately then, our hōʻike was full of these mele. This was our test to confirm that we knew our mele and the traditional knowledge they represent. The overarching goal is for us to confirm that we are ready to carry on this rich legacy of our hula genealogy.” As they day progressed, it became crystal clear that these ladies are well-grounded in that legacy. “I know my kumu would be proud. Whie watching the performances, I saw the expressions of these in attendance and it was clear that our hula will live on.” says Kumu Robert Cazimero.