“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 me ka maikaʻi, me ka nani, me ka hiehie; me ka manaʻo mau ʻana i nā nani a me ka mana o nā kūpuna o kākou.” – Kumu Hula Manu Boyd
I ka malu o Heʻeia, i ka lae ʻo Keʻalohi, i ke ʻalohi kea o ke ano kakahiaka i ka malama ʻo Akua i ʻākoakoa ai nā kumu hula, ʻōlapa, a hoa kākoʻo o 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 o ia hālau e ʻauamo ai ʻehiku haumāna i ke kuleana ʻōlapa hula. ʻO Aulia Austin, Mahina Paishon-Duarte, Kauʻi Ontai, Punihei Lipe, Noheahiwahiwa Stibbard, Jackie Booth, a me Aukahi Austin Seabury nā wāhine nāna i ʻauamo i nā pono haumāna a pau ma ʻō aku o ka ʻumi makahiki.
Hoʻohiki ʻia ka manaʻo me ka inu ʻana iho mai ke ʻapu ʻawa. A kau aʻela ka lā i ka lolo, lōkahi ka hana a nā haumāna ma ka huʻelepo me ke alakaʻi o ke kumu, ʻo Manu Boyd. Me ke ʻāpono mai o kona kumu, ʻo Uluwehi Cazimero, me kekahi mau kumu hula hou aku no loko mai o ka moʻokūʻauhau Maiki Aiu Lake, lawe ʻia nā wāhine ʻehiku e hoʻomākaukau no ke kiʻina hope o kā lākou ʻūniki ʻana; ʻo ia hoʻi ka hōʻike hula.
He kanahākūmāhā paha makahiki aku nei ko kumu Uluwehi Cazimero ʻūniki ʻana i kumu hula, ma lalo o kona kumu hula, ʻo Maiki Aiu Lake, ma ka pā hula hoʻokahi a kēia mau wāhine ʻehiku e hōʻike ai i ko lākou ʻike hula. Ma kēia ʻaha, ʻo Manu Boyd, kona kumu hula, ʻo Robert Cazimero, me kekahi mau kumu hula no ka pae ʻāina ʻo Hawaiʻi nā luna loiloi nāna e ʻāpono i ka paʻa o ka mākau ʻike hula o kēia mau wāhine. A ʻoiai he mau mākua, limahana, a haumāna hula kēia mau wāhine i kūpono ai ka hōʻea pū ʻana mai o nā lālā ʻohana a hoa kākoʻo o nei mau wāhine i kā lākou hōʻike hula.
I ke au maʻemaʻe ʻana o nā wāwae, me ke kuhi maiau ʻana o nā lima, he ʻami, he lewa, he haʻa noʻeau ka hana a nā wāhine. A i lohe aku ka hana, ua pā nā pepeiao i ka leo oli e kuolo, nonolo, a haʻi mai ana i nā moʻolelo o nā akua a aliʻi Hawaiʻi; ʻo Pele ʻoe, ʻo Kamehameha ʻoe, ʻo Kalākaua nō ʻoe.
ʻO ia mau ka hōʻike, pēlā pū ka nanea a hauʻoli o ke anaina i ka nānā a lohe aku. A kū kēlā me kēia ʻōlapa, akāka ma ka maka o nā kumu hula, ua paʻa. Paʻa ka ʻike, paʻa ka mākau, paʻa hou maila ke kahua Maiki Aiu Lake.
I’m attesting that these women from the Papa Laukoa of Hālau o Ke ʻAʻaliʻi Kū Makani are ready to carry the highest regards of hula and the traditions of our ancestors. – Manu Boyd
In the early morning hours of Sunday November 13th, a multitude of kumu hula, hula dancers, close family and friends gathered at Heʻeia State Park to witness the first graduation ceremony of Hālau o Ke ʻAʻaliʻi Kū Makani. This event highlighted the evolution of seven women, many of which have been dancing for over ten years, from the status of haumāna to ʻōlapa hula.
Led by their kumu hula, Manu Boyd, each student engaged in proper ceremony for solidifying their individual intention and commitments to perpetuating the teachings of their kumu hula and his lineage to their highest level of excellence. Their kumu, along with his kumu hula, Uluwehi Cazimero, and other kumu hula from the Maiki Aiu Lake line were in attendance and confirmed the fulfillment of commitments by each of the seven women.
The final step for graduation would be a presentation of their skill in hula, a hōʻike hula. Nearly fourty-four years ago, Kumu Hula Robert Cazimero underwent his graduation ceremony at the same hula pā, or hula arena, to become a kumu hula. Manu Boyd’s students would perform on the same hula pā, reconnecting their performance to events within their hula lineage. Kumu hula from across the islands, as well as close family and friends attended and reviewed each performance and the ability of each dancer.
Intricate foot movements and intentional hand gestures coupled with sways and lift movements were beautifully displayed in each performance. Between each hula were presentations of melodic, vibrating, and resounding chants in honor of Hawaiian deities and monarchy such as the goddess Pele, King Kamehameha, and King Kalākaua.
The crowd’s delight and excitement grew with the progression of oli and mele. And as each dancer graced the arena, it was evident that the knowledgeable kumu hula in attendance were in agreement that these students would indeed continue the practice of their hālau, and essentially, the Maiki Aiu Lake hula legacy.