Category Archives: Merrie Monarch

Costumes 46th Merrie Monarch

Often people only know about modern hula (auana) which is a bit softer and more graceful (in a diffferent way) than anicent hula (kahiko).  They are not aware of the depth of knowledge, skill, and symbolism involved in hula. Its more than just being a good dancer, dancers must emote the meaning of the dance.

The color of the costume and adornments should relate to the topic, location, person honored or meaning of the dance. Hawaiian history is passed down orally (not written) and through song. The islands are symbolized by specific colors, the ocean can be blue for the ocean, or green for the forest.  There are many more that those who study hula spend years studying and learning but this gives you a glimmer of what’s involved.

You may have noticed all of the leis, head wrist and ankle adornments are mae by the dancer, fresh flowers, ferns, leaves and vines. I believe there was only one  group that made the dried raffia adornments. Fabric was often hand stamped, all of this is included in the assessments of the judges as well as the actual dance.


Men’s hula kahiko

I’m glad everyone enjoyed the men’s hula kahiko vidoe below. I had questions about the dance so I thought I’d postmore information and the winner for 2009.  Originally the dancers were men. has the full list of winners and their pionts.  Its important to know that dancers scores for both kahiko (ancient) and auana (modern) dance are combined for the overall score. So both types of dance must great not just one or the other.

O’Brian Eselu’s men’s hula kahiko (ancient hula) is a procreation dance.

Very well done, in fact, they won first place the kane (men’s) overall.

The first place overall wahine (women’s) group was Halau Na Mamo O Pu’uanahula.  First place Miss Aloha hula (solo woman’s hula) was Cherissa Henoheanapuaikawaokele Kane.

Winners 2009:

Overall Brian O’Eselu’s Ke Kai O Kahiki halau won.

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.