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Hula Kahiko at Volcano Art Center

December 7, 2018, 3:03 PM HST (Updated December 7, 2018, 3:03 PM)
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Volcano Art Center’s Hula Arts at Kīlauea 2018 performance series concludes on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, with a presentation by Unuokeahi under the direction of kumu hula Kapua Ka‘au‘a. The performance begins at 10:30 a.m., and takes place in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Kapuaokalaniikapoliopele Kaaua with Unuokeahi. Courtesy photo.

On the winter solstice of 2016, Unuokeahi opened her doors under the tutelage of kumu hula Kapua Kaʻauʻa, affectionately known as Kumu ‘Auʻa. ‘Au‘a underwent the ‘ūniki rites in December 2014, led by her kumu Dr. Taupōuri Tangarō of Unukupukupu. It is with this that she was bestowed the title of kumu hula. The Unuokeahi traditions stem from her kumu and his kumuʻs from the Kanaka‘ole hula ‘aihaʻa traditions in Hilo.

Hālau Unuokeahi is made up of culturally sustainable members from various communities. Students who arrived at the hālau come to learn traditional and cultural leadership through moʻolelo, ritual, and environmental sustainability. Many of the students of Unuokeahi have reached or are reaching higher academic degrees, an essential piece for the journey of the hālau.

Along with Hālau Unuokeahi comes the Unuiti Hula Ensemble program at Ka ‘Umeke Ka‘eo Charter school in Keaukaha. Started by her kumu Taupōuri, in the early 2000ʻs, Kumu ‘Au‘a continues this program throughout all 11-grade levels. The program is taught the hula ʻaihaʻa, moʻolelo, and ritual through the Hawaiian language medium. It is a rigorous program, requiring students to create, and manifest their hula world in every aspect. From making implements, gathering, fabrication, ‘āina projects, to haku hula, these core learning accouterments are required by every student, paired with academics; it makes it for a dynamic program.

The Dec. 15, performance is part of a year-round series sponsored by the Volcano Art Center. For the series, hula hālau from across Hawaiʻi are invited to perform in a one-of-a-kind outdoor setting at the kahua hula (platform) near the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. These performances are presented authentically in an outdoor setting, rain or shine without electronic amplification. Audience members are encouraged to bring sun/rain gear and sitting mats.

Held in conjunction with the Hula Kahiko performance, join cultural practitioner Loke Kamanu and ʻohana on the lānai of the Volcano Art Gallery from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., as they share with you “Nā Mea Hula” (all things hula). Come and learn a hula using various hula implements, or try your hand at lei making.

These free events are supported in part by a grant from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, the County of Hawai‘i Department of Research and Development and individual funding from members of the Volcano Art Center’s ʻohana. National Park entrance fees may apply.

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The Volcano Art Center is a non-profit educational organization created in 1974 to promote, develop, and perpetuate the artistic and cultural heritage of Hawai‘i’s people and environment through activities in the visual, literary, and performing arts.  Visit online or call (808) 967-8222 for more information.

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