ʻOiai holo ana ka hoʻolauleʻa Mele Manaka no nā makahiki he 50, ua ʻike ʻia nō ka puka ʻana o nā hanauna hou o nā ʻohana ma nā hālau, a pēia pū nā hanauna hou o nā hālau kekahi.
ʻO kekahi o nā hālau e hōʻea mai ana i ka hoʻokūkū Mele Manaka mai ka wā ma mua mai…a e komo ana ma ka hōʻike o ka P3 o kēia makahiki, ʻo ia ʻo Nā Kamalei.
“E hoʻi ana mākou ʻo Hālau Nā Kamalei no ka mea ua kono ʻo ʻanakē Luana ua hiki iā kākou- mākou,” wahi a Kumu Hula Robert Uluwehi Cazimero.
ʻOiai ua pīhoihoi nō i ke kono ʻia a hōʻea mai, no Uluwehi, he ʻano hōʻoia paʻakikī i ka nui o nā makahiki i hala akula.
“ʻŌlelo ʻo ia “We want to see the old ones come back!” ʻAʻole wau makemake i kēlā you know, no ka mea he ʻelemakule paha, but ʻaʻole makemake wau e lohe i kēlā huaʻōlelo.”
Eia naʻe, he hoʻomaikaʻi nō ia ʻoiai i loko o kēia mau makahiki lōʻihi, he hōʻoia i ke aʻo kūpono ʻana ona ma lalo o kāna Kumu ʻo Maiki Aiu Lake me kona hoʻoili hou ʻana aku i ia ʻike ma luna o kāna mau haumāna.
“Ua ʻōlelo ʻo ia iā mākou a pau, nā papa like ʻole, “take what I have given you and make it better”.”
Ua paʻa maikaʻi ia haʻawina iā Uluwehi a ua lilo ʻo ia he kumu o nā kumu hou aku ma hope ona.
ʻO kekahi o kāna mau haumāna, ʻo ia hoʻi ʻo Karl Veto Baker lāua me Michael Lanakila Casupang me kā lāua hālau ponoʻī ʻo Hālau i ka Wēkiu, i eo iā lākou ke lanakila nui ma ka hoʻokūkū Mele Manaka 2012.
ʻO kekahi o kā Uluwehi mau haumāna, ʻo ia hoʻi ʻo Manu Boyd, ke kumu o ka Hālau o ke ʻAʻaliʻi Kū Makani.
A ʻoiai loaʻa nā haumāna ponoʻī o kēia mau kumu i kēia manawa, mau ka pilina kohu ʻohana maoli nō.
“Inā aʻo ana wau i kuʻu mau haumāna, mau nō kēlā ʻōlelo kekahi,” wahi a Uluwehi.
A ʻike ʻo Manu Boyd, ke Kumu Hula o Hālau Hula ʻo Ke ʻAʻaliʻi Kū Makani i ka ʻoiaʻiʻo o kēlā. “I ka wā i hoʻomaka ai kaʻu hālau ʻo ke ʻAʻaliʻi Kū Makani, ua ʻano pili loa kaʻu mau haumāna iā kumu Uluwehi a ʻo kekahi inoa kapakapa i kapa ʻia ma luna ona ʻo “Kumu Nui” no ka mea ʻo wau ke kumu o ka hālau a ʻo ia ke kumu nui.”
“You know- Kumu Nui, pehea kēlā ʻeā, Kumu Nui,” i ʻī mai ai ʻo Uluwehi.
ʻOiai kēia piha makahiki kūikawā o ka Mele Manaka he 50, hoʻi ana ʻo Manu a pili hou aku me kāna “Kumu Nui” no ke oli i kāna mele no Nā Kamalei.
“Hauʻoli wau i ka hoʻi ʻana mai o kēia mau haumāna i ka hālau i kēia manawa,” wahi a Uluwehi.
“He mau hoa pili māua, he mau hoa hana, a he ʻohana nō hoʻi,” wahi a Manu. “Ke lilo ʻoe i lālā, i haumāna ma lalo o kumu Uluwehi, lilo ʻoe i ʻohana nona kekahi.”
He ʻohana e ola mau ai kona ʻike nani maoli nō no ka hula.
After 50 years of the Merrie Monarch festival, there are literally generations of families in many hālau, but even hālau themselves now more offspring.
One long-time Merrie Monarch hālau, participating in Wednesday’s hōʻike, is Hālau Nā Kamalei.
“We are returning this year at Hōʻike because Aunty Luana asked us to,” says Kumu Hula Robert Uluwehi Cazimero.
While thrilled to be invited, it was a reality check on the passing of time.
“She said “We want to see the old ones” and I wasn’t sure I wanted to be considered called that!”
But this kumu earned his stripes under his Kumu Maiki Aiu Lake and is now passing on his knowledge.
“She told all of us: “Take what I have given you and make it better”.”
Uluwehi took this to heart and has become of the kumu of kumu.
Some of his students include Karl Veto Baker and Michael Casupang Hālau i ka Wēkiu, Merrie Monarch 2012 overall winners.
Another student is Kumu Manu Boyd of Hālau o ke ʻAʻaliʻi Kū Makani.
While these kumu now have their own haumāna, they are all a close ʻohana.
“When I teach my students, I tell them the same thing,” says Uluwehi.
And Manu understands the reality of this relationship. “When my hālau started, my dancers looked up to Uluwehi and since I was “Kumu” to them, he became“Kumu Nui”, or the “Big Kumu.”
“Kumu Nui, How’s that for a name?” says Uluwehi.
In celebration of the 50th, Manu is teaming up with his “Kumu Nui”, to chant this mele for Nā Kamalei.
“It’s so nice to have my students come back like this,” says Uluwehi.
“We are great friends, collaborators, a family,” says Manu. “Being a student of Uluwehi truly means being ʻohana.”
A family that continues this great hula lineage.