Merrie Monarch Festival Continues With Kahiko Competition
by Kristin Hashimoto
On Friday the 13th, the Merrie Monarch Festival continues with the group Kahiko Competition with Wahine (women), and Kane (men) halau.
Kahiko meaning “ancient style,” dictates that the night’s hula Kahiko performances remain in strict adherence to tradition. The competition of segregated men and women halau will take place from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., at the Edith Kanaka’ole Tennis Stadium.
The Kahiko style of hula is dance that was performed pre-Western contact, or influence, in Hawai’i. The movements are intricate and diverse in meaning. Nature, praise of the gods, chiefs and fertility are common elements utilized in the meles, or songs.
This year 23 halau will compete; three halau made the trek from the mainland. Two halau are from California and one is from Nevada. The remaining 20 halau hail from Maui, Kaua’i and O’ahu, with most of the halau coming from O’ahu. Though the Merrie Monarch Festival is a fixture here on the Big Island, there is no halau to represent Hawai’i Island this year.
The competition will be televised on KFVE, live from 6 p.m. The Edith Kanaka’ole Tennis Stadium is located at 350 Kalaniakoa Street in Hilo.