Welcome to Merrie Monarch Festival Blog

Welcome to Merrie Monarch Festival Blog. As hula enthusiasts know, the 2009 Merrie Monarch Festival begins 4/12 culminating in the main competitions 4/16, 17 & 18. This is an extraordinary event.  Judges pay attention to the dancers’ steps, costumes which should also relate to the topic of the song with appropriate colors, lei choices, and accuracy and pronunciation of the Hawaain language.  You can find more information from the official Merrie Monarch Festival website including schedule of performance.

Thursday is soloist competition for Miss Aloha Hula; Friday is Group Hula Kahiko (ancient hula); and Saturday is Group Hula ‘Auana (modern hula).

Those in the Hawaiian islands can watch it live on TV and for hula lovers elsewhere KITV will have ‘live online video streaming.’ Also here is a YouTube video clip of past performance.

The Hawaii Vacation Blog has a great kahiko hula photo and information on the Merrie Monarch for those interested.

Hula Dancer

Hula Dancer

Unfortunately there is no detail about the group, mele (song) to suggest the costume choice. The yellow color and adornments should relate to the mele. The picture is not clear enough on my computer to tell if it is kukui or maile leis. It looks like this is the entrance dance. But, there’s some good general information about the Merrie Monarch Festival.

This was an interesting comment on Castro’s version of Iz’s “Over the Rainbow” on Idol.  Its amazing he introduced the song as sung by Iz, a guy from Hawaii’ rather than a famous Hawaiian singer or renowned Hawaiian singer.

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8 responses to “Welcome to Merrie Monarch Festival Blog

  1. giovannatuccori

    Very interesting topic. I have not been exposed to much Hula but I would like to check out this competition online.

    I was wondering about the YouTube video above. What is the dance holding? It looks like a pumpkin, is it some kind of instrument? A drum perhaps?

    • sullivanitec845

      Aloha,

      The dancer is holding a gourd drum called an ipu. This particular drum is a double gourd drum so its called an ipu heke. I am not a drummer but typically there are 4 beats. The base sound would be when the gourd is brought down to the floor the other beats? are when the drummers hand makes contact with the side of the gourd. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Pingback: Hot News » Merrie Monarch

  3. Mahalo nui loa for this blog and the link to bigislandchronicle.com. With aoha,
    Tiffany Edwards Hunt
    Puna

  4. Mahalo nui loa for this blog and the link to bigislandchronicle.com. With aloha,
    Tiffany Edwards Hunt
    Puna

  5. giovannatuccori

    Thanks for the info. Those drums look like they are heavy.

    Also thanks for posting some links so I can watch.

    • sullivanitec845

      Aloha,

      Actually the drums are quite light. The insides of the gourds are removed and carved and sanded. Some even carve decorations on the outside of their ipu but whats more important is the sound.

  6. I am looking forward to the Miss Aloha hula tomorrow night. The Hawaii Tribune Herald has vintage photos that were intriguing.

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