I loko nō o ka liʻiliʻi o ke kaona ʻo Hilo, nui ʻino nā wahi e kipa aku ai ma ka pule Mele Manaka… nā noʻeau hana lima, nā hale ʻāina a keu hoʻi ke kahua hoʻokahi e mālama ʻia ai ka hanana hula nui loa, ʻo ka hoʻokūkū Mele Manaka nō hoʻi. Eia naʻe, i uka aku o kēlā, he mau mile pōkole wale, ʻaʻole kākou e poina i ka hale kilo lani ʻo ʻImiloa e hoʻolauleʻa pū ai i kēia moʻomeheu o Hilo.
“ʻO ʻImiloa kekahi kikowaena hoʻonaʻauao no ke kaiāulu i hoʻokumu ʻia ma luna o ka manaʻo e ʻāwili pū ʻia ka ʻike hou, ʻo ka ʻike ʻepekema ʻoe, ʻo nā ʻano ʻike like ʻole e ʻimi ʻia nei i mea e hoʻoikaika i ke kaiāulu, ma luna naʻe o ke kuanaʻike Hawaiʻi,” wahi a Kaʻiu Kimura, ka Luna Hoʻomalu hoʻi o ʻImiloa.
A he ahuwale nō kēia lomi ʻia o ke kuana ʻike Hawaiʻi a me ka ʻike hou o kēia ao ke huakaʻi ʻia ka hale i piha i ka hoʻokahi haneli a ʻoi hōʻikeʻike… mai ka hoʻokumu ʻia ʻana o nā hōkū lewa a i ke ao o ka hoʻōla hou ʻia o kā kākou ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi a keu hoʻi ka hula.
“No mākou, he nui ko mākou hauʻoli i ka hiki ke kākoʻo i ka Mele Manaka, kekahi papahana i aloha nui ʻia e kēia kaiāulu ma Hawaiʻi a ma ke ao a puni no ka mea, ʻo ka hula, ʻo ka ʻōlelo, ʻo ke oli, ʻo ke mele ʻo ia mau mea e paʻa ai ko kākou kuanaʻike, pēlā i hoʻoili ʻia ai ka ʻike mai nā hanauna ma mua a hiki i kēia lā.”
I mea e ola hou aku ai kēia ʻike kuʻuna i waena o nā hanauna e hiki mai ana kekahi, e hoʻolaʻa ʻia ana ka hale ʻo ʻImiloa i ka hula no ka pule Mele Manaka e hoʻomaka ana ma ka Poʻakolu a pau ma ka Poʻalima. Nui ana nā hanana e kipa aku ai e laʻa hoʻi me nā haʻiʻōlelo a me nā hōʻikeʻike pū.
“ʻO “Ola Ka Hula”, he hōʻikeʻike na Pele me Kekoa Harman a me kā lāua mau haumāna mai ke kula ʻO Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu a me ke koleke o Kahakaʻula ʻo Keʻelikōlani. A e hōʻike ana lākou i ka hohonu, i ke kaona o ka ʻōlelo e pili pū ana i ka hula i loko o nā mele a me nā ʻano kaila oli like ʻole.”
A ʻo kekahi kumu keu a ke kaulana a puni ka mokuʻāina o Hawaiʻi nei, he kāne ponoʻī no Hilo, ʻo ʻanakala George Naʻope nō hoʻi. E hoʻohanohano ʻia ana ʻo ia a me kāna kaila aʻo a hula e kona mau lālā.
“No laila, nui a piha nā ʻano papahana haʻiʻōlelo, hōʻikeʻike hoihoi like ʻole ma ʻImiloa nei ma ka pule o ka Mele Manaka.”
Even in the small town of Hilo, there are a lot of things to do druing the week of Merrie Monarch. Craft Fairs, Restaurants and the stage itself. But let’s not forget to check out ʻImiloa, just a few miles up the road, to celebrate more of this Hilo tradition.
“ʻImiloa was built on the foundation of incorporating Hawaiian knowledge with modern science in today’s education,” says Kaʻiu Kimura, who is the Executive Director of ʻImiloa.
This is evident in the journey of over 100 exhibits that takes us through the formation of planets all the way to the renaissance of our Hawaiian language and, of course Hula!
“We are pleased to support the Merrie Monarch because not only is it the biggest event enjoyed in Hawaiʻi because hula, ʻōlelo, chants and songs are what carried the knowledge of our ancestors through the many generations.”
And in order to carry this knowledge further into the future, ʻImiloa will dedicate its venue to hula during the week of Merrie Monarch as they have invited presentors from Wednesday till Friday.
““Ola Ka Hula” is a presentation by Pele and Kekoa harman and their students from Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu and Kahakaʻula ʻo Keʻelikōlani. They will be encoding the deep language of hula and will also be covering the different styles of chant.”
Speaking of kumu, uncle George Naʻope, a well-known kumu hula of Hilo, will be honored by his students as they reminisce on his teachings.
“There will be a variety of interesting presentations to choose from.”