“Kapa ʻia kēia hanana no ka Mele Manaka, ʻo Kalākaua. ʻAʻole hoʻi he mau kaʻao, akā he mau aliʻi maoli nō. ʻO ia ke kumu; inā ʻaʻole lākou loaʻa, ʻaʻole nō i loaʻa kēia hana.” i ʻōlelo ai ʻo Iris Gil, ke kanaka haku lole no iris Gil Designs.
Wahi a Tom Chong Poy, ka Mōʻī Kāne o ka Mele Manaka 2013, “mālama ʻia kēia poni mōʻī he 50 makahiki aku nei a ua makemake e laha hou.”
ʻAʻole i pili kēia hoʻohanohano i ka hoʻōla hou ʻia o ka papahana poni mōʻī wale nō, akā, pili pū i ka nui noiʻi a kālailai i komo i ka hakulau ia ʻana a paʻa o ka lole e hōʻaʻahu ʻia.
Wahi a Uʻi Peralto, kekahi luna no ke alo aliʻi o ka Mele Manaka, “no kēia piha makahiki 50, e hoʻohana ʻia ana kēia mau ʻaʻahu. Ua noiʻi no ia wā a me ke kōkua ʻo Iris me kāna mākau hakulau lole, ua loaʻa nā kiʻi kahiko a hoʻopili aku.”
“Ua loaʻa nā kiʻi mai ka hale hōʻikeʻike ʻo Pīhopa, a ua haku ʻia nā lau i pili i nā mea i kākau a ʻike ʻia ma kēia noiʻi ʻana.” i ʻōlelo ai ʻo Iris.
Like kēia hana noiʻi ʻaʻahu lole aliʻi me ka noiʻi a ka poʻe hula no ke kūpono a kūpono ʻole paha o ko lākou lole a lei e komo ai no kēlā me kēia mele.
Wahi hou a Iris, “ʻImi lākou i ka ʻike no ka lole kūpono i launa me ke mele. Like ia hana no kēia lole. He lole ko nā mōʻī no kēlā me kēia hanana.”
Wahi a Bernadine Alohalani Kealoha, ka Mōʻī Wahine o ka Mele Manaka 2013, “He hanohano maoli nō ka hiki ke kū hāmeʻe no ke aliʻi ʻo Kapiʻolani, ʻaʻole ma ka lole wale nō akā, ka lawena, kona ʻano Hawaiʻi, kona moʻokūʻauhau a pēlā aku.”
“He ʻelele hoʻi mākou ka poʻe o mua.” i ʻolelo ai ʻo Tom.
E nā hoa e puni ana i ka hula a mele Hawaiʻi, e hoʻomaopopo a hoʻohanohano aku kākou i ka Mele Manaka. E ola e ka lani a mau loa aku! ʻO wau nō kēia ʻo Kuʻulei Bezilla no ʻŌiwiTV, aloha!
“The fact that the whole festival is a name sake, the Merrie Monarch, you’re not dressing up of some fictional person, this is an existing queen, this is something that, you know, that embodied who Hawaiians are. It is you know, the essence of it. Where if it wasn’t for them, you know, it would never exist.” says Iris Gil, desiner of Iris Gil Designs.
“The coronation was done back 50 years ago and they wanted to show the state and probably the world what it was like back then.” says Tom Chong Poy, the Mōʻī Kāne for Merrie Monarch 2013.
It wasn’t just about the reenactment of the coronation, but adding greater detail to the costumes as well.
Uʻi Peralto, Co-Chair of the Merrie Monarch Royal Court says that “now, for the 50th, we are going to introduce the gowns that were worn during the time of Kalākaua and Kapiʻolani. We did our research on what was worn at that time, and with Irises help, and his knowledge of designing, he was able to go and get pictures, um, and almost, you know, replicate, um, you know, the gowns that were worn.”
“We contacted the Bishop Museum and got some photo archives…and depicted a lot of things, based off of King Kalākauas coronation. So a lot of the write up is basically where I gathered the information from.” says Gil.
The research done for these gowns similar to that done by hula dancers for their costumes.
“They research things in regard to what materials to use, what the proper mele is and things. And in this case, that’s where the depth of research is, in regards to, ok when the queen was receiving the ship or something, as an example, if there are any dignitaries and stuff like that, what does
she look like?” says Gil.
Bernadine Alohalani Kealoha, the Mōʻī Wahine for Merrie Monarch 2013, says, “I feel honored and very blessed, very blessed as I represent Queen Kapiʻolani, and just you know, like, not only the gown, but also her character, and you know, the lineage, of her culture, the Hawaiian culture and overall.”
“We represent those who came before us.” says Tom Poy.
All lovers of hula and Hawaiian music, let’s continue to honor our Merrie Monarch. E ola e ka lani a mau loa aku!