Hula Festivities Honor ‘Iolani Luahine
by Kristin Hashimoto
The word “iconic” is often overused and misused when loftily applied to some that hardly deserve the word.
This isn’t the case with Luahine. This kumu hula was the keeper of sacred chants and traditions, danced like the spirits, and taught others how to uphold one’s culture with dignity and grace.
She was one of the last royal dancers of King Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani’s court, was a seer and became known to the world through documentaries, television shows and through the works of her students. The revered George Na`ope was one them.
In the wake of her passing in 1978 came posthumous awards and further recognition. This year, the 11th Annual ‘Iolani Luahine Hula Festival takes place on Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 24-26.
The grounds of Hulihe`e Palace and the King Kamehameha Hotel courtyard in Kailua-Kona will be utilized for the event. Take part in workshops, watch hula demonstrations, peruse the arts and crafts, and enjoy live music.
Songbird Diana Aki will entertain from 6:30 p.m. on Friday night. A donation of $10 for evening entertainment is recommended at the door.
For full event information and to register for workshops held at the hotel, visit www.iolaniluahinefestival.org.